Dave Chappelle Take It Or Leave It

A lot of people are up in arms about Dave Chappelle’s Sticks and Stones Special on Netflix. He has a little bit of everything going on, but above all he has freedom of speech. In many ways people are proving him right in regards to how we deal with hot topics in America. We are a country that prides ourselves for freedom of expression in everyway, but it is only certain ideas that we want to give acceptance to.

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I am not a lover of comedy, but I watched his special. I found some parts to be funny at times, but I also found some of the jokes to be a little too much. I respect his right to tell his jokes without backlash due to nature of his profession. Comedians or jesters have been known to provoke feelings since the beginning of comedy. In the old days they would make fun of royalty by talking about state issues that many would be too afraid to bring up. To some degree that is what Dave Chappelle accomplished with his special.

Some of the hot topics he talked about needed to be addressed. I mean take the LGBTQ topic and really think about it. I find it a little confusing and movement like today. I didn’t see it that way years ago, but after seeing the different branches that have come from the base, it now looks like a movement. It keeps evolving every couple of years. You now have pansexual, skoliosexual, bisexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, transsexual and queer. I mean what’s next? I do not understand why we have to have so many different names for people liking people. It isn’t that complex, you like who you like.

I think the really interesting part about this current transformation is that people are easily moved to agree with anything. I am kind of scared of what comes next to be honest. Every two years or so we see a new sexuality being added and I think that is dangerous. Today we might not see anything that can harm anyone, but that isn’t to say that things will not change in a few years. It is just very confusing because people championed for rights to be one thing, but then crossed over into something else.

If you champion for rights to be gay, then you move back to being straight or move to be both, then how important were those rights in the first place? It just looks like a movement dipped in confusion. Take that and the ability for people belonging in the group to suppress others and their opinions and it makes things even more confusing. On one hand people want to fight for the freedom to practice their rights to love whomever they want to love, but on the other hand the same people would oppress others to have a difference in opinion.

Yet, at the end of the day, it all comes back to people being able to pick whom they once were. After so many laws were passed to protect the lifestyle, it seems like there is a change once again. I can’t think of any targeted group within history that has given up their rights to be who they are, only to make new terms which bring them back to the person they were prior to the new laws. I think pansexual is a path to walking back to being straight. Which is why I told my daughter to hold off on labels and just take it day by day. If we stop labeling each other and just live, we wouldn’t have to keep trying to justify our choices, we could just simply be.

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Just to be clear, I am not questioning anyone’s right to change, but if people end up changing back to their first sexuality, what does it mean for the laws that were put in place? Was it just simply a lifestyle change?

Special Education And Parents Who Give A Damn

Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Savannah, Georgia I worked at a school. The school was a very good school which educated some of Savannah’s richest families. I didn’t understand the politics involved in education until I started working in the Special Education department. It would become a stark lesson in life about inequality inside the classroom because of status.

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It would be my first lesson in social status division and my first lesson in how schools viewed children with special needs. My oldest daughter at the time was in the third grade. She was invited to two parties within the same week about halfway into the school year. One of the parties was being help at a child’s house in the Landings and the other was being held at a house at a mobile home community.

I remember asking the teacher who worked over me about both areas. I didn’t know anything about the Landings and I didn’t know anything about the mobile home park due to the fact that I liked to keep on base as much as possible. She informed me that the Landing’s party was the party I needed to let child attend. She giggled about the VIP invite and then started laughing about the mobile home invite. She insisted on keeping my child away from the child who stayed in the mobile homes because they were basically trashy.

Time came for the two parties which were held days apart. I decided against letting my daughter attend both parties due to the fact that I didn’t know the parents. I like to know parents before I say yes. However, due to the response of the teacher, I have always looked on schools with a bit of skepticism. I remember the importance the teachers held on children who were in Special Education with parents who had good jobs and the lack of importance they held for children from poor areas.

