Friday, September 19, 2014

Domestic Violence; Rice, Hardy, and the NFL

There's been constant talk lately about Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy, and the NFL's inconsistencies with regards to their knowledge about both situations, and their handling of other similar situations are coming up in posts and comments.

Domestic Abuse is a very serious issue and comes in various ways; be it verbal, emotional, mental, sexual, and physical. All have and leave severe effects on the abused.

*One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 
*Women are more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than men. 
*Every year, one in three women who is a victim of homiced is killed by a significant other.  
*Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners or someone they know.

The Ray Rice issue put Greg Hardy's issue in the spot light, and now Arizona Cardinal's Jonathon Dwyer is in the hot seat. The NFL's inconsistencies, lack of public disclosure and seemingly inadequate investigations, processes and procedures have the public questioning not just the NFL's processes but their level of integrity. Who is the NFL protecting?

Once I actually viewed the Rice video, which for a long time, I couldn't bear to see...as a woman, I was appalled and disgusted. I was even more disturbed when I saw Mrs. Rice's comment the next day. Some people felt I was passing judgement when I posted my intial opinion after viewing the video on my Facebook page... 
"So Ray Rice lost his job...good! But his then fiancée, now wife needs some self-esteem, self-respect, and needs to learn self-love. It baffles me how society is quick to jump on a man but not hold the woman accountable for her part.
Fellas: There's never an excuse to hit a woman, if she pushes you to that level, she's a liability, NOT an asset.
Ladies: If a man abuses you, mentally, physically o
r emotionally, he has no respect for you; so do yourself a favor and bounce. There's no amount of money in the world for you to ALLOW a man to disrespect you... have some self-respect and dignity. A destructive, toxic relationship IS NOT LOVE. There's no way I'd have married him. The love of money is a shadow for fools."
 
The list of excuses I read in the comments on my post as well as other posts, were sad. We live in a society that makes excuses for everything and everyone, and medicates everyone for everything. The issue here is that there are women looking at this situation and thinking this is acceptable. 

If Janay Rice is okay with being belittled and treated like crap, that's her prerogative, but we need to stop making excuses for people's behaviors. 
Honestly, if she's okay with it, I'm okay with it. She's right, it's her life, and however she decides to process the lack of respect and value her significant other has for her and she has for herself, is her right. 

If the NFL and the Ravens saw the Rice video and allowed Rice to play, then the NFL has continuously shown us that they will stand by their athletes for the love of the almighty dollar. Now a 911 call has surfaced about Hardy. Pittsburg Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of rape several times and all the NFL has done was suspend him... It makes you wonder if women are worth anything more in the NFL macho male club other than being sideline watch pieces during timeouts?!

Now I will be honest here...I know a lot of women. Some of you, are cool, it takes a lot to bring a level of emotion or bring you to a point where you may check a man with regards to his behavior, and some men will push the envelope, I get it. But, some of you are flat out crazy! No excuses. I have seen women that I know personally, slap men that they weren't even in a relationship with, curse them out, and disrespect them in public.
That being said, I can see how some chicks can cause someone to lose control...not every man was raised right, not every woman was either, and some folks will not hold themselves accountable for their own actions and practice self control. That being said, this is not domestic violence, this behavior is of a dysfunctional person/relationship, and therefore I'm terming this.."dysfunctional violence." No my dears, that's NOT love. Stop the dysfunctional excuses for your dysfunctional behavior. 

Please understand, I am completely against a man putting his hands on a woman UNLESS she's coming at him with a weapon, then you have every right to protect yourself. The same is applied to women, there's no reason to get violent or hit a man, period, unless he is hitting you. Respect goes both ways. But seeing some of these crazy chicks in action, I think they get off pushing a guy's buttons, thinking he won't touch them... this is not domestic violence to ME..it's just needy chicks asking for attention. 

The sad part of this, is though some women are crazy and will provoke a man and even make stories up when they're not getting the attention they want, there are a lot of women out there that are NOT provoking a man, not even touching the man, but are verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically beat down on a daily basis- that is Domestic Violence. Those are the women I'm afraid for, care about, and that we need to pray for and be concerned about.
They will see and hear Mrs. Rice's stance on her situation and feel that they too should stand by these monsters. They would see nothing wrong with staying in these disturbing, painful relationships and raising their kids in destructive environments. 

