Vocabulary Mondays – invariable

Artist:  Artis Harrison
Artist: Artis Harrison

Word:  invariable (adjective)

Meaning:  not subject to question or change; static; constant

Word Usage:  Isabelle’s approach to crossword puzzles was INVARIABLE; she always started at the end, and she always did them in ink.  (GRE Vocabulary Flashcards)

How Many People Know About the Public Safety Exception Rule?

This photo was taken from www.havegunwilltraincolorado.com .
This photo was taken from http://www.havegunwilltraincolorado.com .

Well, I know I didn’t know about such a rule.  To be honest, until lately, I felt I was too busy to worry about public safety, especially since I don’t gather among the masses.  I’m sure I’m not alone!  However, my concern is how many Black people know of this rule?  Probably not many!  Laughter!

Personally, I feel Black people know little about the laws of their state, country, local and national government.  Most often Black people legal knowledge is acquired after the fact.  Sadly the information comes too late to help them keep their rights as citizens and freedoms paid for by the blood of others.  Once they returned to the mainstream of society after incarceration they cannot apply for benefits that aid in personal advancements; and out of frustration they return to a life of crime.

Has anyone every looked into the statistics for Black people incarcerated?  I have.  The numbers for Black men and women locked behind bars is shocking!  I feel a high percentage of Black men being incarcerated is one of the reasons why 70% of American Black women are single! 

Black women we must do something about keeping our men and women from lives of petty and grand crimes!

Do you realize many Black inmates could have been successful people?  These people could be individuals that give to society instead of taking from society if they were taught the laws of this country.  Yet, they are serving time because of ignorance.  Do not buy a wooden nickel my Black brothers and sisters!  Ignorance is foolish and can destroy a life before a person discovers what living is truly about.  This is why I’m posting information on current legal topics.

Staying updated with current events help a person to grow mentally.  Such updates help people become socially aware of what is taking place in the town or city, state and country they live in.

To be honest, I didn’t know about Miranda rights and how Miranda’s rights came into play, until the Boston Marathon bombing.  It was that tragedy that sparked my quest to learn about Miranda rights and the “public safety exception.”

I can’t speak for Black people as a whole, however, I can say from glancing over statistics Black people have a ways to go when learning about the laws of this country and their Constitutional rights.

I’m sure this topic is boring to most but to a person that is interested in protecting their freedom it is knowledge.  And don’t ever forget knowledge is POWER.

It is important that people learn of the ‘public safety exception.’  It appears our lawmakers are making continual changes to this rule.  The changes that are being made have nothing to do with Homeland Security and or terrorist threats.  Other words, the changes could become a ticking bomb to American society and those that find themselves breaking the laws of our nation, thus, forcing those that enforce the laws to waver in their decision if a crime has a political motive.  And in turn they must know what the motive is before they can invoke the rule; because of the procedure this rule can be applied to gang members and etc.  Once this rule is applied and a weapon or harmful materials are found the information gathered can be used in the court of law.  But the ‘public safety exception’ rule can only be applied if law-enforcement feels the suspect has information on the whereabouts of an item or items that can be harmful to the public.  After public safety has been secured then the suspect will be given Miranda’s warnings/rights.

It was hard for me to pare down the legal jargon about this particular rule because it is ever-changing.  And those changes will impact our knuckle-headed, don’t want to listen to the voice of reason, young Black men and women that are not ready to enter into society as productive citizens.  So as Black women let us do our part to make sure the numbers of Black men and women incarcerated decreases as we teach them the laws that govern this country.

Vocabulary Mondays – exhort

Artist:  Artis Harrison
Artist: Artis Harrison

Word:  exhort (verb)

Meaning:  to urge or try to persuade

Word Usage:  After Graduating from college, Diana EXHORTED her parents to lend her the money to start her own business.  (GRE Vocabulary Flashcards)

What Are Miranda’s Rights?

The other day I finally broke down to read about the Boston Marathon explosion suspect.  Cute kid!  Wacky!  But he is truly cute!

Well there were words and statements in the article I didn’t understand, such as Miranda’s rights and public safety something another.  So I decided to first research “Miranda” rights and later the “public safety exception.”

I knew and know when a person is apprehended for a crime the police always spout the following words:  “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”  Since, I really do try to live above the law and keep my distance from those that love to live below the law; I never knew how or why the procedure of giving a person their legal rights came about.  Therefore, not having knowledge of ‘Miranda’ rights and ‘public safety exception’ I was lost when reading and understanding why they did not give the Boston bombing suspect his ‘Miranda’ rights as legally required by law.  And, since, I don’t like being ignorant I began researching the subjects of interest.  Now I’m sharing a snip of what I learned about ‘Miranda’ rights with you.

