America Needs Some Samfundssind Up in Here!

That’s not a typo! Read on.

Hygge, which roughly translates to ‘a quality of cosiness’ – may be the most appropriated Danish word of the past decade, but it’s samfundssind that’s really come to define the nation in the era of Covid-19.

If hygge is something you practice with people you know, samfundssind is more of a behaviour towards those you might not know. Rarely used until just a few months ago, it’s now entered the Danish vernacular in an explosive way. 

Like hygge, there’s no direct English translation of samfundssind. Marianne Rathje, senior researcher at the Danish Language Council, says you can think of it as putting the good of the greater society above your own personal interests. 

Mark Johanson. August 3, 2020. A word buried in the history books helped Danes mobilise during the pandemic, flattening the curve and lifting community spirit.

It should be clear that the title of this post is most assuredly NOT grammatically correct.

However, the message behind it is sincere.

I think that we can learn a lot from the Danish.

Simply put, America needs some samfundssind up in here!

It’s not always about individual rights and freedoms; especially when those “rights and freedoms” infringe on the health, safety and welfare of others.

Any thoughts?

Happy! Job Well Done!

There is a video that shows the late Congressman John Lewis dancing to Pharrell’s Happy. It makes me smile!

During the video you can hear him say, “That’s my song!”

Rest in peace Congressman!

You worked tirelessly for us ALL…

Battered, and bruised but NEVER beat down!

When you were a young man, you knew SHE could be better so you held HER accountable.

Steadfastly until sunset!

We’ll pick up where you left off!

Rest easy now dear one!

Job well done!

Eternally…

HAPPY!

Yessir! That’s my Alabama AND Georgia homeboy right there! LOL!

Not Lost on Us…

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all
other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

-Frederick Douglass

I used to love celebrating the 4th of July when I was a kid.

You know, ice cream, apple pie, friends, family, freedom and liberty, right?

Well, I’m sad to report that my joy for the holiday changed once I went to school and learned the irony surrounding it…

What with slavery and all.

Here’s the odd part, nobody I talked to really wanted to acknowledge this ginormous paradox.

Trust me, no teacher, not even the Black ones, pointed this enigma out to me; it was something I had to figure out on my own.

I remember asking my mom why we were celebrating freedom and independence for America when our ancestors were slaves at the time.

Mama just cut her eyes at me and said, “HUSH your mouth!”

Clearly, I wasn’t telling her anything new…

In fact, I was pretty much stating the obvious.

But, I guess she didn’t want to deal with the heaviness that inevitably encroaches on Black folks whenever they attempt to reconcile the holiday with the history.

So, in my family, we simply opted not to go there.

Don’t get me wrong, since everybody was off work, we went with “the flow” and attended reunions, cook-outs and the like– sans the flag waving gratitude of independence.

In short, we worked it, but it wasn’t lost on us.

And, based on the quote I cited above, it most certainly was NOT lost on our dear Frederick Douglass, who gave a fiery speech to the nation back in 1852.

The premise of this magnificent oration?

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
(1852)

Chile, Frederick read America for filth!

IN 1852 no less!

Honestly, I can’t help wondering what he would think about our current state of affairs and the super slow “progress” we’ve made.

Especially considering the fact that he still held out hope for our country all those years ago.

All in all, Mr. Douglass believed that The Divine was and is in control.

So do I.

Now…

As you think about that, please enjoy a reading (excerpts) from this important work-performed by me, LadyG, and my dear cousin and fellow blogger, Ron Brown.

LadyG loves YOU!

The Devil?

The Devil.

ANYONE who knows me knows that I used to joke about Facebook being THE DEVIL.

I joked that because I believed it encouraged stalking, lying, jealousy, narcissism and the like.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that Facebook is useful for people who want to keep in touch, raise awareness or distribute important information.

But, sometimes, I wonder if the bad outweighs the good.

