Sunday, September 13, 2020

Who is Really Behind These Blessing Looms?

via GIPHY

 


2020 has really been a year that will go down in the history books for various reasons.  Who would imagine us being in the midst of  a global pandemic, a unprecenteded election, unpredictable economy and a fundamental, monumental revolution! In the midst of all of the emotions whether it is grief, pain, anger, sorrow, gratitude, connection, and community; greed finds its way of embedding itself in the vein of it all.

I have to be honest, I am a fan of the show American Greed. To see the great lengths that some people will go through for money and status is unbelievable but you see it happens over and over on every episode. You see the rise, fall, misery and grief of all the parties involved. I think I know what the next major 2 part show will cover. 

A couple of months ago, I had been approached by 2 people in my inner circle about this opportunity to participate in something amazing. Not only was this opportunity amazing but it brought  forth community in a time where we are all separated. It was a "community savings program." The program is called a blessing loom or flower. Each "flower" is broken down into groups. These groups have names. There are also levels of the groups and names of group members who are referenced with names of the elements of the earth.  Again, the preface to this opportunity is coming together to create wealth, connect and grow in this new world we live in 2020. If you invest $500, then you will receive $4000 within just a couple of weeks. The next step is that you would send the money to one of your "elements". So here is some additional info, you do not know who this "element" is, meaning you do not have an idea who this person is,you just know your group name and the element that you sent the money too. AND THEN!!!!! You have to commit to recruiting an additional 2 people into the flower who also have to invest $500 a piece before you can receive your return.  Those 2 people have to commit to recruting 2 people and so forth in order for the program to work! 

Side note: Listen, to be honest when the video was sent to me, I heard just  about 2-3 minutes and I kind of caught bits and pieces. It drew my conclusion on what it was about. So my understanding of it may be slightly scued but you get the picture I am sure.

What I do know is there were no written agreements invloved. People were just giving their money just on the word of the person who is recruiting him/her to participate in the program. That person was probably told by someone that they knew actually received his/her return on investment or the person recruiting may say that he/she have already recieved their return, so they want to get the people that is closest to he/she involved in this amazing opportunity. 

I actually declined to participate. However, I do know some people who did. I also have been seeing different posts with debates about the efficiency of this program. On the contrary,  people are labeling the program a pyramid scheme, a fraud and so forth.  You have several prominent financial experts who have spoken out about blessing looms previously to the FTC article.  The Fair Trade Commision published an article in May of this year   about these looms or flowers. There are many versions, with various amounts for the starting investments. According to the article, some had if you invest $100, you would get a return of $800 in a matter of weeks. These blessing looms are actually illegal. 

I was approached in July. After I declined, I started having general conversations with close family members and they too were approached. We are all in different states. I also had conversations with some people who have invested and have not received their  returns yet severalweeks after the date that the person was to receive the return.

This thing is huge!! According to various sources, the blessing looms or flowers have been around for years. However, I am curious to know if it is on this level.

It will be interseting to see who is the mastermind(s) behind all of this. I am sure we will find out on an upcoming season of American Greed. 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Is Kayne West The Spook That Sat By The Door or Nah?


Is Kayne West “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” Or Nah

via GIPHY

Kayne West has been disregarded and discredited in the media lately. I know there are so many questions from the people within our community including myself. What are you doing, What are your motives, Why are you flipping the script, What is really going on?  Are you okay?  There is so much confusion surrounding Kayne as a community.

I have always been a fan of Kanye. His music and lyrics have been groundbreaking. His music…Some of my favs are “Crack Music,” “Ultra Light Beam,” and “Go Hard” with DJ Khaled and T-Pain. Prior to his recent political journey, he was speaking to the masses through his Sunday Services. He definitely has a God-given gift of telling a story… a real story that is not sugar-coated at all but just raw, uplifting, “Get your sugar honey ice tea together type vibes.” The community became on edge with him once he made his first appearance with Donald Trump. Soon after, we declared himself a Trump supporter. We all were taken back. I mean how could this be the same Kayne that said “George Bush doesn’t care about Black People.”  Then his recent comments at his rally… He said what about THEEE QUEEN HARRIET TUBMAN. ???  There is much information circulating and there is a lot of speculating on what is really going on from mental health to he is working for Donald Trump.

Even with all of the questions surrounding his mental health and all of the anger surrounding his relationship to our current president. It is undeniable that Kanye is a philanthropist. He is consistently giving back and unfortunately, this is not recognized enough.

Here is another perspective. What if Kayne is doing what Kayne needs to do to gain access to what is needed to support the community on a different level. Right now, to some of us, it seems as if he is possibly degrading and exploiting the community. However, he has to play a role to get the goods and once that happens, we are all good. Ya Feel me?? I am just saying…what if??? What I do know is that whatever he is doing, he is doing his best. He is doing what he feels is right. If that is indeed what he is doing then why cant we still embrace him…love him. This does not mean go out and vote for him, get all caught up in the shenanigans of it all. Just simply to pay attention. We pay attention to how he moves, what he is saying, all of it. In spite of the anger and the pain that you see unfold with his relationships in the media, he is still a human being who is choosing to create something that we possibly do not understand. He is so fortunate to still have some solid relationships who support him especially now.

