“What is the social issue/problem facing the United States?”

This blog post is really a essay that I had to write for my sociology class. She posed the question ” What is the social issue/problem facing the United States?” Not having to think twice I wrote this essay in under 15 minutes and had to share it with you!

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I believe that the social issue/problem facing the United States is police brutality, particularly in regards to the Black community.  This issue of police brutality stems from America’s history. For decades the black community has been frustrated, enraged and distrusting of the police force. Stories of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Freddie Gray and countless others, fill our airways while each incident seems to yield the same results-the officer going unpunished for the killing of an unarmed citizen.

Contrary to some expectations, the public has a great deal of confidence in the police. According to a Gallup poll, only 11 percent had a negative view of the police. However, the perceptions of police change when the numbers are looked at more closely. Whereas 57 percent of white Americans had a high level of confidence in the police, only 32 percent of African Americans felt the same way (Tischler, 2014). For decades blacks have possessed an extreme suspicion and fear of police officers. That fear has grown from the days of slavery, through segregation up until now. Police officers have shown to be unqualified and brutal with their dealings of blacks and that undeniable truth has come to the forefront today thanks to social media. Countless numbers of cases have gone ignored because people refuse to face the reality that police target and harm minorities. The purpose of officers are firstly is to serve and protect their community, they also have a duty to enforce laws, investigate specific crimes, search people, vicinity and buildings and arrest or detain people (Tischler, 2014). It seems as though however, that the true purpose of cops is to decide if a citizen is right or wrong and has the right to live or not. The blatant abuse of power by officers has caused a civil unrest within the black community. This unrest has affected many aspects of the community. While more could be done in the raising and nurturing of children in urban communities, the struggle between blacks and cops has turned into a war of “us against them” and vice versa, a reality that all must face.

Officers have the difficult duty of seeing people at their worse and must cope with doing their job to the best of their ability. Most officers feel as though they are not respected as a force of the law and have led many of them to act irrationally and without conscience. One could easily point out the frustration, discouragement and irritability that an officer faces daily including putting their lives on the line to serve. Being in this position should make the training and mental health of an officer a priority. Officers are also taught to assume the worse when patrolling in a black community; this pre-determined thinking (racial profiling) puts many officers on edge making it easier for them to make irrational and inappropriate decisions. Officers mentally unfit for duty should not be allowed in the field. Officers with histories of citizen complaints and excessive force should be disciplined accordingly. After careful investigation on both sides, officers that commit murder should immediately be held accountable for their actions, justifiable or otherwise. A renewal must take place in the justice system in order for this friction to settle. Police officers are a necessary force in the community; however their behavior must be carefully supervised to insure that their duties are humane and just. People will cause trouble and difficult situations will arise, though we are all human, police officers must be equipped to handle them. Racial training, racial profiling, situation control, police/community communication, police discipline, weapon disarming and training, drug testing and psychological testing and evaluations should constantly be used to better each officer and verify that they are mentally stable to act in the line of duty in order for a change to begin.

References

Tischler, H. L. (2014). Ontroduction to Sociology 11th Edition. Belmont: Wadsworth.

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23 Painfully True Lessons You Learn By Age 23

At 23 I am happy to see that I have learned all of these & still learning!

Thought Catalog

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It’s my party, and I’ll reflect on the greatest life lessons I’ve learned thus far if I want to.

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1. You are not your failures or rejections. You are not the boy who couldn’t love you, the job you couldn’t get, the school who wait-listed you.

2. You are, however, your passions, your convictions and the company you keep.

3. Blocking toxic people out is hard, healthy and needed. You may regret blocking people out. But you will ultimately rejoice in a toxic-free life.

4. You are unique, and your experience with people is unique. Your relationships can never be repeated, replaced; only remembered.

5. Have the courage to be yourself all the time.

6. Show your love. Especially to your parents. We are all living on borrowed time, don’t waste the moment you could have said, “I love you, Mom and Dad.”

7. Don’t be…

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Don’t Judge Me!

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Let’s try to open our mind to some CLARITY:

Jokingly, the statement ‘don’t judge me’ can provide some innocent humor.  Yet, in some cases, this phrase has been misinterpreted into ‘just accept my actions without holding me accountable for them’. In that instance the use of ‘don’t judge me’ would be wrong.

JUDGING (JUDGMENT) as a verb does NOT mean to “discern” or “discriminate”.

We all can reach judgments regarding various actions, thoughts, happenings etc. As far as passing judgment on somebody because of what they do or have done, only God can proclaim that final judgment. Yes, we can point out right and wrong. Still, only He can determine the consequences for those actions, only He can condemn us and only He can decide our fate. NO ONE BUT GOD!

With that being said, a person shouldn’t judge in that regard, BUT they can HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE in TRUTH!