Peep this…

When I was in Seattle visiting one of my oldest and dearest friends, we watched a documentary about how a certain political campaign, using a group called Cambridge Analytica, commandeered Facebook to target certain populations with false ads, confusion and other disinformation.

The goal?

To sway them politically and influence voting.

The old scare the shit out of ’em, depress ’em, or piss ’em off strategy!

Timeless!

Sadly, it worked!

Quite a few folks fell prey because they believed what they read.

Hell, they made the ads look and sound convincing enough.

So, for instance, some ads were used to scare people to the polls and other ads were used to make people feel so discouraged and dismissed that they would opt not to vote—they weren’t even trying to get some of these folks to vote for someone else, they were, in fact, trying to get them not to vote at all.

And this was all served up on a nice platter of Facebook!

Currently, the informed public is fully aware of this fuckery, as evidenced by this testimony.

But for those who still need a bit more convincing, check out this article which details the whole evil plot.

Which brings me to my original point…

Who enjoys engaging in evil plots?

Wait for it…

The Devil!

Just kidding…

Hmm…

Now, far be it from me to give you a problem without offering a solution.

That would be RUDE!

LOL!

Here’s the solution to “turn off” political ads on Facebook.

Just click past any pop-up windows in the article.

Frankly, there’s no reason to believe that they won’t start the same shit again this election year.

So, I urge you to turn these ads off for YOUR peace and for the goodness of us all!

We can’t take another four years of this INSANITY!

Defund the Police?

“Caller, you say what?”

Years ago, Oprah Winfrey used to take calls from the public on her national show.

Whenever she wanted to get a handle on what the outside audience thought about a topic, she would simply inquire, “Caller, you say what?”

To which a caller would respond with his or her take on the topic at hand.

Well…

The topic today is “police reform.”

In listening to folks talk about police reform, you might have heard about a concept called “defunding” police.

Now comes the confusion.

Defunding the police is NOT about completely taking away police funding, thereby rendering them powerless to help a vulnerable population.

That’s a scary ass thought; hell my brother is in law enforcement and so was my Dad, so I definitely know and appreciate their value.

Anyway…

Actually, “defunding” police is much better than it sounds.

In my opinion, the terminology is a bit of a misnomer.

And so…

In this video, I cull together information that should detail and explain the true meaning of the concept and how defunding can help reduce police workload by reassigning non-police duties and re-allocating commensurate funds to professionals who are much more qualified to handle certain services.

Seriously, have we been asking police officers to do too much?

Take a look and tell me what you think down in comments:

Run time: Less than 5 mins

Sources

MSNBC:

Maya Wiley Explains What It Means To ‘Defund The Police’ | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Fortune Magazine:

This is what people mean when they say they want to defund the police.

I See YOU!

THANK YOU! Holler if you HEAR ME!

Lady G is doing a global Roll Call of THANKS TODAY!

Just scroll down after you read this:

I can’t fully express how touched I am to see the whole world–people of every race and ethnicity, standing with black folks in the U.S. as we seek justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and for the permanent dismantling of systemic racism in our society.

Flat out! We NEED your help to do it!

Please stay with us!

Y’all are SOLDIERS BABY!

If your country is actively involved in George Floyd protests, and I didn’t call you, please holler at me in comments; tell me what you all are doing over there!

I don’t want to miss anybody!

Either way, I’d love to hear from you in comments!

Lady G LOVES YOU ALL!

Missing American History Lessons: They Had Me Standing on the Front Line

My Uncle

I am a veteran of the war
I up and joined the army back in 1964
At sixteen I just had to be a man at any cost
I volunteered for Vietnam where I got my leg shot off
I recall a quote from a movie that said “who’s more a man
Than a man with a reason that’s worth dyin’ for”

They had me standing on the front line
They had me standing on the front line
They had me standing on the front line
But now I stand at the back of the line when it comes to gettin’ ahead

-“Front Line” by Stevie Wonder

In today’s lesson we learn that a disproportionate number of Black service men were killed during the Vietnam Conflict, about 12.4 percent. Some figures suggest that Black men made up only about 11% of the total young male population at the time.