It really put me on a mission to make sure that each child knew of their importance no matter their parent’s status. I will never forget the time when I was told by a teacher that she would rather have a classroom of ghetto children than teach children under the Special Education umbrella. The sad fact is that parents do not have any idea of how some educators view their children if they have special needs. It is important perhaps more important for parents of children with special needs to stay involved with the schools and to monitor their children’s interactions due to these issues.

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Years later my daughter would get service from under the umbrella because of her ADHD and her ADD. However, those two issues weren’t the issues that would cause her to retreat inside herself, it would be a bullying attack that would hinder her from being able to interact socially. I find myself blessed with the inside knowledge of two things because of my occupational travels. I understand how certain children are regarded due to their disability and I understand how schools do not tell you about the obstacles these children face inside and outside the classroom.

So this brings me to my conversation with my daughter before we went to bed. Last night my daughter entered the room and gave me this very meaningful speech as I gazed out the window.

“Mom, I do not want you to worry about me being placed in another theater class because at the end of the day, I know you believe in me. I know dad believes in me and I believe in me. I don’t need a teacher to give me the green light when I have you guys. If she doesn’t want me in her class, I don’t want to be in it. I’ll just do my best in the new class and prove her wrong.-Ariana

I guess that is the point of it all. It is my support that will protect and propel her. Schools are set on default educations which means they do not always give what each and every kid needs. No matter how much we want to elevate the idea of teachers, there will always be those teachers who aren’t encouraging to all children. So, as parents we must lift our children up when the world tries to bring them down and remember it is our support that gives them wings.

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The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle Showcases How Interracial Marriages Can Be A Challenge In 2019.

Interracial marriages still face problems that many people do not truly understand. I think many people are under the impression that interracial marriages are fully accepted now because we see more couples in interracial relationships. However, what many people do not see is the struggles that still exist surrounding the couples on a day to day basis. Just take the gallery that I use for my blog pictures for example. There were plenty of pictures showcasing loving relationships, but hardly any of them were of interracial relationships.

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When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry over a year ago many like myself were over the moon! It was a win for love and one more nail in the coffin for racism, so we thought. You see more couples that choose to marry outside of their race today, but what you do not see is the racism that comes with that choice. I recall the first time I witnessed issues stemming from my marriage some years ago. We went to a retreat near Big Bear which showcased how couples were supposed to communicate with each other. After our lessons were over, the couples would all head towards the cafeteria and mingle. My husband and I weren’t approached by anyone and to make matters worse later that night we had to share the room with a couple that seemed to be fixated on what being black meant. Later on we would get looks from others. We would also have incidents were certain people would try to pick at the spouse that wasn’t the “correct” race.

What we are seeing today with The Duchess of Sussex and The Duke of Sussex is the real face of acceptance. Nobody wants to admit to being a bigot, but with the curtains now pulled back, we are seeing that bigotry is alive and well. Don’t get me wrong, we have made advances in gaining the right to marry who we want to marry. However, attitudes are still somewhat jaded by many when it comes to interracial marriages. Do you recall the commercial that sparked a debate on interracial marriage just 6 years ago.

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Pick any high profile couple that happens to be married to someone outside of their race and ugly comments are not far away. After Matthew McConaughey married Camila Alves there were comments about how he could have done so much better. Never mind she is drop dead gorgeous, but some still felt that she was not fit to be his wife because she wasn’t white. Comments were made after Serena Williams married Alexis Ohanian and so on. Anytime you see a interracial marriage, get ready to see ugly comments. People have been called race traders, nigger lovers, mud sharks, Oreo cookies, and other hurtful names.

The best part of it all, at least in my opinion, is that interracial couples are increasing at a higher rate. My soon to be son-in-law is white and my other daughter’s boyfriend in Chinese. The hate hasn’t scared people away from being people. It shows that even though racism still occurs, it isn’t turning people away from wanting to be with the ones they love. As for my relationship, the looks and the ignorance made us stronger as a couple. The harder people looked us, the tighter we held onto each other. It was us against the world and it has been that way for almost 23 years now. So, let’s hope The Duke and Duchess learn how to embrace to power of love and true unity because their love is a love that will be tested. However, pressure creates diamonds, so let the hate keep coming, their love will just keep shining.

