I Don’t Want to Survive; I Want to Thrive

img_2103“Grab her by the pussy.” No matter how many times I hear it in my head I can’t help but to laugh. Not one of those gut busting, tears coming out of my eyes laughs, but one of those this is crazy laughs. I’m not laughing this morning and neither are most of the men and women I know.

I keep hearing how African Americans survived slavery and survived Jim Crow and survived the harshness of the Civil Rights Movement and the Reagan era. Stop telling me how we survived mass incarceration. “We survived all that, we’ll survive Donald Trump as President.” It’s not Trump I’m afraid of, it’s Trump’s America that scares me. A world of racial profiling and 4 dollar a gallon gas. I am not my ancestors and I love them for surviving and living but I choose not to survive. I choose to thrive. I choose to not sit at home behind my computer and sulk and be afraid and not cause trouble at work. I choose to hold my head up high, walk into my office and remind anyone that’s jubilant about last night’s victory that we have HR for a reason and I won’t threaten you are curse you out. I will simply write an email getting you fired for discussing politics at work.

Last night was my youngest sister’s 15th birthday. When we were having dinner she told us she got a letter from Stanford University to come visit the school and be a part of a program. She is incredibly smart and mature, she writes short stories and loves photography. Her future is as bright as she wants it to be, that doesn’t stop because of Trump or his supporters. Today’s weather mirrors how my heart feels. Dark, cold, unsettling but with a new day comes a new sky and with a new sky comes the ability to rise above this America we are now living in.

I don’t want to survive. I don’t want to get disrespected and marginalized and not get the same opportunities and be okay with it. Surviving is what our ancestors did because they had no choice because it was survive or die. We have a choice, not just to survive but to thrive. We have a choice on whether or not we want to build something and make something of ourselves or survive. On whether or not we want to accept racism, sexism, elitism and survive or look racism, sexism and elitism in the face and say, “Move or get ran over.”

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If You Want My Vote; Stand For Something

IMG_0701Yesterday was the last day of early voting for the run-off elections in the city of Houston and Saturday is the actual elections. As someone that loves politics and the effort and selflessness a lot of these men and women put into their campaigns and offices I have to be honest and say; I have not been very impressed as of late by any politician.

Where are the politicians that inspire? That are willing to take a stand when it’s not popular. That are willing to offend people that need to be offended. Too much history went into getting me the right to vote for me to just give my vote away. It’s easy to talk about police brutality when something happens that makes news but why don’t I ever hear a politician blame the officers that sit back and do nothing while they know some of the men and women they serve with are bad apples?

When President Obama ran for President, I remember walking door to door trying to register people to vote knowing Texas was a red state. I didn’t care though, wearing that t-shirt, feeling proud to be a part of something new and encouraging. It changed me. Seven years later, where are the new generation of politicians that are going to have 18-28 year olds not going to happy hour but walking door to door?

I don’t care if you have money behind you or went to an amazing school. I don’t care if you have experience in politics or who your father was. What I care about is your love for the people and your passion for making our City, State and Nation better. I’m seeing too many people that are simply saying things because they sound good. People that have the nerve to ask me for my vote when they won’t make a statement about anything of relevance.

Donald Trump is leading the Republican candidates for President not because he’s the best option, it’s because he’s the only option that’s getting people inspired. As racist and ignorant as his comments are at times, they are views that are shared by a lot of people and that is something we have to pay attention to. Where is the Democrat that’s inspiring these sorts of passions? Is it Hilary Clinton? The same Hilary Clinton that wouldn’t stand alongside President Obama and quit on his administration so she run for office? Is it Bernie Sanders? A man that’s been around for a long time and has good ideas but no one knows or cares about? In a country as big as ours, where are the options that will change the world?