Monday, June 6, 2016

Renewed Sadness and Anger Over Child Abuse

Child abuse occurs every day across the nation and around the world. A report of child abuse happens every ten seconds in the United States alone. 20,000 children have died in the past decade as a direct result of child abuse in the U.S. That is a staggering number of children by any standards.

A little over two years ago, I wrote a book describing, via a group of fictional characters, some of the atrocities that children face every day. The abuses suffered by the characters is said to be unrealistic to some readers; too dark for others. Certainly, it would seem unrealistic to some, to those who have not taken the time to discover what I uncovered while researching the subject matter or to those who were well sheltered against such things. Sadly, it occurs in the exact manner described in Danny’s Grace, save for the vengeance that he, his sister, and a drug dealer get in regards to one or two of the antagonists in the story.

I must say, I wish that no child ever suffered like this. I would love to say that all of what I wrote was fictional and that it truly was unbelievable. It’s good that there are people out there that have such faith in humankind as to believe that no child goes through such a thing, then you hear of someone who has suffered so many parts of the book that it breaks your heart all over again. It makes it all the more real and that is something so horrible that I cannot think about it without getting sick to my stomach.

No parent or other adult has the right to tear away at a child’s heart and soul like that. Knowing that you can look around you and know that one or more of the people in your class, in your workplace, in your neighborhood, has suffered at the hands of a child abuser, it can chill you to the bone. Even I sat in a classroom for years with one person, who eventually read the book and identified with it at levels most people couldn’t understand even if they tried, and I never even knew it until recent years.

It is a reminder of these horrid realities for some that brings me to write this blog about it again today. It DOES occur. It DOES affect the more people around you than you believe. It DOES NOT make sense. It never will. The truth is that it is ignored far too often. Nobody says a thing because they are afraid, unsure, unwilling, to go that extra mile and report what is happening right in front of them.

Imagine the number of children who are abused every day which go unreported. If you really think about it and look up statistics and facts about child abuse, it will feel as if someone kicked you in the back of the knees and knocked you down. Read the book, realize it is reality, think about the consequence an innocent child has to pay if you do not report something that you feel to be even a possible sign of child abuse.

If something happens to that child, it is not only on the abuser; it is also on every single person who did not step in to stop it. Forget about why it happened and concentrate on how we can put a stop to it now and in the future. No one wants to look back and say, “I thought it was happening, but I wasn’t sure, so I did nothing. Now that child is dead.” Chew on that back-fat right now, study it and if you don’t want to read the statistics, read the book so you can understand more about a subject we would rather not face as reality, but we know it’s there none-the-less. It’s just like any other thing in life; you can’t accomplish anything unless you are willing to face your fears, even when they are someone else’s reality. You can purchase Danny's Grace on by clicking here: Danny's Grace

Monday, March 28, 2016

Saved By Smoke Detectors

Saved by the Smoke Detector

The value of a smoke detector cannot be overstated. I bring this up today because if it were not for smoke detectors, my daughter, her husband and their three children would have died, not to mention the two dogs that were also in the house. In this case, it saved five people and two dogs. No, it didn’t save their belongings or even their house. Those things are too far-gone I fear. But no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly would have rather my grandchildren to have awakened on Easter morning to their Easter baskets and then getting dressed in their Easter clothes. Instead, they were awakened by the sound of smoke detectors and a mother screaming to the two oldest to come down the stairs and grabbing the youngest one up in a bundle to rush them out of the door. The point is, all of those “things” can and will be replaced. Those precious, beautiful lives cannot be.

I cannot count the number of times on my fingers that I have heard of whole families dying in a horrific fire who did not have working smoke detectors or simply didn’t have them at all. My bet is that they probably didn’t have an escape plan either. Nothing can prepare you for something like this to happen, even being surrounded by fire fighters all your life, as was my daughter. Fire doesn’t discriminate, it happens and you can’t turn the clock back when it does. Fire is indescribably relentless and faster than most things you can fathom. Don’t chance it! Fire prevention is the key to saving lives.

