Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Economy, Elections, Joe Biden, John McCain, News, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Sarah Palin, Single Mom, War on Terror

Rescue Plan- Tastes Even Worse Going Down the 2nd Time

The Economic Bailout– Take 2- is going before the Senate today.

I’m a little disappointed… I know they’ve added some stuff, and yanked other things… but…

The bill still stinks.

I was hoping that the unexpected no-vote in the House on Monday would have given lawmakers some incentive to scrap this butt-ugly thing and start over again…

Maybe get to work on passing something that’s worthwhile.

Unfortunately they either think it’s legislation worth saving, or feel that they don’t have the time to write a new bill.

I say, work some over-time if you have to…

… But stop trying to shove this worthless joke of a “Rescue Plan” down our throats.

 Either come correct, or don’t come at all.

I expect it to pass the Senate today, but like most regurgitated stuff, it tastes worse going down the second time.

Yuck.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Economy, Elections, Joe Biden, John McCain, News, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Sarah Palin, Single Mom, War on Terror

Economic Ramblings of a Broke A$$ Woman

It’s taken some days, but I’ve finally figured out how I feel about this economic bailout thing that’s been monopolizing my radio, my tv, my internet, and the proverbial water cooler at work.

I hate it.

Should Congress be successful in resurrecting the bill and bringing it to another vote, I hope it fails miserably.

There.

I said it.

I’ve been waiting- for days- to hear how this thing is going to help Main Street… and now finally understand that Main Street won’t benefit at all.

With that in mind, I say…

Fuck ’em.

Why should my broke ass incur the debt of financial institutions that A) did this shit to themselves and B) aren’t even willing to throw me a bone by way of thanks for bailing them out?

The answer is, I shouldn’t.

From my vantage point… waaaay down here where I’m sitting… it looks like I’m going to be just as screwed if this thing passes as I will be if this thing fails…

Except that one of those options will result in my incurring a mind-blowingly huge debt on top of everything else I’m trying to shoulder right now.

Either way it goes, my fellow taxpayers and I are no more or less likely to remain in our homes, nor are we any more or less likely to be able to afford fuel for our cars, food for our families, or medical expenses for our loved ones.

The Treasury Secretary, the President, Wall Street and Congress are all running around like some chickens with their heads cut off, screeching about how if we don’t pass this thing, the world is going to come to an end.

Honestly, it’s been real tough to get too stressed about it considering the behavior of Congress- especially yesterday. Our representatives have been cluck-cluck-cluckin’ about how important this bailout legislation is… but when it failed in the House, we learned the reason it died was baby-ass, pansy pettiness.

Our esteemed representatives thought it was more important to let their personal vendettas dictate how they voted on this oh-so-important bill than it was to vote on the issues contained in the thing itself.

Let’s see…  they didn’t like Nancy Pelosi’s speech from the floor of the House yesterday morning, so rather than pass the damn thing like they swore they would, they voted Nay.

Seriously?

This is how they make decisions? This is how our elected officials decide whether or not to pass legislation that according to them may be our last option to save the economy?

Perhaps they don’t really care as much about Main Street as they claim they do… or maybe this shit isn’t quite as big a deal as they’re trying to make it out to be after all.

… And don’t misunderstand- I’m not giving Nancy Pelosi a free pass either… so settle down, Republicans.

Why did she decide to give an Anti-Bush-Administration-and-anything-GOP campaign speech at that particular moment?

Talk about inappropriate.

Seems to me, had the bill been that stinkin’ important, perhaps the representatives would have been concentrating on coming together… not tearing each other apart… and while Nancy-girl was not the only person guilty of doing it, she did it the biggest, in the worst possible place, at the worst possible time.

Yet these same people, who cannot, for the lives of them, bring themselves to put their petty differences aside- for less than an hour- so this thing can pass, want me to believe that the bailout is the end-all-be-all to all things financial?

Doubtful.