Why Must We live In Labels?

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I remember growing up in school standing in the lunch line behind two very popular girls. As I patiently waited for my spot to reach the lunch lady, I heard one of the girls ask the other girl a question. She asked the other child who looked like me, why didn’t she like me. Of course, I immediately positioned my body so I could hear the bulk of the conversation. This was a question I wanted to know because it was odd always being the person being left out of conversations, celebrations and even down right hated at times. At least this is how I felt because to a young child all those things help to make up our social collage.

So, back to the memory! She leans in and tells the other girl that I wasn’t like them. I didn’t talk like them, act like them, or even look like them. Now this was a little confusing because I was most certainly black. My parents were black, my sisters were black, so how was I so different? Well, I guess if we entertain the not talking like them, perhaps there was a little validity in that comment. My parents wouldn’t allow me to listen to rap music and at the time I was growing up, rap music was popular. A lot of the slang that children used back in those days, I couldn’t use. Once again, the rule was to leave the extra at the door. I most certainly grew up black, but my parents raised me differently than most of the children, due to their age. My parents came from another generation which really focused on how people were perceived by the public.

All sorts of hell lived in my house, but the public never knew. As the students were saying I wasn’t black enough, my parents were teaching another lesson all together.  They were teaching me about black limitations. So, when I came home crying over my favorite teacher who had just died in a car wreck the night before my world grew even more confined. I was told that I shouldn’t be crying for the white woman because she didn’t really care about me, add that on top of the you can’t be this or that because you are black ,and you have the perfect confusion sundae.

I had enough around the age of 18, so I left the confusing small town behind with all the confused people in it. Sadly, I see those same confusing outlooks being washed over the black race today. People are telling us that we can’t be Republicans because we are black, or that we can’t be racist since we have no control. I’ll calling out both ideas today because both are wrong. My parents preventing me from grieving over a white teacher was racist. I do not care what anyone tells me or you about racism because it isn’t a one race problem.

Racism is like a cloud that spreads over the world that brings down an invisible layer of confusion. It hinders the way we treat each other and perceive each other. It makes enemies out of people who know nothing about each other due to the stigma attached to the unknown group. Ignorance is the perfect environment for racism to grow. It’s like a perfectly lit breeding ground for misinformation and chaos. When we start seeing ourselves as people without limits race seems to disappear into the background.  Does that mean all racist moments stop happening? Of course not, but it means we learn how to move through life without constantly tripping over the vines of racism. The vines in many ways are the obstacles that we place down. Perhaps, we tell ourselves that we will never be able to get the job because they are looking for someone who looks like her, he’ll never ask me out because I am not his race, or people who look like me do not live in houses like that.

Anyway, you cut it, hiding behind race creates invisible borders. Life isn’t about being boxed into any group, it’s about being able to weather storms. If you are looking for what divides us, look at those people preaching division. They are the dividers of the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them make us act out that way. As always think with your heart, it isn’t white, brown or black it’s just human. Don’t let certain ideologies pave your way just because it is a norm. Fight for understanding and the right to choose.

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Don’t forget to check out Ariana’s cooking show.

When The Internet Became One Big Neighborhood

When we think about community, we often think about the people in our neighborhood. We think about the closeness, likeness, and struggles we face together. We see the people down the street and place the neighbor label on them which makes us look a little longer if things appear out of place in their departure. We assign ownership to the places that are deemed precious near our houses which are often placed within our neighborhoods.

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Yesterday, for some of us, our neighborhoods grew a lot larger. We mentally adopted a teenager that was assaulted by a group of girls and something magical took place. It just takes a few positive voices and things can start turning. Yesterday while we all struggled to keep #JUSTICEFORJANISE trending something became crystal clear around the 5th hour. Nobody was giving up on finding this little girl.

