These Are Apparently the Times We Are Living In Now

I don’t typically discuss political things or things that are going on all over the world here. That is unless those things have affected my mental state so much, to the point where I have to get what I’m feeling out or else I will scream. So, to avoid having people looking at me crazy or my neighbors thinking that I’m dying in my apartment I have to get some things off my chest. Now if you are a conservative who is in favor of what the Supreme Court has done to this country in the last week alone, I am sorry, but this post is not going to be for you.

This Supreme Court sucks! I am so profoundly devastated by the thoughtless and dangerous decisions that the Supreme Court handed down, not JUST on Friday but on Thursday too because in one breathe they’re saying the state of New York can’t have a say on how they handle guns and everyone is now free to run around New York all willy nilly with their guns out, while turning around on Friday to say “oh but we trust the states enough to make them the arbiters over women’s bodies” because that makes sense. Let me make this clear, I am neither for or against abortion. What I am for is women having a say over what to do with their own bodies and with their own situations. I am not for a bunch of old men (mostly anyway) getting to control whether a woman does or does not have a baby.

I watched as pro-life people talked to reporters about being the voice for the lives of the unborn children and I wanted to scream and say, “so to hell with the life of that mother who is carrying that unborn child”. No woman wakes up saying “hey I want to go out and get pregnant with a child I may or may not be able to afford and then precede to have an abortion”, that’s just ridiculous and that is how the pro-life movement is presenting things. Either that or they are relegating it down to making it as simple as saying women only choose to have an abortion because they are not being told by the masses that they are strong and capable enough to be a mom.

Well, here’s a thought, what if a woman just simply doesn’t desire to have children or if they have decided that 3 is their cap and they don’t want any more. Or what if you have a child who is raped and gets pregnant? So, then she just has to suck it up and deal with it? I literally wanted to scream when I saw a pro-life activist on CNN the other night and her response to the child who is raped question was “we don’t answer violence with violence and abortion is violence”. I wanted to yell at that woman and ask her so is her answer to punish the child who doesn’t bare any blame in that scenario with a responsibility that she is not mentally or financially ready for?

I watched another young woman who celebrated the decision by relaying a story of a teenage girl who she helped through a difficult time in which she made the choice not to go through with the abortion and I thought great, but you’re apparently losing the point that she had a choice, the decision wasn’t made for her. Anyone who is pro-life or pro-women for that matter, seriously needs to think about the fact that they are celebrating women no longer having a say over what they can and can’t do with their own bodies and in their own families. Every woman’s story is not the same and to impose your belief systems and moral reasoning on women as a whole is just wrong. It’s interesting how no one wants to regulate men’s bodies, force them to get vasectomies, take away their options to get these women pregnant.

I am so livid about this that I literally could not focus all of Friday and the vast majority of the weekend. For Justice Alito to say this text is not a part of the Constitution as his reasoning for this decision is ludicrous because in the text of the Constitution, I would not even be considered a person, but instead property. I also would not even be allowed to vote. It makes me wonder just how far back he wants to take us. And if you think that they are going to stop here then look no further than Justice Thomas’s concurrent opinion in which he thinks they need to overturn rights to contraception and marriage equality, i.e., same sex marriage. Who are they to tell someone who they can and cannot love? Who are they to regulate whether a married couple or anyone having sexual relations can actually use various methods of protection to at least try to keep themselves from getting pregnant? What kind of place are we living in right now?

This is not the country I grew up loving. I was born after Roe v Wade was in place, so I’ve never known anything but being able to have rights over my own body. So now my daughter is going to go into her adulthood not having rights that she had when she came into this world? What are we doing right now? I am just saddened for this country and I’m sad for my daughter and the daughters of other women I know. I’m extremely sad for my niece who lives in Oklahoma (a state who now holds one of the strictest laws against abortion I’ve ever seen) and is a young woman now and I’m worried about if she were to end up in a scenario that she didn’t want to be in. She would just be forced to do something she doesn’t want to do, being a mom (because she doesn’t even know if she wants kids)?