Perhaps I would have shared in their urgency had they behaved like adults.

As far as I’m concerned, if the legislation wasn’t important enough for them to stop bickering long enough to pass it, than it likely isn’t important enough for me to get all excited about either.

While our oh-so-mature Congress was been acting like a bunch of spoiled rotten three year olds, I have been patiently waiting to hear what, specifically, will happen, should this bill fail again.

Are we headed for another Great Depression? Will the very fiber of our economy grind to a halt? Will the meager pennies I have in the bank no longer be insured, causing me to lose the little cash flow I currently enjoy?

No one has an answer.

Not a single person knows what the heck is going to happen, should this bailout fail.

Is it possible the market will right itself, causing no additional strain on We The Tax Payers?

Yep.

Is it possible that life will get really miserable for investment bankers?

Yep- that’s almost a guarantee.

Other than the fact that regular ol’ middle class Americans will get no relief whatsoever from bailing the financial sector out, not much else can be stated for sure.

Sorry guys.

Not good enough.

Perhaps it’s time the fat cats in the banking world learn to sink or swim- just like like the rest of us have had to do- while they were gorging themselves- excessively and unnecessarily… and quite frankly, criminally.

I say, welcome to my world…

And there is no life guard on duty.

Crunch.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Elections, Joe Biden, John McCain, News, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Race, Sarah Palin, Single Mom, War on Terror

Bailouts, Banks, Health Care and More of the Same

With Congress being told just this past week by the Fed chairman and Treasury Secretary that we are mere days from a complete and total meltdown of our financial system, John McCain proposes a privatized health care plan that mirrors…

The banking sector.

Uh…

Bad idea, Maverick boy…

And I don’t have to be a health-insurance-slash-banking-industry insider to know that.

So why doesn’t he get it?

I wonder which part of the banking sector Senator McCain would like the Health Insurance industry to mirror…

The part where many of our biggest banks are imploding?

The part where they’re scrambling to find cash on hand, to avoid complete and total collapse?

Ooh! Or how about the part where due to the credit crisis, banks are approving fewer and fewer people for mortgages, making home-ownership all but impossible for millions upon millions of Americans?

That’s how we want our health insurance coverage to work? I mean, if McCain wants it to be much more difficult for average people to get coverage… and therefore find himself responsible for fewer people than ever before having access to quality health care… then…

Well… I guess maybe this is a good plan!

Or wait- perhaps McCain wants health insurance to mirror the financial sector in that so many of our largest banks are now requiring massive federal bailouts just to stay alive… at the expense of tax-payers… who are already facing massive financial challenges with these same institutions, to the tune of about 9,800 home foreclosures a day…

Oh- and those that will be blessed enough to keep their homes will find themselves paying off sub-prime loans, owing something in the neighborhood of 25% more than what their homes are even worth… a nightmare caused, in large part, by the very thing McCain is peddling…

Deregulation.

*Deep breath*

Marketizing the health insurance industry so that it can perform the same way as the financial industry is an absolute reckless and ridiculous idea.

**News flash to Sarah Palin’s running-mate**

The financial industry is in complete ruin.

Bush, our esteemed Prez, has just requested $700 billion dollars for a federal bailout of said financial industry, which will just barely save its ass.

Right. Cuz we can afford that.

I mean, after all, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

Yeah.

Why in the hell would anyone want to model anything, let alone something as important as health care, after such a complete cluster fuck?

What really pisses me off is the fact that so many of my fellow Americans… regular ol’ middle class folks… who are being hit the hardest by this nonsense… and stand to lose the most… are still going to vote for these GOP clowns.

These people would rather lose their homes, continue paying gas prices that they cannot afford, continue losing federal funding for programs that could actually help them get back on their feet, and lose health care coverage for themselves and their children simply because…

Lord help me…

They’re too racist wussy to vote for a man who will change it all for the better… 

People are scared cuz the guy running against McSame has a weird moniker and looks different than your typical old-ass white politician.