Just for perspective, these 18 and 19 year olds, would probably be described today as kids.

Hmm…

Just like prior Black veterans of war, Black Vietnam soldiers fought, and many of them died, on foreign soil for freedoms that they did not have back home in America.

In Vietnam, Blacks were also disproportionately placed on the “front line,” putting them at even greater risk for injury and death.

You can find this information in the article linked below by Dr. Helen Black.

A good friend of mine, who served in Vietnam, reported that the Vietcong set up high-powered speakers in the jungle where they broadcasted messages directed to Black soldiers.

They’d say, “Black man, why you fighting here, you don’t have freedom in your own home!”

Can you imagine how they must’ve felt hearing that while continuing to fight?

My friend went on to say that these broadcasts did give the soldiers pause.

At any rate…

Here’s an article published by the Gerontological Society of America, and written by Dr. Helen K. Black, that details experiences of Black soldiers of Vietnam, Korea and World War II.

I can’t say that I agree with every word, but then again, I am not a scholar on the subject.

Hey! For fun, go research health and wealth outcomes for the Black soldiers returing from Vietnam.

Not saying that it was easy for the White soldier…

But White soldiers are not the focus of today’s lesson.

By the way, remind me to tell you about my uncle, who is pictured above.

He was a Vietnam veteran who ultimately died of old age at 34 .

Sadly, he was the lone survivor of a racist attack on five little boys when he was about 7 or 8 years old.

It never made the news.

The killer lived his best life without any consequences. At. ALL.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

-Muhammad Ali

Class dismissed!

Lady G loves YOU!

Missing American History Lessons: The Black Codes

Black Codes: A Legal Knee on the Neck! aka An Act to Confer Civil Rights on Freedmen, and for other Purposes.

(From Mississippi).

SECTION 5. Every freedman, free negro and mulatto shall, on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written evidence thereof as follows, to wit: if living in any incorporated city, town, or village, a license from that mayor thereof; and if living outside of an incorporated city, town, or village, from the member of the board of police of his beat, authorizing him or her to do irregular and job work; or a written contract, as provided in SECTION6 in this act; which license may be revoked for cause at any time by the authority granting the
same.

Baby, these laws made you PROVE (ANNUALLY) that you had a “lawful home.”

What the HELL does “lawful home” mean? I’ll let you guess who made that determination.

And….you had to have a J-O-B!

What do you think happened if you were in violation of this code?

I’ll wait….

Anyway, let’s continue….

SECTION 6. All contracts for labor made with freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing, and duplicate, attested and read to said freedman, free negro or mulatto by a beat, city or county officer, or two disinterested white persons of the
county in which the labor is to performed
,

Lord have mercy….Two disinterested white people, the police and somebody at the courthouse could read this “contract” to our dear freedman, free negro or mulatto, who was very likely unable to read and most definitely unable to memorize that shit verbatim!

But he got a copy of it right?

Oh and for kicks, go google what a “freedman” is!

Anyway, let us continue further….

…of which each party shall have one: and said contracts shall be taken and held as entire contracts, and if the laborer shall quit the service of the employer before the expiration of his term of service, without good cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting.

WHAT???? For that year up to the time of quitting! There’s only one way to interpret that! I’m sorry Mr. Free Slave, you get DIDDLY! Or for the non-southerners…nada, nothing, zip, zero, a goose egg!

SECTION 7. Every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause; and said officer
and person shall be entitled to receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting employee aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile from the place of arrest to the place of

delivery;
and the same shall be paid by the employer, and held as a set off for so much against the wages of said deserting employee: Provided, that said arrested party, after being so returned,

Yes baby! EVER-Y-BODY could arrest and those who did the arresting would be compensated; including the employer through the “freedman, “free negro,” mulatto’s wages!

