April 30, 2005

A Tale of Two Cowards

Changing your mind sometimes means being honest not only with yourself, but to others that may be impacted by your decision. This week, there are two women that not only had a change of heart, but went to great lengths to avoid responsibility.

Alicia Hardin 19, a student at Trinity International University in Chicago, Ill, homesick and wanting to leave school, sent out three threatening letters to some students so she could justify her departure from college. Over 40 students were moved off campus based on racial hysteria for protection.


Jennifer Wilbanks 32, was supposed to be a blushing bride today. Her and her fiance had planned a enormous wedding with 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen plus sent out 600 invitations. But it was not to be. During a routine jog, Ms Wilbanks disappeared. After 3 frantic days of searching, the worried pleas from family and countless searches that exhausted the budgets of a small police force, Ms Wilbanks called 911.

Apparently she jumped on a bus to Las Vegas, then jumped on a bus winding up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She called her fiance' and said that she had been kidnapped. Not true. Relieved, her family will reuniting with her later today.


What disturbs me about these women is the thought pattern that lead them to these decisions. It isn't easy to back out of these COSTLY mistakes, whether it is to wind up forfeiting tuition and room & board fees, sending back wedding presents, relinguishing reception deposits or just telling your fiance', " I'm JUST not that into you."

But the college student is now facing charges of hate crimes, punishable up to 5 years in prison, and the "RUNAWAY bride" isn't facing any charges at all. I have a problem with this. BOTH incited panic, BOTH caused the misuse of police resources and BOTH cause their family , friends and communities heartache and embarrassement.

I'm not saying that putting these women in jail will solve this, they both need psychological treatment and counseling. Perhaps extensive hours in community service dealing with REAL crisis victims and some restitution of monies spent by law enforcement and other agencies will give them a much needed reality check.

Bet they BOTH wished they could roll back time.

April 28, 2005


Renewed in the Spirit Posted by Hello

I recently went back to church after a year and a half's hiatus. For me, it was the right decision. After taking a long hard look at my spirituality, I noticed that one crucial part of my dilemma was how I felt about fellowship and denominations.

As early as I can remember , I believed in God. My grandmother, Mother Dear, taught me "The Lord's Prayer" as soon as I could recite it. Although, I didn't grow up in a specific church, we attended frequently and I always felt secure in knowing that "God" was close by.

In my spiritual quest, as I have gotten older, I have often questioned the WHYS of my belief. I have been a member of various denominations, searching for the answer. I know that denominations are man made, but I was always puzzled by this ONE question.

"WHY do I believe?"

Church of God in Christ, AME, CME, Church of Christ, Baptist, Holiness, Non Denominational, Interdemonitational, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventists were just a few of the churches that I either attended or joined. I needed something MORE. The yearning within to connect was as greedy as a newborn looking to nourish from its mother's breast.

My disillusionment with SOME black churches began when I saw growing cliquishness and insular behaviors that prevented or some how kept it's own flock/ministers/pastors from the very people that needed them most.

Attending one of the largest churches in Los Angeles was overwhelming, although I did take some pleasure in worshipping at a "popular" church, I felt swallowed up in its celebrity. The hierachy of leadership was so massive that just saying hello to the Pastor after Sunday's morning service was almost like trying to get an autograph from the Pope.

I decided that I needed a smaller congregation, one that allowed me to feel a part of the experience and not just a spectator. Not that I'm criticizing larger churches, I just know what makes me feel more comfortable. Being in a church that I have a connectedness to the WHOLE church, not just by membership, but by the bounty of works, is what I sought.

I am not moved by denominations. I am moved by faith and spirit, and I attend where my spirit is nurtured and lifted. Returning back to the ONE church where I felt at home and was worth my self prescribed exodus, not from GOD, but from the uncertainty of fellowship.