I just… I’m out of words now… I can’t understand what is happening and I’m just sad. These are dangerous times we are in, and it’s just not supposed to be this way. In the land of the free, we’re not really all that free, are we? Then again, I guess we never really were.

Until next time… #BeVigilant #BeStrong #BePersistent

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Do We Always Have to Be “On” to Prove We Showed Up?

Last week was a rough week and I tried extremely hard not to show it. Now it was supposed to be a really exciting week in terms of my YouTube channel because I was doing a collaboration with one of the biggest AuthorTubers on there and it’s someone who has motivated me and inspired me through her own channel so that part was very exciting. And believe it or not it went well. But I had to mask a lot of pain that I was in to make it seem as though everything behind the scenes (for me anyway) was okay.

I woke up last Tuesday morning in excruciating stomach pain that is looking like it may be a hernia but that explanation for the pain wasn’t considered until near the end of the week and after the exciting collaboration happened. But I did what most of us creative entrepreneurs who are also moms have to do. I smiled my way through the pain and pretended everything was okay. The only way you would have known anything was wrong (at least until my first week of May vlog comes out later today) was if you happened to be close enough to me for me to confide in.

We often have to be “on” sometimes even when we don’t want to be. Even when we may be in pain or, for some, grieving, or depressed, or when you just plain old don’t feel like putting on a mask. If we want to succeed, if we want to get to a point where we can truly thrive, where we can enjoy what we’ve built and have the luxury of being able to say no if we want to, there are oftentimes pieces of ourselves that we have to sacrifice.

There are far too many instances where we find ourselves amplifying the performance we have to put on just so no one sees us struggling and my question is why. Why is it wrong, or weak to show when we are struggling. Why is it that we feel like we would burden someone else by telling them that we may not be okay, or that we need some help. It’s a question I think that we should all ask ourselves because I sure hope that I’m not someone that other people feel that have to put on a show for.

I just want to be a light, and some sort of inspiration and motivation for as many people as I can. I suppose that’s why I sometimes feel like I have to contain my struggles. I hate the thought of pulling anyone down or not being able to inspire someone. But sometimes I need a break from being “on” too and that’s okay. Striving as a creative entrepreneur should never mean having to put on a mask to hide our pain. I like to think of it in terms of a phrase that I used to hear in the church I grew up in. They used to always say that all were welcome to come as they are. When we come into any space, creative or other, no matter what we are struggling with, we should always feel as if we can be free to come as we are.

Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeThoughtful #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Up What is Weighing You Down

It is not easy being a creative entrepreneur. Yes, I know being an entrepreneur period is hard work but when you are a creative individual you are not only expelling all of your emotional and mental energy into what you are passionate about. You are also having to tap into a business mindset that, if you’re anything like me, just isn’t something that is second nature to you. I think for creative individuals what stands in our way more than anything is our own self-doubt and lack of confidence in our ability to conquer the things that don’t come natural for us (like business know how and anything related to math in general lol). We get so hung up on what we think we can’t do that we lose sight and focus of what we can do.

So much of what holds us back from living up to our full potential can typically be relegated to an extension of one thing, fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of change, fears of financial ambiguity, fears of disappointing either the people in our lives or ourselves, or just a fear of what is unknown. We come up on these boulders (obstacles) sitting there in the road, standing in the way of us getting to our destination. It seems immovable at first because we’re just seeing this obstacle that is taking up the entire space of the road and that instant feeling of defeat sets in. We spend so much time focusing on the boulder (obstacle) itself that we don’t even realize that if we just give it everything we have inside of us to move it, if we just physically push it off to the side of the road, then we can continue on the journey to reaching our goal.

Fear is that boulder in the space of our minds. It can take up so much space in our head, forcing us to lose focus on whatever particular thing we are fearful of in that moment. It can overwhelm us so much that we don’t even realize that if we just tackle that fear head on, just give it everything we have and push past it, then we can move that fear aside (at least for that moment anyway) and continue pushing through to accomplish our dreams. 