TRUTH is absolute/non-negotiable. Most people will argue that what they believe IS true whether it is or not. This world makes it easy to get what truth really is misconstrued, so much so that we forget that TRUTH CAN ONLY BE TRUTH WHEN IT IS TRUE. An opinion stated in a declarative form does not make it true. Truth can’t be changed just because our thinking did. For example, birth is true, death is true. Truth cannot be cheated or altered, it is constant. PERIOD.

You may have ‘your truths’ and I may have mines but at the end of the day THE absolute TRUTH will stand, whether it aligns with ours or not. Too many times we get these terms confused! We get offended when we shouldn’t and we don’t speak the truth we should. Sure we all have our own opinions (an INFORMAL statement which may or may not be based on fact) and we are entitled to that. Nevertheless, our opinions are unstable and unreliable; they can be swayed by bribes, emotions, religious beliefs, prospective and experiences.

We all have been granted free will but even in our daily shortcomings we can’t ignore truth. We should all be receptive and humble enough to accept truth when it is presented whether we adhere to it or not. By the same token, when truth is presented it should be done so in REAL love and with that person’s best interest at heart, not condescendingly and not in a rage.

This misunderstanding has been going on for some time. We hear and use the expression ‘don’t judge me’ in all the wrong contexts. It’s not ‘don’t judge me’ because in fact I cannot. However, if I’m speaking truth to you in love and you don’t want to hear it then WHAT… ‘Don’t TRUTH you?’

Do You Know What You Really Want?

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Relationships are complicated. Trying to get along with another human being AND be madly in love is complicated.

In 2014, do we know what we truly want in a significant other? Age, wisdom, growth, self-preferences and life experiences are all things that help us sculpt out the image of our “perfect mate”. So what do we really want in a mate that is? Let’s try to gain some clarity on what we expect.Times have definitely changed, the things that mattered to our parents might not necessarily take precedent in our lives. It seems as though each is side is screaming for the same thing but not hearing each other. Does he have to be in a certain tax bracket? Could you look past her past? Are you okay with him having kids? Can you deal with her party life? Light-skinned or dark-skinned? Curvy or slim?  Is smoking/drinking a deal breaker?

Whether we realize it or not we all have a subconscious make up of our “him” or “her”. Hence this interactive posting. We want to hear the run down for your ideal mate. I’m sure we all can agree on overall moral traits: honesty and loyalty. But what about the other factors? I’m 23 years-old so what I desire may not fit your liking. I want this discussion to be a door opener to both males and females who hope to one day meet their soul-mate.

I’ll go first!

Check out my list  and leave your own comments/list below. Comments are also being accepted/read on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! 

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“You don’t really need someone to complete you.  You only need someone to accept you completely.”

(Picture provided by http://www.foxydaters.com/blog/dating-advice/what-women-want-vs-what-men-want/)

My Survivor Story

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PLEASE BE ADVISED this post contains some graphic details. Any children under the age of 18 should receive parental permission before reading.

Unfortunately, there has been more heinous sexual abuse cases than my experience. This is my story. By opening up, my hope is to awaken something in those that want their healing to begin.

Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

The hard truth is that most cases of sexual abuse never get reported. I know mines were not. Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) or any sexual abuse is not an issue that can be swept under the rug. It can happen! Parents must learn how to effectively communicate with their children. Educate children early about healthy boundaries and seek additional help if needed.

It was my dark secret…well, our dark secret. I’m not sure how it started or how I felt the first time it happened… I just wanted to feel it again. He (I’ll refer to him as George), had aroused something in me that I could not deny. Every Thursday before chapel, I would begin to crave his act of pleasure and every Thursday he would happily give it to me. All I knew was that every time he got ready to place his hand underneath my skirt I was about to experience a sensation that could bring me to tears. What in the world was happening? What was this feeling? And why, out of all my classmates was it happening to me?

Though his parents were made aware of his “mischief”, I do not think anyone, but he and I, knew what had truly been going on. This wasn’t just a young boy’s curiosity of putting his hand up a girl’s skirt. This behavior had become a sick habit that neither of us could shake. I struggled with the realization of being a victim. How could I be the victim if found myself intentionally sitting by him in chapel and any other chance for that matter.

At the tender age of six I had become addicted to the feeling of a sexual sensation and enjoyed it!  No one knew anything nor saw anything. Eventually any dark moment, for example movie time, became an opportunity for me to indulge in my dark secret. Soon after, I had mastered containing my excitement. I could get up and walk away from that moment and seem regular. I was still able to achieve good grades, top the principal’s list and earn student of the year. Was I thriving off this pleasure? And why didn’t I want it stop?

This is my story. My story of a being a sexual abuse survivor.

By George being the same age as I, was he really to blame? After all, I wasn’t a victim that feared her perpetrator. I yearned for his touch. I would like to make something very clear. Let’s not coincide that yearning with having “daddy issues”. My father was and still is there for me. Each day I was told that I was loved and beautiful. I was taught right from wrong, how to be respectful, and most importantly a love for God. But isn’t protection a part of a fathers duty? Why couldn’t his protection reach into protecting my innocence?