Miranda Rights is a statement that should be given to a person after he/she are arrested, thus, protecting their Constitutional Rights according to the Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment.  And, again, the statement usually consists of the following words:  ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.’

MirandaThe Miranda Rights statement came about in 1966 after a man name Ernesto Miranda was arrested, by the Phoenix Police Department, on March 13, 1963 for kidnapping and raping a 17 year old girl.  Ignorant to his legal rights Miranda signed a confession stating he kidnapped and raped the 17 year old victim.  Upon his trial the information gathered from him during interrogation about the crime was used to sentence him.  He was given 20 to 30 year’s imprisonment on each criminal charge “with sentences to run concurrently.”  Miranda’s attorney appealed the court’s decision based upon his clients “confession was not fully voluntary.”

If the Phoenix Police Department had informed Miranda of his rights to remain silent or have an attorney present during questioning the interrogation could have, and no doubt would have, ceased based upon human nature; therefore, it is believe that most times during this period law enforcement purposely failed to tell suspects of such rights in order to obtain confessions.  As a result Miranda original case was thrown out of court and he was retried using eyewitness and later found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Ernesto Miranda was an interesting read.  After he was released from prison he died violently years later.  Sad.

FYI:  Did you know if you are ever arrested that you should never choose to be silent.  It makes people in the court of law think you are hiding something.  Yes!  Can you believe that?  Therefore, it is always better to ask to speak to your attorney even if you don’t have one, because the court will appoint one for you.


The Black Man’s Country Club

Michael getting ready for his senior photo's.
My son Michael getting a haircut for his senior photo’s.

Initially I was not sure how to speak on The Black Man’s Country Club.  But you can find them in every city, every town, and every state on any corner and probably every country, I’m sure.  For those of you that did not know your local Black barber shop is considered “The Black Man’s Country Club” well . . .  now you know.

It is a place where Black men gather to receive professional haircuts and discuss current and past events.  I tell ya!  I love being among these Black men and talking stuff from a Black woman’s point of view [chuckle].  However, you must earn the right to speak among your captive audience.   So enter if you dare to venture women of color in “The Black Man’s Country Club” but do not look for a date.  Your presence in the establishment should be a desire to fellowship with men you have something in common.  Being Black in America!  And I can guarantee you; you will have the time of your life.

I’m being honest and real when I write, “do not look for a date.”  Again, these men are there to get haircuts and discuss sports, local, national and global issue from a Black man’s point of view.  Every now and then, if they have cultivated a friend relationship with a woman or women, they will discuss man/woman interactions; but they really do stick to discussing current and past events. Remember, they are not looking to be pick-up, hit-on and carried out like a sack of potatoes by desperate women.

And if you are going to stop by “The Black Man’s Country Club” take a young Black male with you.  There is always a little boy in need of a haircut, perhaps it is your son, your nephew, your cousin, an extended family member, a church member or a neighborhood kid.  It doesn’t matter who the kid is.  It doesn’t matter if his parents are misusing monies they should spend on him getting a haircut.  The importance is you making a difference in this young Black life.

It is nice when you watch the camaraderie among Black positive men; it is even nicer when they extend the right hand of fellowship to young Black men; so taking a young Black boy to a place where there are influential men of color is a good thing.  And the deed done could be the act that changes a child’s life for the rest of his life because after all we were created to make a difference.

Remember:  Black women have it going on!


Vocabulary Mondays

Artist:  Artis Harrison
Artist: Artis Harrison

Word:  pro-vin-cial-ism (noun)

Meaning:  Narrowness of mind resulting from lack of exposure to cultural or intellectual activity

Word Usage:  His PROVINCIALISM caused him to put his state before his country.

America New Frontier for American Female Slave Descendants

Do not allow to slip away from you freedoms the people who came before you won with such hard knocks.  ~David Herbert Lawrence

It has been said that American slaves were not ready for freedom.  Hum?  With a hint of sarcasm, I can’t help but wonder why people forced and kept in captivity would be ready for advancement.  With sincerity I wonder if those that made such a comment were correct.

After growing mentally, emotionally, acquiring knowledge on many subjects, and becoming aware of the importance of ethnicity, as a woman of color I see slavery as a sad life changing event for African-American descendants in a wonderful way.  Don’t get me wrong I feel slavery was horrible.  It was brutal.  It made captive men and women feel helpless and hopeless.  It kept their descendants in continual fear.  And most of all it made humans feel non-human.  But it changed the course of life for many African slave freed descendants.

