Do the Protesters in #Baltimore Really Want the Truth or To Be Right?

First of all, I grew up in Baltimore in the inner city. We lived in a row home in South Baltimore or what is now called Federal Hill. When I was a small child, the neighborhood I grew up in was wonderful. Mothers watched their children. People kept their streets and alleys clean and free of trash and debris. Everyone knew everyone and greeted each other on the street or the corner store. Children played outside until dark and came when called to supper. I’ve often called my neighborhood Mayberry by the harbor.

It was wonderful for a while but it wasn’t perfect.

My family suffered from many of the ills that befall a lot of city dwelling families. I lost my eldest brother to murder when I was a small child and almost lost one to drugs. Our house was broken into, I was mugged in downtown Baltimore, had my car stolen, bikes stolen and when my kids were small, I swept crack vials and needles up from the alleys and sidewalk around my home before I could take my children outside to play.

I’m not speaking from some high horse. I’m not speaking from a so called detached, middle white America. I’m speaking of the city I love. I’m speaking of the people I grew up with, went to school with and tussled with.

However, I’m not ignorant enough to believe everything I see on television nor am I biased one way or the other where the Freddie Gray case is concerned. I am however heartbroken, saddened and disgusted by what has been going on a mere fifteen miles from my now, county home. We left the city sixteen years ago because our house was getting too small and I was tired of sweeping up crack vials.

Now, on to the topic I came here tonight to talk about.

Tonight’s Washington Post press release stated:

Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was ‘trying to injure himself,’ document says

This is not the first time I’ve heard this. However, conspiracy theories that this inmate is being offered a plea deal OR has been paid by police to say this, are already surfacing on the news by the talking heads.
What frightens me the most, is what the reaction to this particular part of the investigation will be with this information being released now.

Unfortunately, the protesters I have heard speak, do not seem to be looking for any witness testimony unless it fits their agenda. They all however, are crying out for the truth but from everything I have seen and read, a great majority of those protesting are hoping for police brutality, ending in the death of a young black man.

I just watched a seasoned police veteran speak to the fact that he personally has witnessed suspects in his police vehicle, as well as transport vans, inflict severe injuries upon themselves in order to claim brutality, lessen their criminal charges or be able to delay the process through hospitalization.

Please do NOT tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about just because I’m not walking around in the middle of these protests or riots. I have read and seen enough, as well as watched interviews of the protesters, rioters and leaders in the black community on every network, and have yet to hear any of them give even a shred of reasonable doubt to any other possibility than police brutality and murder. I am not discounting their negative experiences with the police, nor am I dismissing their right to feel they have been unfairly treated. What I am saying is when we close ourselves off to all possibilities and FACTS and when the truth no longer matters because it doesn’t fit our version of a story, we are doomed and living in a state of self righteous indignation.

Just because the facts do not agree with our perception, that doesn’t make them untrue. It makes us ignorant.

If after the results of the investigation, your perception of what actually happened to Freddie Gray does not match the facts presented, and you cannot accept all of the evidence, witness accounts and FACTS and continue to protest based on your own assumptions, you are biased and no matter how you choose to twist it, if the results of the investigation, prove these officers did not intentionally inflict physical harm, all of this violence and protesting was to further YOUR own agenda and not to seek the truth.

Sadly, I firmly believe if this investigation proves that ether Freddie Gray thrashed about so much while in that wagon that he accidentally caused his own injuries OR the police involved are only charged with negligent homicide or manslaughter, we will see much worse than what we’ve seen so far. Unfortunately, I do not believe neither the protesters nor the rioters are going to get the outcome they are hoping for. In other words, prepare yourselves Baltimore. The worst is yet to come.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/prisoner-in-van-said-freddie-gray-was-banging-against-the-walls-during-ride/2015/04/29/56d7da10-eec6-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html?tid=sm_tw

Typical Midnight Inspiration: Do You Speak Your Mind?

Well do you?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that all of you wake up tomorrow and remove the filters that keep you from getting whacked up side your heads but when the chips are down and the oportunity presents itself to just open your mouth and say what’s on your mind, do you take advantage of it?

There are a few different brands of this is you will.

For example:

The Facebook Vent/Rant: You know what I’m talking about. That friend or friend who is always telling someone off who can’t even see the post because they’re blocked but they just need to share their emotions?

The Phone A Friend: When you call your best friend and unload on them and they let you because next week, they’re going to return the favor.

The Disgruntled Patron: Let’s face it, we’ve all seen this person and have actually cringed standing behind them in line and we also get the feeling this isn’t the first time they’ve humiliated a cashier. Honestly, we just want our milk and toilet paper. We didn’t sign on to hear this mess.

The Dreaded Confession: When you finally (insert passive aggressive speech) go off on someone because of how crappy they’ve been treating you and everything that’s happened in the past six months comes blasting from every brain cell you’ve fried holding it in.

I’m sure there are more but I was thinking today about Ivory, the strong willed, headstrong protagonist in The Blue Diamond and how she always speaks her mind and doesn’t think twice about it. Even when she ends up being wrong, she doesn’t shy away from both apologizing and doing it again. I believe being honest with people takes the stress out of relationships. Letting things simmer and simmer is as bad for your health as it is for the person stoking the flames.

