I Guess This IS Real Life

If you weren’t aware, I’m originally from South Carolina, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of days… (Sorry, I got a little carried away.)  I loved growing up in South Carolina.  Even though it’s not the Deep South, it’s still the South, and you encounter a few folks that remind you it’s still the South, but for the most part, I had no issues growing up.  Unfortunately, just like there are people from EVERY state that do crazy things, I’m not too happy of some of the activities from people in my home state.  I love SC fiercely, but sometimes things happen that I just don’t understand and make me lower my Palmetto Flag just a little.  I’ve already discussed the representative that shouted at President Obama during his first State of the Union address, yet I’ve never mentioned former governor Mark Sanford.

Mark Sanford was governor from 2003-2011.  He was married and has 4 boys.  In June 2009, after telling his staff he was going camping, the governor disappeared.  Like he wasn’t answering phone calls from staff and didn’t call his boys on Father’s Day disappeared.  NO ONE could get in touch with him.  He was missing for a total of 6 days.  I distinctly remember telling my co-workers, former military men, that he was with a woman.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  A few days later, it came out the governor was in Argentina with his mistress.  It also came out that Sanford used state funds to visit the other woman.  The fallout included the governor stepping down from his presidential role of the Republican Governors Association, but he had no desire to step down from his gubernatorial post.  His wife left him and their divorce was final the next year.  He is currently engaged to his former mistress.  And he was just (re-)elected to the US House of Representatives in a special election earlier this week.

I say all of this to say I might be wrong.  If you remember my post from last week, I stated that the latest episode of “Scandal” was not real life.  Apparently you can have an affair for years, lie about your whereabouts for a week, admit to using state funds to pay for your adulteress excursions, divorce your wife, run for re-election, and win.  So maybe mistresses and adulterers stay winning after all.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Don’t Forget the Girls

Thanks to the homey Pretty Brown Girl for allowing me to see the bigger picture and for inspiring this post.

I’m sure most of you have heard the name Charles Ramsey.  He’s done countless interviews for being a hero.  And I know you’ve heard of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Gina DeJesus.  Oh, you haven’t??? Well, those are the three women that Mr. Ramsey saved, and they have been held captive for 10 years.  These women endured such horrors that I could never imagine.  And all have lived to be reunited with their families.  I do feel for Amanda Berry.  Her mother died in 2006, believing her daughter was dead.

Yesterday morning, a co-worker came up to me and asked if I had seen the interview with Mr. Ramsey.  When I had no clue to what he was referring, he gave me a brief update of the story and strongly suggested I see the video with this man.  Not because he was so eloquent or poised or looked nice.  Or because he felt that I should know about the three women that were rescued.  But because Mr. Ramsey could be viewed as a non-desirable.  Most people having been talking about Mr. Ramsey, from his appearance to his speech to his being a hero.  And while most of us have been focused on him, who is focusing on the victims? Has anyone offered to give them counseling?  Or an education?  Or a home?  Or any resources that they will need after being held captive and being abused for so long?

In short, we need to do better.  Sure, Mr. Ramsey was in the right place at the right time and risked his life to save others.  But let’s not forget these women who completely lost their innocence.  Let’s not forget these women who have been traumatized and victimized and abused for 10+ years.  Let’s not forget that they will need help in order to function as loving, healthy adults.  Don’t forget the girls.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Links of the Week

Today’s post is similar to “This Week in the News” but slightly different.  This may not necessarily be “news” moreso than just interesting information that I wanted to share.

First, Michelle in Training, a non-profit started by my friend kat calvin and where yours truly serves as the Public Relations and Marketing Chair, was featured in the Washington Post after we participated in Defining Young Black Philanthropy.  I plan on writing a post in the near future on how we (young professionals) can give back, even if we don’t have 6 zeros in the bank.

