When Keshia Thomas was 18 years old in 1996, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters’ side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.
As people began to shout, “Kill the Nazi,” the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows. In discussing her motivation after the event, she stated, “Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right’… I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence – nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Thomas never heard from the man after that day but months later, a young man came up to her to say thanks, telling her that the man she had protected was his father. For Thomas, learning that he had a son brought even greater significance to her heroic act. As she observed, “For the most part, people who hurt… they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let’s say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?”
Mark Brunner, the student photographer who took this now famous photograph, added that what was so remarkable was who Thomas saved: “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her. Who does that in this world?”
Keshia’s choice was to affirm what some have lost.
Keshia’s choice was human.
Keshia’s choice was hope.”
Part of Speech: noun
Sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.
The other day as I was reading headlines on Facebook I stumbled across a very sad story. The story was about a seven-year old boy named Kalyb Primm Wiley. He had been placed in handcuffs by his schools security. Apparently the little boy had been picked on by his peers. Feed up with the ill-treatment and feeling helpless the little seven-year old boy began to scream. After he began to scream the unskilled teacher called for help to restrain the yelling child. From the sounds of things the adults in charged didn’t try or was unable to rationally communicate with the child during his meltdown; therefore, he was placed in handcuffs until his father arrived.
When his father got to the school and saw his son in handcuffs he could not believe his eyes. Now . . . I’m not saying white students are not mistreated . . . but a large percentage of white parents would have taken pictures of their child’s inhumane condition. Most white parents whether they like their kid or not would have begun building social coffins for social antics they consider inhumane. The photos taken would have been sent to an attorney, the school district superintendent, their state’s governor, their state’s senator, their city/town mayor, every newspaper in this country and all powers that be. And in the end their child would receive a large monetary settlement from the school district for being publicly humiliated. But so often when black students suffer at the hands of those that are in position of trust nothing is ever done.
I’m following this particular story. I want to see how long it takes the school district in Kansas City, MO to change their policy on children and handcuffs. Especially since those that enforce the rules are not commonsensical in character.
I wonder how many people have heard the phrase “do not wear out your welcome.” Hum . . . I first heard the expression from my grandmother when I was young.
Back when I was once a kid, and a know-it-all, it seemed my late maternal grandmother would always say those words to my cousins, my siblings and me. I’m not sure how my family members took her wisdom; but back when I was a child I thought my grandmother was old, uncaring, uneducated, mean-spirited, and truly out of touch with the mental and emotional needs of the young. [chuckle]
I can remember as if it was yesterday sassing her for this or that. But nothing stands out more than the time she would not let me go over to my cousin’s house as often as I wanted. And, sadly, it was late into my adult years before I understood the meaning ‘do not wear out your welcome.’
As I’m looking back on things and reflecting upon how I dismissed her words of caution, I now understand why my life was filled with heartaches.
I hate to admit to myself but I deserved all the bumps I got from being hardheaded; and my self enlightenment really makes me feel foolish about things I had blame on others.
Well, any-who-how . . . It was by divine revelation I found the phrase in the Bible one day. I was shocked! It was amazing to read that God gives his children the same warning!
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house– too much of you, and they will hate you. Proverbs 25:17
The message I get from this passage is: don’t be so darn clingy! Get a life! Explore parts of your life without others. Enjoy family when can. And remember a bit of you goes a long ways.
I’m coming to terms with my granny’s wisdom. My grandmother has passed but her words live on. And each day that I live I think about her abrasive and unharness wisdom. I’m learning she was indeed the smartest woman I will ever know and most of all she loved me.
It is wonderful to see another woman of color maintaining marital status as her hubby becomes a “mover and a shaker.”
As I looked upon the picture showing NYC democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his family, I became instantly proud. Their family photo of political triumph says a thousand words.
I believe most can find a reason why this family collectively, and as individuals, will make great ambassadors for New York City. And adding icing to the cake, for me, is the fact that Mr. De Blasio is taking two lovely black women with him on his political journey.
Hip hip hooray!
Furthermore, it’s wonderful to see his wife Chirlane McCray is also a successful woman in her own craft. And if I was still young “I would love to be like her when I grow up.”
In her interview with Huffington Post, Chirlane McCray is grateful, graceful and strong in convictions about her life experiences. I guess, many people feel she will be a great advocate for the black community as well as the gay and lesbian communities. But, be that as it may, I did find it funny neither woman mentioned within the interview how Chirlane McCray’s life successes will impact the world’s view about black woman.
Though I thought the interview went well, again, I did noticed black women as a group being left out among those that are considered less fortunate. And, once again, black women were thrown into groups that have struggled for centuries for equality on many levels.
Yet, society fails to realize black men and black women have been methodically segregated due to social acceptance. Thus, forcing black women to become a group outside of an oppressed race; and giving birth to black women searching for social acceptance without ties to black men.
For me, Chirlane’s successes are and will be pivotal moments for her and those she represent; because after all, black women are considered the lowest on the social totem pole for dating and marrying. And in the year 2013 an interracial couple seems to be slaying the put-down comments of black women yesteryear relationship taboos.
Oh, I’m sure the interviewer and Chirlane McCray did not intend to leave black women out as a struggling group for social acceptance; but it is such a natural response to look over black women in an acceptable way. After all black women have been pushed underneath the social carpet as unlovable and uneducated.
Sometimes society makes me personally feel most are saying, “if we ignore them they will go away.” Therefore, as black women we must make considerable efforts to remember black women along our successful journeys; as we gently say in our personal and professional achievements that black women are here to stay. However, it is moments like Mr. and Mrs. De Blasio’s public triumphs that clearly say black women truly do have it going on.
So, once more, congrats to NYC democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his lovely family for their political win.