Fear is a heavy burden to carry. It weighs on us like that immovable boulder. It starts to seep into our everyday lives until we are afraid to do just about anything that will move us forward. Fear likes it when we are comfortable because when we get comfortable then we never truly grow and we stay stuck right where the fear wants us to stay. Still. So if we want to succeed at all of those dreams we’re so passionate about,  then we have to give up all of those fears that keep us weighed down and tethered to that box we get so comfortable staying in. In order to fly, to really soar beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations, we have to be willing to let go of all of that dead weight.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

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A Reminder of the Dream, In Case You Forgot

Today we remember the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had all of those years ago when he gave that I Have a Dream speech. While I don’t normally repost old blog posts, I couldn’t get past the fact that what I wrote last year to commemorate this day STILL applies, even more so, today. I want to leave you with those same words today and remind you that we are not finished yet, not until we can see his vision for the dream that he had all the way through. We cannot give up on a fight in which he literally gave his life for. I hope that something in this post inspires you today to keep striving towards the goal of making his dream of a better and more equal America come true.

Is There Still Hope for The Dream?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say today but I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was going to be the subject of this post. So, I went to pull up the full “I have a Dream” speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) because it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the speech in its entirety. As I sat there listening, it was mind blowing just how relevant and powerful his words still are to this very day.

Now I don’t know if that is telling to the staying power of his words or to the sadness that they still ring true. In essence, we may have come far but within these last few years we seemed to have taken several steps backwards.  I guess you would have to listen for yourself to determine which one it is for you. For me it’s a bit of both. Yes of course those words he spoke that day still matter, even more so now, because before the last four years we were starting to see some of those dreams manifested and brought to fruition. Or were we?

We thought that we had started to see some change with President Obama because he was someone who truly took those words of Dr. King’s to heart and he embodied them and strived, with much opposition, to make those dreams a reality. We thought we had come farther, but within the last four years we have seen certain strides that were taken being walked back immensely. It makes you wonder, had we really even made any change? Was it all surface accomplishments but underneath, the roots, were still very present and had not yet been weeded out enough to allow sustainable growth?

That day on August 28th of 1963, Dr. King said that America needed to pull itself out of the quicksand of racial injustice in where people of color lived on an island of poverty amongst a vast ocean of material prosperity. He points out that America had not kept its promise to us and that it was in for a rude awakening if it expected things to go back to business as usual.  I think that he would be disheartened to see all of his words continually quoted by people who clearly have no deep understanding of what they actually mean because if they did then they would see that we only seek “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I think if he were still alive that he would find himself having to repeat those same words he spoke to those gathered around the Lincoln Memorial that day. I think he would feel obligated to remind the entitled groups of people who think the rules don’t apply to them that equality is not wrong, it is not unreasonable, and it is not unattainable.

I think he would also turn to those who have grown weary and tired, and yes complacent amongst those who would like to revert back to a time that our ancestors struggled so hard to lead us out of and tell them to keep moving forward. I think he would tell them that we cannot be satisfied with the status quo, and we most certainly cannot leave this country in the fragmented state that we find ourselves in today. I think that he would remind people who are angry because we’re still explaining that we just want equality that they have to continue to strive for freedom but not by “drinking from a cup of bitterness and hatred”.

The song that plays at the very beginning of the recording of his speech is “We Shall Overcome” and as I listened to the words in that song, and replayed the words of his speech, I have to say that even in the current state of this country, I still have hope that we will be okay. I still think that Dr. King’s Dream is going to come true, someday, but we can’t give up, and we have to keep moving forward, until we are all Free At Last. 

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Do I Really Need to Say Yes More?