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We were all picking up our internet torches and wading through the pool of concern. Tweets went out to Trump supporters, Obama supporters and many more people, and they did not fall flat. All hearts reacted! Soon the concern was trending all over the United States with concern flowing into other countries. While we weren’t able to grab the attention of those in office, we were able to grab attention to someone more important.

We were able to make our case to the people and the people formed an online haven of love. I’m in Texas, but it didn’t stop me from caring. Others were from other states, but it didn’t stop them from sharing. Brave friends like @D4MURE, @sharii41886239, @lissa_ajana and @kiologyz created the perfect search for their friend. While things might not be over for the young lady in the video, I do believe she will now find that she has a nation of support behind her. It just took a handful of friends with the courage of an Army with the intent of bringing their friend home.

Now the healing will begin and let’s hope yesterday isn’t forgotten because we stood as one big family with no concern over difference, just the connection of love. Love really is the key.

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Living In A Racial Climate With Children

It shouldn’t be a secret at this point, we are living in a racial climate. Whether you are living in the United States or in the UK, at this point there’s no escaping race issues. So, with the weekend at our feet, I thought it would a good idea to leave you with this.

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We do not have to look like each other, hold the same credentials, practice the same religion, or even use the same vocabulary! We simply need to do one thing when it comes to weathering the storm. We need to understand that underneath it all, we are all the same. We all house emotions, have goals, and live in this world.

What inspired this post, some of you might be thinking! It comes from a conversation at the dinner table that was innocent, but very telling at the same time. We do not normally gather at the dinner table for dinner unless it is Christmas or Thanksgiving. Last night we decided we would try something new because we have been finding cups in the children’s rooms. So, after the chicken was roasted, we informed the kids that we would be eating dinner at the table.

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As we headed to the table and took our seats, one of the girls stated how we were being like white families. She then smiled and scooped a thing of potatoes on her plate. My husband looked at me and I in return looked back at my daughter. I informed her that when I was younger I never ate anywhere besides the dinning room. We ate dinner as a family. I didn’t know that children were seeing something like eating at the table or the lack of it, as a racial expectation. It was a teaching moment for not only us, but for the girls as well. The moment resulted in explaining that race has nothing to do with where we eat! We explained that perhaps culture played a part in what might be found on people’s plates, but that it wasn’t fair to conclude that certain groups shunned tables! Then it was on to the next topic which was about boys and sending inappropriate pictures. That’s a story for Monday! Have a great weekend.

If Only Food Could Cure Racist Hearts

Leave it up to kids to come up with the most simple forms of expressing love! I’ve just finished up my lunch for today, and all of the ingredients were purchased from the local meat market down the road because my babies want to show their support. It isn’t an American market, it is a Mexican market and the only one that sells taco meat worth anything in this area.

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To be honest, I couldn’t imagine the store not being here. Two weeks ago we found ourselves roaming the aisles of the Korean Market in a nearby city. Once again, I couldn’t imagine the market not being there.

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In the near future I plan to go back to the Indian Market to try out new spices and see if I can find anything that beginners like myself might be able to create. In my opinion, food gives us a glimpse of who people are. It is a comforting item but so much more. In any given neighborhood around the globe there’s something beautiful to be seen. There are spices to try, new smells to smell, and bottled up warmth waiting for those who need it the most.

Perhaps that is the reason I always tell people to hold on to what they have. My mother had so many recipes and was the best cook ever. However, I didn’t get any of that knowledge from her. Our special moments and my cherished memories all go back to her cooking chocolate pies, cookies, and casseroles.

I’ve found that my daughter comes to life in the kitchen much like my mother. Her shy demeanor goes out of the window the minute she starts talking about cooking. With that said, on a different note! We decided that we will help out stores that might not get much traffic due to the fears from our government. We will be frequenting the Korean market, Mexican markets, and Indian markets because they are part of our community. I’m sure our government will figure this mess out.

As always if you want to see Ariana’s newest YouTube video check it out below.