Here are some fire prevention tips:

Make sure that your children have listened when they are taught about how to react if they are involved in a fire. Basic fire survival skills are taught in every school that I am aware of.

Have at least one WORKING smoke detector for each floor of the house.

Have at least two escape routes for everyone in the house and have drills as often as you can so that everyone understands what to do.

Have a place to meet outside in case you have to leave the house separately. This will help when fire crews show up as well so they know that everyone is accounted for. They have enough to do without searching for people in a burning house when everyone is already out.

Sleep with bedroom doors closed. If a fire breaks out, feel the door to be certain that it is not hot. If it is hot, DO NOT open it. Use the second escape route to get out of the house safely.

Remember the stop, drop and roll rule.

Keep as cool and collected as possible so that you can think clearly enough to herd everyone out to safety. Getting hysterical can easily lead to lost lives as well. And for crying out loud, memories are important, but they aren’t as important as your life. Leave everything! If you are all that daggone concerned about photos or other memories, put them in a safe place, including important papers you may need. (A safety deposit box comes to mind). Fire spreads far too quickly to think about anything but getting everyone out to safety.

Keep an extra set of clothes to include shirts, jackets, pants, socks, shoes, underwear, either in the car or someplace outside (such as a shed) when possible.

 The kitchen

 The bathroom

Where the two oldest children sleep. Up the stairs and to the right and left of this photo.

Where the youngest child slept.

I want to take this time to thank all the firefighters and other emergency crews who were at my daughter’s and her husband's home. Not only did five fire companies come to help put out the blaze, they also saved one of the dogs who went under the bed because she was afraid. I do not know who all was at the scene yesterday morning, but I believe the Red Cross and possibly the Ladies Auxiliary.  I greatly thank you for getting shoes and socks for my grandchildren and thank you to whoever gave them blankets so they could keep warmer. It was very cold out that morning. To Crystal Darr and her mother for everything they did quickly to help the family get what they needed, thank you so much. Thank you to Joey’s mother (my daughter’s husband's mother) for taking the three kids so they could get rest, get warm and maybe get their minds a little off what they had just experienced. And also for making sure they had a normal Easter day, as normal as possible anyway. That was just amazing. Last but not least, thank you to everyone who stepped up to the plate and offered food, clothing, shoes, toys, money and gift cards. My daughter and her family have a great support system because of their kind nature and the fact that they are good friends and family, therefore, they have good friends and family to support them when they need it most. What a great outpouring of love, caring and kindness! And thank God for making certain that these five and the two dogs survived the night.

Thank you all for listening to my ramblings and thank you all for all that you have done. A Go Fund Me account was set up by Michelle Main (thank you, Michelle for thinking of this!) to help replace some of the children’s things that they need. Thank you in advance for helping my daughter and her family in their greatest time of need.

Sincerely and with Great Gratitude,
Dawn Hawkins

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Two Year Anniversary "Danny's Grace"

Reading and writing have always been the best forms of escape for me. The idea of sharing some of the ideas that float around in this nut case head of mine was not easy, but here I am two years after becoming a published author and the idea of sharing the stories in my head are still just as scary as it was from the start.

The first version of “Danny’s Grace” was quite a different animal than the version that was actually published. I do not regret the first version, nor do I regret the mass changes and edits that created the final draft. What is it? It’s a mixture of crazy, depraved, and long-suffering anguish that comes with being a product of child abuse and a disengaged population who refuses to look at the realities that so many children face in their everyday life.

Danny Rush, his best friend Carson, and his sister Janelle were forced to face realities that most adults would never be able to understand unless they had lived it themselves. The problem is real, the struggles feel endless, and help is all but non-existent. Whether “Danny’s Grace” is a tragic tale of three kids who had to sink or swim, or if it is an angry young man hell-bent on self-destruction, it is all subjective. The reality is that child abuse is nothing short of horrendous and the outcome is rarely, if ever, perfect. Danny makes no apologies for his wrongdoing, but he does suffer many years of guilt and shame for things he had no control over.

