Posted in C-Haze, Race, Racism, Terror, Terrorism, War on Terror

Fear & Bigotry has become Our Culture

I’m heartbroken by recent events. The terror attacks in Beirut, Paris, Mali… the state of affairs in the Middle East… our own country’s failed policies where “fighting terror” is concerned… the racial strife I see everyday here in the US… the fear mongering and outright bigotry I see from many of our own elected “Christian” officials.

My views aren’t popular, and as soon as I speak them, people tend to tune me out. That’s ok, though. It won’t shut me up. Small as it may be, this is my forum. My place to say what’s on my mind.

Our hands – the hands of the United States – are not clean where any of these tragedies are concerned. We cultivated wars in the Middle East, we worked with others to kill millions in that region, and we now have the audacity to act confused, scratching our heads, wondering, “What caused so many people to hate us? Why are so many in the Middle East so radical these days?”

Those are stupid questions. The US didn’t consciously create ISIS and its sympathizers, but to pretend our foreign policy of the last 20 years had nothing to do with it is dumb.

Yes, dumb.

We made orphans of a lot of kids in the Middle East over the years. Those babies aren’t babies any more, and now that they’re grown, they have an axe to grind.

I don’t defend ISIS, I don’t defend evil, and I for damn sure don’t defend the death and destruction of innocent people. The thing is, I don’t defend those things in any circumstance. I don’t defend it when it’s ISIS chopping off heads, or deploying suicide bombers in crowded arenas, and I don’t defend it when it’s government-sanctioned drone attacks or boots-on-the-ground action in the Middle East either.

As a nation, we’ve messed up. That’s not an anti-American sentiment. It’s an honest opinion. I love my country. I love being an American, and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere but here. That doesn’t mean I can’t speak out when I believe our government has acted foolishly, and it doesn’t mean I have to agree with or support the current climate among my fellow Americans.

What’s happening overseas is depressing enough, but that’s not the full story, either. Our own nation is turning against each other. Turning against fellow citizens of the United States of America. Racial turmoil is the highest I’ve seen in my 37 years of life. In some places, such as where I live, we seem poised for all-out war. A civil war, with sides chosen based on the color of one’s skin.

The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. Just. Astounding.

In one breath, I hear people taking rioters to task after the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and others. Screaming about how vile, vicious and violent the black community is. In the next breath, these same people are cheering Donald Trump’s stump speeches, while he deliriously yells that we should “bomb the shit out of Syria!”

We have people doing their best to refuse Syrian Refugees in their states, but those same people support the NRA. This wouldn’t be surprising, except that the NRA wants us to continue allowing people whose names are on the No Fly List to legally purchase assault rifles in this country.

Let me get this straight: You don’t want the refugees in this country because they might be terrorists… but if they happen to make it here, you want them to have the ability to purchase weapons?

What kind of sense does that make?

The answer is that it makes the same kind of sense that allowing people deemed too dangerous to board a passenger jet to purchase assault weapons makes.

As in, none whatsoever.

The common thread in all of it – whether ISIS and refugees from the Middle East, or people of color in our own neighborhoods – is fear. We justify our hateful, bigoted policies – domestic and abroad – by pointing to our fears. Fear of a religion we don’t understand, fear of people we don’t respect because their skin color is the wrong hue.

My heart is heavy.

 

Posted in Arson, Current Events, News, Race, Racism, St. Louis

St. Louis, Arsons and Churches

A suspect has been arrested in the St. Louis church fires.

These fires were long seen as a sign of the racial turmoil in the St. Louis area, as the churches were burned in predominantly black neighborhoods.

With that in mind, I wonder how many are surprised to learn the suspect is a black male.

I have long worried that people against peace in our city will stoop to such lows as to manufacture racial disparity in an effort to spearhead some sort of revolution. Not just black people, either.

The facts are still a long way from being sorted out. Maybe this guy did it, maybe he didn’t. We don’t know much yet, other than he’s been arrested.

Our city needs peace.

Posted in Crime, Current Events, Dating, Rape

Date Rape, Nail Polish and Empowering Women

Nail-PolishThere’s been a lot of uproar lately about this new nail polish that can detect whether or not date rape drugs are present in one’s drink. After applying the polish, a person can stir the drink with their finger, and the color will change if drugs are detected.

