Subconscious Racism: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

getalong_rockinrandommom

In the wake of the recent tragedies this past week, I am writing on a topic I simply can’t ignore. Ignoring it is what got us here in the first place.

Do you remember the 90’s sitcom with Martin Lawrence called Martin? Do you remember his famous line he said all the time, especially when he was frustrated? He would say, “Can’t we all just get along?” I haven’t seen that TV show in a long time but I remember that phrase.

For the past several years here in the United States, there has been so much unrest. It seems these days we are fighting with each other over every little thing.

Other things, however, have needed to be talked about for a long time but had been pushed under the rug. Until recently. If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you know where this is going. We are talking about racism. I don’t know about you but in light of the killing of two black men by police officers this past week, then cops killed in the same week, I feel like we just re-wound the clock back to the 1960’s and we are living the civil rights movement all over again. Of course, most people who lived through that would say it was a lot worse.

hateracism_rockinrandommomHere’s the thing though, racism never went away. It was always there, trudging in the muddy waters of our collective psyche, just waiting to climb its way out again. Instead of hashing out our differences and talking about racism and how to solve it, our society decided to hide it away in our closets. They missed the opportunity back then to figure this shit out.

Yup, instead of facing the issue head on and dealing with it, they decided to stick their heads in the sand like an ostrich. Yes, they did make new policies and made discrimination illegal. They passed new laws but they didn’t TALK ABOUT IT!

Suddenly racism and sexism didn’t exist. They acted like as long as we ignore the problem it will go away – eventually. I do believe our leaders at the time truly believed that as long as they made discrimination illegal, racism and sexism in particular, would just go away. I believe their intentions were good but it didn’t solve the problem. What is the problem though? I think that’s what so many are confused about today. Because we have buried this so deep do we even know?subsconsciousracism_rockinrandommom

I was watching CNN yesterday and several intelligent people were talking. They mentioned that even though we don’t acknowledge the existence of racism, it’s in our subconsciousness. Our subconscious thoughts are every bit as real as our conscious thoughts. The best way I can try to explain this is a little snippet from my childhood.

Growing up in a major city and the surrounding areas can be a complex experience. While my family would never openly say something racist, behind closed doors I heard racist comments all the time.

When I was 16, a family member had seen a white woman walking hand in had with a black man. Interracial relationships were a big controversy back then. She said, “Look at that. That makes me sick!” I had to ask why it bothered her so much. Her response was, “Because it’s wrong!” I then said, “Well, they’re not bothering me. I’m not walking in their shoes. I’m not living their life.” I am very much about the motto, Live and Let Live.

That really pissed her off so when another female family member came by, she had to tell her all about my evil way of thinking. Both women decided to “educate” me on the evils of black men. You know the stereotypes: How they rape white women and beat them up. Except that every man who ever hurt me was actually white. I know better as an adult.

It’s that subconscious thought that I’m talking about. In all of American society whether you are white, black, Hispanic, or other; we all have these stereotypes in our heads about the other races. We have similar stereotypes between the sexes. Similar between the social classes and sexual orientation. The list goes on.

My point is this: Maybe the officers didn’t consciously attack those men out of racism. But what about subconsciously?

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I don’t have an answer to solve this problem but what I do know is that we have to stop hiding our skeletons. We must bring them out of the closet and face our demons. If we don’t deal with this now, we will hand this problem down to the next generation. The two men didn’t deserve to die. The officers in Texas didn’t deserve to die. We have to do better than this! What are your thoughts? Please be respectful when commenting.

I am adding this video of a YouTuber that I like. He’s a thinker and I love thinkers. He gives another perspective.

Thanks so much for reading!

mysignature_rockinrandommom

 

 

I am linking this with:

Reflections From Me
My Random Musings
Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear
Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Domesticated Momster

 

It’s Official: I am on You Tube!

Or as the kids call it…officalyoutube_rockinrandommom

I actually did it! I am officially on You Tube! My son calls me a You Tuber now! I launched my first video on Friday, just before midnight. I was really nervous about uploading a video with me in front of the camera. It’s not that I haven’t been in front of a camera before. There is something about recording yourself, then sharing that with the entire world that is nerve-racking.

It took me about 10 times and literally a whole day and a half to get the right message across for my first video. After that, was the editing that took several more hours to reach my own acceptable standards. The video could have been better but seeing how this is my first go-around with this sort of thing, I’m pretty happy with it.

There will be improvements made as I get more acquainted with You Tube. I still have a lot to learn. I will get more comfortable as time goes on and my videos will get better. I’ve learned a few things already, like

Movie Maker:

Before making my first video I rarely ever used a video editing program. I didn’t even know I had movie maker on my laptop. I also didn’t know how to use my camera or my built in microphone. I had to do a You Tube search to figure it out! Once I did though I found it to be very easy to navigate.