Now I am looking forward to a fellowship that is interested in RENEWED outreach that extends from the pulpit and the pews to minister to the needs of those that have may fallen in between the cracks. Within the hugs of familiar parishoners and the guidance of a learned Man of God, I once again feel the serenity to explore my feelings and gain the knowledge of the one that has blessed me so.

I'm back home Lord. :)

*photo taken @ my church this past Sunday..... all rights reserved*

Scientia est potentia - Knowledge is power

Howard Beats Harvard Posted by Hello

The Howard University Law School's moot court team took first place in the American Bar Association Mock Trial Competition, the first team representing a historically black college or university to do so.

"It solidified the fact that although others think we are a third-tier law
school, we are the best trial advocates," said Chris Stewart, a third-year law
student and a team member.

"No mathematical equation can calculate our excellence in trial advocacy."


April 26, 2005

Have we gone INSANE?

I am emotionally spent and utterly drained by this story. I have been debating this on various message boards and newspaper forums. I have talked about this story till I am almost blue in the face.

As a mom, I am HORRIFIED by some of the postings I have seen in my travels through cyberspace. Some wanted this little girl TAZERED, SHOT, HOG TIED, taken away from her mother, placed in a mental institution and exterminated.

Here is a condensed version of my feelings:

(After my initial viewing of the video)

Looking at this video showed me that the teacher, or whoever the woman was with the child, was ill trained in dealing with an UNRULY child. She was NOT Kicking, NOT screaming. YES, she did tear up some papers and knock somethings over. She did try to punch AT the woman, however, she never raised her voice above saying "NO!" Am I excusing her behavior? Of course not.

But hello? She is FIVE YEARS OLD! Her behavior wasn't out of the normal scope of a child her age! How on earth do u justify cuffing a CHILD? They could have sat with that little girl till her mother arrived. There are ways to redirect children without that prolonged display and if they don't know how to deal with a 5 yr old child's bad behavior, get a NEW JOB!

Remember, Florida has a very bad track record with incidents of children being disciplined in EXTREME ways for MINOR offenses. The Florida police also used a TAZER on a 6 yr old.
Common sense and better protocols/procedures for the police and the school district need to be impleted ASAP. It isnt rocket science. She isnt the 1st unruly child in kindergarten and she wont be the last.


(In response to a poster saying the school was right for calling the police)

There are certain procedures, including BASIC COMMON SENSE measures, like redirection that are used with to handle a child who is acting out. What disturbs me is the CHOICE to get the POLICE involved. Has it come to this where the police are brought in to handle basic child issues?

I think not.

(In response to the assertion that THIS child was a bad seed)

It amazes me how people have painted this LITTLE girl as the POSTER CHILD for various SOCIETAL ILLS. It also amazes me when it appears that some of you have NO problem with the police handling SIMPLE COMMON SENSE situations when they could be arresting REAL CRIMINALS?

What on earth is going on?

(After seeing the 1st lawyer on the news)

Now, I watched the Today's Show this morning and listened to the mother's attorney. Evidently, the teacher and the assistant principal had been instructed "NOT to touch her child". With that piece of information, I feel that the MOM placed the school in a NO WIN position. Their hands were tied.

But there is enough blame to go around. We can ALL be textual arm chair quarterbacks AFTER the fact, however, this is still a CHILD. EVERY child is allowed to have a bad day. Or multiple bad days, but to PROJECT the image of MONSTER on her is wrong.

(My breaking point)

Here is how I feel based on all the comments and what I have read or seen in the media:

1.) I still think that the teachers COULD have taken her to a room that didn't have things in there to tear up. She COULD have taken her to the playground, the gym or the cafeteria and let her unwind, instead of a more claustrophobic room.

BUT she didn't.

2.) The mother COULD have gotten to the school earlier. Based on some PSEUDO CSI/ GOOGLE/ NEWS reports the incident happened around 2pm. Her mother was stated as saying she got off WORK at 3 and would be there at 3:15. Depending on the commute and whether or not she had been doing this repeatedly, it may have caused a financial hardship in the family to leave IMMEDIATELY. Heaven forbid she lose her job and wind up on state assistance, because THEN she will be just another mom on welfare.

