All of Us, Together

WHAT. THE. FUCK. 2020?

How hard can a year be? We’re not halfway through this one and wow. Just a gigantic motherfucking wow…for all of us.

I mean, peeps all over the world are having to be reminded to wash their hands, (that we were taught to do as wee lads, so a major fail on the adults in this world) as well as a reminder in the harshest way to treat others the way you want to be treated (as we were also taught as kids, shame the fuck on us).

Wash your hands. Live by the Golden Rule.

Some of you didn’t watch this as a kid and it shows.

Collectively, the world is mourning what was life before fucking Rona. There is going to be a before Rona and after Rona. Whether you want it to or not, your life will never be the same. That’s a grieving process and it’s really fucking difficult to grieve something that is still alive. No matter your thoughts on the pandemic – whether you are practicing wise caution, freaked the fuck out or carrying on as nothing is going on around you.

Maybe you know someone who died from COVID. Maybe you contracted COVID and will have lasting aftermath in your body forever. Maybe you lost your livelihood, your business, your house, some relationships, missed prom, rescheduled your wedding, virtually graduated from school, or/and lost your goddamn mind.

This pandemic is real whether you know someone who has been touched by it or not.

RIP Lindsey. 11/23/87 – 3/23/20

Whatever the case may be, When All This Is Over (WATIO) there will be a new normal. Folks may be wearing masks in public forever.

Protection from a pandemic. But make it fashion.

Restaurants and businesses may not be at full capacity for a while. The hard part of this process is the unknown. And lack of leadership in this country. But know that whatever and however you feel Rona is being handled in America, you’re processing some sort of grief about it.

Hello yes, this is Karen. I would like to speak with a manager about the new fucking normal. Thanks.

While America was still thick in the adjustment of Rona, a Black man by the name of George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day by a Minneapolis police officer.

This injustice at the hands of authority sent should have set your stomach on fire. And yet, Black men being killed by law enforcement is not new and we Americans know that. Fuck, the entire world knows it.

America started that week with New York City resident Amy Cooper, a White woman, calling the cops after a bird watching Christian Cooper (not related) asked her to put her dog on a leash. In Central Park, where leashes on dogs are required (and we all know how I fucking feel about dogs not on leashes). Her exact words to Christian Cooper, who was videoing the episode for his own protection, no doubt:

“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

HE ASKED HER TO LEASH HER FUCKING DOG IN A PARK WHERE IT’S REQUIRED.

What a fucking ass clown.

How many times have White people called the cops on Black people for mundane, ordinary things? It is fucking outrageous.

America started the week with Amy Cooper. America ended that week with police officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd over a $20 bill, coming freshly off murders of Ahmad Arbery while jogging in broad daylight to Breonna Taylor being shot eight times in her own home.

I believe that when George Floyd called out for his mama in his dying breaths, it was instinctual because his mother had died a few years prior. He wanted her comfort. I think all of us who have a mama want her when we’re sick, scared, vulnerable, dying.

While I haven’t carried a child in my own belly, I have maternal instincts. I know that I love with my entire being, unconditionally. We are all aware that I love my fur babies as if I had birthed them myself and I would honestly, die for them.

But there are also two little kids that my world revolve around and I couldn’t live without either one of them in my life. I would burn the entire world to ashes if anything resembling a George Floyd situation happened to them and lay my life down to protect them from growing up in fear of their lives for daily tasks. I assume you would do the same for your children no matter what the color of their skin.

Can you, as a White person reading this, imagine telling your five-year-old that when they see a police officer they should immediately put their hands up? No. Because as White children, we are told to go to a police officer for help or if we see something bad happening for our protection.

Three years from learning to put their hands up if a police officer approaches them.

When does this little boy become a threat to society in America?

Too cute?

When is it not safe for him to jog on his own?

Still too cute?

What if he has his ball cap on the wrong way?

What about now?

What about her?

Will she always be safe in her own home?

Racism is real, obviously alive, rampant, and raging in America – even if you are not a racist. My eyes were forced open to my own ignorance of it being ever-present since 2017. When my sister called to tell me that White frat boys in khaki shorts and golf shirts were marching with the KKK in Charlottesville, VA, I first thought the images my brain was trying to absorb must be scenes from another country.

