Good evening beautiful readers! I have missed you all so much! I have taken a bit of a hiatus due to the current social injustices occurring within the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, and many more events. But, I am back and I want to spread awareness to the slave trade occurring in Libya, the current Yemen civil war, protests concerning the arrest and prosecution of Breonna Taylor’s murderers, protests focused on criminal justice reform and the Coronavirus pandemic.
SLAVE TRADE/SEX TRAFFICKING WITHIN LIBYA
(The photo above captures the massive scar that Libyan traffickers gave Sunday Iabarot during his captivity. Sunday now lives in a shelter in Benin City, Nigeria.)
According to TIME Magazine, “[There are] among an estimated 650,000 men and women who have crossed the Sahara over the past five years dreaming of a better life in Europe. Some are fleeing war and persecution. Others, like Sunday Iabarot, are leaving villages where economic dysfunction and erratic rainfall make it impossible to find work or even enough to eat. To make the harrowing journey, they enlist the services of trans-Saharan smugglers who profit by augmenting their truckloads of weapons, drugs and other contraband goods with human cargo. But along the way, tens of thousands like Iabarot are finding themselves treated not just as cargo but as chattel and trapped in a terrifying cycle of extortion, imprisonment, forced labor and prostitution, according to estimates by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. “They are not only facing inhuman treatment. They are being sold from one trafficker to another,” says Carlotta Sami, southern European regional spokesperson for UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency. Essentially, they are slaves: human beings who have been reduced to being possessions with a fixed value, based on assessments of the kind of income they can accrue to their owners as targets for extortion, as unpaid labor or—as is often the case with women—prostitutes”.
YEMEN CIVIL WAR
Yemen is currently going through a civil war during the COVID-19 pandemic. I did not want to drone on, but I do want to give you some articles and resources that can quickly educate you on what is occurring within Yemen. The links listed below are articles that will elaborate on what is going on and why is this civil war happening.
I hope those articles were able to get you on track on what is currently going on within Yemen. Civil wars always make me quite angsty because collateral damage and casualties are natural products of war. Some people may die due to violence, crossfire, starvation, dehydration and many more ailments. I send prayers and also I am not sure how I can apply pressure during this time. I was not sure if petitions or donations would be as effective since it is a civil war in another country. I really want to help and I remember hearing about Syria having a civil war, which I thought was so crazy. I was ignorant to the fact that many countries still conduct civil wars. However, please keep Yemen in your prayers. Also, please send thoughts and prayers to those who are currently in sex trafficking rings globally. It hurts to know that many people are being continuously victimized, abused and mistreated. We all have worth and no one should have the ability to exploit or disrespect you.
These events are completely disgusting and goes to show how much work this world needs. We also want to keep Elijah McClain’s memory alive by sharing his story as well.
REST IN PARADISE: ELIJAH MCCLAIN
Sharing Elijah’s story and spreading awareness to how de-valued Black lives have become in the world shows the obvious racial injustice and the rigged “fairness and equality” system that America has utilized to foster White superiority, White supremacy and White domination. We must also cape for Black women, Black trans women, and Black queer-identifying folks as well because we are ALL LIVING IN BLACK BODIES. HOMOSEXUALITY DOES NOT DEFLECT RACISM. TRANSGENDERISM DOES NOT DEFLECT RACISM. GENDER NON-CONFORMITY DOES NOT DEFLECT RACISM. Black persons who happen to have queer identities, mental health concerns, physical disabilities, etc. are battling stigmas as well as fighting for their lives simply because they are Black. Juggling several identities can be extremely exhausting and we must be understanding when it comes to one another, because not everyone has the same experience. God bless you Elijah. May you rest peacefully and we will never forget you. We will never forget Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Tony McDade. Oluwatoyin Salau. Priscilla Slater. Dominique Rem’mie Fells. Riah Milton. It hurts to type every name because these people had LIVES. We all have the right to live. We all deserve to live.
