Talonya Adams, a Black woman who was an Arizona Senate staffer was awarded one million dollars in damages by a federal judge who sided with her in her case against the state of Arizona.
According to the suit, Adams was fired as a policy adviser to the Senate’s Democratic caucus in 2015, when she started to question her heavy workload and relatively low salary.
Adams, represented herself in the case, and was able to prove that she was paid a lot less than her White Male co-workers, who performed the same job, she also mentioned the differences in the amount of leave she was allowed to take versus the amount of leave her White male counterparts were allowed to take.
Today, I am going to share a poem I wrote and published about my late father, the poem is titled: “A conversation with my Father”.
“Kum Apem A. Apem Beba”
That is the exact Asante proverb, I said while speaking to my papa
translated from our Asante Twi, those words mean “Kill a thousand and a thousand more will come.”
Those are the exact words that our ancestors spoke when they went to war with the British Empire and won in 1823
So what that means to me is when I was a child and witnessed you get shot, while closing our family’s shop
That was in one of Detroit’s roughest spots
Yet you still went to work the next day
The only thing left for me to say, was that Asante warrior blood, is not just something that was passed down in our family DNA
But a code you actually live by day to day
As my father started to beam and smile at his proud son
I asked him to stay sitting with me, I will be finished in a little while
He said: o.k. Nana
Which is a word given to kings, Queens and Elders
But he calls me Nana, because I am named after my mama’s papa
I said “ you know what papa?”
Mama reminds me of the Asante Warrior Queen mother Yaa Asantewaa, who led the Asante Kingdom In a War Against British colonialism
I mean they both are strong beautiful queens who would go to war to protect their family
My father looked at me and smiled, giggled and kissed me on the cheek and said: Yes son I agree.
So why in the hell papa do you verbally demean and sometimes physically abuse mama, if she is supposed to be your queen?
My father knew there was nothing he could say to justify his sometimes explosive acts of violence
So, he said nothing and just looked at me very sad and silent!
As a kid like a lot of kids who grew up with an alpha-male and charismatic father in the house, I worshipped my father. To me he was a black Superman, an African Hercules, I seriously believed there was no one or nothing on earth he could not defeat if he had to.
I remember being next to him when he got shot in his head closing our family’s store in an extremely dangerous area of Detroit. A city he came to as an immigrant from Ghana, West Africa, to look for a better life for his family.
His idea of the American Dream was to open several liquor stores, all over Detroit and beyond, that we locally call “Party Stores”, that my father intended for my brother and I to inherit.
At one of those stores, I remember my mom walking in one day, it was after school, so my brother and I were in the store stocking shelves, when my mother walked in after her work, looking beat up and bruised like she just went 9 rounds with Mike Tyson.
She claimed she had gotten robbed, I believed her immediately, I had no reason not to.
At that time as an adolescent, I had seen another one of our family stores get burnt down to the ground, I had seen my father get shot and our family’s home get shot up after being mistaken for our drug dealing neighbor’s home. And at this time, Detroit was one of the most dangerous cities in America, if not the murder capital.
It would be years before I discovered my mother was not robbed and that she was beaten by my father after a hostile argument about his many affairs and financial issues. I would find out even though my father was far more verbally abusive than physically, there would be a few times in my teen years I would have to pull him off my mom. A few times I almost came to bloody blows with the man whose blood coursed through my veins; if it was not for my mother’s interventions, there is a good chance that one of us would of killed the other one.
I would go on to hate my father for years until I discovered that he was suffering for years with depression and suicidal thoughts, dementia and he was also dealing with various other mental health issues.
The hate I had for him would soon turn into a deep sadness and for the rest of his life, until his death last year we shared an improved relationship.
Fast forward two decades, I get a call from a “loved one”, late in the night. Despite the fact he works in law enforcement, he calls me for advice. He tells me his wife just snapped and battered him and their daughter.
I tell him to call the cops. Even though he knows he should, it takes me a while to convince him, he does not want to breakup his family and he does not want it to cost his wife her job.
Finally after his 5 year old daughter also tells him to please call the cops on his wife and her mom; who had this point had stormed out of the house, he eventually calls the cops.
After she finally was arrested a couple dayd, it would be discovered that she had stopped taking her anti-depressants medications, which made her go crazier than a cat on catnip.
Since them his wife has been taking better care of her mental health and they are now a relatively stable family.
You should learn that domestic violence is a lot more complicated than we’ve been led to believe.
Like the old saying goes: Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
Yes, people who commit domestic violence must be punished, but within that punishment, they must also be given the proper psychological treatment.
Too much do we as a society look to label people for life as evil and bad, without looking to see what they are going through to make them act that way.
We have to keep in mind that hurt people hurt people.
There is a war going on today, and it’s not in some far off land, rather it’s being fought here in the United States.
Not for oil or gold, but for justice, freedom and liberty.
This war has been fought since the creation of this nation.
This war and its many forms has been fought through protests, like the Boston Tea Party, the Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, the L.G.B.T.Q Movement, to the movements being fought today.
Today, I will explain how this war for justice, freedom and liberty is being fought today, between protesters and the rich and powerful.
I was deeply troubled when I heard of Republicans in Republican-controlled states, writing new laws to punish peaceful protests.
