i make no excuses about who i am! love me, hate me, just read me!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Lacey Peterson, Natalee Holloway, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart. All missing person cases, all white. You recognize their names immediately. Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, Tamika Huston, Phylicia Barnes, Evelyn A. Shelton, Brittany Renee Williams, all missing persons cases, all black. Have you even heard of these cases? Some of which are part of  cases that are linked to several other missing black women, some who sadly have been found dead. Some currently open.

Take the case of 16 year old Phylicia Barnes, who went missing in late December 2010, and was found dead on April 20th. Her case though publicized on Good Morning America did not garner the media attention that famous missing person cases like Peterson, Holloway, Klaas or Smart's did. Phylicia Barnes who was a straight A student and had aspirations of becoming a child psychologist went to visit her sister in Baltimore and went missing a few days after Christmas, it was not until three weeks later that this case made national headlines. Sadly Philica Barnes was found dead 4 months later under suspicious circumstances. When Holloway went missing the media was quickly involved within a few days after her parents had flown to Aruba. She is still making headlines today. Her mother even has a show dedicated to helping other families of missing people.

It has been my opinion that when a person of color, including children goes missing it is not as big a deal to the national media. In most instances the blond haired, blue eyed child, or woman that goes missing under mysterious circumstances will get the headline before the black child, or woman, who also goes missing under mysterious circumstances. It is such a sad truth that this happens and it is unconscionable in my opinion.

When someone goes missing don't their families suffer the same emotions, whether black or white? Is it the socio-economic double standard? Peterson, Klaas, and Smart were from pretty well off families, we know this because of the coverage. I don't have stats on the missing Black persons families backgrounds, because there was no mention of their economic status. Seems to me the attitude of the media is that they are all about ratings and putting a missing white person on the morning news attracts more viewers statistically speaking. It is a fact. Its also a sad fact that law enforcement takes some cases less serious than others, especially kids who are classified as runaways, maybe there is a legitimate reason they run away. When  black children run away who cares right? No one is going to miss them...except their families.

Several foundations and organizations have been created because people had to somehow continue the legacy of their loved ones who were missing and in most cases found dead. Here are links to several of those sites.

When I was researching info for this post I clicked on link for the Spartanburg County, South Carolina's link for missing persons, and though Evelyn A. Shelton is currently missing, a photo of a woman who has been missing since 2002 is the only missing person listed on that site. She is white, blonde haired and blue eyed! Terrible! This proves my point perfectly.

Evelyn A. Shelton 42, has been missing since May 20, 2011, when she left to meet a study date in Spartanburg, South Carolina, her car was found the next day on the outskirts of Spartanburg, an orange HHR. Please watch this video made by a family member and recently posted on If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Evelyn please contact the numbers provided at the end of the slideshow or go to this link. When someone is missing, there are those that are left behind to deal with the events that will follow, the people that love them. I hope none of us ever have to experience the emotions they do every moment of the day not knowing if their loved one is ok.  In all of these instances race does not matter, time does.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rap is for Blacks Only and Country is for Whites Only, tell that to Jason and Ludacris

The music we listen to helps to define who we are. I think it does. I like everything...A 3rd generation Mexican American, Cali Girl who listens to Beethoven, opera, the ladies GAGA and Antebellum, Slipknot, Enya, Harry Connick Jr, Led Zeppelin and everything else in between. In my house growing up we always had a stereo, the kind that played albums and had a needle. That thing would usually be cranked up with music on a Saturday, the eras I grew up in had some great music 60s, 70s, lets just say the last 45 years of my life I have enjoyed music from every genre there was, is. I like rap, I don't like the slap my bitch up or super explicit rap but I do like artists like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tupac, BIGGIE, I love Nicki Minaj lately...she has broken some barriers that Lil Kim could not. I also love, absolutely love country music! I watched Hee Haw as a kid, funny right? My dad was watching it for the T and A, and I was actually watching Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and Willie Nelson. I have seen people make derrogatory comments about country music on Facebook and I think to myself...if you cannot appreciate country music than what the hell are you doing listening to rap? My girls dad actually reintroduced me to my love of country music, a big 220 pound, bald, tattoed half Native American, half Black guy. Tell him something about the country songs he likes...he loves rap too and well he loves all kinds of music.

