Monday, March 26, 2012

My Trayvon Martin Moment

When I was 19 years old I worked at a telephone survey company located  in Marina del Rey (an affluent beach side community here in Los Angeles).  One evening our shift ended early and due to this I was waiting  just outside the company for my friend to come pick me up. For whatever reason a patrol car happened to be in the area. They went by, saw me and returned. One of the officers came to me and asked me why I was there. When I explained the early shift close. He questioned whether there was anyone to verify my story. When I informed him everyone had left. He literally looked me up and down, walked a few feet away from me flashed lights in the building and waited for a few moments  before returning to his partner in the car. They waited and watched me the entire time.

Let's go into more detail. I was a slightly overweight, well spoken, dark-skinned, college coed in the Marina on a lovely Summer's night. I was standing in a well lit area in full view of anyone who cared to see me. I was wearing a sailor shirt with white sailboats across it, paddle pusher pants, flower print deck shoes and a big pink floppy bow in my hair.  Had I been disrespectful, surly, lurking in the shadows or shown any other form of criminal type behavior I would understand the heavy-handed attitude, but I displayed none of those characteristics. Had it been the fashion police, I would fully understand the hard scrutiny, they should have ticketed me on sight, but this was the regular neighborhood police and they thought I deserved to be watched because they had summed me up as not belonging in the area.

When my ride arrived, the officers watched me get into the car of my  5 foot tall, 95 pound, let's go dancing attired, Chinese friend.  We drove off and were closely followed out of the parking lot, onto the street and all the way out of the city of Marina del Rey.  My friend was scared half to death the entire time because she had never experienced being followed by a police car, for that matter neither had I. Once we reached the top of the hill that marked the official end of Marina territory they did an illegal u-turn and returned to the land that they determined was not where I belonged.

Why do I recall this story? Unless you have been completely disconnected from reality for the the last two months, you know who Trayvon Martin was and why he is of great significance to us all. I can't help thinking of that moment , when I was 19, and wondering if I were in Florida and George Zimmerman were a part of that patrol, would I be here now?  We will never know the completely honest full story but just as a concerned individual, I wonder how dangerous skittles are to another person. I wonder how it is legal to NOT at least detain a person who follows someone and shoots them when you were clearly told NOT to follow the individual in the first place.

We live in a suspicious world. Suspicions based on fear of others; which are based on stereotypes perpetuated by cinema, media, and general ignorance. This is one of many stories I have about societal ignorance based on "looking suspicious". In this instance, I was not wearing a "hoodie" but based on current beliefs in this country, I will always be wearing my permanent mark of suspicion.

ALL races have their own ignorance and fears. It is more than black and white here in America. We have to eventually embrace that we are more than just a race. We need to identify ourselves as AMERICANS period. I am not saying to forget your personal heritage. I am quite proud of who I am. However in order for America to truly be united, we must all accept the beautiful color spectrum of each American citizen in order for tragedy's like Trayvon Martin to never occur again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring has Sprung

This weekend's storm might mean that March might be trying to finally live it to the saying "In like a lion out like a lamb".  Although the weather here has finally believed it is time for winter, tomorrow begins Spring. Equal day and night due to the Vernal Equinox. A beginning of cleaning and various other rituals. Just what's so special about this equinox? Read and discover why you should be excited that Spring has Sprung!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ides, Snakes and Green Beer

"Beware the Ides of March"; Of course that's the "worst" one but May, July and October have Ides too. Actually ALL  months have Ides. It simply means the halfway point of the month.  March, July and October's halfway point is the 15th and all the rest would be the 13th. March's Ides means the betrayal as we all should know.

March also has a day all about snakes and green beer. How the two became connected over the years is beyond me. How both of them are associated with St. Patrick is an interesting story.

 As with many traditions the origins have gotten lost and the party aspect is what remains. Who now knows that the Holy Trinity was supposedly explained by St. Patrick by using the Shamrock? Who knows that the snake myth is just that, a myth? Although the drinking of beer and feasting on taboo foods during lent did happen, turning it green is just pure marketing.

Everyone out there Beware the Ides of March so you can wear green and have fun on St. Patrick's Day!
Your Green Beer, Corn beef and Cabbage await!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Women's History Month

Beware the Ides of March, Wear green and shamrocks, Spring Forward into Spring;all these events mean March is here. You might not be aware however that March also means Women's History Month. In this month we dedicate ourselves to balancing out the history books with the accomplishments of female counterparts.  Make sure you take the opportunity to discover what was created by your mother, grandmother, great grandmother or her friend. It's amazing how many of our historical events had women involved or even had women begin them and yet we have no idea. Happy Women's History Month.