White privilege is real. And if you’re a White person in America, you are privileged simply by the color of your skin. It doesn’t mean you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth or didn’t work your ass off to get where you are today or have unspeakable shit happen to you. It just means that you had a leg up. History has just shown us that the system is a hell of a lot more flawed in favor of White privilege when it comes to police officers, law enforcement in general, and the judicial system.

Because I am White I can do the following without fear of being killed:

This is especially true if you are a White man in America.

The Constitution was written by White men, for White men with no consideration of any other race or sex in 1789. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been amended and adapted over time of course but that’s where our country as we know it began. It aided America’s history of systemic racism.

Police brutality is real even though you and I both know outstanding police officers. Stand up citizens serving their communities. I have the utmost and mad respect for people who choose to be a cop. But that still doesn’t mean there aren’t bad ones that make horrible choices and as we are finding out, have had disciplinary problems, yet still allowed to work and end up killing innocent people ( Breonna Taylor officer Brett Hankison was and still currently accused in an ongoing civil lawsuit in federal court regarding harassment and George Floyd’s murderer had 17 misconduct complaints and still at work). What kind of system allows behavioral misconduct where you can still carry a gun and work the streets? I have three write-ups and I’m out at an office desk job.

I have heard a lot of my friends say “I just don’t pay attention to it,” regarding the Black Lives Matter movement in America and that is unacceptable. Because it is White people who have the most to learn and comprehend. Education is where we can start. Uncomfortable conversations will be required to move forward. And that’s all OK. This doesn’t mean you are a racist.

It’s imperative that we listen. We learn. We absorb. We educate ourselves and others. Because when it boils down to it, this is a very black and white matter. You are racist or you are not.

White Americans can and must do better. Show the fuck up for one another. To live by the simplest of all – the Golden Rule. How and why is that so fucking hard?

See something, say something.

This isn’t the kind of country in which any kid should grow up.

@repvaldemings

We can do better. We must do better. We owe it to our future generations to be better.

It’s going to take all of us, together.

Black Lives Matter.

CBXB
CBXB!

 

 

 

 

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Vote or STFU

Don’t you hate it when someone is bitching and moaning about politics, the President or a policy? And then you find out they didn’t even vote in the election pertaining to what they’re griping about? Now, this election season has been full of shit slinging, name calling, and memories of pussy grabbing caught on an audio recording so it’s safe to say two candidates left standing are … not ideal but it is what it is.

Truth

Often times people seem to think that their vote doesn’t matter or count. It’s easy to forget there was a time when not everyone in the United States could vote.

My great grandma Lulu, who passed away at 103, was born when women weren’t allowed to vote (and was also alive when two Presidents were assassinated (McKinley and Kennedy), the Wright brothers flew their first plane, when the first Ford Model T car was produced in 1908, and when Amelia Earhart disappeared in the air  – just to give you an idea of Lulu’s longevity).

Once women were granted voting rights in 1920, she participated in every single election until her death. Fact is, Grandma Robinson thought it was important to vote every chance she got, which has had a lasting impression on me.

Lulu cast a vote in every election from 1920 to 2000, (she also only ever drove a car – a Model T Ford – once, into a ditch).

During the last Presidential race, I was fortunate enough to get up close and personal at the last four rallies before voting day. Regardless of whether it was the candidate in which I was rooting, it made me feel proud to know that folks still care.

In one city, over 17,000 people showed up to support one man’s 15 minute speech, carrying signs, wearing t-shirts and exuding passionate enthusiasm.  Volunteers (who showed up at 6am to prepare for a 6pm rally), grandparents (who didn’t know how to work their cameras in time to get a good picture), twenty-somethings touting handmade posters, parents with kids (wishing they were home) on their shoulders, teenagers in packs of friends, boy scout troops accompanying the American flag, cowboys in belt buckles – people from all walks of life showing up.

People who most likely had nothing in common except for their backing of one Presidential candidate.

No punches thrown at this Republican rally. #usedtobeclassy

While this election (well, elections in general) have gotten increasingly mean, bitter and much more below-the-belt personal, it’s easy to be turned off to the whole shebang. I mean, even local Nashville restaurants are getting in on all of the awful action – quoting a candidate in the running to control the United States on their billboard.

Rosepepper

Yes world, most of America is embarrassed.

Yet, this year when one candidate is accused of e-mail (and overall) corruption, the other has the utmost no respect for women and at 59 years of age claimed he could grab any female by the pussy because he is a self proclaimed ‘star’.

