Laterian TasbyOn Saturday 17 year old Laterian Tasby was shot and killed at a Halloween party after a fight broke out. Laterian was an athlete and student leader at San Pedro High School.

He was not a gang member although police say his death maybe gang related. School staff, team mates, and family members are adamant that Laterian Tasby was not involved with gangs. He was known as a hard worker, a mediator, and a peacemaker with a warm personality. Laterian Tasby was trying to make something of himself. He understood the importance of education and took his school work and athletics seriously. He had dreams and goals…but on Saturday his life was taken.

What happened at the party is still unclear and the shooter has not been identified.

According to (more…)

My friend Hollie sent this to me this morning and with her permission I’m sharing it.

MORE DAMN TOY RECALLS……

OK, me, Hollie….is requesting that we all stop purchasing lead filled toys made in China.

We all know that there are issues between the United States and China (and every other country in the world, thanks to Bush). Clearly they are trying to kills us, by what? Killing our children first and foremost. This will prevent us from having a great military force to fight against them later….you know after we lose half the damn military to the billion dollar a month “War on Terror” in Iraq.

They will try to kill us by any means necessary…poisoning our dogs and cats…they know damn well Americans care more about animals than people (just look at the whole Michael Vick issue).

Please be real with your children and explain why they cannot have their favorite batman toy or their favorite doll. All of the toy companies are manufacturing in China. Reid and I have for months stop purchasing toys made in China. Reid is eight years old, if he can do it so can you. Feel free to call Reid and let him explain it to your child…it may come across better from another kid.

Seriously, please stop purchasing lead filled toys from China. If we stop buying, start complaining Mattel and the other manufacturers will have to make a change. It is not just about the toys, but the life long damage to our children from lead exposure. (more…)

In the words of Marvin Gaye: “What’s Going On?” Do you care?

I saw this video on BlackHandSide of an all star remix of Marvin Gaye’s timeless classic and was moved. Enjoy :)

What’s Going On (Dupri Original Mix)
Co-producer – Wyclef Jean
Featuring – NSYNC , Aaron Lewis , Alicia Keys , Backstreet Boys , Bono , Britney Spears , Christina Aguilera , Darren Hayes , Destiny’s Child , Eve, Fred Durst , Gwen Stefani , Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez , Jermaine Dupri , Mary J. Blige , Michael Stipe , Nas , Nelly , Nelly Furtado , Nona Gaye , and P. Diddy

What’s Going On All Star Re-Mix Lyrics:

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My heart has been heavy all week with the fires and the tragedy at the Long Beach Pier. I know that I am not the only one as people have been expressing their feelings about it too. At this point I’m not sure what all I can do to show my support other than to pray… I do believe strongly in the power of prayer and I know prayer availeth much. Along with my prayers I hope what I share today on this blog touches who ever it needs to touch……..

There are hurting people all over the world, some near and dear to our hearts. It is often easy for us to be so caught up in our own lives that we are oblivious to what might be going on in someone else’s life…

Living life abundantly means caring not just for ourselves but for others. To truly experience abundant living we must have compassion and Love in our hearts for our fellow man and be concerned not only for our own best interests, but also the interests of others.

Each day the news tells of horrors and tragedies going on all around us. Too often we flip the channel or move on to whatever is next on our agenda because often the story seemingly has no direct affect or impact on our individual lives.(say a prayer, reach out, send a card, do something…)

What many of us fail to realize is, (more…)

Remember when Hip Hop songs meant something? remember when there was a relevant message? Today I take you way back with an important blast from the past.

This song burned deep in my mind this morning as I ran a few errands throughout my neighborHOOD. The last verse of the song struck a nerve deep down with an intensity that I’m hard pressed to explain…

If your neighborHOOD is like mine perhaps you’ll feel me…

The last verse of The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five:

A child is born, wih no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind

God is smiling but he is frowning too
Cause only god knows what you go through

You grow in the ghetto, living second rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate

The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alley way

You’ll admire all the numberbook takers;
thugs, pimps, pushers and the big money makers
Driving big cars, spending twenties and tens
And you wanna grow up to be just like them

Smugglers, scrambles, burglars, gamblers
Pickpocketers, peddlers and even pan-handlers
You say I’m cool, I’m no fool
But then you wind up dropping out of highschool

Now you’re unemployed, all null ‘n’ void
Walking around like you’re pretty boy Floyd

Turned stickup kid, look what you done did
Got send up for a eight year bid
Now your man hood is took and you’re a Maytag
Spend the next two years as an undercover fag
Being used and abused, and served like hell
Till one day you was find hung dead in a cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young

Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to loose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under

The Power of Words

What Do You SeeIt is amazing how we can all look at the same picture and see something different or hear the same song and hear something different. Perhaps that is the case in Mayor McMillian’s strong disapproval of John Mellencamp’s song “Jena.”

Yesterday, at our monthly U Grow Girl meeting we had a wonderful conversation about how things are not always how they look or seem. We discussed perception and paradigms in depth.

Perception:
immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment. The result or product of perceiving.

Paradigm:
A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

After seeing the video Jena, the mayor of Jena said

“the Mellencamp video is so inflammatory, so defamatory, that a line has been crossed and enough is enough.”

The mayor is very outspoken about how Jena has been unfairly portrayed as a racist city. We have yet to here him admit or express any outrage over the unfair treatment of the Jena 6. Mayor McMillin seems more concerned with the image and public perception of Jena than with the injustices taking place in Jena.

Maybe the picture that I see is different from the picture he sees. What do you see? I guess its a matter of perception.

It seems that a person who doesn’t want to be perceived as racist would not behave as a racist. Nobody wants to be considered or thought of as racist. I get that.

What I don’t get is:
Red FlagAn elected official offended by a song with an anti-racism message.

Red FlagAn elected official tells a white-supremacist group leader “Your moral support means a lot.”

Red FlagAn elected official failed to recognize that Enough should have been Enough with the tolerance of the known “white only” tree.

It seems that the bigger picture is not whether or not the individual citizens of Jena are racist…the issue is the blatant institutional racism in Jena and many other cities across America. To deny that racism exists, to look the other way, to declare the hanging of nooses as a prank is to enable and therefore tolerate racism. It would seem that anyone offended by anti-racism sentiments is probably pro-racism…

“The song was not written as an indictment of the people of Jena but, rather, as a condemnation of racism, a problem which I’ve reflected in many songs, a problem that still plagues our country today.” — John MellencampPerception Perspective Paradigm