Grrr…

I was a home owner for the first half of the Bush Administration, and was forced to sell my house- mere months before it was foreclosed on- simply to pay off mounting medical bills (in spite of the fact that my family and I were covered by one of the largest health insurance companies in the country)…

I am struggling every single day, even as I have what most would consider a great job working for a fortune 500 company…

Yet I still can’t afford gas and milk and eggs and rent and utilities and my health insurance premiums…

Certainly not simultaneously.

Therefore…

I take this shit personally.

McCain is telling us that he will model his presidency after Bush’s.

He isn’t using those exact words…

But he’s saying it nonetheless.

I cannot survive 8 more years of the same…

… and neither can you.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Funny, Humor, Relationships, Single Mom

Making a New House a Home

Forgive me if this post sounds a bit dilusional… I am currently so tired that I feel as if I’m halfway comatose.

I have finally moved.

Leaving my townhouse, I have downsized to a smaller apartment- my other place was just a little too big- and I had terrible issues with my landlord… not to mention the 4 large beasts dogs that lived in my building, spreading joy by way of dog poop everywhere (which unfortunately attracts nasty creatures like flies)… and keeping me up with their incessant barking and howling all hours of the day and night.

Any of the 4 animals were plenty large to eat my littlest daughter- known as Mini-Me- in a single bite… even The Diva would likely have been nothing more than a mid-afternoon snack, had they ever gotten their enormous jaws on her.

I began packing feverishly about 10 days ago…

Getting up early, packing for an hour or so before going to work… working all day… coming home again to pack until midnight or later… and waking the following morning to start all over again.

Yesterday was moving day, and let me just say that I couldn’t have done anything close to pulling this off had it not been for the much needed assistance of my brother- the Hippie Andino and my friend J-Man.

Lifesavers, I tell ya.

Both have probably seen more of me this weekend… hot, sweaty (definitely not in a good way- eww- not that there is such a thing as “good way” when one is referring to one’s brother) and nasty… than they ever hoped to.

Both kept pushing when I had more than run out of steam, and therefore, the two of them really are the only reason I got everything done in roughly a day-and-a-half.

In fact, the only reason my old place is not currently trashed- and was cleaned up properly so as not to anger the landlord- is because of J-Man.

When one shows up again after having already helped you move the previous day, rest assured, that right there is a true friend.

This guy helped me clean dust-bunnies the size of lions, and never batted an eye.

I was tired enough from moving all my stuff to the new place yesterday that I was contemplating simply leaving my townhouse as-is… I didn’t care if it was a complete disaster area.

Hell, not like I have to live in it anymore, right?

Regardless, we got it all done…

Here’s to family, friends, and making a new house apartment a home.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Children, Dating, Elections, Joe Biden, John McCain, Marriage, News, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Race, Relationships, Religion, Sarah Palin, Single Mom

The Diva, STDs and a Shotgun

Thanks in part to this Sarah Palin stuff, I have been forced to have that super-candid sex talk that turns every parent’s blood cold and invokes icky feelings for all involved, with my daughter The Diva, age 10.

Yes, 10.

We’ve talked about sex before, but in very generic terms- mostly just geared towards satisfying the “Where do babies come from?” question that every parent dreads.

Last night we got down and dirty.

Gulp.

The conversation started like this-

The Diva: “Mom, what does abstinence mean? I keep hearing it on TV…”

Me: “Well, it’s a word that means ‘no sex’. Some people feel that it’s best to teach children ‘abstinence’, so that they don’t have sex before they’re married.”

The Diva: “Is sex bad?”

Me: “No, it’s not bad… but it’s important to wait for the right person before you do it, because it’s a very big decision, and it comes with a lot of responsibility… it’s important to know how to protect yourself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.”

The Diva: “Oh, you mean like with a condom. Wait- what the heck is a sexually transmitted disease?”

Oh boy.