Cutting Video Clips:

Again, not something I was familiar with and that took up most of my hours as I sat at my desk watching myself talk. It was a bit weird for me but once I got into the process of eliminating excess footage, I actually liked it. I enjoyed editing and keeping my video simple. Perhaps I edited it a little too much, LOL!

Copyright Laws:

It’s a bit different on YouTube than on my blog. For example, did you know that for every piece of music, image, and video clipping you put into your video is illegal? Unless you get permission from the copyright company and put their info into the description area, you are not allowed to use it. I see videos on YouTube all the time with music parodies, game reviews and the like. It never dawned on me how much of that actually requires permission. This is the biggest hurdle for me as I will be doing reviews but I have been doing a lot of research into it and it might be easier than I think. You can actually get all of the info you need by searching for it on You Tube! Damn! YouTube has everything!

Watch My video:

The music I have in my intro is royalty free music. The animated intro is also royalty free as long as I include the website I got them from either in my video or in the description.  Now that I have my own image making program though, I will work on changing my intro a little bit. With my new program I will also be working on my blog look so look out for that in the near future.

I still have work to do to make my channel better. There is still so much to learn but I’m getting there. I really want to show my more fun-loving side but I realize that is going to take some time. I need to get more comfortable in front of the camera, which I know will come with experience.

If you watch my video let me know what you think so far! If you want to keep up to date on my videos, I will post one every Friday. You can subscribe to my channel as well. It would be much appreciated!

Thanks so much for reading!

mysignature_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

I am linking this with:

My Random Musings

 

Pink Pear Bear
Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Domesticated Momster

 

 

To Fellow Bloggers: Why My Instagram has changed

instagram_rockinrandommom

So some of you may have noticed that the Instagram account you have been following has a different name. I wrote a post a while back about maybe starting a YouTube channel. Well, that day has come. Technically, it comes tomorrow as I will be posting my first video, my intro, if you will, to YouTube.

During the process of starting my Youtube account, which is up and running and you can follow by clicking on this link: Michelle’s Rockin’ Random Reviews , I started thinking about YouTube followers and the many different types of people my channel might attract. Not that I will get many subscribers right away. It’s just like blogging. It takes time. However, understanding the possible audience I will get, I didn’t want to link my Instagram account that houses many pictures of my kids, for obvious reasons.

It’s at this point that the mama bear in me took front and center and I decided to make the current account private for those who already follow me.

If you have noticed, I don’t post that many pictures of my kids on my blog and I don’t share photos on Twitter or anywhere else that is public so why would I make an exception for Instagram? My kids’ safety is of the utmost importance to me. Had I not branched out to YouTube, I probably would have left it as is. However, YouTube invites more possibilities of followers that may not be on the up and up, if you catch my drift.

I want to have my Instagram that does have pictures of my boys. But I also want to have a new account that dedicates itself more to my blog and YouTube. I am also going to be changing the look of my blog in the next month or so. I hopefully will have it changed by it’s first birthday, which is July 15th! I can’t even believe it’s been a year already!

Anyway, that is my news! I hope that you follow my new Instagram as well as my old one. I have come to think of quite a few of you as friend and am happy to share my personal pictures with you all!

And oh yeah, here’s my new Instagram in case you don’t already have it: https://www.instagram.com/rockinrandommom/

Thanks so much for reading!

mysignature_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

I am linking this with:

Domesticated Momster

 

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The Brock Turner Conversation

brockturner_rockinrandommom

This post is about the two latest tragedies to hit my Facebook feed. Brock Turner and the Orlando Shooting. This is how I used these tragedies to teach my boys valuable lessons.

Brock Turner

Now you wouldn’t think that this would be something that I would actually talk to my boys about. Most parents do their damnedest to shield their children from the news and any negative stories that come on. However, my children are in school and they hear it all. So over this past year I have come to see these stories as opportunities to educate my kids on things they won’t learn in school and teach them very important life skills that many of us really don’t think about. Like teaching our boys NOT TO RAPE!

Now here is where I’m going to get the most personal I’ve ever gotten on my blog: I am a survivor of childhood rape. I am one of the many statistics in this country. What is it?

brockturner1in4_rockinrandommomLet that sink in for a minute…

I don’t talk about it much on here because even though I have healed from my past hurts and trauma, it’s still not a subject I broach with very many people without having a damn good reason. Brock Turner is a damn good reason. Being a mother of two boys is a damn good reason for my writing this.

As a survivor, I bring a unique perspective to the table. I raise them to respect all living things but to also understand that not every person in this world is worthy of their trust. That may sound biased and pessimistic but that is the world we live in and I have to know my boys are aware of that fact.