The birth of citizen’s arrest?

I know where this is going. Do you see it!

Shall we proceed..
…may appeal to the justice of the peace or member of the board of police of the county, who, on notice to the alleged employer, shall try summarily whether said appellant is legally employed by
the alleged employer, and has good cause to quit said employer. Either party shall have the right of appeal to the county court, pending which the alleged deserter shall be remanded to the alleged employer or otherwise disposed of, as shall be right and just; and the decision of the
county court shall be final.

You guys! What is “good cause?”

Who is writing and interpreting these laws?

Who is going to win in every case?

And when our freedman, free negro or mulatto lost, where do you think he went?

To jail, where he would promptly be but on a chain-gang to provide free labor for the state!

And so,

Today’s “Missing History Lesson” was presented to highlight a SMALL SAMPLING of The Black Codes, which were put in place after the Civil War to allow for the continuation of free labor…and so on.

You didn’t learn about these in school?

I’m not at all surprised.

By the way, each state had their own laws, Northern States also had their own Black Codes.

If you live in the United States, it might be enlightening to go look up the Black Codes for your state.

Today’s codes were brought to you by the Great State of Mississippi.

With laws like these, how can you expect a population of people to progress?

Oh, but this is just a drop in the bucket, we’ll revisit other issues as we go.

Source

Find Your Unique Way To Help!

Dear Friends,

If you, like me, are watching current events in the United States with feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness and the like, why don’t you consider reaching down into your personal “toolbox” to find your own unique way to help.

If you are unsure of where to start, look no further as I have culled together (below) some specific areas in the African American community that need YOUR immediate attention, talent, skills, knowledge and abilities.

This list is, by no means, the end all, be all.

However it does include areas that I, as a black woman, consider to be high-priority.

In essence, my goal here is to point you to the issue so that you can further research them and find your way to help!

And so…..

Family, Mothers and Fathers, please teach your children to be courageously kind and compassionate.

Teach them to value all human life! Not just certain ones.

Professionals, Scholars and Students of Law, Medicine, Education, and Journalism, please lend your knowledge!

We need your help!

Writers, Researchers, Photographers, Video Journalists, Counselors, Coaches, Social Workers, Marketers, Salespeople, Artists, Entrepreneurs, Computer and Technology experts, please lend your skills and abilities.

We need your help!

If you have extra money to spare, but are unable be more active, then give money to those who can be more active.

We need your help!

To my international readers, if America chooses NOT to change systemic racism, please consider helping us find a new place to live a better life!

We need your help too!

Everyone, I implore you, please find your own unique and productive way to help your brother.

Links to Specific Areas that Require Concentrated Assistance for African Americans:

Disparities in Health Outcomes and Access to Care

Source : Kaiser Family Foundation

Statistics on Violence

Source: Healthy People 2020

High Maternity Mortality

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Maternity mortality in black women

Even economic background can’t seem to help us overcome the stress of being black in America. A must read!

Source: Harvard University School of Public Health

Disparities in Education

Source:  United Negro College Fund

Contrary to popular belief, all black children do NOT automatically get United Negro College Fund Scholarships! These funds are tied to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For more info click here!

Food Justice

Black Farming Leah Penniman Soul Fire Farm

Source: University of Vermont

Environmental Racism

Source: NYU School of Law

Black Health and Black Wealth

Pages 15-16 are very telling regarding wealth

Source: U.S. Congressional Black Caucus

Black Codes

This explains how blacks were jailed for bogus “crimes” like vagrancy in order to be used for free labor in prison camps. This is the beginnings of over-representation of African Americans in the prison system.

Source: Equal Justice Initiative

From Slavery to Mass Incarceration

Source: Ben and Jerry’s (Of all people, LOL!!)

I’ve just put my own M.Ed. and B.S. degree to use in order to find my way to help!

LadyG loves YOU! I DO!

Now get out there and help!