But SHE didn't.

Now that in itself doesn't make her a bad mom, but IF this child has ongoing emotional problems, she has done herself and the school a disservice for NOT getting her the help she needs.

3.) When the police showed up, the little girl was calm and sitting down. They COULD have just waited with her until MOM showed up. They COULD have talked to her for a while to gain her confidence and reassure her.

But THEY didn't

4.) Assuming that this CHILD is a demon seed 24/7 is unfair. It IS however unfair for the other kids to be denied an education because of other children, but this was KINDERGARTEN! For GOOGLE's SAKE, the only thing that MAY have been missed are the intricacies of Jelly beans vs. Jolly Ranchers!

(In response to the lawsuit)

Finally, I don't believe in frivolous lawsuits. However, based on the news report, the lawyer said that it may take 6 months before a suit is filed. They have to first file an "INTENT TO SUE". There has to be an internal investigation and then legal action will be addressed. If I were on the jury, I would hope the mom would only get enough to adequately get her child the help she needs.

(In response to racially insensitive comments)

Children of color don't need yet another stigma, especially one that labels them incorrigible or incapable of learning. Plus, this image in the press lends itself to SWEEPING generalizations and stereotypes.

From what I ALSO have read, her FEET were ALSO cuffed and she was placed in the back of the cruiser. That is so OUTRAGEOUS, but I will back up my point with this article dated almost a YEAR ago.

Deputies told to ask brass before arresting children

Soon after the arrest, [Kevin Doll] defended the deputy, saying that because there was enough evidence and the victim wanted prosecution, he was obliged to arrest the child. "That pretty much ties our hands, and we have to enforce the law," Doll said.

On Tuesday, though, Doll acknowledged that the deputy had other options. And, nine days after the arrest, Col. Richard Worch ordered the new procedure, which is to call a superior before taking a child 12 or younger to a detention center.

"Col. Worch wants the deputies to know that those possibilities are there and to look into them before taking a juvenile (12 or younger) to the juvenile assessment center," Doll said. "But that still may be the right thing to do."

The police FAILED to follow it's OWN rules.

(In response to being asked why my comments weren't color blind)

I am an AFRICAN AMERICAN mom raising a 10 yr old disabled daughter. I see the effects of homelessness, poverty, teen pregnancy, crime and apathy in my city every day. It saddens me when I see cases like this because of narrow minded opinions that don't lend themselves to a wider scope of fairness and sensitivity. This child is NOT the devil incarnate. YES she was wrong. YES she needed to be disciplined. YES her mother clearly needs help. But painting a picture of a raving maniac that has ascended the depths of HELL to keep these poor poor children in ultimate DOOM and PERIL is a little overly DRAMATIC.

Placing ANY child in a HOG TIED position and placed in the back of a police car would be traumatic. But I guess until it happens to one of YOUR children we will never know. She isn't an animal.

Please dont treat her like one.

(in response to a poster understanding the child MAY have a learning or mental disability)

THANK YOU! I have been mentioning that to so many people ON and OFFLINE. It is SO important for children to be assessed by their pediatricians for developmental delays or delays in reaching basic developmental milestones as they grow. Early intervention services are KEY to making sure these children receive the appropriate diagnostics, case management, and service coordination.

My daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and delayed myelination at 18 months old. Having her diagnosed early was critical to getting the best therapeutic options to facilitate her mental, physical, and emotional needs.

She has NEVER had a meltdown at school, but she does have problems with transitioning from one enviroment to the next. AFTER school is when the meltdowns occur occassionally. She is sometimes agitated and tired from the day's overstimulation and will just cry. For me, it was imperative to find what works for MY child as it relates to REDIRECTING her outbursts and getting her to "Self-Calm".