I have to have this conversation right now??

These are the times when, as a mother, you begin to wish you were Catholic, and could send your daughter directly to the convent to become a nun.

Like ship her off right this second.

I am, however, a firm believer in the school of thought that says, “If they’re old enough to ask the question, they’re old enough to hear the answer”; in addition, I know from previous conversations that her friends are starting to have boyfriends…

I guess I figured, no time like the present.

So I took a deep breath and explained, as best I could, what an STD is… and how some of them are treatable but not all of them… we talked about how they’re contagious, but not like a cold is contagious… they’re only spread through sexual activity (at which point she asks, “like oral?”, promptly causing me to gag), and can be pretty scary, because not all STDs have symptoms associated with them. 

Whew.

We also talked about HIV/AIDS, how it’s spread, and that there is no cure… I told her that as a young black-woman-in-training, it’s important to understand that AIDS is currently the number one killer of African Americans.

I explained that she can guarantee she won’t contract it by choosing not to have sex.

She can almost guarantee she won’t contract it, should she choose to have sex, by insisting on using condoms every single time.

By the time I was finished talking to her, especially about AIDS, she was completely freaked out, and for now at least, has a healthy respect for the concept of the condom.

She understands that literally, the decision to use one could some day save her life.

I told her I want her to wait until she’s married before she has sex, but that it is her choice make.

She wanted to know if I would be angry with her if she chose, years from now of course, to have sex prior to getting married.

I swallowed hard, tried to get a handle on the all-out fear that gripped me in my gut… swallowed my instinct to tell her she should just wait til marriage, period, end of conversation… and feeling as if I were giving the speech of my life, said…

“No. I wouldn’t be angry. As much as I want you to wait for marriage, it’s something I want for your sake, not mine, because it will make your life easier. There are so many responsibilities that come with sex. But this is your body, and it’s your decision- I’ll respect your choice, no matter what you decide. What’s most important is that we’re honest with each other, and talk about these things as much as possible, even if it makes you a little nervous. If you were to decide that you’re ready to have sex, the biggest thing would be that you come to me so we can get you on the pill and get you some condoms. At the end of the day, I just need you to be safe, protected and responsible.”

She allowed what I’d just said to sink in for a minute… and then slowly began nodding her head…

“Ok Mom, I hear you. If I ever decide to have sex, I’ll tell you.”

Then she grinned and said, “You’ll be one of the first to know!”

I actually threw up a little in my mouth… I mean…

This is scary stuff, you know?

I have mixed feelings about the conversation.

Did I just condone sex to my 10 year old Diva?

Or perhaps I just had a candid, real conversation… taking that first step to opening the door to honest communication in the future…

That’s what I hope I did.

I wonder how much of this “abstinence only” doctrine is nothing more than a selfish excuse for parents not to have the conversation with their own kids that I had with mine last night…

I mean, it was a nerve wracking conversation… but it was necessary, just like all the other sex talks we’ll have in the future.

I find myself longing for the days when parenting consisted of changing her poopy diapers, making sure she’s fed… warm… and has not a care in the world.

She’s becoming a woman, a beautiful young woman, and like most others her age… she is growing up way faster than I ever wanted her to… but that is no excuse to shirk my responsibilities to her…

It’s time to buy a shotgun.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Children, Elections, Joe Biden, John McCain, News, Nostalgia, Politics, Single Mom, War on Terror

My Diva, Her Election and the Choice She Made

I was trying to explain the presidential election- along with the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats to my 10 year old Diva.

I explained that the way to choose which nominee to vote for is to decide for herself what issues are most important to her, and then select the candidate that most closely resembles her ideals.

We talked about the historic nature of this election- how no matter who wins, history will be made.

I told her how exciting it is that if McCain should win, this country will have its first female Vice President, going on to explain that should Obama win, we will have our first black President.