Ladies, keep your hands to yourself. If a man is being disrespectful or acting crazy in the beginning, he's only going to get worse as time passes and he starts to feel more comfortable with you. Fellas, same goes for you. If she's pushing to that point, leave her alone. 
We feel vibes, get signs and see red flags all the time, but we tend to ignore them, make excuses for them, or think the person will change, or better yet, that we can change that person. If you see the flags understand what you're dealing with, talk to the person about how the flags are affecting you. If the person continues, that's called a pattern, and patterns don't change, unless the person makes the effort, most times they don't change. Quit keeping hope alive and let them go. 
Women, justifying putting your hands on a man that is not physically hurting you, doesn't make you a woman, and most definitely not a lady, that's little girl behavior. 
Men, justifying your actions and putting your hands on a woman who is not trying to hurt you physically doesn't make you a man, it makes you a boy. Definitely not gentleman behavior. Pay attention to patterns and behaviors- people will tell you who they are, stop making excuses for them.
To quote the late Dr. Maya Angelo, "If a person shows you who they are, believe them, the first time."

Real love is not dysfunctional, it doesn't belittle, disrespect, or hurt...period. 


October is Cancer Awareness Month (Pink), as well as Domestic Violence Month (Purple). Please support these great causes.


For statistics and information on Domestic Violence please visit the following sites: 


Or you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 
and remember...Silence Hides Violence.

Peace, Love & Light,

~A2







Monday, September 15, 2014

A Torn Tale Between Two Cities


Sunday, September 14, Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a nice, cool, Sunday in the Queen City- great day for some good 'ol American football. I have been living in North Carolina for the past six years, the last four in Charlotte. Today, my home team, the Detroit Lions, play the Carolina Panthers. I have been super excited about this game since the Panthers and Lions released their schedules late spring. 

My very first Panthers game was last year, when they played and crushed the New York Giants 38-0; I was hyped, sporting my Lions tank top, hanging with my girl Sheila, also from The D. Lions blood has flowed through my veins for twenty-five years...that's a quarter of a century! Up until January of this year, I had never worn or owned any other pro football team paraphernalia, ever! 


In December 2013, I lost a bet to a friend. The Lions with a winning record in their division, started to lose games and dropped in their ranking when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were struggling to stay alive last season. The Panthers played the Jaguars the week after the Lions. I was being facetious.."The Bet" was.. should the Panthers win against the Jaguars, I would purchase a Panther something, and should Michigan State win The Rose Bowl vs Stanford, my friend would purchase a Michigan State something. The loser would wear the item and take a photo. Well, I lost and bought a Panthers hat. He lost and bought two Michigan State shirts (one for me...too sweet!). As the Lions spiraled from a winning streak to a losing one, my friend, clearly a Panther man, tried to recruit me into Panther Nation. His argument was for me to at least support them seeing I now live in Charlotte. His argument was well made, understood, considered and implemented. 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that friction started between us. As the Panthers vs Lions game drew closer, I grew anxious. I made my mind up that I didn't care who won. I would support both teams- yeah, I know that's straddling the fence but I was going to be okay with it either way, lol. Then I decided to support the Panthers fully, gear and all. To show allegiance to my new home team and to someone that supports me at all times. I was crushed when my show of support was criticized and disbelieved [enter friction here]. I couldn't even sit where I was initially sitting. With an emotional blow to my heart, I graciously accepted my other seats and let it be. 
After the blow, and being asked over and over by my friends who I was rooting for, I started to agonize over my support and gear, even asking my NC family (Nina & Allen) for help. I felt torn between two teams, two cities that I love, and found myself questioning my friend's actions and his faith in my support... what I had felt good about initially, started to give me anxiety attacks as the game approached. I finally decided to revert back to my initial plan and show support for both teams, whew! 

Yeah! Game Day is finally here!! I threw on my Panthers shirt and my Lions hat- Panthers blue and Lions blue clashed a bit, but hey, blue is blue and I am down for a good game. I expected nothing short of a good game! 

