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Racial Divide and Disney on Bible.org

 

moana

On June 16, 2017, the world learned of the verdict, not guilty, in the Philando Castile case. My social media was a cascading uproar of comments hurled from both sides of the issue. While my job is not to persuade you concerning the facts of this case or many others like it, I believe it’s fair for me to say that you could understand the overwhelming helplessness that beset me amidst all of this. Once I finally got my bearings, I came up to take a breath yet another swell of water broke over my shoulders. I watched as an unarmed man was punched in the face and kicked to the ground on a routine stop. He was just a teenager. I let the water consume me until things went dark…

Read the rest by clicking the link below

http://blogs.bible.org/engage/christen_jacobs/racial_divide_and_disneys_moana

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Racial Divide and Disney on Bible.org

 

moana

On June 16, 2017, the world learned of the verdict, not guilty, in the Philando Castile case. My social media was a cascading uproar of comments hurled from both sides of the issue. While my job is not to persuade you concerning the facts of this case or many others like it, I believe it’s fair for me to say that you could understand the overwhelming helplessness that beset me amidst all of this. Once I finally got my bearings, I came up to take a breath yet another swell of water broke over my shoulders. I watched as an unarmed man was punched in the face and kicked to the ground on a routine stop. He was just a teenager. I let the water consume me until things went dark…

Read the rest by clicking the link below

http://blogs.bible.org/engage/christen_jacobs/racial_divide_and_disneys_moana

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The Church’s Blind Side: Why Black Lives, Blue Lives, All lives Matter on Bible.org 

There is an unspeakable ache in my heart today, can you feel it too? Among the angst, frustration and bitterness, what I feel most is really disappointment. I am disappointed that that after years of striving to be a beacon of democracy, people can be left to bleed out in the streets, with no trial, no due process, and no convictions. I am disappointed that a band of heartless cowards decided to target police officers in my own city of Dallas….

Follow link to read full article on Bible.org 
http://blogs.bible.org/engage/christen_jacobs/the_churchs_blind_side_why_black_lives_blue_lives_and_all_lives_matter

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Black in America: Here’s my story

Yesterday I read a post by a good friend of mine. A good man father of two husband to one a law abiding, tax paying, highly educated black man. While picking up his children he was belittled as a white woman yelled at him calling him a Nigger, telling him to get out of her neighborhood. I felt his pain and confusion as  he tried to navigate his rage while still holding the responsibility of responding as a Christian man in front of his girls.

What befuddles me about this, is the question, why all the anger? Why all the hatred? Why would a grown woman find it to to be socially acceptable to belittle a man who has done nothing to her in front of his children.

Hot on the trail of Beyonce’s Politically charged video “Formation” along with an equally symbolic Supper Bowl performance all of a sudden my social media is a vortex of erupting old wounds, bearing new ones and two side who don’t seem to get each other. I have no answer to the issue at hand. I have only bewilderment, only questions, only a lack of understanding.

So in light of it all I figured what they hey I should share my story. I am black. Born to a light skinned mom and a darker skinned father. I grew up with brothers and sisters who were all lighter than I with green eyes. I knew I was different.

I attended a school that was culturally mixed but majority white. I saw the popular girls. In particular there was one she had crystal blue eyes and straight blond hair. She was beautiful and I wanted to be like her.

When I was in the 4th grade I rushed to perm my hair so it could be more straight just like her. No one ever told me my hair needed to be straight but I just knew it deep down that is what it supposed to be.

My parents are well educated and I grew up in a middle class home. We speak properly and I was told that I talked “white” by my peers.

When my mother had her first child she named him Michael David. At our neighborhood pool a white woman told her that, that was a white name.

I was a proud member of the girl scouts in a majority white troupe. We had a lot of fun together. When the girls asked me where I lived they told me that my neighborhood was dangerous. The same neighborhood where I road my bike and walked my dog and knew my neighbors and was never threaten, I learned was a dangerous place.

I transitioned to a majority black middle school where I quickly took to the task of redefining myself. I think this is where I first learned that I could have two sides to who I am. I wanted to talk black, I wanted to dress black I wanted to be accepted.

When I came home I was told that my diction had worsened due to my school.

I played soccer the majority of my life. I love the game and I was good at it. One year I played for a majority white team and it was fun. During one intense defensive exchange with another player from a different team, the girl called me a monkey. I was rightfully upset but when I shared this with my teammates they said I was making something out of nothing.

On a family trip we begged the truck drivers to honk their horns for us as many children do. Instead of a honk the drivers held up middle fingers. I watched the man’s snarling face. He was so pleased with himself. Giving the F U sign to a kids seemed like the highlight of his day.

In college I was spat at. In college I was called a nigger. In college there were no repercussions for those who did these things. I was disillusioned.

I hung out with a white guy from my dorm. He wasn’t my first white boyfriend but he would hang out with me in private but when we crossed paths on campus he wouldn’t speak.