There is some great healing that is happening right now in the midst of the turmoil. Now is not the time for separation. Forgiveness is definitely a part of healing. On the flip side, how can we forgive if we do not understand the full story? Here is where the word trust is pivotal. Trust the process! But Kayne, If you ever read this I hope you understand where these emotions and thoughts are coming from. I would like to hope that you do.

What is undeniable is that Kayne is telling us something. I do believe that we will gain more insight. Never forget that he is doing his best. And he does love us. Only time will tell. I leave you with one of Kayne’s powerful hook from Ultra Light Beam. Sung by the amazing Kelly Price:

“I’m trying to keep my faith, but I’m looking for more

Somewhere I can feel safe

And end my holy war!  "

So instead of comparing his life to the movie "Get Out" maybe he is the modern day "Spook That Sat by The Door."

What are your thoughts?

 👀❤😲

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

4 Blocks, 15, and Pregnant -Revisted

I had originally published this article back in April of 2012 on Yahoo! Voices to share my experience and commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the 1992 LA Civil Unrest. I was in my first-year fellowship in Americorps Public Allies Los Angeles program. It was inevitable for me to want to re-publish it now while the world is in an uproar now than ever. Almost, 30 years after the LA unrest, we are still here ...unrested.😡 The memories are still embedded in my mind. I can still remember my world burning all around me  and the rage the was inside me while trying to cope with understanding it all because I was carrying a life within me. I had to learn how to turn that rage into love so that I could be the best mother and student. 
It is so...whats the word because sad is not it.... Then, let's not forget we are still in the middle of a whole pandemic😷
2020 is waking us up. In 92, we were screaming, "No Justice, No Peace" and today it is "Black LIves Matter." They both go hand in hand. We are still having to explain our skin, our hair, our culture, our being. We are still judged by the richness of our melanin. 
This is the beginning of a series that I hope will evoke some serious discussions, provide some insight, and support us with healing. We are resilient, we are powerful, we are love.
Here is the original article:


4 Blocks, 15 and Pregnant

My story of the LA Uprising


It is unbelievable that it was almost 20 years ago that my community was engulfed in flames and chaos. I remember that unforgettable day like it was just last week. I was in the 10th grade attending Middle College High School, however, I did not go to school that day because I was not feeling too well. I was 15 years old and 4 months pregnant with my son. 


At the time, I was struggling with not succumbing to the statistic that everyone told me that I would become outside of my home. I loved school; I loved and still love the neighborhood where I grew up. My block, 68th and Normandie, was such a cool block. Everyone looked out for everyone. My little brothers, Leonard was 9 years old and Leron was 6 years old, and I played outside with our friends on the block until the street lights came on.  I recollect everyone, including myself, being anxious about the verdict of the officers who beat Rodney King. I too became sad and then enraged when I heard the not guilty verdict.


Soon after, I remember seeing Reginald Denny get pulled from his truck on television.  I could not believe it was happening just a few blocks from where I lived. There were people everywhere. I have never seen so many people on Florence and Normandie in my life. That same sadness and rage that I had quickly became fear especially when I began to smell the smoke. I had severe asthma so my mom was fearful of an attack coming on. She did her best to keep my brothers and I calm. I knew she was scared as well not only for us but because my dad was literally on his way home from work when the riots broke out. We did not have the luxury of having a cell phone back then so all she could do is pray that he was safe. It seemed like everything was getting worse. It probably took my dad an hour or so to get home but then it seemed like forever.


Within an instance, my whole world was turned upside down. My dad ran outside and watered the house down.  Our telephone was ringing non-stop, the television was reporting non-stop and I wanted it all to stop. I was about to be a mother. I remember thinking, “Is what they are saying true. Is there no hope for us? Will I be that welfare mom who has another baby before I am 18 and drop out of school? Is my life and the life of my child already mapped out for us?”


I saw the very people who were supposed to serve and protect only protect the rich in a comforting way. I saw my community protected with force and abuse. I saw the images of the people labeled as thieves, terrorists, looters, hooligans, thugs and gang bangers. Everyone fit into those category no matter where or who you were in my neighborhood. We were in the hood therefore we will be treated as such were my thoughts.  


Days later, the smoke cleared yet there was an unbearable pain and damage. One of my friends and his mom lived on top of the corner liquor store. I remembered crying my eyes out because their place was burned to the ground. My parents frequented the gas station on the corner of Florence and Normandie, however, they could no longer go there and had to go to another city to get gasoline. I vividly recall their panic in traveling in fear of running out. As we traveled, all I could see was the reality in my community. What was left after was what was felt after. 



20 Years later, my community still stands with rich culture and love. The pain is still there from unheard and untold stories.  There is still much healing to take place. The images that are in the media still do not fully reflect the true essence of my community. My parents are still on the block. My brothers are doing very well. Leonard has his PhD in Computer Engineering and Leron is currently has his MS and is a PhD candidate in the same field.


As for me, I did not become a statistic. I graduated high school with 3.93 GPA, went on to college to get an AA in Journalism have my own business, done some phenomenal things and I became a downright activist who has now turned into an ally. My son will be 20 years old in November and is in his finishing his sophomore year at Northern Arizona University. 


This struggle has started so many movements and created so many leaders. I am beyond eager to see the continued empowerment within our community.