Children, similar to my daughter, that are autistic or have sensory integration dysfunction tend to have a difficult time with understanding visual, audio, tone, musical and verbal cues or sounds. Their brains have difficulty deciphering nerve messages to create comprehension and functionality of movements or speech.

So I am very sensitive to the handling of children, ESPECIALLY at this little girl's age when people are so quick to dismiss her as a bad seed. Her inability to express herself and the need to strike out is indicative of children with immature impulse responses or control. It could be from some underlying medical problem.

Inclusion and sensitivity shouldn't be so hard to give someone. but in this society, public spectacle, ridicule and shaming seems to be the Millenium equivalent to throwing the less advantaged to the lions in the Roman Coliseum.

Shame on us.

(In response to finding out the mother had fired her initial lawyer & is now making the talk show circuit)

I hate when situations are exploited for profit. The mother's motives for doing the interview may not be any different than the siege of publicity hounds that drive this sensationalistic media we have today. The WORSE thing this child needs is the idea that BAD BEHAVIOR needs to be rewarded. I agree that this case should be thrown out of an already beleaguered judical system. But if anything comes of this, perhaps an internal investigation of how the police deal with children will be addressed.

Now that I have seen the depths to the opportunistic displays, I am gonna walk away from this until I see the rest of this circus unfold. The "RACE" card is a term that has been applied to almost EVERY situation that involves an African American defendant and is clearly overused.

The quest for justice should be color blind. So should the quest of our teachers whose job is being underminded by parents that won't or haven't equipped their children with the necessary social, emotional and educational preparedness to learn. If this mom doesn't do the right thing by this child, shame on her.

April 21, 2005

Black History in Fabric

This is a quilt made by a woman that took her 35 years to complete. Posted by Hello

A Mural of Pain

Slave Mural Posted by Hello

Slave Pen

Slave Pen Posted by Hello

The Freedom Center

Male Slave Poem Posted by Hello

Tuesday I went with Lil Sepia's school to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Very moving museum, but this poem struck me.

It was housed in an actual slave pen, the size of a small barn, that held up to 50 men, women & children. The men were shackled on the top floor and the women and children were on the main floor.

I'm sad just thinking about it.

April 16, 2005


What's on YOUR Desktop?

I love to use different themes. But sometimes, LESS is MORE. *wink* Posted by Hello

Enough Said :)

Words of Wisdom Posted by Hello

I took this photo while dropping off Lil Sepia at school. Hmm, maybe we can get some of humanity a refresher course.

Sepialove ;-)

April 11, 2005

Excused Absence

ER Visit from Hell Posted by Hello

Okay, I have been away for a few days. But I have a good reason. Lil Sepia spiked a 102.6 fever on Sunday night. So I got her dressed, packed her book bag fulla videos to keep her occupied during the long waits. After waiting 5 HOURS, a rapid strep test, and a chest xray, they sent us home.

Two days later, the ER leaves me this message.

"Uhm.. Miss Sepialove? This is Children's Hospital, Lil Sepia's test is back and she needs to be on meds."

WTH?!!! What other test did they do?

I call back and the charge nurse tells me the lab did a throat culture and she DOES have Strep.

Oh. Great. *sigh*

I got the meds and by Tuesday, I'm sick too. :(

Hence my doctor's note.

I will be back tomorrow.

*cough hack wheeze*

April 5, 2005

Ain't Love GRAND? *SMH*

OKLAHOMA CITY Apr 5, 2005 — A convicted killer who escaped from prison almost 11 years ago with the wife of the assistant warden was found Monday following a tip generated by the show "America's Most Wanted," the FBI said. The wife was located nearby.

The inmate, Randolph Dial, was arrested in a mobile home about 6:30 p.m. in Shelby County, Texas, Salvador Hernandez, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oklahoma, said in a news release. The assistant warden's wife, Bobbi Parker, was found a short time later working at a chicken ranch elsewhere in the county, agents said.