I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m a natural girl on this blog a time or two (for those of you that do not know me IRL).  I came across this article on Curly Nikki and thought it was worthy of sharing with my readers.  I’m glad Stephanie received the support from her job to transition to being natural; this story can assist women that are struggling with making the decision to stop getting relaxers rest a little easier and feel comfortable making that decision.  I think I inspired a few of my cousins to go natural after I made the transition as a number of them stopped getting perms.  (I could be totally wrong, but I think I may be right. :))

To ensure that you know what’s going in your backyard, you should be well aware of the fact that the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  You should also know the facts surrounding the impending sequester.  As someone that knows people that will be affected, I hope there is a resolution SOON!  Never fret-not all news from DC is bad news.  Yesterday, the statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol.

Some new websites/apps that you should check out include “Around the Way“, an app that will assist you in locating a local black business.  You should also check out Blerdology, a site made especially for the black tech community filled with news, events, and feature stories.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Feel free to share a story that I missed.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month Fact: In 1879, Southern Blacks left economic and political exploitation in what is known as the Exodus of 1879.  This was the first migration of Blacks following the Civil War, and Exodusters settled in Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

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They Didn’t Have to Die

Thankfully, I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence.  Unfortunately, I know people that have.  With the recent news regarding the deaths of Kasi Perkins and Selina Brown, my heart has been heavy.   These women, both mothers and in their early 20s, were killed within a week of each other by the fathers of their daughters.  However, their killers will never seek justice.  Both men ended their own lives.

Something needs to be done to teach these boys how to control their anger.  It’s almost too late when they become adults because they’ve become accustomed to being violent and aggressive.  I’m not a psychologist by any means and I do not claim to be an expert, but I think aggressive behavior may come from a multitude of areas.  One could be a boy that grows up in a household where he saw an aggressive, angry male hitting his mother, his sister, or another female family member.  Heck, the boy himself could have been a victim.  Another issue could be the child is angry; why-I don’t know.  But in his anger, instead of lashing out at those around him, whether it be physical or verbal, he needs to be exposed to a constructive way to handle being angry.

Parents play an integral role in the development of their child.  Their presence, or lack thereof, has a lasting effect on their offspring.  Some may wonder if a parent is not dispensing good habits or positivity to their child, should they be an active participant in their upbringing.

I’m sort of going off on a tangent, so let me circle back.  Earlier this week, when I read about this story regarding Selina and other victims, I was brought to tears.  It’s not enough for a woman to want to end a relationship; now, she has to worry about her life and the lives of her children.  This story prompted me to reach out to friends to help me sponsor a family that has been victimized by domestic violence.  I’m happy my friends agreed to help me make Christmas enjoyable for a mother and her children.  And it is my goal in 2013 to volunteer on a regular basis with an organization that helps these families.

Sad to say, these stories are not new.  Women are terrorized everyday by a lover or ex-lover.  I do hope that we keep these discussions going and find a way to help children so they don’t grow up to be abusers OR victims.  While we are doing something for the victims, I want to think of ways to diminish the number of women who are victims of domestic violence. What can we do so that these types of relationships become obsolete?  This time of year is a time for celebration, family, and good cheer.  If you’re able, I ask you all to purchase a toy for a child or a gift for a mother.  All some women want is to end a relationship, not be in fear of their lives.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

FAMU, FAMU I Love Thee

On this day, in 1887, my beloved alma mater, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, was founded.  Twelve years ago (Gosh, I’m old), I stepped on FAMU’s campus as a wide-eyed, naive Southern girl who was excited about all of the possibilities the next four years would bring.  I laughed, I cried, I partied, I joined organizations, I pledged, and I graduated.  Although I haven’t lived in Tallahassee since 2004 and haven’t been back since 2008, a little piece of me has stayed on the highest of seven hills.

FAMU has such a rich history.  And despite the setback we’re (because once a Rattler always a Rattler) going through right now, alumni and students alike have a love for that school that has yet to be rivaled by any other institution of higher learning.  While I have great friends from high school and my hometown, it’s the people I met during my undergrad years that I talk to on a regular basis and are some of my best friends.  Just last night, I had dinner with a group of girlfriends, complete with two fellow FAMU alum.  And it’s safe to say that no matter where you go in this country, heck even this world, you are sure to find a Rattler.