Child abuse leaves scars that cannot be healed. That was the case with Kami Ring who died after someone she trusted molested her and then killed her. That’s real life… Baby Brianna was abused from the moment she left the hospital as a newborn. She was pinched, beaten, raped, kicked, and punched. She never stood a chance. That’s real life… Nixzmary Brown was just 7-years-old when she died at the hands of her stepfather. The system failed her just as it has thousands of other children along the way. Nixzmary was tied up like an animal, was forced to use a cat litter box as a toilet, and to look at a bathtub filled with water where, if she was deemed bad, she was held under water to teach her a lesson. That’s real life…

Although there may be parts of “Danny’s Grace” that seem unbelievable (as one reviewer said), but the truth is that real life for abused children are much more unbelievable. Why? Because the idea that someone would actually do those things to an innocent child is unfathomable. That is why so many people look past what is right in front of their eyes. That’s why we have groups such as BACA (Biker’s Against Child Abuse), that don’t just speak from the sides of their mouths; rather they take action to help abused children get through the most difficult parts of the legal process of justice. There is no justice when it comes to child abuse though. No matter what happens to the abuser, the children are the ones who suffer lifelong issues (if they live that long). If anything “Danny’s Grace” doesn’t give enough detail about what these children suffered, not the other way around. It may be a work of fiction, but it is far less graphic than true-life abuse victims have to face.

People should stop turning their heads away from things that make them uncomfortable and begin to face it head on. Not one child was ever helped because someone “didn’t want to get involved” or because someone thought “something was wrong, but just wasn’t sure”. You either stand by the abuser or you stand by the abused. There is no in-between.

Happy two-year anniversary, “Danny’s Grace”. I, just as Danny Rush is with his decisions, have no regrets about the subject, content, or message of the book.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gun Control Laws: Why are you clogging my timeline?

The safety of our citizens is always of the utmost importance. How do we get that safety? First is our men and women who vow to protect our country and everyone in it. Then there are the police officers who put their lives on the line every single day that they work. Then there are firefighters, ambulance personnel, nurses, doctors, and politicians and special interest groups. Forgot to add Mark Zuckerberg to the list. Did you just hear the needle scrape against the record? Yes, me too. Those last three are the last three that would ever consider your feelings, needs, wants, and opinions. That’s why it is important for us, as citizens of this country to get a grip and stop relying on social networking to discover an answer for issues like gun control and rights.

We are at a stalemate at this very moment. You didn’t change my mind on gun control issues and I didn’t change your mind about the same subject. Anyone who has ever seen my past posts on the subject knows where I stand. It is clear to me that if innocent people had weapons on them, that some of these mass shootings and, let’s get specific here, the shootings in Baltimore wouldn’t have cost so many lives. That may be a stretch as far as Baltimore, but you have to admit that most of those shootings occurred with guns that were illegally. Laws won’t change a single thing. As many have pointed out, drugs are illegal and there are stiff penalties if you are caught with them. As I recall, even small towns are greatly affected by overdoses and zombies, because that is what you become when you take illegal drugs. We won’t get into that subject too much because in this particular case, it is an example about what stiffer laws do, or more to the point, don’t do.

People who own guns legally usually use them for two things. One is for protection against intruders and crazy people who have illegal guns. The second is to hunt for food. Yes, OMG, hunters shoot animals to eat the meat. The meat that you find in the grocery store came from a factory somewhere so that no animal had to die said no smart person ever.

What bugs me more than anything right now is that someone, from my understanding, reported a picture posted by one of my Facebook friends. The photo is of my grandson, who went on his first hunting trip with his father figure. He was holding a fox by the tail and a gun rested against the tree in front of him. My grandson was obviously thrilled about his first hunting trip where he learned many lessons about how to get his own food and will likely use that skill later in life to put food on his family’s table.