A lot of women are critical of this, saying the responsibility of whether to rape or not falls squarely on the shoulders of the rapist. Still others hail this as a wonderful invention.

I agree with those who say this nail polish is a wonderful thing. While I also agree that only the rapist bears responsibility for committing the crime of rape, I fully support anything that empowers women, and makes them less likely to be victimized.

No one would tell a homeowner not to bother locking their doors at night, because we all understand that doing so makes us less likely to be the victims of a home invasion. Equally true, if someone neglects to lock their doors, no one is going to blame them for getting robbed. The robber is still fully responsible for committing the crime.

We tell women not to leave their drinks unattended in bars, we tell women to use the buddy system when out partying, and to make sure someone is always aware of their plans. We fully support women who choose to take self-defense classes, and constantly remind them to “trust” their guts, don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that feels funny, even if the reason for that feeling is not easily identified.

How is the idea of the nail polish any different from any of those things? There is nothing wrong with taking action to make us less likely to be victimized. If, despite the actions we have taken (and even if no action was taken at all), the unthinkable happens, it is not the victim’s fault. That’s not what this nail polish symbolizes, nor is that what supporters are claiming.

Predators use ever-evolving technology to accomplish more and more dastardly deeds. It’s high time technology was used to stop them in their tracks.

Posted in Amber Wright, Charlie Kay Ely, Current Events, Hate, Murder, News, Relationships, Seath Jackson, True Crime

Seath Jackson, Facebook and the Farmhouse

So much can change in what seems like the blink of an eye.

In March of 2011, Seath Jackson was a happy guy. Just 15, he was in love, had lots of friends, and had dreams of becoming a UFC Champion.

Seath’s girlfriend, Amber Wright, was also 15 years old. The two were close that spring, as evidenced by Seath’s regular Facebook status updates. Many were just like this one, in March, that reads, “I love you Amber”.

Quickly- perhaps in the blink of an eye, even- the tenor changed.

Less than a month later, in the first week April, Seath is observed switching from love-speak, and suddenly begins referring to Amber as a slut, accusing her of cheating on him.

The drama, of course, teen love gone awry- one party moving on, losing interest, meeting someone else- is nothing new.

The terrifying twist in this story does not lie in the fact that Seath and Amber’s relationship, at 15 years old, did not last. It does not rest in the ugliness of the allegations Seath made against Amber; Nor does it have to do with Amber’s returned accusations, her allegations of suffering both verbal and physical abuse at Seath’s hands .

What was so horrifying, what put an extra-ugly edge to an already-ugly dance of angsty teenage-drama, was the public way in which it all played out. An added layer of humiliation was served cold by both Seath and Amber, and they dished all of it on Facebook. This is where they aired their dirty laundry, their relational dysfunction, their anger and heartache. Their large circle of friends began to take notice, and before long, they were chiming in too.

The more others began weighing in, the more bitter the battle of words became between Amber and Seath, until finally, they both declared themselves…

… DONE.

On April 8, 2011, after railing on Facebook (with the help of his friends) about Amber for almost 24 hours, Seath announced that he was ready to move on. He was finished with the “dumb shit”, and had decided it was time to let it go. Amber, for her part, seemed to have a difficult time believing Seth was really “done”, and told him so.

How are yuu done with it. When you continuously write shit about me. Talk shit about me. Hate on me. Fucking say shit to me? Huh tell me bc I really wanna fucking know! Exactly yuur not done with it if yuu keep bringing my name into shit! So learn the definition on DONE!

And with that public exchange, it seems there was finally…

… Silence.

The silence, however, was misleading.

Amber turned to her new boyfriend, 19 year old Michael Bargo, who already hated Seath, and began to share. Michael’s jealously raged, and with Amber’s help, began hatching a plan.

A chilling, deadly, horrible plan.

The kind of plan that causes everything to change, in the blink of an eye.

On Monday, April 18, 2011, police began looking for Seath. It didn’t take long for them to learn what had happened to the teenager, and by Tuesday afternoon, the truth began to unfold in gruesome, chilling detail.

