*My faith in humanity was both challenged and restored in the space of a couple of days, with this story.
4-year-old Liam Brenes battles a genetic condition called Facto Syndrome. As a result of it, he had to have one of his legs amputated below the knee when he was just 1 year old.
One of my best friends growing up had a prosthetic leg, so this story really touched me.
Liam manages today with his second prosthetic leg, the first of which he outgrew. Last weekend, he and his family took his first-ever trip to the beach. Liam’s father, Frank, said Liam’s afraid of the water, and that it had been the first time they’d been to the ocean.
The family brought Liam’s older, shorter prosthetic leg with them, so he could use it in the water without fear of damaging the new one. After arriving at the beach, eager Liam waded into the ocean.
*At one point, I really thought I was the last person on earth who hadn’t heard of Pokemon Go, the allegedly interactive mobile game that’s being played on literally millions of mobile devices as I type. Even with reports of players falling off of cliffs, being robbed, and even killed, it’s caught on like wildfire — kinda this summer’s Candy Crush (a fad I also missed).
About a week after Pokemon Go’s launch, I counted over two dozen people staggering along the river adjacent to my neighborhood, staring at the small screens in each of their hands.
During the same walk, I saw a guy on his hands and knees reaching desperately into a curbside sewer grate. He’d accidentally dropped his iPhone into it while playing Pokemon Go.
At another point during that evening’s junket, another dog walker warned me to be careful, as a group just down the path had spotted a rattlesnake in the adjacent brush. As I cautiously approached the gathering crowd, I wondered why they were all staring at their phones in the midst of a poisonous serpent. Were they trying to get a good picture of the snake?
No. It turned out they had spotted a rattata, one of the much-sought-after characters in Pokemon Go. The guy who’d warned me had thought they said “rattler.” Continue reading →
According to a report by the St. Louis Dispatch, two teen girls were suspected of shoplifting at a beauty supply store in Missouri. The business is owned by a Korean family, and when the girls were confronted, one was taken in after a previous juvenile warrant was discovered, but the other — a 13-year-old — was let go with a formal warning and the approval of the store owners.
But “Miss Thang” apparently didn’t appreciate this, and decided to return to the store hours later, WITH A GUN, and proceeded to SHOOT the couple.
You know how we do: Right is right and wrong is wrong! Family members marched her a** right up to the police station and had her turn herself in! Continue reading →
*Some of my friends and family must get so frustrated with me. I think I naturally tend to see the good in people — whether that’s deserving or not. Oh I’m no pollyanna, trust. I have my moods just like you. But I have a tendency to go there first. And ifI can be completely “transparent” for a moment, I believe they truly recognize this in me when it comes to talks about race.
I know racism is rampant. Even now I am working on an article detailing my own upbringing in the racist south, and how, in spite of it, as one of my idols, Dr. Maya Angelou, once wrote: and still I rise. Yet, and I don’t know if this comes from my background in education, or the fact that I have lived in such diverse communities and have even done a bit of international travel, I recognize a nag within me that says, maybe they just don’t know what it looks like.
Oh I know ‘they’ should…and oftentimes do. Hey, my honest feeling is that I should be wealthy, but dammit, I’m still far from it!
And therein lies the aforementioned frustration that I sometimes feel fester inside the people in my life.Continue reading →
*Everyone was heart broken when we learned that 2-year-old Lane Graves had been snatched from his playpen at a Disney World area lagoon by an alligator, and found dead on the ocean’s bed a few days later. Now, in wondering how the family is coming along, we learn that though their pain is still very strong, they will not be pursuing legal action against Disney World.
A statement released by Matt and Melissa Graves on Wednesday states, “Melissa and I are broken. We will solely be focused on the future health of our family and will not be pursuing a lawsuit against Disney.
The heartbroken parents continue…
“We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane. As each day passes, the pain gets worse, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and warm sentiments we have received from around the world.” Continue reading →
*It may be difficult to hear because of the rage many of us are experiencing as we find ourselves living in the most racially-charged, divisive era since legalized slavery; but there may actually be police officers of Caucasian descent out there who want to change things, just don’t know how.
Hear me out.
You may have heard about the essay a brother named Brian Crooks wrote and posted on Facebook. Crooks says he’s been using his Facebook page to write about incidents of injustice on Black people by police since 2006. His posts were inspired by a man named Sean Bell. You may recall Bell, a Black man, was killed in Queens, New York in 2006, after police fired 50 rounds at a car near a strip club. His friends, who had taken him out on the night before his wedding, were luckier. They were only wounded.
I remember Mr. Bell’s story well. How I reeled in horror wondering why these muh-fuh’s thought it necessary to FIRE 50 SHOTS into a car at all. It sounded like a scene from Bonnie & Clyde!
Crooks’ Facebook post talks about his growing up in Naperville, a town with very few Blacks and attending Neuqua High. He claims he didn’t necessarily set out to write such a long soliloquy (my word) on race though and seems more surprised than anyone that it has hit such a nerve and attracted so much attention.
“I really thought only 10 to 15 people at most would read it,” Crouch said, after learning his post had gone viral. He apparently knows how short peoples’ attention span on the Internet is, and admits that this short attention span mirrors his own reality.
But after uploading his 4,747-word post on July 9, it was shared 300 times the first day and the numbers only grew throughout the week, by Thursday, more than 10,000 shares had taken place. The media went wild; sharing excerpts and stories in publications such as USA Today, the Des Moines Register, the Iowa City Press Citizen, the Naperville Sun.
Apparently, Chief Robert Marshall caught wind of it and found it hard to just go to another page. He wanted to talk to the author. So he placed the call.
*One thing about black folk, no matter what their station in life, they are gonna tell it and tell it true. And Dallas Police Chief David Brown is no exception. He may be a 33-year-veteran of the Dallas Police Force, but it is only recently that many even learned who he is. Too bad his fame came about as a result of one of the darkest times in human history.
I’ll be gentle.
The civil unrest between Black people and police officers.
A photo of his face buried in one hand as he stood at a prayer vigil for the two victims and five officers killed in Dallas went viral. And he has not held back at press conferences; wearing his heart on his sleeve as he admits, “We’re hurting.”
*Four African American men have been arrested by Detroit police for making serious threats towards white police officers via Facebook. As of this writing, all four have been tracked down and arrested.
According to comments made by Detroit police Chief James Craig on Sunday, and reported by the Detroit News, posts by the men included, “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter. Kill all White cops,” a post from a second man referred to Micah Xavier Johnson, the lone gunman who took the lives of five police officers during a peaceful protest in Dallas as a “hero,” and added that he is inspired to do the same thing.
A third suspect posted, “It’s time to wage war and shoot the police first” and even encouraged “supporters” to get in touch with him in an attempt to plan future attacks. And a fourth suspect hit send on a post that advocated such violence “needs to happen more often,” and, according to police, even shared a variety of graphic images and videos of officer shootings on his timeline. Continue reading →