It is great to know that by casting my vote, I will become a part of our nation’s history…

I think that’s worth repeating:

By casting my vote, I will be an active part of my country’s history.

My Diva (like everyone else on the planet) knows I am voting for Barack Obama…

So remaining neutral while trying to explain the dynamics of the upcoming election was no easy task… but it was important that I not tell her who to support or why…

My child needs to know how to think independently… I am raising a diva after all… not a sheep.

We talked about some of the reasons people may choose to vote for McCain/Palin, as well as why folks may decide to vote for Obama/Biden.

I reminded her that there is no right answer or wrong answer… that as long as she’s involved… and making her decisions based on what is important to her

… She will always make the right choice.

She got on the computer for a while… saying she had some “research” to do… and then later…

The diva, complete genius that she is, informed me that she is voting for Obama.

Not one to allow anyone off the hook… even if she is the apple-of-my-eye… I asked her why- specifically-

Why?

“Because”, she says, “I did what you said- I thought about what’s important. Too many Americans and innocent Iraqis are dying every day. Nothing’s more important than that. We have to make it stop. I think Obama can help.”

(Sniff)

She’s right.

Clearly my Diva is well on her way.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Funny, Humor, Single Mom

Home Alone, Spare Keys and Ice Cream Cake

Ahh… well school is back in session and it’s kinda…

Bittersweet.

My littlest one is too young to go to bona fide school yet- she’s still in daycare-but my oldest has started 4th grade. Since she missed the kindergarten cut-off and is almost a full year older than her classmates, I figured this was the year to end after school care.

Gulp.

This means my baby (yes, baby- in spite of the fact that she’s 10 years old going on 30 and stands a full 5 feet tall) has become an official latchkey kid.

(Shudder)

She laughs at me- she’s been ready for this responsibility (in her mind anyway) since she shot down the chute and out of the womb.

I, however, am not nearly so confident.

In preparation for her to stay home alone after school until I get off work every day, I made 75 spare keys.

Yes, 75.

One can never be too prepared, right?

I wrote down my work number and cell phone number, not to mention her dad’s numbers and every emergency number I could think of (yes, this includes animal control. I realize we have no pets, but an emergency is an emergency after all) in at least 125 easily accessible different places… and I might have pasted them on her forehead as well, just for good measure.

We’ve had countless “practice runs” and have gone through every possible “home alone” scenario… and yea, maybe even some that aren’t so possible too…

… and still I’m not prepared.

School just started last week, and so far she has called me at work 67 different times… she wants to ask if she’s allowed to watch tv, or eat the ice cream cake in the freezer… she also calls me each day as soon as she gets home, just so I know she’s ok.

I protest verbally that she calls me so often… but secretly, I’m glad.

Sometimes she tells me she’s bored at home all alone… and I pretend to be sympathetic, but I am quietly relieved. If she’s bored, she can’t possibly be doing things she shouldn’t be… like opening doors for strangers, making prank calls or entertaining house guests.

She’s a big girl now, and she’s more than ready to accept her newfound responsibility.

All I can hope for is that her mother will soon fall in line.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Funny, Humor, News, Single Mom

Prudes, Perverts and the TV Machine

There’s a new study out today by the Parents Television Council claiming that as much as television networks love sex, they’re not big fans as it relates to marriage.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of marriage either, so while I’m not terribly upset by the study, plenty of others are.

So anyway, the results are apparently shocking to some, as not only does tv love to sensationalize pre-marital sex (gasp!), but the kinkier the sex, the better. Networks are loving the “bizarre” as the article puts it, specifically referencing such things as sex toys and partner swapping.

Wait- that’s not normal?

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

While none of the above mentioned stuff had me doing much other than yawning, there was a little tidbit of info that did sort of make me pause.

I was not aware that visual references of sadomasichism as well as voyeurism outnumber images of marital sex by a ratio close to 3 to 1.

I guess we really are a bunch of perverts, huh?