The process of slave choice was methodical.  Before deporting African’s to their destination and to fulfill their future owners purposes as slaves each captive would be inspected.  Their chins were licked for body salt content; they were also examined for tropical diseases, and, as a result, only the best African captives were kept and shipped.  If an African did not pass the tests performed they would be set free.  Other words with out question the cream of the crop Africans made it to America.  Thus, meaning the American Black woman came from strong African genetic lineages.

Think on this:  The only reason slavery was permitted to run rampant is because God had greater purposes for the descendants of African captives.  But in order for God’s plan to come about he allowed the puppeteers (slave traders/slave owners) to control new captives and enslave workers with fear; hence, giving slave traders and slave owners the illusion of having total power.  For at any time during any part of the slave trade process God could have removed all fears.  Allowed each captive to speak the same language.  And take control of the situation because of the simple fact the newly captive and slaves outnumbered their oppressors.  Instead God remained silent for a greater purpose and allowed slavery to stay as an economical institution for over four centuries.  As a descendant of slaves, I feel God’s purpose was and is allowing America to become the new frontier for African American female slave descendants.

Remember this:  It is up to the American Black women as people and a gender group to welcome the opportunities.  Opportunities that were literally paid for with the blood of those that came before us.  Only a defeated person will lay and wallow in self-pity and allow opportunities to pass them by.  As I have told my grand-daughter when she wanted to join drama and choir and felt the doors were closed . . . keep going back until someone recognize you are serious about joining those activities.  I also made known that eventually someone will get tired of seeing her face and give her a chance to prove she is worthy for an audition.  She was frustrated!  She was feed up with my “go back’s.” And reluctantly she took my advice.  Today she is in drama and loving it!  It took her half the school year to get into drama but she made it!  In addition to joining drama she was recently selected to sing in the school talent show.  She is so excited!  Life is grand for her and again she loves it!

As Black women we have to work harder to meet our goals.  Most often the struggles are daunting and make our goals seem less important, but don’t give up and don’t give in.  Keep going!  If you can’t get in the front door hell try a side door.  If the side door won’t open check the back door.  If the back door is locked go through a window and if the window is locked cut a hole in the roof throw down a rope and make your dream happen!  Successes only come to those and for those people that are hungry for their desires to materialize!  So again I quote David Herbert Lawrence, “Do not allow to slip away from you freedoms the people who came before you won with such hard knocks.”


Friendship Comes In All Colours

A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway. ~Fr. Jerome Cummings

Recently, I noticed several of my readers (not like I have many at this point) are from other ethnic groups.  I’m grateful for that!  I have a rainbow of friends.  I don’t have much time today to discuss the beauty of having friends from all walks of life and races, but I want to take a quick moment to share a funny story, or a story I found funny some years ago.

Truly I think Black people can sometimes be as harsh and unforgiving towards other ethnic groups as other racial groups are sometimes towards Black’s [laughter].  But I have several White friends I enjoy. When they celebrate their accomplishments I celebrate with them and when they are sad I cry with and for them.  Honestly, many of them, just like my Black friends, hold my deepest secrets about my life and aspirations.

This story is about friendship, gaining of trust, love and respect of all people.  One day a Black friend came to visit me when I lived in my old home.  And since I am a person that loves art I surround myself with such beauty without bias.  I buy Black art, art with flowers or nature and art with people from other cultures.  As a matter of fact, when the house went on the market I was permitted to leave my artwork on the walls, because no one could conclude the house belonged to a Black person.  Any-who-how, there were photos sitting on my fireplace mantel.  My friend, being curious, got up from the place she was sitting and began to scan them.  Then I hear these words coming from my den, “Girl, when are you going to take these White folks out of here and put a picture in this frame?”  I was puzzled by her remark.  I knew she was talking about the stock photo copy that comes in picture frames, but I knew, or at least I thought I had removed all the stock photos copies from the frames sitting on my mantel.   So I go to see what she was talking about.  When I got to the frame of question, within in its boundaries was a friend I knew loved me.  She was and is a White female.  She was and still is as precious to me as my Black friends and family members.  She never forgot my birthdays.  Every year she made me a birthday cake and brought it to work to celebrate the day of my earthly arrival.  She remembered my birthday when my family members would forget it!  She always shared what little she had to brighten my bleak life.  She became my inspiration to not give up when all hope was gone.  I immediately turned to my Black friend that I also cherished and told her, “Girl, that’s not a stock photo!”  And with a hardy laugh, I said, “That’s my friend Ronna and her son!”  Nothing else needed to be said.  We laugh and continued on with our visit.

I urge and wish people from all races to stop by and visit.  I welcome each of your comments and insight on matters about women of color as we each continue to learn how to bridge the gap on racial issues.  Have a great Thursday!