Their Hashtags Are Trending Now. Will We Listen?

I am an Oklahoma woman. One small voice in the middle of the Bible Belt, in a city known as the Heart of Oklahoma. I used to believe this was as far as my voice could ever reach. Then, I found out I was pregnant.

Nine days before my daughter’s birth, my partner left and never returned. I could have succumbed to the pain and anger I felt, but I didn’t. I had my first child, moved homes, became a college student for the first time and discovered the meaning of being called “Mom.”

That’s when I realized my voice could reach further than I had imagined — it must.

My daughter is 1-year-old, and every day, I grow more fearful and worried about what her future might hold. If something happened to me today, who would stand up for my daughter tomorrow? Who would protect my child for me?

This week, I realized, no one will stand for my daughter unless she becomes another hashtag that goes viral.

#OKGirls

Yesterday, Stacy Wright and Danielle Brown led a walkout and protest to present the Norman High School administration with an urgent call-to-action and one very real message:

We will stand for our daughters because you didn’t.

While speaking with Stacy, the voice of the mothers, she emphasized their anger and shock at the lack of action taken by the teachers and other members of the administration.

She expressed that the #YesAllDaughters viral campaign is not about the way the Norman Police Department is handling the investigation; it’s about the school allowing the victims to be bullied. Bullied to the point where they no longer felt like they could return to the classroom.

By the end of the protest on Monday, three victims became four victims. Another one of our daughters became a victim of violence.


#Ferguson

On August 9, Lesley McSpadden lost her son, Michael Brown. After the decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed Brown, McSpadden reacted to news that her son will not receive justice with the same intensity and emotion to the ruling.

As she screamed and wept in disbelief and anger, millions of us stood and raised our hands and voices along with her.

When her son hit the ground in a storm of unmerited violence and bullets, the people of Ferguson, MO learned that their voices can reach further than their hometown — they must.


#HandsUpDontShoot

On Saturday, the parents of Tamir Rice sat in the hospital with their 12-year-old son. They sat beside him, hoping and praying for God to spare his life, after he was shot two times in the chest by a police officer.

Tamir had responded to police with a childlike response; he put his hands down to his waistband and pulled out his fake gun. Even the officers of the department confirm it was never aimed at police.

On Sunday, those parents mourned the death of a son. Another one of our children becomes a victim to violence.


This is our culture.

Now, news networks are careful to specify “rookie cop” when telling the public how another one of our children lost his life. As if being a rookie makes it alright.

As if we won’t notice the black demographic that’s been targeted over and over, while we pretend the Civil Rights Movement erased bigotry, racism and hate from our nation.

Schools hide behind politics and professional agendas after failing to protect the students, while getting paid from the pockets of the parents of children they are obligated to protect. They blame the victims. They laugh at the students. They ignore the bullies and the rumors they hear in the hall.

Police officers gun down our children and then justify it:

Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions.

You’re damn right, we’re angry!

So, how do we respond?


They’re Our Children!

Violence is trending, and there’s no hashtag to say it, so allow me.

We have a culture of violence and a tolerance of injustice.

We spend a lot of time acknowledging gender roles and fighting for rights: “Stop the violence against women!” But, we forget our children are boys and girls. Children are children.

When one child suffers, as parents who have held the same small hands and loved the same small hearts, we should be front and center when it comes to speaking out against any and all violence.

Black or white, boy or girl, teen or toddler, well-behaved or not, every child depends on our voice. We are the parents.

We’ve been so busy sticking to one cause or side for so long when it comes to the subject of domestic violence, we’ve neglected to see the bigger picture. We have tunnel vision when it comes to the stats.

Domestic violence affects 12.7 million people each year — men, women and children, alike. Violence doesn’t discriminate; it has no lines. The corruption is not in the gender, it is in the people.

It’s time for men and women to drop their battle signs and hold up a new one:

NO MORE CHILDREN. NO MORE VICTIMS. WE ARE PARENTS.

I stopped supporting the fight to end violence against women. It’s time to end violence against all people.

Who Stands For The Victims of Daniel Holtzclaw?

While more than 600 students walked out of the classroom on Monday, 8 other women were called to the stand to testify against their accused rapist, Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer.

13 women have accused officer Holtzclaw. CNHI state reporter, Janelle Stecklein reported:

A judge ordered an Oklahoma City police officer to stand trial on 35 felony charges stemming from allegations he coerced women to expose themselves, touched them inappropriately or used his authority to force them to have sex while he was on-duty.

In my home state and around the world, hundreds are standing up in solidarity with the Norman High students to address the school administration’s toleration of bullying and the revictimization and shaming of victims.

I stand with them.

In Missouri and around the world, millions are standing up in protest to act against police brutality and injustice, after Mike Brown’s family received no justice. Officer Daniel Wilson killed him with a storm of bullets. Mike was only 18, and Officer Wilson took an oath to protect him.

Officer Wilson also has a history of racism on his record.

We all stand with them.

No one is standing with these women.

In Oklahoma, if we don’t agree or the subject is too sensitive, we just bow our heads in prayer and ignore it. Even after Oklahoma court reporters, like Matt Dinger spell it out for us.

DNA found inside the uniform pants of an Oklahoma City police officer accused of a barrage of crimes matches a 17-year-old girl he reportedly raped on the front porch of her mother’s home.

You would think this case would have caused us to rise to action. You’d think, at the very least, we would share the articles and express our support for the victims and our intolerance of the abuse and violence.

But we don’t. We just remain silent, like many victims.

In the Bible Belt, that’s how you know that even Jesus couldn’t argue with the heaviness of the violence happening around us. Yet we sent in donations to show our support of rape, bullying, abuse of power and injustice.

His family didn’t remain silent.

Here’s what they had to say about the victims.

DANIEL7

DANIEL4

Yes, it makes sense. Look at Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin. Victims were interviewed because it implies tolerance and corruption in our system. Victims should never remain silent.

DANIEL5

The motive is justice. The motive is saving the next victim.

The DNA of a 17-year-old child was found inside the pants of officer Holtzclaw’s uniform.

Victims are victims until proven otherwise, too. We forget that. Never call a rape victim a liar.

Let me ask something.

I have been sexually assaulted.

Do I look like a victim?

Where is Daniel Holtzclaw now?

He walks the street as a free man while his victims are slandered on social media networks.

Tonight, I commented on the Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw Facebook page. Ten minutes later, I was blocked from the page and my comments were deleted.

I will stand.

There have been too many women, too many children and too many victims, for me to remain silent. If no one in Oklahoma will stand up for these women, I will stand for them.

They matter.

Defining The Line Between Discipline & Abuse [Video]

The average number of men, women and children, who will remain or become victims of abuse or neglect by the end of this year is 5.3 million.

There is something to be said for the people of this country, when more than 5 million of our own citizens are being abused and neglected, and we do nothing as a nation to rise together and change it.

Unless, it’s the beginning of football season and our favorite players start missing from the fieldThe Gray Blur Defined 

We draw the line. It starts here.


 Bossy Kids
*Send an open letter to your loved ones* 

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