Are the networks really that risque’, or are they merely portraying the lives of John Q. Public? I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to swing from the chandeliers every chance I get.

Ok, I’m lying, but still.

A lot of regular ol’ people are watching tv to escape their own reality. Duh. Maybe people in a nice (if not boring) marriage don’t really want to watch a bunch of stuff about other nice, boring marriages. Maybe they want to live vicariously through what they see at the movies and on television. Isn’t that why all the actors are young, thin, buff… beautiful… exciting?

Fabulous as I am, I would hate to sit down and attempt a temporary escape from my own boring, uneventful life by way of watching… other people’s boring, uneventful lives.

I want to escape my own reality and spend an evening sympathizing with a beautiful, thin FBI agent who just got knocked up by some guy who works in a bar, whose name she doesn’t even know and has to resort to tracking down via her state-of-the-art special agent skills… all while managing to apprehend an oh-so-dangerous and evil child molester… single-handedly… in 57 minutes (including commercials!)… without breaking a sweat or a nail.

At the end of the day it really is just tv.

Everything on the boob-tube (sorry about the pun- I honestly couldn’t resist) is driven by ratings. If millions of people didn’t tune in to partake of this “immoral… socially destructive” behavior every single night, the networks wouldn’t show it. We’re acting all outraged but hey, we’re still watching- in fact, demanding- the content, so what’s the deal?

Some people are actually so upset by today’s television offerings, they have resorted to hiring consultants to help them determine what shows are and are not appropriate for their children.

Sigh.

Really?

Clearly these folks have way too much time on their hands. Aside from the fact that every single tv show comes with a rating displayed in the left hand corner of the screen, how hard is it to figure out what is and isn’t appropriate for little Jr. to watch before bedtime?

I learned that lesson the hard way. Sit through a couple of icky sex scenes at 8 o’clock on a Thursday night with your 9 year old child on the couch next to you and… well, let’s just say you’ll never make that mistake again.

My kids are… this is shocking… actually supervised in what they are allowed to watch. They also know that what they are viewing is fiction. No, not every 15 year old girl is a regular high school student by day, and a teenaged super star by night, ala Hannah Montana. Nor does the typical high school student spend his/her day singing show tunes in the hallways at school, ala High School Musical. 

This stuff doesn’t reflect reality, and my little ones are aware of this. I have not allowed that nasty machine known as a tv to fry their brains, consequently making them think that everything- every love scene, every married couple, every villain, every hero- is in any way reflective of their own little boring ass worlds.

We take our entertainment too seriously, and that is what needs to change.

The rest will follow suit.

Posted in C-Haze, Dating, Relationships, Single Mom

First Dates, P. Diddy and Production Studios

I hate first dates. They are awkward and weird and I really just wish there was some way to avoid them altogether… without just not dating at all, of course.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just skip past those few embarrassing (and let’s face it, downright scary) initial meetings and move straight to the part where you’re actually comfortable around one another?

Usually, even if I end up liking the guy in question, I tend to feel the need to fast forward through the first three dates.

This is when the situation is most perilous, and boy is the pressure on. 

During this time things could still go either way very easily… and I know if he gets food stuck in his teeth, has bad breath or propositions me for sex, he’s toast.

(Shudder)

I have serial dater friends that love those first few meetings with a new guy. They get high off of the adrenaline rush that’s produced by the prospect of finding new love… only to get tired of him after a few weeks- at which point they repeat the cycle with someone new, over and over again.

They call this fun.

I call it torture. Seriously.

I haven’t had the best of luck in the search for my dearly beloved…

There was the guy who just couldn’t commit, no matter what- his famous quote was, “Just be patient…” but when it came time to actually go for it, he never could quite pull the trigger.

Then there was “Be Patient” guy’s polar opposite- the one who wanted to move in with me after only physically laying eyes on me twice. Shit- he didn’t see the need to be patient at all.

Is there not a happy medium?