I read Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes, a couple of years ago and I vowed after reading it to start saying yes to things more often. Essentially I promised myself that I would be more open to change. After all, isn’t saying yes more geared towards the things that are out of your comfort zone and that you normally wouldn’t do? I will admit that there are some things that I have done since reading that books that I ordinarily wouldn’t have done, one of them being starting my YouTube channel. There’s a few more things that I have done that required me to step out of my bubble of comfort but I would assess that there have been far more times that saying no was the better move for me.

I have struggled in the past to find that balance between throwing caution to the wind and saying yes to things and knowing when to draw the line and just say no for myself. It would seem that at the moment when I finally learned how to say no to the things that I don’t want to do for my own sanity and self-care, that I lost some of that ability to say yes. I do believe that the Pandemic of the last year and a half also gave me further permission to be more of a no person than that yes person that I was working on becoming.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I want to be that ‘say yes to everything’ person because I don’t know that I would be a very happy person if I did that. I spent most of my childhood, my twenties, and a sizable chunk of my thirties saying yes to things that I just didn’t want to do at all, but not for the aspect of change, rather to please other people. I don’t know if it’s different when you’re saying yes for change and saying yes to people please but either way I don’t know that I can be that person. Sometimes no really is the right answer.  

Now this is not anything against the people who say yes to every single thing and who love doing so. I think that it’s great to discover what works for you and if you are someone who says no to EVERYTHING then you should definitely read Shonda Rhimes book and incorporate yes more into your vocabulary.  It’s good to explore and step out of the bubble of comfort sometimes. For me, I just cannot say yes to everything because then I get in this place where I start feeling like I’m doing things more for someone else and not for myself. I don’t want to go back to that place where I’m pleasing everyone else by saying yes to what they think I should do to the detriment of my own mental health and my own joy. I will not give up this peace that I have found and if that means I say no more than yes, so be it.

Until next time… #BeTruetoYourself #BeStrong #BeAuthentic

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Its Always a Good Day to Have a Good Day

I have a plaque sitting on my new desk that says ‘It’s A Good Day to Have a Good Day’ (I added always in the title of this blog for emphasis on remembering this fact) and I knew when I say this that I need this for my office because I need that daily reminder. Since I’ve been on my spiritual journey and deepening my relationship with God I have tried to keep a positive attitude about everything and to even find the silver lining or the lesson in everything that happens. I truly believe that while everything that happens to us in life won’t be good and may not have been planned or what we wanted to happen, it is our reaction to the things that happen that will inevitably allow us to pull through any given obstacle thrown our way. 

I’m having one of those days where I needed to be reminded of the fact that I make the choice of whether it’s going to be a good day or not and where I have to try to figure out the lesson in the obstacle. I can choose to brood all day and complain about what happened and how unfair it was and how it wasn’t handled correctly by other parties but ultimately I still have to look at what I should have done to avoid the obstacle.  What good is complaining about something for the rest of the day when those complaints will not change the outcome? The only thing that will change it is to handle it, rectify the issue behind it so that it doesn’t happen again, and move on with the rest of my day and what needs to be done.

I’ve been that person who has complained all day and then the rest of the day ends up being wasted because I choose to sit in that one bad moment of the day and allow it to bloom into the rest of the day. I have worked really hard to change that way of thinking and I suppose today was a testament of that.

I am choosing to make the rest of this day matter and to make it, not only a good day, but a great day. I am alive, I am seemingly healthy (well I need to lose some weight but I’m working on it), and I have a rood over my head. I am blessed beyond measure and that alone makes it a very good day. So no matter what happens in your day, in your week, in your month, or in your year, make the choice to have a good day. Life really is what you make it!

Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeMindful #BeBlessed

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Be the Change You Want to See

I know that it’s been crazy these last few months and with all of the most recent events that has revved up the black lives matter movement to being the most powerful it has ever been since it’s started, it doesn’t seem as if anything is going to level off anytime soon. That is perhaps the way that it should be. The movement will probably never really be over until the world, and the short sided people in it, changes their hearts. That being said I do think that I am a little disheartened to see people up and down my timeline about just discarding people who they deem unworthy of the chance to change. I have seen posts saying that as soon as they see someone say something they perceive as being racist they will cut them off. No questions asked. No apologies will do, just done.