Of course, speaking your mind is one thing but losing your mind is another.

Someone once told me the difference between being honest and telling the truth is like the difference between a slap on the wrist and a punch in the stomach. I like to believe we are all mostly honest and that when we have something to say, we say it with respect and without waiting until our face turns red and our veins are popping out of our necks. I’d also like to believe it is not necessary to abuse cashiers and waiters. I also believe every once in a while, someone definitely has it coming.

 What about you? Have you ever lost it and if you have, what was the outcome?

Yes…Behind this Innocent Smile, Darkness Sometimes Lurks

As hard as it might be to believe, sometimes, I am not so nice.

Although I am 95% happy and proud of it, it’s taken me a long time to reach this place and the path to get here was made up of good choices, good people and a positive attitude about my life. I have certain expectations and I do my best to hold true to them. This path was also made up of avoiding as well as ridding myself of things and people who I knew would bring me down. Unfortunately though, we don’t always have control over who comes into our lives but we do have the ability to manage the relationship in a way we can live with…or…we lay down the law and boundaries required for us to exist in the same universe with said other person. That is until you just can’t hold back anymore.

My strongest dark emotions are born of wanting to protect those I love aka the lioness. She is the spirit of my temper.

However, it takes me a while to reach the level of anger to finally speak my mind. It’s draining and I don’t know how people stay angry all of the time.

I’m a slow burn as they say.

I normally do not beat about the bush. I’ve developed the ability to express my dissatisfaction in a way that is virtually painless but at the same time, I’ve definitely gotten my point across. Most people who know me, know this and they appreciate the fact that I don’t waste their time. I appreciate the same in return and have whittled my circle of friends down to those who give me the same respect and honesty I give them. They don’t judge me for my past, they praise me for how far I’ve come and we accept each other for who we are.

For the most part, I am as mellow as purring cat.

But then there are the sometimes. Sometimes, I get tired and fed up and disgusted with others’ behavior and unfortunately, that little voice inside me grows until I can no longer hold it in. Don’t come at me with the same issues repeatedly when you refuse to take the steps necessary to release yourself from situations that you allow to cause you grief. Don’t come at me with lies, threats, innuendo and flat out bullshit either. I can see it from a mile away.

Everyone has a limit to their patience…even me.

When I finally speak up, it is beyond warranted and the target of my wrath has had it coming for quite some time. They have most likely even been warned. Then in an an instant–an instant of their own denial that I won’t release the Kraken…

I release the Kraken.

I am probably one of the nicest, most accommodating, loving, caring and understanding people you could ever meet, which is why I think when I reach that point, it has taken a great deal of whipping to get me there. You damn near have to turn me inside out to get me to this place. However, if you are holding the whip and I’ve had enough, rest assured the sting I will inflict in return will be far worse.

I have a lot of experience and absolutely no fear.

We’ve all lived through tragedy, pain and heartbreak and come out the other side stronger than before. Some of us have come out of it with a deeper and darker understanding of life and of our worst traits and abilities. Once we embrace them and understand that those dark places are just as important as the light ones and that they are necessary to preserve our survival, we’ve finally reached that place where we accept all of ourselves and not just the pretty things.

Don’t apologize for speaking your mind.

Don’t apologize for fighting back.

Don’t apologize for confronting and exposing people for who they really are.

Don’t apologize for embracing that part of yourself that is dark and scary and necessary.

You don’t have to live in that dark hole and it’s best not to go in there unless you absolutely have no other choice but make no mistake, it’s there for a reason.

It’s there to keep you from being abused, taken advantage of and controlled but you have to master it and not allow it to master you.

And The Thunder Rolls

Storms

Amen to this! I’ve been through a whole lot of storms and each one has washed away the burdens, the strife, the need to be perfect or of feeling incomplete, and I’m stronger and more fulfilled than I could have ever imagined. I don’t have or need “things” to make me feel important and certainly not to make me happy. My life is far from perfect. My bank account is always on E at the end of the month but I have been so blessed to be able to surround myself with an amazing cast of players who have stood through those storms with me, put up with my bullshit and mistakes and who have welcomed me to do the same for them, while others washed away.

Together, we will ride out this storm with no umbrellas or raincoats, and no shelter except for each other but what more do we really need? You have to know who your people are, through both the gentle spring showers and the violent, hard rain that comes at you from every direction, as you dodge lightning strikes and the thunder shakes your house. The ones who slap you hard when you need it and the ones who wipe your tears. The ones who stand by you when you’re on top and the ones who pick you up when you fall. If you haven’t figured out yet who they are, you better get busy figuring it out.

My heart hurts because one of these people will be moving on to the next life very soon. A Matriarch. A woman who’s respect had to be earned but who’s love was unquestionable. She’d give you that slap and then wipe your tears, reminding you that life isn’t fair but at the same time showing you every damn second of it is worth it – even the storms. What an honor and privilege it has been to be a part of her life for the past twenty years.

Oh the blessings I live with, that I cherish and am so thankful for.
All of them rainbows and flowers after the storms.
My beautiful family and friends.
My wonderful children and grandchildren.
Here comes the thunder.
Let it rain. Let it rain.

Granny June Bug

Granny June Bug