Instead what I witnessed was a terrible game...for the Lions anyway! A feeling of unease started twirling in my gut. Though I went in with the mindset of not choosing sides, that I'd be good with whatever, and sincerely happy for whomever wins; I did not expect the Lions to play so poorly. The bad plays started to make me nauseous. I found myself clapping for Carolina and wanting to cry for Detroit. I started praying a familiar prayer- Dear sport gods, why must we go thru this? Why must we (Lions fans) be subjected to such debacles year after year. The Lions were not ready and clearly unprepared for the Panthers defense. I wasn't mad that Carolina was winning, I was frustrated and perturbed with how poorly the Lions were playing. The Lions, once again, showed they were stuck, high on their egos coming off off their Monday Night game win against the Giants.
The Lions may have a different look and a different coach, but under that Lions blue and silver armor flows the same Lions blue blood of games past...bring you up, only to let you down. 

It was a bittersweet day in the Queen City. I never knew Charlotte had so many Lions fans. They were out in full force, representing hard, doing what they've done forever- win, lose, or draw, they still showed up, showed out, and showed love, even after the loss.


Don't get it twisted, I am very proud and happy for the Panthers!! They have been working hard for a couple of weeks preparing for the Lions, their defense and stopping Calvin Johnson aka Megatron, and it showed! It was a well executed game by the Panthers, and though I didn't mind the win at all, it honestly pained me to watch the Lions take a beating. I was ready and mentally prepared for a good game; but I wasn't ready or mentally prepared for a piss poor performance or an @$$ whoopin'...or what I felt...the team spirit of a ghost Lions past. 

Someone once said, "Proper Preperation Prevents Piss Poor Performance"...The Lions need this quote inked in Lions blue on everything they have. 

On Any Given Sunday, you will win some and you will lose some, but you need to come to play!

Great game Panthers!!! #KeepPounding
 


~A2   

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reflection

I've learned that though true, genuine friendships are rare, when you're in a dark place, sometimes the people you least expect to be there, hold you up.

I've learned, that if you really want to know who your true friends are or who's down for YOU, get involved in politics, or better yet, run for office! 
Politics is a brutal blood sport, and will let you see people for who they truly are...no excuses. 

I've learned that people who are mean-spirited, enjoy it-- the enemy's minions...shrug them off and don't pay them any attention, they're just doing their job.

I've learned that some people will disappoint you...such is life. But, if there's a pattern, and you don't feel those people mean you well, respect or appreciate you, walk away...life is short. Don't allow people to use or drain you. 

I've learned that most people these days are very self serving. Period.

I've learned that some of those that claim they want the best for you, really don't.

I've learned that people will see the tiniest flaw in another, but will not acknowledge the mountain of flaws within themselves.

I've learned that the people judging others, are the ones with the shadiest of characters and the closets full of skeletons.

I've learned that people love to assume what they don't know or understand...there's a name for that--ignorance.

I've learned that people would rather believe what they hear, vs check with the source...followers, not leaders, do this...there's a name for this too--sheep.

This is my peace piece for Friday. 
Have a great weekend peeps.

~A2

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Available Now:

Available now on Kindle and the Kindle App for iPhone, iPad, Android and PC.


MUSE: The Lyrics

Lyrics of an Angel: poetry in reality

Lion's Lair


MUSE CD is available on Amazon, iTunes and cdbaby. 



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014 Primary Election


Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Good Morning,

Thank you to all who voted yesterday. If you didn't vote, shame on you! 
No one should ever pass up a chance to voice their choice. Too many people have died for us to have that right and we're not far from losing it. 

Thank you to all the candidates for their time and effort in wanting to make a difference. 

Congratulations to U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams for clearly being Absolutely the right choice and the new voice of the 12th Congressional District (my district) winning the Special Election replacing former Congressman Mel Watt and advancing to the General Election in November. Voted by The People with over 43% of the votes- that's strong! 

And to all the candidates that have been on the 12th Congressional District campaign trail the last 11-12 months - great job by all. I enjoyed seeing and listening to all of you and appreciate your dedication. 

Congratulations to the following Democrats in advancing to the November General Election: 
Senator Kay Hagan (U.S. Senate), 
Trevor Fuller, Pat Cotham and Ella Scarborough (County Commission At Large), Vilma Leake (County Commission District 2), Irwin Carmichael (Sheriff) --Primary down...General to go!! 

The Koch brothers have dumped millions in anti-Kay Hagan campaign ads, so please make sure your voices are heard again for the above mentioned Democratic Candidates and be sure to VOTE on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. 

Have a happy hump day!