Parker was found a short time later at a chicken ranch. She apparently is in no hurry to go back to her old life.

"As far as I know, she has no intention of leaving," Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson told The Oklahoman late Monday. "She said she wants to stay on the farm and raise chickens."


Things that make you say hmmmmmmmm.

April 4, 2005

A Black Pope?

As someone that is at a spiritual crossroad, the question of whether a Black Pope would be appointed left me cold. Personally, I don't see the conclave of potential popes picking a dark Nigerian, although qualified, to lead the world's Catholics. Here are some interesting articles on the possibilities.




Deciding who will be Pope is a very old and respected tradition.

The system has been in place, with minor variations, for several centuries: Nine days of mourning and funeral masses follow the pope’s death, and he is interred
generally on the fourth or fifth day. No sooner than 15 days after the pope’s
death and no later than 20 days post-mortem (to allow time for far-flung
cardinals to arrive) all of the cardinals under 80 years old will convene. The
number of cardinal-electors is 117.


Choosing the Pope's Successor:

1) When the Pope dies, a group within the
Vatican called the Sacred College of Cardinals informs all the cardinals of the world -- a total of 184 -- that the Pope has died and that all of them must return to Rome to elect a new pope. According to Catholic law, the meeting to elect a new pope must be held within 20 days of the Pontiff's death.

2) Of the 184 cardinals, only 120 are currently eligible to vote for the next pope.

3) The 120 cardinals pledge to perform their solemn duty.

4) The cardinals then pick a 9 person committee to handle election duties:
3 cardinals will collect the ballots 3 others will count the votes 3 others will review the results and make sure the decision is firm.

5) The cardinals then write down who among them they would like to see become the next pope.
6) If there's no winner on the first election, another election is held. If there still is no winner, an afternoon election is held followed by another if no winner is determined. And so on.

7) After each election where a pope has not been elected, the ballots are burned with a chemical that produces black smoke. This is how the public knows if a pope has been elected or not.

8) If a pope has been elected, the ballots are burned alone producing white smoke.

9) The winner is the cardinal that receives two-thirds plus one of the votes, or 81 votes in the case of 120 cardinal electors.

10) The winner is asked if he is prepared to take on the duties of the pope. If he says yes, then there is a new pope. If not, the process begins again.

11) Once a winner has been determined, the oldest of the assembled cardinals will appear on the balcony in St. Peter's Square at the
Vatican and proclaim "Habemus Papam" -- Latin for "We have a Pope."


It will be interesting to see who will be chosen

April 1, 2005

Fountain Square

Tyler Davidson Fountain Posted by Hello

"This 43-foot fountain is the oldest downtown sculpture and has become the best known and loved symbol of Cincinnati. Water streams from the out-stretched hands of the 9-foot tall female figure representing the "Genius of Water." Below her, four adult figures dramatize the life-sustaining uses of water, four children illustrate the life-enhancing pleasures of water, and four relief panels depict the industrial uses of water."

Carew Tower - Cincinnati

Carew Tower Posted by Hello

I went outside today! Yeah~!! I had my daughter and my best friend's son, so I took them on an outing downtown. It was a cloudy, somewhat chilly afternoon for a spring day, but we made the best of it. I was determined to take some digital pictures and this was one of the ones I came up with.

This is Carew Tower.

Constructed at the height of Cincinnati's prominence, this is still the city's most identifiable structure, and also its tallest building. The stock market crash that triggered The Great Depression happened just a month after groundbreaking, but construction continued anyway in a slightly modified form. Its original grand details were left off above the third floor. From there up to the top the building is clad in simple brick rather than the architectural motifs, friezes, and decorative metal that so typifies an art deco building.


We had a ball in their enclosed mall, I took them to the food court, the music store, and the book store. Now, finally back home I can share some of the photos with you. Yes, I took these PHOTOS! I am so excited! Who knows? This may be the beginning of Sepia's Photo blog.

Enjoy! ;-)