To anyone offended by this photo, I am offended as well. I am offended that people truly believe that it is okay to eat meat, but not okay to kill an animal to get it. It offends me that people are offended that my grandson is learning the proper handling of a gun. It offends me that people are offended that, well, it just offends me that so many things offend you.

How about this. You stop calling me names and I won’t start calling you names because of an issue that stirs a great deal of emotions. In this country, it is pretty much against the law for families to seek help for mental disorders because you can’t force anyone to go get help, let alone force them to take their meds, which clearly is not always the smart thing to outlaw. It’s okay to make families have to deal with something that is not only hard to deal with, sometimes it is impossible. Should people with mental disorders be kept from owning guns? I guess that depends on the disorder and the volatility that person is capable of. How do we know when a person is mentally incapable of owning a gun because they have homicidal tendencies? I don’t know, guess we have to wait until they seek help on their own for the problem because families can’t get help unless the mentally incapable unless the mental issues are addressed by the patient.  

Then there are those who look to celebrities for the answers. These celebrities, in many and most cases, claim that they are against the use of guns for anything at all, including hunting for food. People who look to celebrities to back up their theories is, sorry because I said I wouldn’t name call, but the truth is, it is stupid, dumb, idiotic to believe that celebrities do not own guns and do not have bodyguards who have guns in order to protect the celebrity who doesn’t believe in the use of guns. It’s also funny that animal rights activists are often caught in photographs eating meat. You can’t have it both ways.

I can go on and on about this subject. For the record, I do not believe that hunting animals is always a good thing to do. If the animal is killed for food, that is one thing. To kill an animal simply for the sport of it is cruel and unjustified. I do defend those who use their guns wisely and those who go the legal route to obtain their guns. It’s ironic that we discuss how more laws will change the ever growing problem of shootings yet the laws already in place have not prevented even one death. It’s also funny to me, not haha funny, that people do not make note of the number of times those who shoot up these places obtained their guns legally or illegally. I did however note that one single time, the news outlets told us how the guns were obtained. They said that they were obtained legally, yet they didn’t mention that the guns were actually stolen, therefore, the guns were illegally obtained. It’s the factor of duh.

I grew up with guns in the house. My children grew up with guns in the house. My grandchildren are growing up with guns in the house. Every single one has been taught the proper usage of a gun and the rules of even touching a gun in the house or anyone else’s house. I am proud to say that not a single one of us has ever shot another person, gone on a rampage shooting people, or accidentally shot people. How about we teach our children how to respect guns, because if they respect the gun in front of them, they will understand why there are rules about them. How about if we teach our children to value human life, whether we like a person or not, because that should be something that is taught to children from the start. How about we stop relying on politician’s views, special interest views, Facebook, and unfortunately, news media outlets. None of them are reliable sources for real information.

If you are one of those who say that “it’s only a ban on assault rifles”, consider this. Facebook guru Mark Zuckerberg believes that it is okay to start something up on Facebook, such as privacy rights, to add things that invade privacy. When he is legally called on it, he pulls back just a little bit to let people get acclimated to the idea so that later he can add a little more and a little more until people don’t even realize that he has suckered you into believing that you, the user, are getting what you wanted to start with. That’s what he does because he’s making money off of you and it is for his own agenda. Same thing with those who want to take gun rights a little at a time so that people don’t notice until all guns are banned. Get a grip, get real, but most of all, get the facts. The real facts, not facts made up by those with their agenda hidden inside their shirt pockets just waiting to jump out and say “Gotcha!”