One time while in the car with my dad he got stopped for a routine traffic stop but they asked him to step out of the car. They then seated him in the back seat of the cop car to run his plates. I sat anxiously awaiting and praying.

I was in TJ max one day and the sweetest little girl came up to me and called me a Nigger. Her mother apologized profusely. I knew that she learned this from the very person who apologized to me.

We vacationed in Hilton Head. I was told by a white friend of mine that what looked like racism was really classism. It was a pretty silly idea to begin with that the two are not intrinsically tied together but I humored his argument.  But Hilton Head is known as a vacation hot spot for the elite. Here we were among them. My dad dropped us off at a public swimming pool near our own villa, me and my two sisters. When our hands touched the gate people got quiet. We were children. A man on the balcony called security. Apparently there was a pool designated for our cluster of villas. A reasonable thing but we were carted off. I couldn’t help but feel the disgrace.

Here I sit now. Watching some police officers act without accountability. Watching judges dismiss cases without having to give a rationale. Watching a lack of due process applied to even a criminal who has basic rights under the law. Watching a child with candy in his hand and nothing else killed. Watching others call him a thug and digging up how many detentions he attended to defame his character. Watching a man being shot and left in the street like a dog. Watching a 12 year old boy shot in the park, watching a young man shot and killed at the gas station for playing his music too loud. Watching the disparity  of unfair sentencing. Watching my friends family and neighbors telling me that everything is ok. That there is nothing to be concerned about. That racial tension is dead. Watching the republican candidates address a question about police brutality not by suggesting higher accountability for those who abuse their powers but taking the time to applaud the police with no mention of change. (Don’t get me wrong honest law enforcers should be praised)   All I am doing is watching. All I am doing is waiting. Everything disillusioned…. I can’t understand why you can’t see the problem.

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Meet my 90 something year old neighbor, Jewel

My husband and I just moved to a more “neighborhoody” small town. We are coming from an apartment complex closer to the city where everyone comes and goes without even a nod of the head. Our little town is full of neighbors who stop and say “howdy” like for real one older gentleman used that term while we were walking with our kids.  There are real live ice cream trucks driving by in the evenings, kids riding their bikes, and cute little store fronts and eateries down the street. As far as I am concerned this is as close to living in Stars Hollow as we can get and that makes me happy.

One of our goals for our new abode is to be more neighborhoody towards our neighbors. So far this has proved difficult, due to the fact that we have just completed one month at this residence and we have had a car accident, stomach flu, house guest, a business trip and more. However over this holiday weekend I seized the moment to do some much needed yard work. While cleaning up Mrs. Jewel made her way over to introduce herself.

Her white hair was properly tied up into a scarf which made me feel a little bit less self-conscience because I had to hog tie my robust mane into a bandanna in order to ward off spiders and what not. She wore a purple floral dress with a little fanny pac positioned on her hip. I noticed she was wearing make up, at least lip stick. The red hue had been drawn on out of the lines a little bit as if my toddler had done it. She wore those gigantic puffy sneakers you find in drug stores that Velcro. They were nude color.

Now I am not 100% sure of Mrs. Jewel’s age but she told me that she was later celebrating her son’s 70th birthday and her eldest son is 73. I tell you what, if you live to see your children in their 70’s you have lived quite a full life. I only spent a short time with her but, within our 15 min chat she gave enough insight for me to fill a whole blog or two.

I am captivated by old people I think. She said little but exuded wisdom. Jewel began to tell me about the huge oak tree, whose shade was offering us some solace from the Texas heat. It was so large I couldn’t imagine a day where it had to be nurtured and watered by anyone. It turns out her neighbor planted that tree almost 70 years ago. For some reason her neighbor didn’t have time to care for it so she took it upon herself. She told me she adopted that tree. She raised it up and the tree is almost as old as her boys, now old men themselves. This struck me as enduring. Who cares to raise up a tree you do not plant? Here we are 70 years later and what was once small and frail towers over her, now small and frail. She was proud of that tree.

Mrs. Jewel then told me a history of everyone on the street. She told me about their comings and goings and how many children they have and how the children are now grown. She mentioned, several times that people are too busy these days for much of anything. Too busy for their neighbors, too busy for their children, too busy to care for a tree. For one reason or another the notion of business and her sorrowful reflection on it, has eaten away at me ever since. Why in the world have we become so busy as a culture? What do we busy ourselves with?

She told me about her quilting business, which she said was the reason she hadn’t taken the initiative to introduce herself to me sooner. Here she is old enough to have children in their 70s, in her puffy drug store shoes, and she is quilting. She was busy working on back orders. They say a busy life, is a blessed life. So often we hurry to finish work and she delights in it. I just realized as a type, this is an oxymoron, how can one relish in an a life that  isn’t busy, but also praise a life of business?