Now I am not saying that anyone should ever tolerate racist behavior, not for any reason, and if someone is just inherently racists down to their core then I suppose there probably won’t be anything that can be said to change their way of thinking. However, there are some, whose ignorance to a certain topic such as race is something that was taught to them and does not define who they are in their soul. They just don’t know any better. That would be an opportunity to educate them or allow them to educate themselves and maybe learn a different way of thinking, thus giving them the chance to actually change.

I also have seen a lot of people posting about not believing a person’s apology when someone from the white community apologizes. When they maybe explain that perhaps they were a bit ignorant to certain facts and certain aspects of history and once they actually educated themselves it clarified some things to them and perhaps opened their eyes to the way they may have been treating their black associates and friends, often times without even being aware of it. Who am I to say someone’s apology isn’t sincere and genuine? Who is anyone really to assume that? Unless you know what’s in their heart, what God might have put in their hearts, then how can you possibly just make that assumption.

I’m not ready to write people off without at least giving them the chance to change. You can’t ask for a change in the way we are treated as a community and then not allow them the chance and the space to then make that change. Change doesn’t just happen overnight, certainly not when we are talking about someone changing the way they have viewed things for over half of their lifetime. Change also involves someone putting some action behind their attempt at being a better person. That doesn’t mean you have to give someone multiple chances to treat you like crap. You should, however, allow people the chance to actually do better once they know better. Until next time… #BeHopeful #BeForgiving #BetheChangeYouWantToSee  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Are You Taking Care of Your Mental Health?

I want to talk today about mental health and caring for oneself. With everything that has gone on since the year 2020 has started and the outcry the nation has had recently calling for change and equality, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that there aren’t some people feeling some deep emotional pain right now. I’ve seen many posts and statements being made about people feeling as though if someone is being silent and not saying anything than they are a part of the problem. Here’s my issue with that thought process.  

For one, everyone’s way of resisting or standing up for change may not look the same. Sure there are those that are the one’s that march and shout with their signs rallying together. However, there are also some that use their art as a way of protesting and speaking up as well and it may not be as loud as others want it to be, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t standing with the movement in their way. There is also the small chance that if people are silent, it is because they are not okay right now.

There are those who have fallen into a deep depression because they feel the pain so deeply that they just can’t pull themselves out of bed. There are some who, just looking at the news these days fills them with such anxiety that they can’t manage to do anything productive. Then there are those who are just traumatized by it all and are legitimately suffering from PTSD, simply from the fear of stepping outside their door and having to wonder, because they are black, if they will even make it back home.

So I just want to tell anyone out there who is struggling mentally, I’m with you. I am right there with you, trying to figure out how I can play my part and still protect my mental well being. I too don’t want people to think that just because I’m not down somewhere marching with a sign and protesting that I don’t feel the pain of the struggle. I feel it, and because I’m an emapth I feel it deeply. I have my own way of making my voice heard while still taking care of my mental health.

For those of who suffer from mental health issues who are trying to navigate a way to make a difference and still keep their sanity, I see you. And even though you are not okay, I know that you still care and I acknowledge that you are struggling too and need to take care of yourself. Don’t let anyone bully you into a place that would be mentally unsafe for you and that would put you in harms way emotionally. If you aren’t okay then you reach out to someone and let them know that you need to talk. Don’t let it just fester inside of you. As for wanting to make a difference, do what you can and when you can but only if you can. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeCautious #BeAware

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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It Can’t Just Be US In This Fight

I struggled with what to write about today because I like to keep my content here positive, mostly, or at the very least, I like to be able to take something negative and put a positive slant on things in the end. I don’t know how to do that with the events that have taken place over the last week. However, as a black woman, with a black daughter, and close friends who have black sons, I didn’t see how I could really avoid addressing it at all. Let me start off by saying that I don’t condone violence in the name of justice and I don’t condone looting and the destruction of people’s property for the sake of justice either. Nevertheless, I get it. Black people are tired.

