Tag Archives: Congress

Women and our Rights : past present future …challenged everyday


oh yeah, it’s a rant … tweaked many many times

keepabortionlegal

So,  here we are in the 21st Century, Women have a constitutional right to have an abortion yet secret bills are being passed as if they(republicans) know what is best for all Women, just think about that and ask yourself … why is a healthcare panel made up of men considering women’s health who keep making strange comments about our lady parts while throwing ALL Women into one basket then under a bus?

Remember when trump said,  women should have some sort of punishment for exercising their rights while conservative lawmakers, governors, and mayors continue to puke on the Constitution by passing lawless bills that restrict the right to have an abortion. The idea the reducing the number of clinics will change the mind of any Woman wanting an abortion is going to make them stop… What does this say about those politicians who need some sericous vetting, maybe censuredand or removed as they continue to put constituents at risk.

The fact is Women lead very different lives, make individual decisions every minute of the day ~just like men … an abortion, like any other procedure is just one of several health care issues Women may have to encounter.  The best solutions: Birth Control in all its forms as well as a safe affordable legal constitutional right to an abortion. I find it beyond offensive to hear Republicans infer that abortion is chosen carelessly and for those who seem to think birth control in all its forms is a federal or states right issue actually use it as a Republican political football.  The fact is, Republicans with Women in their lives forget that their position pushes up against 98% of those who use birth control and they need to stop forcing their “family values” on women, focus on Jobs, Immigration, ending any idea of income inequality and Climate Change among just a few issues at the moment. Honestly, it doesn’t look possible for republicans to come to their senses, so vote for the Democratic Party that supports upward mobility as well as the middle-lower classes and the poor = equality for all…

Call on your favourite republicans and ask why they assume Women are ill-equipped, silly, naïve, and or would put up with abortion bans without a fight? least we talk about how hard a decision like an abortion is: It is NOT easy or done willy nilly! and while they seem to forget it conveniently …women DID use coat hangers, went to folks who were NOT in the medical field but took their money,  performed abortions, and some women, this ended up being a fatal decision.

Hey, whatever happened to ” liberty” under the Bill of Rights and “freedom” under Civil Liberties? Seriously, does this only apply to certain men?

While we were deep in the era of trump, never forget that on Sunday, January 22, 2012, President Obama released a statement letting Women know that he was reaffirming his promise to protect a woman’s right to choose.    Announcing that  “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule  Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.”

There were changes to the announcement above as well as big changes to health care for women … It was a time for hope and audacity because of the new health care law women looked forward to less discrimination.  We know some in the insurance field, doctors and or hospitals will try to beat the system, but the law is there to refer to now and covers All Americans not just some. It is hard for me to believe pro-lifers do not understand that every part of a woman’s health is subject to being penalized and that includes our reproductive health care, which includes a wide range of health care issues.  Isn’t bad enough that lawmakers actually would subject women to demeaning practices like a transvaginal scope; make them wait for 72hrs, but to make doctors liable and or do jail time too.  I have to say that among other ridiculous laws that need a vote in Congress, such as The Hyde Amendment.  Please ask yourself and your member of Congress…  why does it require a vote . It is time to Codify the right to choose.

…   the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.     wiki

I also admit that it pisses me off that the latest group of people in congress are still getting away with saying one thing in front of a camera yet voting another way on the floor of congress, which includes spewing and or forcing their “family values” platform/ideology on what I thought were free Americans. What year is it again?  If the Republican Tea Party now the Nationalist party truly wants smaller government, they should stop trying to control women, their bodies and or change laws for the sake of that “family values” platform or whatever the claim it is now, and whatever it is now, it is definitely the epitome of big government and an invasion of privacy.

The right seems to be aligning their demands for stricter abortion laws one state at a time. I cannot be the only one tired of the “Do as we say Not as we do Political Party of NO. It has my blood boiling. Now, Tea publicans running for President and some media folks are saying it is time to move on from nasty politics. I say if you want to become President of the US of A give Americans full disclosure. Women need to know if you support unnecessary procedures like a transvaginal scope  … Yet; the same people accuse President Obama of withholding information from the public or being un-American get offended when asked to provide personal information.  We are their constituents; we all deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion, race, gender, and or abortion. The beliefs of members of Congress dictate to how the vote will affect our constitutional rights. If you were listening, for three years conservative politicians, some conservadems ramping up of vitriolic “family values” rhetoric pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race, and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base. It is obvious now that Republican Governors had a plan to take the rhetoric a step further by passing anti-abortion legislation all over the country in fact as stated by NWLC – “Ninety-two. That’s the number of anti-abortion measures passed into law across the U.S. in 2011. In addition, in case you are wondering, yes, that is a record — in fact; it is over 2.5 times the previous record. “

Bad enough that Women must continue to fight for our rights for equal pay, daycare, medical leave let alone for safe affordable access to reproductive health care.