In my perfect world, Jack Sparrow would be elected as POTUS and there would be Skinny Pirate parties every day.

Skinny Pirates

Whether or not you choose to vote is your right (and be glad it’s a choice that you get to make). But if you don’t show up at the ballot booth today and cast a vote, don’t come crying when you disagree with policies of the victorious. Although, if you think both candidates are sub-par (my new favorite word since my boss screamed that I was that type of employee last week #loveher), might I suggest a write in?

And if that’s too much of a stretch for you, please keep this in mind…

Truth.

Truth.

So in a recap, vote or shut the fuck up.

And now, I’ll hop off this soap box.

CBXB

CBXB!

When Bad Shit Happens to Good People

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed this typically bright, shiny, sparkly and pussy filled blog has been dark for almost four weeks. And, there’s been quite a big reason for my need to crawl in a hole the size of the Grand Canyon and wallow like a beached whale on my leopard couch with my favorite fur ball Ted for the past 30 days.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

One month ago today, I spent a sunny afternoon in an ER being examined for a violation that no one should ever experience. There’s an open investigation, so no specific details to share but it has been a life altering event that will forever change me whether I like it or not. The immediate aftermath bubbled up feelings of shame, embarrassment, disgust, disbelief and just now, I think the shock is starting to wear off.

The thing is, in the weeks, days, hours and minutes when I felt this ordeal sinking my personal ship to the depths of the Bermuda Triangle, I’ve had a paramount support system through family, friends, fur balls and fellow blogging buddies via visits, phone calls, texts, emails and old fashioned letters.

When bad shit happens to good people, folks know how to rally.

Who love me?

Who loves me?

I’m beyond lucky to have peeps that have my back – the kind of humans who give you hope when life is heavy.

The kind of dad who has to leave work early to take his grown kid to the ER and hear the things no father should have to hear on what should have been a typical Friday.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remained a rock solid foundation.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remaining a rock solid foundation.

The kind of sister who flies down from Iowa within 24 hours, leaving her three year old twins (in the fabulous care of their father) to hold my hand and help my heart.

Through thick and thin.

Through thick and thin.

The kind of mom who comes in for a week and does almost everything except wipe my ass because I don’t know how to function (except for petting Teddy, of course – that comes naturally).

A mom's love.

A mom’s love.

The kind of friends who can make any traumatic situation feel just a bit lighter.

Laughs

Laugh factory.

The kind of friends who stay up late on school nights to comfort you.

I heart you guys.

I heart you guys.

The kind of friend who reminds you that you are, in fact, a fabulous person – but you still need to wash your hair.

Telling it like it is.

Telling it like it is.

The kind of friend who secures your mini manse surroundings.

Safety first.

Safety first.

The kind of friends who rearrange their family lives to spend time with you.

Moms rule!

Moms rule!

The kind of friends who can make you smile within seconds just because they know you’re sad.

Giggles galore.

Giggles galore.

The kind of friend who comes to slumber party because it’s too hard to be alone.

Twins

Sleeping bag bound.

The kind of friend who flies to your rescue without even being asked.

BFF for reals.

BFF for reals.

The kind of friend who packs your favorite, unattainable-in-Nashville dip in his luggage to comfort feed you.

My favorite combo.

My favorite combo.

Like, seriously.

Like, seriously.

The kind of niece and nephew who can instantly console you with their hugs, even if they’re states away.

Smiles for miles.

Smiles for miles.

Princess B hug.

Princess B’s open arms.

Prince B's open arms.

Prince B’s huge hug.

The kind of fur balls who know just when to maul you.

The kind of fur ball who never leaves your side for a second – no matter what you’re doing.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

The kind of fur ball who further reminds you why he’s your best friend and constant life companion, giving you just what you need, when you need it.

Not for a second.

The best medicine.

The kind of people in your life who worry when you appear to be growing dreads.

Sexy and I know it.

Sexy and I know it.

The kind of people who demand you shower to remove said growing dreads.

Pretty products.

Pretty products to take out the stink.

The kind of people who check in daily, wondering where the in fuck your make-up, your sparkle and your happy has gone.

Help wanted.

Help wanted.

The kind of people who will do just about anything to help you start feeling a little bit like yourself again.

There's hope yet.

Hope floats with half assed jazz hands.

Thank you to all of those people.  If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. And I love you.

CBXB

CBXB!