That is all I have for you today though I could go on for another hour or so. In the meantime, stop flooding my timeline with rhetoric on both sides because that never solved a single thing, guaranteed and this post probably won’t either.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

P.S. Drug Dealers are Murderers of Lives and Family

A mother knows pain like no one else could ever know it. She sees your every pain. It starts with skinned knees, graduates to broken hearts, and sometimes it goes to a level that is unbearable for the parent as well as the child. It hurts more than anything else in this world to see your child continually go through something that you have no control over. It might happen when they are a teenager and carry on through adulthood. The pain is called drug addiction and it spreads like cancer throughout the family and friends of the addict. It is not one person experiencing the pain of addiction, EVER!

We have all heard the spiel about how it affects families, takes lives, leaves children without parents and leaves grandparents to raise grandchildren. It leads to lying, then theft, then to overdoses, then to emotional blackmail. It is a roller coaster ride except much scarier, at least for the parent it is. There is no way around that.

It leads to family members being mad at other family members for helping. The helpers, commonly referred to as enablers, are berated because they think they are doing the only thing they can do. It leads to jail time, court hearings, felony charges, closed doors, and losing the trust that you have built up with the people who care about you most. And as I know, although it was under different circumstances that have nothing to do with substance abuse, it is hard or impossible to gain back that trust. Plain and simple, people get tired of fighting against a drug addiction. They get tired of that person trying to make them feel guilty. As if the parent, brother or sister is the cause of the addiction, it is simply not true. Your bad childhood, spankings, bad grades, and being grounded are rooted in one place. Your own actions cause those things to happen. The same holds true with your addiction.

It is hard to hold on to hope for a person who is addicted when they constantly let you down, hurt you to the core, put you and others in danger. It is hard because you are most often the victim of the addicts mind. Maybe it isn’t possible to help an addict get and stay clean. Actually, I know it is. It’s hard to deal with the constant ups and downs. It gets tiring calling the ambulance, administering CPR, feeling the cold body about to take its last breath if something isn’t done immediately. It’s hard to feel the pain of knowing the moment the addict walks out the door, it may be the last time you see them.

Then there’s the trying. Trying to get clean, trying to stay clean, trying to gain back trust, trying to convince everyone else that everything is fine when they know for damn sure everything is not fine. Eventually those who have had to deal with the fallout that addiction certainly brings have learned all the tricks, all the lies, all the attempts to cover up the fact that the addict is using.

People who have dealt with being on the outside looking in know when the addict is using long, long before the addict will admit that the problem currently exists. Loss of jobs, lack of sleep, sickness that occurs some 24 hours after using with no way of getting more except to find a way to pay for it. The sallow skin appearance, the loss of appetite and weight, the inability to stay coherent, the nodding out, the avoidance of people, and worse of all is the treacherous, nasty person that an addicts becomes when confronted with the problem.

So, families and friends are told it’s a disease. I can deal with that “reason”. Fine, if it is like cancer, diabetes, or heart problems, there is often a cure or a treatment for that disease. People who have those diseases would and do get the treatment they need to cure or at the very least slow the disease down as much as possible. To not do so is not only ridiculous and unacceptable under any circumstances. If you have one of those diseases and the treatment isn’t successful the first time, the patient most likely attempts again and again as long as there is a chance. The same with addiction and there is ALWAYS a chance to get clean and stay clean from the disease, but only for those willing to seek that treatment, only for those who are still alive, and only for people who care enough about themselves or their family to want to stop it. Maybe you won’t win the fight against the disease. Maybe the disease will get the better of you and take you under like a strong current in the sea that constantly pulls you down. It is unrelenting; therefore, you have to be unrelenting. When you give up fighting the disease, you eventually become a statistic with your first name and last initial on some corkboard in a rehab center.

The first step is to take responsibility for your actions and get rid of the idea that it’s everyone else’s fault that you lost everything you had and loved prior to the addiction. Understand that it is your unwillingness to get the help you need that keeps you from your loved ones and can end in homelessness, further searching for a way to get the drug because you get so sick when detoxing that you will do anything and everything to stop getting sick. Well, anything short of seeking the treatment that you need.