Now, as we move toward the end of the trifecta that is trump and both chambers of Congress, controlled by Republicans who decided to vote on a right to reproductive rights on the anniversary of Roe V Wade in 2015.  This move by men in Congress was and is always incredible since there are more female members of Congress now and yes, a lot of right of center members who say they are fiscally conservative, want less government in their (our) lives.

Yet, topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom get them flustered, put their undies in a bunch about abortion funding and seem to prefer that abortion be outlawed altogether if possible. I could not vote for a woman who feels I am not qualified, and or mature enough or have a “right to choose” no matter what side of the political aisle they sit. The fact is, women who choose to have an abortion, do so with great trepidation not because they are heartless but based on options given by qualified medical teams or if the fetus is not viable or at risk or both mom and fetus are at risk. FYI! the decision is discussed with a counselor and a doctor before any procedure happens. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy one and offering a safe place, an affordable procedure is better than having a woman or women desperate enough to take actions that could put their lives at risk like they did prior to roeVwade should always be on the minds of any member of congress…  it is the right thing to do. The idea that any member of Congress would want to control a woman’s body is ludicrous at best and again, the epitome of BIG Government; they should make something like the Hyde only better a law. The conservative ideology, clearly barbaric; spews old school dogma and not only crosses the line on numerous occasions, but it has also solidified a need, a call for an unprecedented effort for a grassroots movement to keep our Democracy safe

If you live under a Republican-controlled State and need or know someone in need of safe affordable healthcare with limited funds, your life has got to be beyond difficult.    Now, imagine the impact that repealing, replacing, and eliminating access would have on ALL our families, friend’s or co-workers. Let alone the idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights; seen but not heard and yes it sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen to congressional members led by republicans and those running for office closely.

Just when I thought we were all moving into the 21st century … sigh

Resource: the internet

Nativegrl77

… the issue of choice is important and taken for granted in this era of trump …. Don’t let this guy turn the clock back on women because…  for women who lack resources things could go bad quickly … folks in restricted states need to help each other out and NOW, since trump only held one term… thank goodness, we need to help move our Democracy forward keep it intact and support push the Biden/Harris adminstration while putting more DEMS into both Chambers of Congress!

Be a Seed for Change

Step away from the lightener – reminder as spring summer creeps up


 just another ongoing rant 

So,  the heat is turnt up all over the country and this is about the time when some folks start to do stuff to themselves… right? in what seems to be a great vehicle for both comedy and exposure of an awful practice that non-white men and women do is back in the news ~~ skin whitening. What made me sad among the obvious is how comical it is but, Comedian and  risk-taker, Nick Cannon created a new character named, “Connor Smallnut.”  I have to admit seeing him in WhiteFace was concerning as I heard myself gasp! Why? We don’t like folks in “blackface,” felt this cannot be good, but it actually exposes what seems to be a growing practice in the US … skin whitening, specifically by non-whites.

Here we are in 2022 people, and those pictures above are from 2/11/2018!  I saw a picture of Sammy Sosa in a cowboy outfit …no problem but looking at the photo apparently his skin is still being bleached and though I am no expert it doesn’t look like the skin is holding up …

My problem years ago as stated, again and again, is when the industry says lighter brighter whiter is better and gets you more work!

In October of 2013, disturbing news regarding skin whitening popped up and now, I find myself having to update my post from 5/28. I get a lot of digital news and while going through it, out pops an article … not the first, this was an attempt to voice a personal experience, knowledge of Skin Whitening products, how widespread it is, and who may be using it to improve their careers. I admit… I wondered what Century are we in and will common sense prevail.  I welcome all those willing to shine a light on this terrible practice and maybe a jab or two at those promoting this awful practice. However, I did find that folks continue to pull MJ into the skin whitening practice and I would like to say and clear up something ~~  MJ did have vitiligo … the end.