While I may not agree with Jewel’s fashion sense, she cared about her appearance. I have observed with many older people that they care about what they look like, their hair, their homes, their yards. I am sure that the mentality is wrought with the trouble of keeping up appearances but there is an art to caring about the little things that may be lost on us young folk. Why do we devalue our property, and have no pride attached to the homes we have worked so hard for? Why don’t we try to put our best foot forward. I see this as a typical case of over correction. While her generation may have been a little too concerned about white washed fences and mint juleps, the generations after her (I think there is like a 4 degree separation between us) have allowed lethargy to creep into every aspect of our lives to combat this. Lethargy I think is sold to you as freedom from expectations, then something drastic happens. You began to expect less and less of yourself. Maybe we have all suffered because of this.

Jewel mention quite a few times which ladies of the house worked and those who didn’t work on the street. This bothered me as a working mom. Can I cut the mustard, are my children suffering? I wonder what she has observed as she has watched these families over the years.

While not pertinent to the story, Mrs. Jewel happens to be white and I happen to be black. She has been at this residence for 70 years, which means when they cleared the land to put in the new development the entire town was populated by whites just like herself. Over time this area has notoriously become more diversified setting off a large migration of white families to the north. I often wonder about this time. As racially tense as America seems to be in these last couple of years, I could only imagine what she has seen through those eyes. She always seems to be watching. As I drive through these old streets I think fondly on people like Jewel who wouldn’t budge. I don’t know if she stayed because she accepted her diverse neighbors or if she stayed out of  sure will power to not be moved. Either way she seems to have made her peace with it now. Regardless of her situation her longevity in that place is appealing to me.

We ended this conversation by exchanging numbers. The next day she came by to give me a cake. I look forward to more reflections with my 90 something year old neighbor. old-woman-cartoon-clip-art-860861

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thoughts on the confederate flag

thoughts on the confederate flag: Should it be outlawed of course not! that would be against one’s civil liberties. Should it be flown outside of a government building on government ground OF COURSE NOT that would be akin to allowing the British flag to fly on Plymouth rock. A flag that that represents a war against the very institution upon which the flag is planted. That just doesn’t make much sense. In that time what did the British flag mean to those who fought and died to free themselves from the British oppressors? Now for the very reason why it should not be outlawed for private citizen use (civil liberties), those who support the flag have no right to be mad at private sector companies who decide not to sell it. Just as you have the civil liberty to fly it, they have the civil liberty to stop selling it. The very same law that protects you also protects the private sector business. So unless you are a major share holder complaining about walmart and ebay will do you no good and its antithetical to your point. Lastly if you personally fly the confederate flag that’s cool for you, I am all about southern pride and we can go in circles about what the civil war was fought about but it really doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that when I look at the flag I am reminded that so many years from the abolition of slavery many people fly that flag in fond memory of a state that would have me enslaved. It reminds me of the fact that my aunt Betty while living in Mississippi was forced to go to a vet instead of a doctor because they wouldn’t see her. It reminds me of my grandpa who saved to get his family out of the south so that we could have a better life. It reminds me that slavery was not too long ago, my great grandfather was on my mom’s side was most likely born into slavery or at least directly after abolition. Some of you know know who your great grandfather is some are still living mine was most likely a slave. It also reminds me of my neighbors house in college. There weren’t many blacks on campus aside from a couple of racial incidents we went about as coexisting for the most part. But our neighbors who lived next to the only house with blacks in it put up the confederate flag. They attributed it to southern pride, maybe, maybe not it seemed like a stretch. We saw it every day as a separation between them and us, as if to say hey there you only blacks on the street we know you are here and we don’t like you. It reminds me of the fear I had when my dad was pulled over for a routine traffic stop while on our way to vacation. Instead of being allowed to stay in his car and show licence and registration like a normal traffic violation he was asked to step out of the car, once he was taken to sit in the police car while they ran his plates. I had a helplessness in that moment, knowing we were at the mercy of this man. One false move by my dad and things could have ended differently. As a child one day I was looking out of the window of our SUV I signaled for the semi truck next to us to beep his horn like so many children do. I waited in excitement and he gave me the middle finger. It reminds me of my friend who got spit on in college or that time some frat guys drove by and called me the N word just because they thought it was funny. It reminds me that some people are afraid of me, some think they are better than me, some assume I am uneducated or a hood rat. It reminds me that no matter the southern pride you feel from that flag, if the flag would have seen victory, my ancestors, my great grands, and grands would have continued to be beaten, raped, killed and sold like animals for who knows how much longer.

Here is my point its your prerogative to fly the flag but know this when people like myself see it this is what one is reminded of. If you fly it in spite of what it conjures up, or you do not think that evoking these memories is of any importance to you than just be honest that you do not care. I am ok with you not caring, just be honest about it. My feelings wont make the news, my feelings are certainly subjective to my point of view, but to those who care my feelings are valid.

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