No Justice, No Peace, No Sleep!





My heart is punctured, and my mind is twisted after hearing of the horrific events that took place the week of Independence Day. Myself and so many others are devastated and offended by the hostile actions taken by police. Like many of you, I’m wondering what happens next after the slaying of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, not to mention the mysterious lynching in Atlanta reported as a suicide. So I guess tasers, batons, and mace aren’t sufficient to subdue suspects or criminals anymore? Just as abortion is not a contraceptive method, murder is not a form of punishment.

The disturbing current events have evoked fear and doubt of protection here in the United States. The same citizens who are supposed to serve and protect us are killing us at an alarming rate. I know all cops are not corrupt, just as all black people are not criminals. Thus, we need a resolution, and the use of force is not the answer. At one time, the majority of police officers were able to identify with the community members they served. They were relatable, not retaliatory. They were dependable, not detestable.

Who are these monsters we pay our tax dollars to? Now I’m not oblivious to the fact that there have always been crooked cops, but in my 37 years of living in America, I’ve never heard of so many black people being murdered by cops. Did they apprehend us? Yes! Did they harass us? Yes! Did they beat us? Hell yes! But did they kill us? No! – at least not wrongfully and at such colossal rate.

I am appalled, heartbroken, and shocked at last week’s heinous events. I’m also confused because the modern-day police are starting to mimic the military. I don’t know whether to salute or surrender, respect or resent because who knows who is really hiding behind that blue suit and badge. They are playing cops but day and KKK by night. I never knew having freedom could come at the cost of my life.

My people, men and women, are being murdered for doing things people do every day. To add insult to injury, law enforcers and reporters insist on highlighting the victim’s background or past, as if it justifies the brutal actions taken. Who doesn’t have a past? Most people in this world are not law abiding citizens. Some have never been caught. I know I am not the only one who has changed lanes without using a signal, flew threw a light after it had just turned red, made an illegal turn, failed to fasten my seat belt, or went above the speed limit trying to get somewhere on time. Sometimes, I wasn’t even in a hurry. I was just impatient. Does that sound like you? Let’s not talk about “model citizens” who lie on applications, embezzle funds, commit forgery or fraud, take objects from their jobs without permission, and get away with so many other infractions. I’ve lived long enough to witness that no one’s past is as squeaky clean as his or her criminal records, which can often be altered by knowing the right people.

This mess have gone too far for too long. It is time for people, black, brown and white, to rise up and support something greater than self. We are living in times where people fear the police, and police fear the people. Cops are killing people, and people are killing cops. Either action taken is the beginning of a problem, not the answer to one. Everyone can have a role in this reform. You either play your part or become part of the problem. Just because you are not suffering, that does not mean people in your community aren’t.

Prayers are always needed, but action is required in order to promote change in our neighborhoods. If you are an evangelist, practice what you preach. If you are a parent, teach against racism and rebellion. If you are a teacher, serve as a mentor as well. If you are a nosey neighbor, make sure you report everything you see. If you are a lawyer, don’t accept cases that exonerate a killer or wrongdoer. If you are a civilian, obey the law. If you are a cop, don’t shoot unless you absolutely have to.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.

Photo. Alton Sterling & Philando Castile








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Learn From Others’ Mistakes





Marvin Mercer did what so many parents or caregivers have done over the years. He left 8-month old Raylee Mercer in a hot parked car, as he proceeded to go to work. His intent was to drop her off at daycare, but apparently, he forgot. It saddens me that this is still happening after learning of previous incidents like this one. When I hear of stories like this, an alarm immediately goes off in my mind and cautions me to be extra careful when caring for my own kids or someone else’s. I’m quite sure Mercer never thought he could do something like this and is deeply distraught behind the whole ordeal. But how many times do we hear of stories like this and pass comments and judgment? It’s not until it happens to one of us that it becomes a mistake or accident. I do believe it was definitely an accident because he did not let the windows down. However, we don’t forget to dress cool on hot summer days. We don’t forget to put on underwear. Even if we did, it wouldn’t be long before we realized it. We don’t forget our cell phones. Speaking of cell phones, how many of you have turned the car completely around, once you’d realized you left your cell phone at home or somewhere else? I know I have many of times. My cell phone has become a part of my identity and daily wardrobe. It wouldn’t dare take me two hours to realize that I left home without my cell phone.