Next came the guy I thought I was meeting for dinner… only due to a mix up via text message… in showing up realized not only was he not the guy I thought I had made the date with, but was someone whose name I didn’t even know.

It was slightly uncomfortable when the main course arrived and I still had no idea who I was dining with.

That was strike one for internet dating. I realized that for the life of me, I couldn’t keep these people straight. I had to resort to keeping track of them via spreadsheet.

Not exactly romantic.

After that, there were several men back-to-back who after a few times out revealed they lived with their parents and were unemployed… in spite of being 35 years old.

In between those guys were men who kept trying to impress me by claiming to be the next P. Diddy- with their “production studios” in their basements. They scoffed at such things as traditional employment, having their own place and owning a car… claiming their big break was just around the corner…

Sigh.

I’ll never forget the people I met while out and about who asked me for my phone number, told me they were interested in me… only to later admit that they still have girlfriends… “not to worry”, they’d tell me, “I’m getting ready to dump her… I just wanted to find a replacement first”.

Ugh. As if finding a relationship is like shopping for car insurance. We certainly don’t want a lapse in coverage… err… girlfriends!

I suppose I wasn’t anticipating the challenges I’ve had… I thought the things I was looking for were pretty simple, really. 

I don’t want to get remarried, and I don’t want any more kids. I’m not looking for anything too serious… I want someone to spend time with when my daughters are at their dad’s house. I’m not looking for another father for my children, hell, I’m not even looking to introduce anyone to them…

When I try to communicate this to potential dates, they often misunderstand me, as apparently when a woman says she’s not looking for anything serious, this sounds like “I am only looking for sex.”

In spite of it all, I have decided to give this thing another try… I guess I need you to wish me luck, and usher the fairies of Positive Dating Experiences my way… cuz here I go again.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Dating, News, Race, Relationships, Single Mom

The Black Epidemic

I saw an article today that made my blood run cold.

In certain areas of the U.S., black HIV/AIDS infection rates rival that of rates in some African nations.

Whew.

I had to let that sink in for a few minutes.

In this country, even though blacks only represent one in eight people, 80% of new HIV cases are coming out of the black community. In fact, in Washington, 5%- or one in twenty- black people are currently infected with the virus.

Right now African Americans account for over 50% of all U.S. HIV infections.

This is absolutely horrifying.

AIDS is now the number one killer of blacks. Number one. Not heart disease or cancer. Not car accidents.

AIDS.

If black Americans made up their very own nation, they would have more people infected with HIV than both Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast- combined.

Why are these numbers so high within our own community, as compared to others?

Some research shows that people of African descent have inherited a gene variant that makes us up to 40% more likely to become infected if exposed.

The key words here are if exposed.

If we do not allow ourselves to be exposed than we have no risk of getting this disease.

Gene variant or not, we are not behaving ourselves. We are not acting responsibly, and too often when our behavior leads to dire consequences, we are not accepting responsibility.

We become sneaky, we are in denial.

After attempting to absorb all the numbers, all I can think about is my daughters.

What does all this mean for my little girls and their future?

My two beautiful black-women-in-training are in terrible danger.

I can preach- shout from the rooftops- all day long about the importance of abstinence, or at the very least, condoms, but at the end of the day, when they’re out on their own, charged with making their own decisions, will it do any good?

Will they listen?

Is anyone listening? It certainly doesn’t sound like it.

I guess at this point all I can do is beg each of you to talk to your children- even if the conversation is an uncomfortable one.

Lead by example… we all need to be safe and responsible. We need to take proactive measures to prevent the further spread of this disease… and for those people for which proactive measures are too late, please- get tested, seek treatment… and be honest with everyone- potential partners, current partners, everyone.

I realize that there’s a terrible stigma that comes with being HIV positive, but millions of people’s lives- children’s lives, as well as our own- depend on knowing the frank, honest truth.

Please. Do what’s right, even as it may be a difficult task.

For my children’s sake and yours.