~Amani








Tuesday, May 6, 2014
 

Good Morning, 

Today is the Primary Election and all the polls are open until 7:30 PM. 
I kindly ask everyone that has an election in their respective area to get out and exercise your hard earned right to VOTE. I don't care who you vote for but PLEASE make sure it's a Candidate with a PROVEN TRACK RECORD of doing what's right for and by The People, who has a history of strong CIVIC DUTY and who embodies the highest level of INTEGRITY. 
Please don't go out here and vote for "your friend" or a person that you may think will do better but an individual that you know can make the difference we need to have the appropriate representation we deserve. 

Have a blessed Election Tuesday, folks, and may all your voices be heard!


~Amani 




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April- a Month for Fools and Poets...Fitting? ;-)

Unless you're a hopeful romantic or have a love for poetry, you're probably unaware that April is National Poetry Month and I've been asked to end it with a poem....so here you go...Enjoy!

"When I First Saw Your Smile"
 

Should you have any questions about National Poetry Month, please visit https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/national-poetry-month-faq#4.

Peace, Love & Light.

~A2

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Curse or Not The Curse…What Is The Detroit Lions Problem?

After decades of little joy and many painful, heart wrenching moments. After acquiring Reggie Bush to attempt to fill the shoes of Billy Simms and Barry Sanders (poor Reggie). After having one of the best receivers in the league in Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, as well as a strong defensive tackle like Ndamukong Suh, and what seems to be a seemingly nice defense; the Lions still can’t seem to get it together and regress to the same bs as years past.

One week they’re leading the NFC North and on the right track, then the next two weeks they lose back to back games to the Steelers and Bucs.  How do you lose at home to the Bucs? It’s more than just embarrassing, it’s outright shameful! Are the Bucs even rated this year? Okay, yes, I’m salty but going into the Thanksgiving game against the Packers thinking about the Bucs loss, is very unsettling. Thinking that we can be 6-6 and may forfeit yet another chance at seeing the playoffs is disturbing. 
This relationship, this emotional roller-coaster ride of emotional highs and lows that I’ve been on for decades has turned from abusive to quite toxic. Have I had enough? Am I nearing my sport-witted end? Am I ready to cut ties? I’ve called myself taking some "me" time, some "space" from my beloved yet frustrating home team before. Maybe, like any other relationship that has run its course, it’s time for us to part ways? Maybe, seeing I live in Charlotte now, I should switch allegiance and give the Panthers my attention? The Carolina Panthers are now 8-3 and they play the Bucs at home this Sunday. I made a wager with a friend that if the Panthers win at home against the Bucs, I will break down and do something I don’t do--purchase a Panther something…as I clearly need to start scoping other teams that will appreciate and reciprocate my devotion. I’m not a bandwagoneer, but this ride has gone on far too long, and seeing images like this really doesn’t help my sport spirit...sigh! 

56 years and counting...it's been 56 years since the Lions have won a Super Bowl! The storyline never changes, it never fails; either we totally suck or we hype up, make the playoffs only to lose in the first round. Turnovers, interceptions, inconsistencies, blah blah blah- when/where does the cycle end? Sometimes, when I hear the team explain themselves, I swear I’m watching a Charlie Brown special! When will the excuses stop? At what point do we, the fans, fold? We’ve held on for so long, hoping, praying for a different outcome, only to be disappointed and witness the same results. We've had some great players. We've had decent squads. What is the Lions problem? Why can’t they get it right? Get it together? Are they just too spoiled- having a plush indoor stadium, indoor practice facility, new logo and uniforms but still over promise and under deliver year after year? Or are they just cursed? Maybe they need to practice outside in this brutally cold Detroit weather! Maybe that will give them the edge, the focus, the consistency they need. Something has got to give and soon!

Having one of the best running backs to just up and quit the game because he lost the love for it isn’t much hope to hold on to either; it depletes your sport spirit to think if he lost hope, if he lost the love…how could a fan after years of torture keep hope alive? I pray to the sport gods to bless my Kitties every game and most often than not, I’m left burying my head into my hoodie in silent pain. 

This week is Thanksgiving, which means we entertain at home and play the Packers this Thursday on national TV. I wish the Lions the best of luck and hope that they have learned something from the Bucs game!!
What if the Panthers defeat the Bucs, you ask? (In my Sheldon voice) "Oh, the horror!!" 
I guess we shall see. Good luck to the Panthers as well! 
tbc...


Sincerely Disappointed,

~A2