Doesn't Country music like Rap tell a story? Country music like rap talks about women, cars, drinkin beer and living their lives as they know it. Certainly all good music does but, I think these two genres have a lot more in common than most people think. Country has been going mainstream for years, something a lot of Country Purists do not like. There is Old School Country like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and then there is Country Rock like Lynnard Skynnard and Kid Rock, and now alternative like Lady Antebellum. I am not a purist so when I see someone like Jason Aldean and Ludacris together in a video I just smile because I have just proven my point. Watch these videos and tell me what  you think. They all make reference to their "Country" way of life... Why should the color of your skin dictate what music you listen to? Music is a universal language that creates emotion in all of us, when we hear certain songs it takes us back to that time when a memory was created. How much more alike can humans get?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hate Crimes In My Little Town...The Terrorist Down The Street...

I live in a rambling little town that is geologically the center of California. It is an ag community, grapevines, and fruit and nut trees are lined up in rows that when seen from a distance are a site to behold. At any given time of the year something is in bloom. The town was historically founded when a large flume was built to run lumber, the industry of the time, down from the mountains of the Sierra Forest to the valley floor of Madera, whose name is Spanish for lumber. Most all of its inhabitants were immigrants of some kind. It has a rich and varied history. People of all ethnicity's settled and called this little town their home. Some families today can trace their lineage to those early settlers. Today Madera is made up of people of many ethnicity's, Italian, German, Russian, Mexican,Chinese, Japanese, African American, Native American, Pakistani, Middle Eastern.

It surprises me that with all of the different races that live here, there is still a racial unharmony that rears its ugly head. Just down the street from where I live a man Donny Eugene Mower, a member of the American National Brotherhood, perpetrated hate crimes against several different walks of life. He targeted an Islamic Mosque, throwing a brick through a window and leaving signs. One of which said, "No temple for the god of terrorism at ground zero", he also targeted a United Methodist Church leaving a sign that read "Homosexual Pastors is this a Christ honoring church, or are you awakening the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah?" This hate fueled terrorist, because that is what he is by definition, also through a Molotov cocktail at our local planned parenthood because he was, "against abortion". How did this man who worked as a bus driver for children slip through the cracks... How was he even able to hide his allegiance to the White Brotherhood? I wonder how hard it was to deal with people of a different race or belief  on a daily basis. He must have been a good fucking actor. Cause he lived right in the thick of a varied neighborhood of Hispanics, Caucasians, Blacks and Middle Eastern Islamic doctors offices. He lived less than a mile from one of the local high schools, and middle schools, and an elementary school.

So with his arrest by the FBI  he confessed to his crimes and our little town was shocked that this could happen here. Here it was Spring, 2011 and almonds were not the only thing in full bloom, so was hate. I was not shocked because hate and racism have run rampant in this town for a long time. Racial lines are still defined and though somewhat blurred still visible if you are in certain parts of the county. You cannot be Black or Hispanic in certain towns, at least not without saying you are a tourist... I see it in my hometown newspaper when people call in to the Red Line, a section of paper devoted  once a week to peoples outrage at various issues, most of them revolve around "those people" shh... they are talking about the Mexicans from Mexico... you know those dirty, lazy, living on welfare, living 10 deep in a garage, good enough to pick my food but not good enough to have to dinner as a guest Mexicans.. yeah them. Then there are those people who run every gas station in town. The towelhead wearing, slurpee selling, don't touch the magazine without buying it, smelling of cumin, well actually its garam masala, you know those folks,trying to take over the world terrorist plotting, tightasses. Sucks to be a shade or two darker than the average white folks around here.. Oh they smile at the blacks, too intimidated to tell a black person anything to their faces, but yup they talk shit behind their backs one is immune. Their is a whole section of town called nigger park and the public pool was called the nigger dip back in the day. No, hate is still alive and kicking in this town... we just don't talk about it unless its anonymously in the Red Line.

So what do I tell my kids? I tell them that no matter where you go or what you achieve there will always be someone to say you are less than. Its what you think of yourselves that matter and people who want to hate you because of your skin color, your sex, your sexual preference, religious beliefs or last name, don't deserve the privilege of knowing you! Its really all about how you respond, as the local Islamic community and Methodist Church did, with grace and dignity when they were attacked. Hate is based in ignorance or fear or the unknown. Those are things that in time can be changed, just hope I get to witness that day...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When You Are The Girl A Shade Lighter, You Aren't Black Enough to be "Black"..