You have the chance to stop your pain and the heart pain parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, friends are subjected to. You have the opportunity to stop the tenderness and caring of others and changing it to a callous and uncaring society that simply cannot handle dealing with it anymore.

How could you blame a mother for protecting her small children from your actions by keeping clear of you? It’s not their fault and it’s dangerous for them to be in such a situation. It is insanity and trust me; a mental problem is no easier than a drug addiction. Yes, you can compare bipolar to substance abuse because the ups and downs are quite the same. The terrible decision-making is the same. The heartache to yourself and others is just the same. Don’t fool yourself into believing that drug addiction can’t lead to a mental incompetent state of mind that stays with you forever. Snapping out of it isn’t going to happen. Getting the necessary treatment to go from drug dependency to completely turning your back on the drugs. Stop trying to be a statistic and start living your life. That’s the answer and I hope that you learn that lesson early enough that you do get the opportunity to live that life to the fullest extent possible.

A Broken Hearted, Disillusioned Mother

You’re Welcome. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Human Empathy for France, Not Political Agenda for the United States

Paris, France, as we all know, was recently under attack by ISIS “fighters”. I use the term fighters loosely because it really could be best described as bullying at the highest level. It is terrorism and anyone who doesn’t see that is as blind as a bat and then some. Just my opinion, but I think most others will agree. My heart, my love, and my empathy go out to the people who lost their lives, who were injured, who were afraid for their lives, and who have suffered in their own hearts because of this malicious behavior by a large group of people who know nothing but hatred.

With that said, there are a few things that should be addressed. The first is that I have avoided political discussions this go around because it is not worth my sanity, time, or energy. People believe what they want to believe and that is the real beauty of freedom. It is difficult to stay out of it when you have all political groups grabbing onto the Paris tragedy (or any other for that matter) to further their own agenda. Just last night I saw a post from a liberal group saying “shame on the NRA” for using the Paris tragedy to further their agenda. I guess they have that about right, because they aren’t doing the same thing by pointing out that the NRA is doing that. And woe be to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, etc., etc., etc. Ugh. I am very surprised that this hasn’t somehow turned into discussion about why we should be pro-life or “pro-choice”. Why not because it’s all still George Bush’s fault anyway.

Then we have the genius who decided that Timothy McVeigh was acting on orders or under the name of Christianity when he decided to make a point to the government about his cause. “He’s a white guy and a Christian but you don’t hear people saying to go after all Christians”. Really? That argument is null and void because McVeigh and his little group of idiots were acting on their own, an isolated incident (horrible, but isolated) that resulted in us killing McVeigh back. Maybe this is one of those instances where you might either check your history books or have actually been alive to remember how horrible it was, why it was, and with what motive it occurred.

The idea that an entire race or religion should be wiped off the face of the earth is absurd, no matter who they are. However, wiping out ISIS as a terrorist group is a smart thing to do. We have gone to war with many nations over the period we call world history. If you all remember, WWII was a pretty big deal. Where on earth would the Jewish people and the sympathizers be were it not for those nations that initially got involved or those that joined later because they (shocker coming up) were attacked while simply sitting on the sidelines. Yeah, that doesn’t work out so well as those in Pearl Harbor found out. So yes, what happened in France is our business, if not from a human standpoint, then from a survival standpoint.

Yes, I am a bleeding heart. Not democrat, not republican, but a person who feels for others who suffer for any reason. My heart bleeds every single time I hear someone broke into an elementary school and starts to shoot up little children. It also bleeds every time someone enters, guns blazing, into a  college, theater, Amish school, and the list goes on. My heart bleeds every single time someone loses their battle with drugs, cancer, and again, the list goes on. My heart even bleeds when it’s freezing cold outside and I know there are people out there who are sleeping in tents and on sidewalks and some of them won’t make it through the night. And I really hate it when someone is hungry because there is NO excuse for that. It’s called caring about your fellow human beings.