Coming home one day, after some time, I begin to experience pain in my vaginal area. My mother asked where I was having them and asked had anyone touched me. I told her where and that yes, somebody had been touching me “down there”.  I was scheduled a doctor’s appointment to make sure everything was fine. And that was it! After a brief conversation with George’s parents, this experience seemed to be over, it never happened again. In my mind everything was supposed to be okay. But looking back as a young woman, I wondered what was I supposed to do with my sexual urges? At 6 years old I had experienced a pleasure that was reserved for a covenant marriage. Why wasn’t I being guided through those emotions or in some sort of therapy? I had literally become sexualized before I even knew what sex was!

Unfortunately, my parents didn’t know what to do. At the time I thought my mother understood what had happened to me. I would later find out that my mother didn’t know the extent to which it went on. I told my mother the entire story the summer of 2009 before I left for college. She could not help but cry and apologize for their ignorance.

To this day, I think the frustration and anger toward my parents came from the lack of help after my traumatic experience. Not so much that it had happened, but that I was expected to still be that young, innocent girl in elementary school with no care in the world besides memorizing multiplication tables. I did not have the capacity to comprehend what was happening to me. George didn’t have the capacity either, and he was the perpetrator. He clearly, had been acting out something he saw or had experienced. For years I tried to place the blame somewhere on someone. It wasn’t mine, but it wasn’t his. To this day, George’s parents still don’t know to what extent his mischief went.

I was a victim of sin. My innocence was taken away by someone who didn’t even know he took it. Sure I was still a virgin in my own right, but my thoughts had become tainted, my body had already grown accustomed to and responded to a sexual pleasure. Most of my younger nights were spent trying to recreate that feeling. Not only did I walk around sexually frustrated, I was ashamed when those urges began to creep up on me. In the midst of all this, I was trying to live my life as a regular girl. This experience left me confused. Even though I tried to appear unchanged by it, internally I knew things were dramatically different.

When I did finally get “the sex talk” in my pre-teen years it made that inward battle worse. Not only was my lusting after sexual desires wrong, I was not supposed to experience those touches until I was married. Yet I already had. Surely, God had to been angry with me.

My local church was blessed to offer different ministries and I made it my business to get into as many as I could juggle: organizing youth church, praise team, choir, praise dancing, drama, cheerleading, bible study, the list goes on and on. I tried doing any and everything “to get back in God’s graces”. Although I loved and was gifted in everything I was doing, it was mind-wrecking thinking it wasn’t enough. I was running myself tired trying to gain forgiveness for something that wasn’t my fault. Even worse that frustration began to turn into anger, anger at God, my parents and myself. Why couldn’t anyone see what was happening?Why were there no sermons on subjects like this? Yet and still I was being told that God loves me and wants to use me. Umm… where was He when I was being violated. We were children, why didn’t He stop it? Why didn’t He reveal to my teacher what was going on in the dark? If I was so important to Him & His work, why’d He let me go through it anyhow?

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to get clarity and heal. I now know I wasn’t to blame. Though that experience had impacted my life it does not overpower it. Have some of my mistakes and actions stemmed from my first grade experience, of course! But God had a way of turning everything around for the good. If my speaking out can help save someone or help someone who has been victimized, to God be the glory.

I have provided just a few of the MANY sexual abuse resources out there. If you know of anyone who can benefit from these resources PLEASE pass these them on. If you suspect that someone you love has been or is being sexually abused, please don’t ignore the signs. Ask questions, things may become difficult to talk about but press through it. Ask God for the strength to listen to and accept truth. A sexual abuse victim needs prayer, a listening ear, a support system and an outlet. The only THING worse about being a sexually abused victim is a sexually abused victim left to fend for and figure it all out themselves.

REFERENCES:

“CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS”.  National Center for Victims of Crime, 2012. 5 March 2014. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics

MORE FACTS ABOUT CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

  • Sexual abuse is any activity-verbal, visual, or physical engaged in without the consent, which may be emotionally or physically harmful and which exploits a person in order to meet another person’s sexual or emotional needs.  The person does not consent if he or she cannot reasonably choose to consent or refuse because of age, circumstances, level of understanding, and dependency or relationship to the offender”. (Kubetin & Mallory, 2004, p. 26- Shelter from the Storm)

 

  • Childhood sexual abuse is prevalent in our society. With an alarming rate of 1 in every 4 to 5 girls being victims of sexual abuse at some point in their lives and
  • And even more so with boys reportedly a rate of  1 in 5 boys – not including the ones who suffer in silence (Kubetin & Mallory, 2004)

Books:

Dan Allender, Dan- The Wounded Heart:  Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual

Steven R. Tray- Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse

Wendy Maltz, The Sexual Healing Journey

Support Group:

Shelter from the Storm Support Groups