So, today, I salute you and I celebrate you FAMU.  And this weekend, we are going to kick some Bison butt on their own turf. 🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

This Week in the News

I know…SHOCKER!!! When was the last time I did a “TWITN” post??? It’s been a minute.

First, I want to ask that we pray or have a moment of silence for all of the people that lost their lives in the attacks in Libya and Egypt earlier this week.  Hate is such a terrible thing, and I wish leaders would make a real effort to try to eradicate it.

Next, I want to go on record as saying that you people who think O.J. Simpson is Khloe Kardashian’s dad need a hobby… Seriously people???  Yes, Khloe looks a little different from her siblings, but that’s what happens when you have four children with the same parents.  Have you guys ever heard of biology and recessive traits??? If not, look it up, because I refuse to go into detail about genetics work.  I will say I know plenty of families with more than 4 children and not all of the children look alike.  Some are shorter, some have ligther skin, some are a little thicker than most.  It happens….

For those of you that watch “Big Brother”, I know you’re probably salivating at the mouth to find out if Dan will win again.  He is such a sneaky little snake this season!  He has played an awesome game, and if he can convince the jury of that, he has a pretty good shot at walking away with the prize.

Now, while my Jaguars had WAY better stats in Sunday’s game than Minnesota, they weren’t able to pull out a win.  I do hope (and pray) that they get their first W of the season at home…against Houston.  I know it may be a long shot, but Jacksonville is looking MUCH better than they did last year.

Next week, I’ll be focusing on Voter Education.  While I don’t care who you vote for (actually, I do!), I believe that we should ALL be well versed in the rules governing our voting rights.  So be on the lookout!  Enjoy your weekend, and until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Get Over Yourselves

The past few weeks in America have been hair-raising, to say the least.  We’ve had the shooting at the theater in Colorado, the uproar over the comments from Dan Cathy, and America has been kicking butt in the Olympics.  But, as usual, you can count on somebody having something negative to say. 

First, let’s start with Dan Cathy, the President and COO of Chick-Fil-A, which happens to be one of my favorite places to eat.  It’s funny that I love and hate the fact that they are closed on Sundays, which is one of the rare few days out of the week when I have some extra time on my hands because I’m not dealing with traffic.  And it always seem that my taste for Polynesian sauce and waffle fries hits after Sunday worship.  So a few weeks ago, when asked how he felt about gay marriage, Mr. Cathy stated that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman. He didn’t say he didn’t like gay people-he didn’t say gay people can’t eat his establishment-he didn’t say gay people can’t work at Chick-Fil-A.  But apparently, people are upset.  As I have viewed numerous times on my FB timeline, what did people expect him to say?  He’s a Christian man who’s the president of a company that is closed on Sunday.  And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the books that come with the kids’ meal have some type of Christian story?  He wasn’t disrespectful, and he wasn’t rude.  He didn’t say they discriminate against anyone, they won’t serve gay people, and he didn’t say they would never work for his organization.  Honestly, people will find anything to get pissed about.  People got into an uproar when President Obama stated he supports gay marriage.  This just goes to show people will never be happy and will always find something to complain about.  Get over yourselves, people!

Gabrielle Douglas flew under the Olympic radar and not only won the Gold medal with her team, but she also won the Best All-Around.  The talented, bright girl is living out her dreams and represented this country very well.  So can someone please tell me why we’re talking about her hair??? Really, folks?  This girl is doing cartwheels and flips in the air, and you’re concerned with how her hair looks?  Let’s put this in perspective.  It doesn’t matter what her hair looks like.  When you’re working out, is every strand of hair on your head in place?  Probably not.  Let’s not forget this is a 16 year old CHILD!  As adults, the best we can do is to pick on a child?  Let’s focus on the positives. 

So, that’s my rant for the day.  If you want to respond to one or both, feel free.  Have some rants of your own?  Share them in the comments section.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!