As forgettable as I can be, some things I just can’t seem to forget, especially a child. In my opinion, forgetting a child is like a woman forgetting she is pregnant. At conception, a woman becomes pregnant with a baby, and the man becomes pregnant with a promise to love, provide, and protect. Marvin loved and provided for Raylee, but in this instance, he failed to protect her.

We have to learn to prioritize our days and turn off autopilot when it is time to shift gears. Whenever a child is in your possession, whether it is yours or someone else’s, you must train yourself to change priorities immediately. We don’t forget to go to work because we need that paycheck. We don’t forget to eat because of hunger. We don’t forget how to drive, tell time, feed our pets and all other things we do daily, so how is that we can forget a human being? I believe Mercer is the good man people say he is. He just made a terrible, careless mistake that he has to live with for the rest of his life. Raylee may be in a better place, but Marvin’s life will never be the same. We’ve all made careless mistakes before, but the real question remains, “Did you learn from them?”

All of us are capable of doing what Marvin did. Let’s just hope and pray that we all garner a sense of awareness, after reading this story. May Raylee rest in peace, and may Marvin gain peace of mind again.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.








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If It Feels Wrong, Then It Is





June 9, 2016 ended the type of affair many of us have or have had in the past. Robert Marks murdered his pregnant mistress, Lyntell Washington, because she threatened to tell his wife about their affair. Apparently, Marks was more afraid of his wife than the consequences of his actions. I don’t know how one can choose jail time over a broken heart, but I’d rather take my lick and deal with my feelings later. There’s nothing more precious than freedom! Washington’s 3-year old daughter was able to corroborate the story and thus serves as a key witness. I guess Marks didn’t think that a 3-year old had sense enough to know let alone remember what happened to her mommy that night. In summary, this supposed-to-be role model and leader claimed the lives of two people and left one little girl motherless. In the meantime, Marks faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree feticide and could possibly face the death penalty.

What disturbs me the most about this story is Marks’ way of dealing with his problems. Like so many others who have committed similar crimes, he did not think about the possible consequences. Obviously, he did not want to die because he didn’t kill himself. He didn’t want to go to jail, so he tried to cover it up. He didn’t want to lose his wife, so he kills his mistress? So, that implies that he really thought he would get away with it, yet he didn’t have sense enough to delete the text messages and destroy her phone. Either way, authorities would eventually reveal some evidence of the affair. I don’t ever condone any type of criminal behavior, but if you’d like to add it to your resume, make sure you are adept in that field. Otherwise, you’ll get terminated before you get your feet wet. In this case, Marks’ dumb criminal actions costed him prison time, separation from his family, and possibly death. Even if he did think things through, he should have known that there was a good chance of him getting caught.

Nevertheless, Mark’s wife stands by her husband’s statement, despite all the evidence. Looks like he could’ve come clean after all. If she can accept a killer, then she probably would not have had a problem accepting his infidelity and an outside child.

Moral of the Story

There are risks in every decision one makes. Marks knew he was taking a huge risk when he was cheating on his wife, and he knew he was taking an even bigger risk by killing his mistress. Marks tried to get rid of one problem by creating a new one – never smart a move. And two wrongs never make a right. Cheating is always a bad choice. Should you choose to do so, be conscious enough to use protection each time. If you don’t have protection, don’t take the chance. You can end up with an unwanted pregnancy/child and/or a disease and so much more.

As you can see, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Robert Marks was the epitome of success and had no previous criminal record. Who would ever think he could commit such a heinous crime, right? That’s how many of us think. It’s also the same reason many celebrities, politicians, authoritative figures, and people with power get off after committing crimes. It usually takes some time before they are finally convicted and indicted.

We were all born into sin. Hence, it shouldn’t be hard to believe that anyone is capable of committing a punishable crime. Many people who commit such crimes are believers but not followers. And of course, where there is good, there is evil. So, don’t be surprised if something like this happens again.

What You Can Do To Prevent Such

If you have knowledge that a friend or loved one is taking the wrong path, it is your business to step in and advise. If that person does not listen to you the first, second, and third time, then pray for him or her. But don’t just sit around and act like you don’t care then cut up at the funeral. You will live with regret and disappointment, knowing that you could’ve and should’ve said or did something. You never know, your words or actions could possibly save someone’s life.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.








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