When Elections = Violence

2

I lived the first 14 years of my life in Jamaica. I’m Jamaican by birth (despite my odd accent) and consider myself Jamaican in my heart.  However, it has been approximately 23 years since I left the land of my birth, and I don’t have any intention of returning in the near future or perhaps ever–there are many reasons for that, especially the fact that Jamaica is one of the most homophobic countries in the world.  Still, this year’s US presidential election brought me back to childhood memories.

You see, as beautiful as Jamaica is, it has a truly violent history, especially politically.  Violence is a part of life in Jamaica, especially if you stray from societal expectations of what it means to be male or female.  Some may disagree with my point of view, some will recognize the truth in my words. Jamaica isn’t beautiful for everyone.

One particular childhood memory has preoccupied my mind over the past few weeks. It was from the time when I was boarding in a convent while attending school in Kingston. It was also an election year (1989). I remember sitting in the television room in the afternoon on election day, looking out the window at the military vehicles that were parked outside the church hall where people could go to vote.

Although I knew that the presence of the military meant that there was an expectation of violence, it didn’t scare me. The machine guns that the soldiers carried didn’t scare me. The fact that schools had to be closed didn’t scare me. News about students being attacked because their school uniforms were the colours of one of the two major parties didn’t scare me. The fact that people were being killed because of their political views didn’t scare me. The fact there would be many voices (and lives) that would be silenced because they chose Jamaica Labour Party over the People’s National Party (or the reverse) didn’t scare me.

None of it scared me.

In fact, I remember that I and other boarders used the opportunity of the soldiers being stationed within earshot of the convent to our advantage–we asked them to buy us food because we couldn’t leave the convent (and they actually did).

I was only 10 at the time, but I wasn’t afraid of election day violence. It was normal. It was to be expected that people who didn’t share political ideology could simply kill each other.

So, why do I feel fear now?

I’m not afraid of the potential for violence today. I’m afraid that violence will return to being the norm in US (as was so many decades ago). I’m afraid that we are normalizing dehumanization, intimidation, the threat of racial and religious extermination and deportation, and moving further away from the reasons why so many consider America to be great.

When exercising the right to choose means the possibility of dying, do we still have a republic? Is this what it means to be the Land of the Free?

HBCU Money’s 2013 African American Owned Bank Directory

For the most current African American Owned Bank Directory visit the 2016 link by clicking here. All banks are listed in alphabetical order. In order to be listed in our directory the bank must hav…

Source: HBCU Money’s 2013 African American Owned Bank Directory

A Single Lightning Strike Kills Nearly 20 Cows in Texas — TIME

A lightning bolt struck and killed nearly 20 cows in Texas just days after a lightning strike left more than 300 reindeer dead in Norway. A herd of cows was huddling under a tree during a thunderstorm near Hallsville, Texas on Sunday night when a lightning bolt hit the tree and immediately caused the cows…

via A Single Lightning Strike Kills Nearly 20 Cows in Texas — TIME

Serena Williams Casually Hangs Out With Simone Manuel and Ibtihaj Muhammad at U.S. Open — TIME

In what might be the epitome of “real recognize real,” Serena Williams hung out with fellow pioneering athletes Simone Manuel and Ibtihaj Muhammad at the US Open on Tuesday night. All three women have been trailblazers in their respective sports, which helps make this epic meeting truly legendary; Williams is widely regarded as the premiere…

via Serena Williams Casually Hangs Out With Simone Manuel and Ibtihaj Muhammad at U.S. Open — TIME

On silence, healing fibromyalgia, dealing with narcissism, and learning a whole heck of a lot about myself

First, thank you to my followers, both new and old, for continuing to bless me with your support.  I have not been around much, nor have I posted much of anything personal. Still, you continue to stick with me. Thank you!

 

“If you have nothing [nice] to say…”

Over the past year and a half, my life has changed dramatically. Some of those changes were good, others were not so good. Still, I try my best to take changes as they come, learn from them what I can and keep taking steps towards achieving my goals. In my opinion, that’s the most effective approach to living my life.

Part of the process of accepting change is observing change. And I truly believe that observation is a silent process. It’s hard to observe and act at the same time–at least it is to me.

So, I’ve been in observation mode, mostly observing myself and my reactions and actions in dealing with myself in my environment, as well as just the environment itself. I’ve spent a lot of time in my head and subsequently in my body, i.e. I’ve been sorting through my mental blocks (negative self-talk/thinking) and how they impact my health and prevent me from quickly reaching my most important goals.

On the subject of health: I’m glad to state that my health has been truly awesome, and that my fibromyalgia symptoms have diminished significantly. I’ve had fewer flares, fibrofog moments and have been getting enough normal/restful sleep (between 7-9 hours). Also, I’ve been walking for about 1 hour almost daily and have recently started the BeachBody On-Demand 30-Day Free Trial that has a great deal of exercise programs for people of all levels.  If you have fibromyalgia and are interested in starting or improving an exercise program, I would say check it out because it allows for you to select programs by type: cardio, muscle building, less than 30 minutes, slim and tone, dance, low impact, and yoga. Personally, I am sticking with less than 30 minutes, low impact, dance and yoga.

I think my greatest challenge is that I consume news and, as a person of colour, it stresses me out…then again, who isn’t stressed when watching the news. Still, it’s important to stay informed, and I try to do so without being inundated.

So, what have I learned during my silence? A whole heck of a lot. Here is a list:

So, that’s it. It’s good to be writing again.

Until Next Time,

D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly 9,000 unaccompanied refugee children have gone missing in Germany — Quartz

The number of unaccompanied refugee children reported missing in Germany has doubled in the past six months. According to figures released by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (link in German), the total number of children who’ve gone missing after their initial registration hit 8,991 in July—up from 4,749 on…

via Nearly 9,000 unaccompanied refugee children have gone missing in Germany — Quartz

A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1: ‘From fairest creatures’ — Interesting Literature

A critical reading of a Shakespeare sonnet ‘From fairest creatures we desire increase’: so begins Sonnet 1 in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. This opening sonnet is all about procreation, but also, perhaps, sexual pleasure (including solitary sexual pleasure – about which we say more below). For the next 154 weeks (or nearly three years, in other words), […]

via A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1: ‘From fairest creatures’ — Interesting Literature