As far as I am concerned, and I hope many others are, Paris or any other tragedy even remotely like this is not a ticket to hate. It is not a ticket to point fingers at others who have a differing opinion. It is not a ticket to round up and hang everyone you see that has a face different from the one you have. It is not a ticket for gun lobbying or gun control. Make it a human issue. Make it something that brings us together and stop allowing these political issues to divide us long enough to say “hey, I remember what this feels like, Paris, and I am praying for you and we’ve got your back.” It just makes people feel better to know that people from around the world care what happened and were willing to show it. If you don’t remember, watch the video below to remind you. If you were too young or not born yet when the attacks on the United States took place on 9/11/2001, may you NEVER know that helpless, fearful feeling of hearing the skies grow quiet as the buildings fell loudly.

Support from around the world after the 9/11 attacks on the United States

 There are still people out there screaming how wrong this was or that was about the aftermath of 9/11 and the stupid conspiracy theories that followed. There are people who believe war doesn’t solve anything. They are the people who didn’t pay attention to their history. We were once great enemies with Japan and Germany, to name just two, but during this tragedy, both of the countries stood right behind us. Do you know why? Because of war. War can and does bring eventual peace; you just have to get it right. Don’t kill everyone, just get the ones who matter, even if you have to drive them to suicide because they can’t take the idea of their own evil ideas being used against them. (Yes, I am referring to Hitler on that one. He was really a little guy with charisma and charm. Charmed an entire nation into believing that the extinction of a certain group of people would keep the world pure. Yeah, him, the big chicken shit who could make other people die horrific deaths by the thousands but couldn’t even stand it if he had to stand trial.) Anyway, that is my rant for today. Stay safe and smile as long as you can. You never know when someone is going to come along and try to steal that smile away.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

OMGosh Baltimore... WTF??

Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore… I don’t even know where to begin with this. First of all, I just wanted to commend all of the people who tried to keep the peace amidst the chaos since the disorder began over this death. It takes a special kind of person to stand up and tell a bunch of non-peace loving people to stop acting like a bunch of wild animals. This includes the Vietnam Veteran who stood in front of the police lines last night in his own neighborhood and told rioters to go home. His name is Robert Valentine. Valentine made his point very clear. What is happening is irrelevant. He is not black, white, yellow, or red. He is an American.

The woman who saw her son in the crowd of rioters while she was watching the news came out to get her son. She slapped him over and over again on camera, and that is what she is supposed to do. She is supposed to keep her children safe and keep them from making mistakes that could ultimately cost them their lives. This mother is to be commended for doing her part, as all parents should. 

Go Mama Bear!

Next on the list are the peaceful protesters who went out on the streets with the intention of bringing attention to a situation that they see as injustice. There is nothing wrong with protesting and keeping it peaceful. That’s what you are supposed to do, fight for what you believe in without hurting the people who you say that you want to help. The only thing I will say is that it probably wasn’t a good idea to do so yesterday out of respect for Freddie Gray’s family. They made it clear that they did not want anyone protesting the day of his funeral, let alone cause havoc in the city. It is disrespectful to do such things to a family who is grieving. And before anyone says it, I know I’m white, but I must say, I wasn’t anymore impressed with Westboro Baptist Church for the same type of behavior. Yes, there, I have said it; I am comparing the rioters to Westboro Baptist Church. The difference is, Westboro Baptist were not violent.

Now for the real reason I am writing this blog today. What the hell do you think you are going to accomplish by tearing up your own neighborhoods? It makes no sense at all, but those out there protesting and their proponents say that this is what we get for “years of oppression”, etc. What is it that we get? Here is what we get. We get to see you make a fool of yourselves on international newscasts. We get to see your neighborhoods burning down. We get to see you carried off the streets and arrested ultimately leading to a possible lifelong record that will haunt you. The only thing you have done via the violence is to prove all of those people right who you are supposedly fighting against. This is not about Freddie Gray. This is more about getting free stuff and wreaking havoc on your own neighborhoods. Maybe it is time to break it down.