In 2009, reports were that Asians spent an estimated $18 billion a year to appear pale. Today, this Billion dollar business is … in my opinion taking advantage of women of all races, their personal insecurities in an industry that has created among other things bobbleheads, eating disorders, height/weight anxiety,  liquid diets, long hair syndrome and many more creative ways that make folks unsuredoubtfulhesitantself-conscious, making them reactive not proactive. Apparently, otherwise reasonably smart folks believe lighter brighter and whiter is more likely to increase your status as well. I will say it again, it is sad and very disturbing

I have to ask why after reading that in the year 2013 well-known entertainers are using Skin Whitening products to cross over for more acceptance or work.  It would be easy to say … FYI, you’re still who you were before bleaching your skin but the practice begs the question … are you getting more work, more hits on your site and more folks are hitting on you … what?

because …

No matter how light you go your personality is only as good as your authenticity …

~ Nativegrl77

Lupita Nyong’o and skin whitener ~repost reminder …a lifeline


Wethepeople

So, this speech given by Lupita Nyong’o was at the Essence Magazine 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, USA, she was honoured with the Breakthrough Performance Award. It was 2014

I had to read and re-read the speech below because she addressed my own call for People of Colour to STOP the practice of skin whitening. This practice is far from new, it has unfortunately become a billion dollar snake that needs its head cut off, a severe reprimand of those who push white is right, begin to provide services that help those who hate themselves and the skin they live in. The speech is beyond illuminating lest we say eloquent and she addressed a letter, in which she talked about a fan who wrote to her about hating her dark skin so much she had bought the controversial skin lightening cream by Dencia called Whitenicious …Lupita spoke about Dencia’s skin bleaching cream, her own issues with hating her dark skin as a teenager & more … below

Lupita’s speech:

I wrote down this speech, I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session.

Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community.

I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny.

Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.

 Lupita’s  speech  is a letter filled with humor , love and a lot of wisdom for little girls of colour from 1 – 98 who need to be taught self-love while the entertainment business needs to accept that POC come in all colours shapes sizes, speak differently and some of us don’t sing or dance, but plenty of us have great talent that should be accepted without having to make drastic changes to our features like skin whitening to get a part or a job …crossover

~~ Nativegrl77

What happened to Sandra Bland ? Women’s History Month


“You just slammed my head to the ground. Do you not even care about that?”

These were some of the last words of 28-year-old Sandra Bland. On Friday, Texas State troopers pulled Sandra over as she was driving to her new job for allegedly not using the turn signals during a lane change.1 What happened next was all too familiar and terrifying.

An eye-witness says police ripped Sandra out of the car, violently slammed her on the ground, and arrested her as she screamed for help. Just 72 two hours later, she was dead.2 Police are claiming Sandra took her own life, but her family and friends don’t believe it. Local District Attorney Elton Mathis has already said he has no reason to expect foul play and handed over the investigation to the same police agency that arrested Sandra.

Police cannot police themselves. Urge Attorney General Lynch to thoroughly investigate Sandra’s death and hold all those responsible fully accountable.

Justice for Sandy

DA Mathis said there was no reason for concern, despite the fact that an allegedly routine traffic stopped turned into a violent arrest is itself a cause for concern.3 Sandra’s family says that Sandra would never kill herself and that police seem to be covering up her death.4 We must demand that local officials release all video, information and photographs relating to Sandra’s unjust arrest, imprisonment and death.

The local police department and prosecutor’s office have a long history of racism and corruption. Last year, DA Mathis threatened a local Reverend who spoke out about racist prosecutions, saying he would release his “hounds” on the Reverend.5 Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith was fired from the police department in Hempstead, Texas for documented cases of racism.5

According to her loved ones, Sandra Bland was a loving, compassionate woman, with a bright future ahead.6 Today would have been the first day at her new job working student outreach at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Loved ones described her as bright, spirited, and having a thirst for life. She was also a vocal advocate against police brutality and often spoke about ending racism and police violence. Our hearts and minds are with her friends and family as they move through this unimaginably hard time.

But in a world where Black people are stereotyped as “violent” and police exist to enforce the boundaries of a deeply divided and racist society, who Sandy was or the life she was creating, did not matter. What mattered was that she was Black, and therefore, in the eyes of the law, didn’t deserve respect, didn’t deserve her civil rights, her freedom or her life. To be Black in America, is to be safe nowhere. Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to be targeted by police and incarcerated than white women.7

The Department of Justice and Attorney General Lynch have the power and responsibility to address the systemic police violence targeting Black communities. The reality is, racism, corruption and a deep-seated culture of secrecy prevents local and state police from holding themselves accountable. Without independent oversight, police will continue to kill and prosecutors will continue to do nothing. We should not have to demand justice, every time a Black person is murdered, but we will continue to do so until the justice system respects Black lives.

Urge US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to secure justice for Sandy and help end discriminatory police violence targeting Black people in Texas.