How do you raise mixed race children? Do you raise them to know their two, or in my case 3 cultures. Or do you raise them to identify with how they appear?  What happens when their own race excludes them? This may see like an odd question but look at the picture of my lovees.

My oldest on the left is much darker than her sister next to her and my daughter to the right of me is a shade darker than my light skinned lovelie. Then there is my grandson who is more African American than my daughters are and he is completely not African American looking. I call my girls the Neopolitan sisters, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. My lovelies are 1/4 African American, 1/4 Native American, from their father and 1/2 Mexican American from me. I have blogged about this before, how when I was pregnant with my first daughter I was terrified she would be born with locks I did not know how to comb. Nevermind that my hair is supercurly and tends to have a kitchen that is quite I worried too that she would be really dark and people would not believe she was mine. She was born and was born perfect, and a beautiful cinnamon color. She looked just like her Dad. After that it did not concern me when I became pregnant with my other children. I have raised all of my girls with a knowledge of all of their cultures, raised them to be proud of being who they are.

As they grew and went to school I realized that for my oldest she had problems with black girls liking her. Probably because their boyfriends liked her. Thats the conclusion I drew. Was it her lighter skin, her "good" hair that she could toss from side to side. What was it that the black girls disliked about her?  I never thought my children would experience exclusion from their own races. My other daughters pass as Mexicans, and really dont have a lot of issues with their friends until they announce their racial makeup, and then they get the "yeah rights!" when people learn they are black too. My middle daughter Vanilla, I will call her..has had a best friend that is black since third grade, her friends don't like my daughter, she does not "look black enough, or act black enough", these are my daughters words, they are 15 and 16 now. So how do you look and act black enough anyway?  That does not stop them from continuing their friendship. They have just grown up and gone different ways but still to this day hang out and call eachother sisters. 

In talking to friends that have mixed race or biracial children I have often hear the same complaint. The black girls don't like their daughters either....the sons they have no problem with, but the daughters a different story.  I do and don't get it I know a lot of Mexicans that did not like me, because to them I was whitewashed. I was also very fair skinned as far as Mexicans go. I did not grow up speaking Spanish and my Mom did not make tripas or homemade tortillas, she did make lots of other great food. I never worked in the fields and neither did my parents. So I was deemed "too good" to hang out with certain people.

What goes in in the mind of a dark complected girl when they are growing up that makes them dislike a girl the shade or two lighter. Does she grow up feeling inferior? Having less self esteem?  Did someone make her learn to feel threatened by a white woman? Or is it that age old don't let no white woman take your black man Sistas! Aint no Barbie doll lookin bitch gonna be with him! Oh noooah! This is for lack of a better description reverse discrimination.

So I get that some people don't think mixing races is right or not for them. Personally it was not a race thing for me. My Dad swears it was, that I had sex with a black man to spite him....hah. Actually I only ever had two Mexican boyfriends, before I was 13, after that they were white. I was an equal opportunity dater. I actually don't like (ughh I know I will get flack for this) Mexican men. Go figure. I don't get how a person is supposed to control who they fall in love with? Guess whos coming to dinner? Jungle Fever... I hate that stereotyping thing we are all guilty of it, besides it is not always a white woman with a black man... there are plenty of white men with black women.

All I can say is love who you love, and love yourself enought to not hate my lightskinned daughters before you take the time to truly know them. They aren't here to compete with you, embrace the beauty within. If we all had no skin and could only be judged by our words, or our actions then we would genuinely "know" a person. Besides I dont think blood comes a lighter shade and we all bleed dont we?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do you racial profile when you talk to someone on the phone?