 Yup, that'll show us...

That'll show us too...

And this really showed us what's what...

1.   Freddie Gray is arrested, videos show that he likely had a broken leg when police dragged him into the police van. Freddie was alive when he was placed in the van, but dead when he was taken out. Police were in the process of an investigation and further investigations by outside forces was inevitable. Some people, who would not normally get involved, i.e. white people, see that this was probably a case of injustice, unlike those cases where someone was holding a gun to an officer and that is why they were shot, and those white people were starting to say, “hey, there’s something not right about this.”

2.   Peaceful protesters come out in support of the family and for human rights. All goes well until it doesn’t and all hell breaks loose in the city. It is a relatively small riot, but it’s not quite over yet.

3.   Freddie’s family buries their loved one and all hell breaks loose again. This time, buildings are set on fire, stores are looted, police vehicles are set on fire, fire lines are cut, and fifteen police officers are injured because people are throwing bricks and rocks. 

4. Police officers from surrounding areas are called to help with the situation. The National Guard is called in to help with the situation. Firefighters from surrounding areas are called in to help with the situation.

So, dear rioters, here is what you really accomplished:

The people in the poor neighborhoods who have been trying to rebuild the area since the 1968 riots (and do you see a pattern here?) in the same area, become your victims. Nearby businesses are burned to the ground, therefore, there is a good chance that some of these businesses will never consider having a business in that area again. This means less available jobs for the people in the area, and less availability to resources in the area for the people who need it most. And what really galls me is that a building meant for the senior citizens in the area was burned to the ground. Affordable housing for senior citizens in the very neighborhood you proclaim to be protecting. That’s some effed up stuff right there. You even burnt some people out of their homes because, hellllllllo in there, there are apartments over some of those businesses. If your goal was to destroy a neighborhood that has just begun to recover from a decades old riot, job well done.

There is so much to say on this subject that it is hard to sift through it all. The mayor of the city didn’t act quickly enough or this may not have gotten so out of control. I do commend the governor for his quick action and getting things ready to go when he finally got a call back from the mayor. I think this governor has already proven that he is not a talker, but a doer and that is what we need in Maryland.

To the Twitter tweets that I saw last night, if I wasn’t me, I would have no words to describe how despicable you really are. First of all, white people bring up Martin Luther King because he was a man who believed in peace so much that he was willing to die for it. Chances are, he would do it all again and he made a great deal of progress doing it his way. Go back to the fifties and sixties and see just how far this country has come. That is to the idiot who posted something along the lines of, “Why white folks talking about MLK. He was peaceful, but he’s dead.” Not really very smart, are you.

Martin Luther King video discussing rioting. Listen to the whole thing.

Then there was the Twitter poster who basically said that the National Guard is never called on white people, except Kent State, and white people are still talking about the four people who were killed in that. Yes, we still talk about it today. We also still talk about “The Night Chicago Died”. What about the hundreds of white women who were beaten relentlessly by police officers for marching in protest in order to gain their right to vote? These women were jailed, starved and beaten while in the jail by police officers, so learn the country’s entire history before you make a blanket statement again. Trust me, whoever that poster was and anyone who thinks like that, the National Guard would be called on white people if white people were rioting. We are not immune to National Guard involvement, so please don’t contradict yourself like that again. But, of course, there will be those that say, “it’s not the same thing, our problems are much worse than ya’lls”. That’s only because you want to be perceived that way. We all have problems. Get a grip and handle it like human beings and you will get somewhere. Get all violent and animal-like and you will get treated like animals. That’s how the world works.

Kent State Massacre Footage

I’m not done, but I don’t have time to think about this anymore. If I do, I think my head will explode. The short of it is that the rioters who have destroyed the city are not in it because they want to see change. They are in it for their own selfish gain whether that be from looting stores or from the sick pleasure they are enjoying over destroying the very people they claim to care about. Not the brightest crayons in the box, are you?