This is socially relevant, because in a time when we have a White House full of white supremacists, this is a dangerous time to have our 1st Amendment rights violated.
Today, I will tell you how peaceful protesters in states like New York, Minnesota and North Dakota are having their rights violated and freedom threatened by politicians trying to silence dissent.
In New York, a city that has a giant statue dedicated to liberty, protesters are having that very right violated by the men and women paid to protect it.
According to the New York Daily News ” protesters said the NYPD used undercover surveillance at the demonstrations over the chokehold death Eric Garner on Staten Island and shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”
When Black Lives Matter protesters discovered this possible constitutional violation, they took the NYPD to court to discover what was collected and why.
A later New York Daily News article states ” the NYPD must disclose documents and video surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters at Grand Central Terminal in 2014 and 2015, a judge ruled.
At this time the NYPD has not complied with the orders of the judge.
According to the same New York Daily News article ” the NYPD had argued that revealing its tactics would interfere with with law enforcement work.”
Now that you know about the illegal spy tactics being used against Black Lives Matter protesters by NYPD, let me inform you of the treatment of protesters in North Dakota.
If you were given two black and white photos, one of civil rights activists in Alabama in 1963 and the other Standing Rock Sioux activists in North Dakota in 2016.
It would be hard to tell they were taken 53 years apart. Both groups of people were attacked by armed men with trained attack dogs.
According to RT.com “Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline were reportedly attacked by security officers and their guard dogs.”
To my knowledge, not one person has been arrested for those harsh crimes.
Now that you know about North Dakota, let me tell you about Minnesota.
Republicans in Minnesota are advancing a Bill that will allow city governments to sue protesters.
The law if passed will profile African-Americans some people believe.
According to theGuardian.com ” Both critics and supporters of the Bill agree on one thing, it is a response to Black Lives Matter-inspired protests in the Twin-cities area over the last two years, particularly after an officer shot and killed Philando Castile in July” of 2016.
Minneapolis Branch President, of the NAACP called the Bill ” highly racialized “.
The Bill recently passed a Republican-controlled committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
In other Republican-controlled states…..
According to the Intercept.com ” Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests as economic terrorism.”
“Republicans in Michigan introduced and then last month shelved an anti-picketing law that would increase penalties against protesters and would make it easier for businesses to sue protesters.”
” And in Iowa a republican law maker has pledged to introduce legislation to crackdown on highway protests.”
Today I informed you on the current political war being fought between political activists and politicians.
I described how local police have spied on protesters, and how state governments have written new Bills to silence dissent.
One of the worst things any American can do is remain silent in the face of injustice.
Twitter plans to take a page out of the book of social media media corporation pinterest, by fixing some of their issues with the lack of diversity within their company, earlier this year Pinterest hired Paradigm, to give their employees some diversity training.
Today Twitter is a white and male dominated company, with males taking up 78% of all leadership positions and white males specifically taking up 72% of all leadership positions and blacks taking up as little as 2% of Twitter’s workforce.
By 2016 Twitter hopes to increase its female workforce to 35% and increase its underrepresented minorities to an overall 11%.
Twitter also plans to target talent at some historically black colleges.
“Keep your damn hands to yourself” is a term that should viewed as law of the land in America, no matter your race, gender or sexual orientation, no one should be allowed to feel they can batter another person because of an argument or disagreement and not have to deal with repercussions. That being said what people should do is often the opposite of what people actually do.
Without a doubt domestic violence is a major issue in the United States, straight, bi, gay, Transgender, male, female, all these subgroups of the American population, have people in their group who have committed assault and battery on their loved ones, which proves that domestic violence is not a male vs. female issue, rather it’s a humanity issue, that needs to be addressed in the proper and educated manner.
Instead the major media corporations continue to omit the fact that men make up about 40% of domestic violence victims, in an article titled: “More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals” by the Guardian.com and published on September 4, 2010 stated : “Data from home office statistical bulletins and the British crime survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-5 and 2008-9”.
SNL SPOOF ON SOLANGE ATTACK OF JAY Z.
Instead when a woman hits a man it’s a joke on Saturday night live like when Solange Knowles , the sister of R&B/pop diva Beyonce and sister-in-law to rap legend and music mogul Jay Z, decided to punch and kick her brother-in-law in a tight elevator, while she was wearing dangerously sharp high heels.
Media companies like DISNEY/ABC/ESPN for the most part simply ignored the fact that women’s WorldCup Soccer player Hope Solo has been involved in at least two cases of domestic violence in which she was the aggressor.
The media instead downplays or ignores domestic violence committed by women to focus months on the issue of violence committed by men, especially black men, even if it was in self-defense against a crazed and violent woman, e.g. the Ray rice incident when he punched his then girlfriend/now wife in the face after she pimped slap him or the FSU quarterback De’andre Johnson, who punched a woman in a bar after she reportedly yelled racial slurs at him and is on video seen punching him .
Both male Football players so far have had their careers cut short, while Solange is more famous now after she attacked Jay Z and Hope Solo just won a WorldCup and is expected to be in the FIFA 2016 video game.
So to my fellow Americans, I think we can all agree that domestic violence is horrific, so lets just have one standard that domestic violence is wrong and the aggressor should be punished, no matter their sex, race or sexual orientation.