All black people have ever wanted was to be afforded the same opportunities and the same rights as any white person has in this country without having to explain why we deserve it. We want to be able to just exist in our own skin, in our own beauty, without having to be afraid that we may not make it home JUST because of the skin that we are in. Black people want to be able to trust that the police are really there to protect and serve them too and not just their fellow white Americans. We want the words “All men are created equal” (in the Declaration of Independence) which we understand were written in a time where black people were still considered property, to be upheld as what is true about the America we live in TODAY.

This is not an attack on white people because I don’t think that it is all of white America. This is an acknowledgment that the systemic nature of racism has not gone away it has just been lying dormant. Where we thought there might have been some change, with the current administration the racists who have been hiding in their closets for the last couple of decades have come out in droves. Now if you are a white person who is and has been an ally, this post isn’t about you. In fact we could use more people like you standing with us.

I am not one of the many people who think that it is a hopeless cause to find equality and peace in America for ALL of us. I just have too much optimism in my spirit and in my soul for that. I do think that it can’t just be US Black Americans who are fighting for us to be able to freely exist in this country. We need more of our white brothers and sisters because frankly, much like in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., it is going to take white America to be just as outraged at the treatment of Black Americans for there to be any kind of REAL change.

There needs to be a change that happens. This can’t keep going on. We can’t keep having this same fight, century after century, decade after decade, year after year. If you, white America, would not want to be judged based on the color of your skin everywhere you go, looked at as if you’re going to steal something just because you are white, repelled against when you walk down the street by everyone thinking that you’re going to harm them because you’re white, or afraid to even call the very institution that is supposed to be there to protect you because you are white, then why do you think that way of life is okay for someone who is black? Why do you think that it’s okay to treat a group of people in a manner in which would never be acceptable for you? The Black Community is TIRED and we just want to be free to exist and breathe the same way in which you are free to exist and breathe. Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeMindful #BeAnAlly

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPU35EkFSbuxgekCp4LfI5g

 

I Submitted to Change and I Didn’t Hate It

In the two weeks or so that I have had this new YouTube channel I have already felt myself growing. No I’m not talking about the number of subscribers or anything as far as analytics (not that I would mind a sudden wave of new subscribers at any moment one of you feels like doing so lol). I’m speaking of personal growth. I think I’ve said before that the reason it has taken me so ling to start this channel was because I was nervous and while I am confident in my writing (mostly anyway) I am not confident being on camera and talking in front of an audience (virtual or otherwise). It’s not that I don’t feel I have any information to offer, it’s that I’m not always sure that anyone would actually care about what I have to say.

Being on camera makes me feel vulnerable, as if I’m opening up a vein and allowing people to see a completely different side of me. It’s weird being vulnerable in this way, and not just through my writing itself. But I feel like I’m getting a little more comfortable with it and perhaps it will help me down the line with public speaking which I want to get into, especially when I start doing book tours and doing the artists events that I plan to do in the future (well into the future the way this pandemic has us going) and this, I feel, is preparing me for bigger and better things.

I had been feeling like this was something that I was being called to do for a while now and I wasn’t listening to that call for so long because I let my fear get in the way. Now that I finally heeded the call and followed what I felt God was leading me to do, I can almost see the ways in which it will help prepare me for other things. I know I’ve said that I don’t like change but when I do finally change with things, I usually find myself wishing I had went along with the change earlier and I’m genuinely glad that I got out of my own way.

If there is something that you are instinctively being led to do, stop throwing up your own set of road blocks, and just let the fear go and dive right in. Anything that is worth achieving is going to take a certain amount of guts and for that you have to move past all of the things that are telling you that it won’t work and embrace the change. Then, and only then, will you truly be able to grow in the way that you need to. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeConfident #BetheChange

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPU35EkFSbuxgekCp4LfI5g