Elijah McClain’s Story: https://www.thecut.com/2020/06/the-killing-of-elijah-mcclain-everything-we-know.html
LOVE THAT COMES IN WAVES
I feel that my conscience is cleared because we cannot get to the roses without pricking our fingers on the thorns. Life is not always sunshine and flowers. Life is hard. Life is difficult. Life can be depressing. Life can be anxiety-inducing. Life can be a lot at times. But, life is a gift because so many people wish they could have the opportunity of life. A chance to start over. Living to fight another day is a superpower. You are still on this earth for a reason and that is something to celebrate. We are all doing soul work. Working to undo toxic traits, childhood traumas, and emotional baggage is a lot to cover, so we are all taking our time to become better individuals with each day. I recently watched the film Waves, which I highly recommend to anyone who needs to watch a new movie. The film will serve more as a background than an actual film analysis. I believe that film captures toxic masculinity effortlessly. Tyler shows how many Black men internalize their emotions so intensely that it all is unleashed in an angry outburst. I do not want to give away the plot of the film, but Tyler ends up making a horrible mistake made out of pure anger and frustration. Tyler’s father put so much pressure on him to become this “man’s man”. As I watched their parent-child dynamic, I saw parallels in the society that we live in. Being a man is not easy. Being a woman is not easy. Being a person is not easy. As men we are expected not to show emotion. Stealth. That would be our superhero name because we are master compartmentalizers. We are very skillful in separating church and state. We balance professional lives with our private lives. In some areas of life, we wear “masks”. The mask conceals our innermost thoughts and it simply displays what we want people to know. Think of it like your rising sign if you will (for all my astrology peeps). “He seems so cool. He is so unbothered. I wish I didn’t care so much about things like he does. He probably has a girlfriend. He is so smart. He is great at everything.” These are all of the thoughts that the “mask” generates. Little do they know, this man is struggling!
EXAMPLES OF WHAT “THE MASK” CAN HIDE:
- A man struggling with his sexuality
- A man struggling with his identity
- A man who is struggling with his familial relationships
- A man who is struggling with his romantic relationship
- A man who is struggling with mental illness
- A man who is living in poverty
- A man who is struggling with addiction
- A man who is struggling with self esteem
- A man who is struggling with academics
- A man who is struggling with athletics
- A man who is being physically/verbally/emotionally/sexually abused
- A man who is the sole provider for his siblings and relatives
- A man who is being bullied
- A man who lives in a violent neighborhood
- A man who experienced the death of a loved one/loved ones
Unfortunately, Tyler’s “mask” began to become infused with his skin which led to a detrimental outcome. I believe that many people are like Tyler. I will admit that I am similar to Tyler because I do not always immediately express my upset. I am a holder and I believe that a situation will settle itself out without my involvement. I didn’t know that it is okay to express myself and let others know what is going on with me. Talking through things really helps me see that life is not working against me, but I am in need of a new perspective. A perspective that doesn’t highlight victimhood, but instead works toward progression, evolution and for lack of better words, leveling up. To all men, especially Black men, I am aware of how hypermasculinity has been forced upon us due to White dominant culture’s ideals, but we do NOT have to accept them. Being a man is subjective. Men can groom themselves. Men can cook. Men can take care of the children. Men can take themselves on self-dates. Men can express their emotions. Men can cry when they need to. Men can laugh when they need to. Men can push themselves toward greater heights. Men can lead. Men can also know when to follow their partner/significant other. Men can show up. Men can be strong. Men can be vulnerable. Men can be anything they want. Women can be anything they want. We all can be anything we want. We cannot allow society to limit us. We must plant ourselves in something solid like our faiths, abilities and high self-worth. We are children of the Most High and all of us are destined for greatness. I urge you all to watch the film Waves and let me know if you enjoyed it or what was your perspective on the film.
I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to read this blogpost. I know that the beginning was a bit rocky, but I wanted to inform as well as give you all some healthy escapism. I hope you all have an awesome day and week in spite of the current state of the world. Take care of yourself, your families and friends. Make sure to big yourself up every day. You’re important. You are loved. You are incomparable. You are beautiful and don’t let society convince you otherwise. God is the greatest artist ever and His paintbrush is unmatched. I love you. God bless you and I pray that you kick ass in whatever sets your heart on fire. Please feel free to leave comments below in the comments tab section. Leave your social media info, blogsite, etc. so that I can connect wth you and be able to notify you on any new blogposts. Much love. Later!