Right now, I want to talk about the conversation I had with Conner. The letter that the father wrote to the court and the lenient sentence the judge rendered was appalling. I told Conner that a young man violated a young woman while she was passed out and not able to defend herself or even consent. His first words were, “Why would someone do that?” Out of the mouths of babes!

brockturnerrape_rockinrandommomI talked to him about the letter the father wrote, excusing his son’s behavior.  Before I could “teach” him anything, he said, “How can his dad think what his son did was okay?  Why didn’t he take care of her? Why did he have to hurt her?” Obviously I’m doing something right.

I talked to him and let him know that neither myself nor his father would ever condone that kind of behavior and he said, “Don’t worry mommy, I won’t do anything like that ever! Besides, I know women can kick my butt.” Then of course he laughs and I laugh with him.

He may not know the power of hormones (which is not excuse) but he does know right from wrong. He does know that forcing anyone to do something against their will is wrong! I have talked to him about this before. As a survivor I feel very strongly that my boys need to understand what consent means and how important it is.

We parents believe that as long as we teach our children right from wrong and do our best to live good lives, our children will follow suit. Sometimes though, we need to have conversations. It’s important that our boys know how to be men. They won’t learn it on their own, despite popular belief. All of our children need guidance and nowadays, teaching our boys NOT TO RAPE is one of them!

Orlando Shooting

The second tragedy was the Orlando shooting. It is a horrible thing to know that despite teaching our kids to accept one another, they are still bombarded with pictures of hate in this world. The news today makes me wonder if Adam’s Autism may actually shield him from certain things because none of this influences his behavior towards others. Of course, he doesn’t watch the news but this will still be a conversation that I will have with him.

Conner, on the other hand, always asks me why people are so mean to each other. I wish I had a straight answer for him. He knows that the victims were gay. His response: “So what if they’re gay! That doesn’t give anyone the right to kill them! Mommy, I just don’t understand people sometimes!”

I teach my boys to treat others with kindness, understanding, and respect. We aren’t meant to be one size fits all. That would be boring. It’s important for me to teach them tolerance in the face of hatred and that is how they see the world. “After all” says Conner, “We all have to live on this one planet so let’s live on it together.” If only the adults in this world saw it that way.

Thanks so much for reading,

 

I am linking this with:

 

Cuddle Fairy
Domesticated Momster
Reflections From Me

 

Book Review: Twisted Tales

twistedtalesbookreview_rockinrandommom

So when my good friend Deborah over at My Random Musings announced on her blog that she was publishing her first book, I was so happy for her. When she announced that it was a book about the dark side of human nature, I was elated and immediately offered to write a review for her. She was happy to let me read it for this review of her first book, Twisted Tales.

It is a book that contains 27 short stories about the dark side of human nature. From a battered person who still loves her partner, to a failed suicide attempt, to a stalker; each story explores the darkness that is within each of us… Whether we choose to admit it or not.

From short, one or two paragraph stories that get straight to the point, to longer stories containing a few short chapters, each story captures the imagination and makes one think. One of the first twisted tales that I really liked was Darkness. I love when the character writes that darkness is like armor. I immediately connected to that from my childhood when darkness, though terrifying, was a shield for me when I needed to hide. Darkness can sometimes be our friend.

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Blurb from the book

Date Night was another I loved because I love the surprise twist at the end. I love thinking I know who gets it only to be surprised by a sudden twist in the story. I thought I knew how the story was going to go. Even when I sort of got the feeling the original killer was someone else. At the very end there was yet another surprise.

Done Deal is another mystery that I didn’t think was such a mystery until the very end. As a mother I really connected with the character because she was put in a situation by the devil that made me sympathize with her. She did what she did for her child. No, I’m not going to tell you. You have to read it for yourself but oh boy, does it twist you up by the end!!

One of the last two of the twisted tales that I’m going to talk about is Gaze. This is the stalker tale that I like. I love how Deborah really takes us into the mind of the stalker. Some of what she thinks actually makes a little bit of sense. In this character’s own twisted mind, she actually believes what she is doing is right.

And last but certainly not least, the twisted tale that I connected to the most was Unloved. How many years went by in my childhood where I didn’t feel loved. This story actually hit very close to home for me but it’s my favorite. Without going into too much detail, it’s about a boy who killed his parents. Wait, though because that’s not the main part of the story. At least, not for me. It’s WHY he killed them. And I will leave it there.

These Twisted Tales actually started out as a writing challenge for Deborah. They are told in alphabetical order from A to Z. Despite a few minor typos here and there, the writing is detailed and imaginative. The characters are riveting and easy to connect with. The stories are easy to read while the content in some of the stories are vague enough to keep you guessing.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I hope you do too! You can purchase the book on Amazon FYI: If the link doesn’t work, you will have to copy and paste it. I have tried several times to allow you to just click on it but it isn’t working for some reason.      https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H94D1MS

If you want to read Deborah’s blog, I have posted the link above. If you want to follow her you can do so below:

Twitter

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I am linking this post with:

Cuddle Fairy