My daughter made a comment the other day and I looked at her and said "Do you realize that is a racist comment?" The context of her comment was how someone "sounded" when they spoke. This engaged us in a conversation about how we as humans judge someone not only by their appearance but also if it is a first impression, how they sound on the phone. I have a great phone voice by the way, been answering the phone for a long time having worked in a flower shop I learned how to "sound pleasant".  People that would call for me did not know it was me they were talking to. The thing I am talking about is can you tell if someone is African American on the phone, or Mexican, or Caucasian? My daughter said yes she could and I was appalled! What a biggoted attitude. From my kid, who by the way is Mexican, African American and Native American.....blech, that made me reflect on my biggoted attitudes. Clearly she learned them from me, being the primary influence in her life.
Lets go back to my parents, both Mexican Americans, Mom not a racist bone in her body..Dad on the other hand I would describe as bold and brash and bigoted. His opinions of others were formed by his abrasive fathers attitudes about niggers and wops, lops, and spics and beaners. My Dad could best be described as a Mexican Archie Bunker...ironic I know. The utterance of the word nigger to him was commonplace, he grew up in Little Okie, a rural section of the town, (which is in Central California by the way) we live in, which was predominately Hispanic and Black, everyone knew everyone. They were cordial and polite to one another in passing, but you never invited anyone of another race to your home. This was circa 1950's.
So hearing that often in my house growing up it became no big deal. We never said it as kids, but as teens we said it and as an adult I have said it. We all have, usually it was in reference to my girls family had no kind words in describing him. My love has said it freely too, he being half African American. So why is it ok for two people of any race to call each other the racial slur that they will not allow others to refer to them as? Odd.....if you do not want to proliferate a racial epithet then don't encourage its use in any way! So when I hear my kids or their friends refer to one another as "ma nucka"----I cringe.....but I have said it too...does this make me racist? I think it makes me guilty of being ignorant on occasion.

So back to the phone voice.....while it is possible for you to be able to decide what color someone is by their voice, you may not. Some dialects and accents are very regional. I explained to my daughter how if we would have stayed living in Minnesota she would have sounded like one of its inhabitants, saying words like Bo-uht and go-uht instead of boat and goat, or phrases like, "pop and brat" or "can I come with". Or if we would have stayed in Missouri she would've had a southern drawl as thick as honey. The inflections we speak with are a result of what we have grown up around or the people we associate with. Talking that, talking Mexican is that. So to classify people as sounding like a certain race is really identifying who they identify with. Isn't it cool to talk in text now? I guess I have been guilty of it too, racially profiling someone based on the way they speak. Actually I am guilty of hating how people try to sound educated when they speak and get all the terms wrong, that is a bigger deal to me. In writing this I find that I have come to this conclusion, you sound like you...

This is the second in a series of blogposts about tolerance...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bullying Is Everyones Problem

I have been wanting to write this for a week now, but being sick I was unable to until today. The reason I became inspired to write this was because of a newscast that I heard. Graduations were happening all over the states and here locally. I was listening to the news and heard a reporter say, "Local teens want to remember student who killed himself at graduation with an empty chair, their principal won't allow it for fear it will upset the bullies who led him to commit suicide."  Yes that is what I heard, at the time it created such an anger in me that I sat and spewed obscenities at the t.v. "Fuck those bullies, were they thinking of this kid or his parents when they were taunting him? Fuck them I hope they all suffer!" My daughter asked me what I was talking about and I told her and she said "Wow!" which is her way of saying "HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT!" As you can see it still creates such a reaction in me that I cannot think of any other way to channel this but to blog about it!

When society places concern for a bully above the memory of a victim and the feeling of the victims family there is a serious problem. Don't get all crazy on me, I have heard of the young man accused of bullying who took his life too, and I have every sympathy for that family as well. A good upstanding family. What created this need to bully in their child, what creates it in any child? Why is it so prevalent today? I only believe it is more noticeable today, and that it is only recently that it has garnered a spotlight because of  its inundation on social media. I was bullied way before Facebook and Myspace, way before and way before 4g technology on phones enabled recording of fights.

This is a list of reasons that I have come up with that I was bullied continuously from my earliest memory of bullying to my last. I was bullied as early as 3rd grade when I cut my hair short got called everything from a beetle to a boy how are the rest.....
1. hair cut short
2. being smart, being teachers pet
3. being liked by boys
4. having breasts develop before others
5. being a "whitewashed mexican"
6. thinking I was "too good"
7. not being thin enough
8. having an ass that boys looked at
9. being shy
10. not fitting in
11. being gossiped about as being sexually active when I was not
12. not fighting back
13. being pretty
14. being ugly
15. accused of being gay
16. having a locker next to a cheerleader
17. for being me.....