Thanks and peace,

— Rashad, Arisha, Shani, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 16th, 2015

References,https://point4counterpoint.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=91304&action=trash&_wpnonce=5a36e5f072

1. “Sandra Bland Drove to Texas to Start a New Job, so How Did She End Up Dead in Jail?”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5001?t=5&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL?

2. “Family says woman found dead in jail cell would not kill herself; Texas Rangers investigating”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5002?t=7&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

3. See reference 2.

4. See reference 2.

5. “Pastor says Waller DA threatened him”, 06-03-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5003?t=9&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

6. “The Texas Sheriff Where Sandra Bland Died Was Previously Suspended for Racism”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5004?t=11&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

7. “Incarcerated Women”, The Sentencing Project 08-2015
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5005?t=13&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

in the Library ~ The New Jim Crow – by michelle alexander… Best Seller


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition

so, i read this review of a book that took me back to information given to us in class at the UW  …stunning, sad and eye opening information yet this book review revealed much more …

By Leonard Pitts Jr. / Syndicated columnist

Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow,’ a troubling and necessary book

Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. suggests reading “The New Jim Crow,” by Michelle Alexander, who contends that the mass incarceration of black men for nonviolent drug offenses, combined with sentencing disparities and laws making it legal to discriminate against felons in housing, employment, education and voting, constitute nothing less than a new racial caste system.

Syndicated columnist

Related

“You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to.”

— Richard Nixon as quoted by H.R. Haldeman, supporting a get-tough-on drugs strategy

“They give black people time like it’s lunch down there. You go down there looking for justice, that’s what you find: just us.”— Richard Pryor

Michelle Alexander was an ACLU attorney in Oakland, preparing a racial-profiling lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol. The ACLU had put out a request for anyone who had been profiled to get in touch. One day, in walked this black man.

He was maybe 19 and toted a thick sheaf of papers, what Alexander calls an “incredibly detailed” accounting of at least a dozen police stops over a nine-month period, with dates, places and officers’ names. This was, she thought, a “dream plaintiff.”

But it turned out he had a record, a drug felony — and she told him she couldn’t use him; the state’s attorney would eat him alive. He insisted he was innocent, said police had planted drugs and beaten him. But she was no longer listening. Finally, enraged, he snatched the papers back and started shredding them.

“You’re no better than the police,” he cried. “You’re doing what they did to me!” The conviction meant he couldn’t work or go to school, had to live with his grandmother. Did Alexander know how that felt? And she wanted a dream plaintiff? “Just go to my neighborhood,” he said. “See if you can find one black man my age they haven’t gotten to already.”

She saw him again a couple of months later. He gave her a potted plant from his grandmother’s porch — he couldn’t afford flowers — and apologized. A few months after that, a scandal broke: Oakland police officers accused of planting drugs and beating up innocent victims. One of the officers involved was the one named by that young man.

“It was,” says Alexander now, more than 10 years later, “the beginning of me asking some hard questions of myself as a civil-rights lawyer. … What is actually going on in his neighborhood? How is it that they’ve already gotten to all the young African-American men in his neighborhood? I began questioning my own assumptions about how the criminal-justice system works.”

The result is a compelling new book. Others have written of the racial bias of the criminal-injustice system. In “The New Jim Crow,” Alexander goes a provocative step further. She contends that the mass incarceration of black men for nonviolent drug offenses, combined with sentencing disparities and laws making it legal to discriminate against felons in housing, employment, education and voting, constitute nothing less than a new racial caste system. A new segregation.

She has a point. Yes, the War on Drugs is officially race-neutral. So were the grandfather clause and other Jim Crow laws whose intention and effect was nevertheless to restrict black freedom.

The War on Drugs is a war on African-American people and we countenance it because we implicitly accept certain assumptions sold to us by news and entertainment media, chief among them that drug use is rampant in the black community. But. The. Assumption. Is. WRONG.

According to federal figures, blacks and whites use drugs at a roughly equal rate in percentage terms. In terms of raw numbers, whites are far and away the biggest users — and dealers — of illegal drugs.

So why aren’t cops kicking their doors in? Why aren’t their sons pulled over a dozen times in nine months? Why are black men 12 times likelier to be jailed for drugs than white ones? Why aren’t white communities robbed of their fathers, brothers, sons?

With inexorable logic, “The New Jim Crow” propounds an answer many will resist and most have not even considered. It is a troubling and profoundly necessary book.

Please read it.

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His e-mail address is: lpitts@miamiherald.com