I actually cried as I wrote this because peoples bullying of me has had a profound effect on my life, it created a lot of doubt in a frail developing person. I began to hate myself and to not want to exist. I withdrew emotionally and stopped attending school because it was a nightmare to go to everyday. I know that a lot of people that knew me back then had no clue at the time that I was so distraught, I hid it very well, by being rebellious and  covering my pain up with humor. My parents had no clue, all they knew was that I went from this smart bright kid to someone they did not recognize in a period of 5 years. The most crucial years from seventh grade to senior year. I hate that part of my life and the power I let others have over me.

In high school believe it or not I wore a smocked blouse to school at orientation, and I was gossiped about as being pregnant I was also bullied by boys who probably had a crush on me... I just didn't know it. It was also during this period that a girl whose initials were LB and was a year under me bullied me the most next to my other bully who I will talk about next. LB had a locker near mine and she made sure to stand in my way daily, sidling up to her boyfriend in typical socie, cheerleader fashion. She would not move and when I would ask her she would mutter things under her breath and call me things like fat, ugly, loser....this went on for the whole year, at the end of the year she took a picture of me, that she had access to because she was on the yearbook staff I believe, if she wasn't a friend of hers was. She photocopied it and posted it on the entrance of the language arts building with the words LOST, implying that I was a dog..luckily someone took it down before I saw it. I still get upset that I did not beat the shit out of her to this day! Because if I could go back in time and beat the HOLY shit out of her I would, terrible I know my teenage self still hates her! Really I feel sorry for her because she had issues of her own obviously.

My last experience with a bully in which I took control, came after several years of torture from a supposed cousin, who called me a bitch daily, people, daily! From seventh grade all the way to junior year! I guess she thought I was trying to be too much of a chola encroaching on her little clique or whatever, I did try to fit in with the little homie element but thank God I got over that really quick! They considered me too whitewashed, too good. Which looking back on it now is laughable! Finally one day passing through the narrow Biology hall, she whispered "bitch" into my ear, I stopped and said "look if I am such a bitch then do something about it!Now... oh that's right your little friends aren't here to back you up.... so will you please leave me the fuck alone!" I don't know where that Krisann came from, but pretty much from that day on I claimed my power over my bullies. It was freeing and empowering. I still had problems with depression  but never acted on thoughts of suicide. I was lucky.

Today the shift in bullying takes on  a sexual aspect and that is very dangerous thing. Where girls like myself may be bullied for their supposed sexual activity, kids today are bullied for their sexual identity. If you present as  too feminine, or too butch you are a target. Looking back at all of the people I grew up with there is not one that I can say I did not know they were either gay or lesbian. You was unspoken. It was never threatening to me though because their sexuality didn't really matter to me they were first and foremost my friends. Now that I am a parent I listen to my kids and their experiences and I thank God he prepared me to handle bullying. They have been bullied about their race and sexuality. They've been called faggot or dike. They are all girls by the way.... I would not care if they came up to me and said,"Mom I am gay..", it'd be like telling me they want gravy on their potatoes, I'd say "ok."  If they told me they were suicidal then it would be a big deal and I would be the light they needed to make it through the darkness, after all isn't that what a parent is supposed to do?

Yesterday I took the pledge to stop bullying when I see it happening  I want to encourage you to do the same. To learn more about the pledge go to this link  and this link

Bullying is everybodies problem, you just don't realize it until it happens to you....

This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to tolerance....


This month I want to focus on the topic of tolerance, racial, and sexual as in identity. The fact that the mere mention of this creates a tension, or uneasiness in some people and they will automatically tune out and leave my page before reading it, well those are the people I encourage to stay! I want to talk about mine and my families experiences personally with bullying and racism, these topics are not about all light and sweetness they are about perceptions that I grew up with because of certain attitudes I was raised around. I want to warn you that this blog will have narrative that some will find upsetting and it is not my intention to offend anyone or upset them, rather to tell my story and my families. I want to talk about bullying and how prevalent it is in our society and how bullying of LGBT (lesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender) teens has been on the rise. I want to talk about how social media, and how media in general is playing a great role in teaching globally the impact of bullying. I want to talk about the pledge I took yesterday to stop bullying when I see it happening. I will provide links to organizations and would love feedback on organizations that you may be involved in that promote positivity and find solutions. I hope to encourage you to be involved to become proactive in the world you live in. Take a stand to make this world a better place.