Seath had last been seen Sunday afternoon, April 17, by friends. He had seemed fine, in an upbeat mood, until later in the day, when he began receiving phone calls and text messages.

The calls were coming from Amber and a friend of hers, Charlie Kay Ely.

Amber, it seemed, wanted Seath to come see her at Charlie’s house. Charlie, 18, had a home of her own, and it was isolated- a farmhouse, of sorts. Amber wanted Seath to meet her there so the two of them could patch things up.

She wanted to get back together, she said.

Seath, initially, declined. Amber, with the help of her friend, was able to change his mind, convincing him to meet the two at Charlie’s place.

When Seath arrived at the home, he realized- too late- that this was not to be a happy reunion. Immediately he was ambushed by Michael Bargo, who had help from Amber’s 16 year old step-brother Kyle Hooper, and 20 year old Justin Soto, a mutual friend of theirs.

The three men began beating Seath in the head with wooden objects. Later, Soto and Hooper held Seath down while Michael Bargo shot the teen several times with .22-caliber gun.

Next, the boys placed Seath in a bathtub, where they proceeded to break his knees in an attempt to fit him inside of a sleeping bag.

Bargo, realizing Seath was still alive, shot him again.

Jackson was placed inside the waiting sleeping bag, and his body was taken to the backyard of the home.

They lit a bonfire and burned him.

Seath’s remains were scooped into empty paint cans, and the step-father of Amber Wright and Kyle Hooper, 37 year old James Young Havens III, helped them clean up by bleaching the premises. Law Enforcement believes he knew about the plan in advance, and did nothing to stop it.

It was Kyle Hooper who, on that Tuesday afternoon, one day after they began looking for Seath Jackson, confessed to police the details of what had happened. Tracey Wright, Amanda and Kyle’s mother, had learned of the role her children had played in the death of their peer, and forced Hooper to tell the authorities.

Amber Wright had lured her one-time love to his death.

Michael Bargo, 19, has been charged with first degree-murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Justin Soto, 20, is also charged with first-degree murder, and faces the possibility of a death sentence as well.

Amanda Wright, 15, Kyle Hooper, 16, and Charlie Kay Ely, 18, were all charged with first-degree murder, though prosecutors have declined to seek the death penalty in each of the three cases.

James Young Havens III, 37, has been charged as an accessory after the fact.

Charlie Kay Ely is the only one of the five defendants who refused to waive her right to a speedy trial, and was convicted of first-degree murder. The jury voted to convict after deliberating for barely more than an hour. She will automatically receive a sentence of life in prison.

The others are still awaiting trial.

Posted in C-Haze, Current Events, Dating, News, Off The Wall, Porn, Pornography, Relationships, True Crime

The Stalker, the Student and the Stud

A woman was being stalked.

For three and a half years, Ruth Jeffery lived in fear. Someone, somehow, knew every detail of her intimate life. He knew her schedule, and even had access to her e-mail accounts.

Once, he posted “intimate” pictures of her on an adult website, prompting a stranger to show up, announced, at her home.

Ruth was at her wits’ end, and counted heavily on the support of her boyfriend, who she’d been dating for more than three years; a man she’d known for more than a decade.

In fact, her boyfriend, Shane Webber, was the one person she could lean on during the ordeal. “We did everything together. I would tell him everything”. She believed he was telling her everything in return.

When her stalker created an online profile that was similar to her own, and started reaching out to her friends, pretending to be her, she got scared. This person simply knew too much about her. Was it a friend? A classmate from school?

Who could do such a thing?

Ruth stopped eating, fell into a deep depression, and was filled with fear and paranoia. She began taking anti-depressants. At one point, her studies were impacted, she was so drastically affected, she had to retake her final exams.

She was suicidal, and told those closest to her, she wanted to die.

“I don’t want to be alive anymore”

 Finally, in desperation, Ruth turned to police. By this time, her harasser had pretended to be various classmates of hers, and had even hacked into her computer, sending intimate photos of her to all of her contacts from her own e-mail address. Ms. Jeffery found herself bombarded with sexually explicit photos and videos.

The desperation, depression and fear continued to spiral, Ruth was terrified, humiliated and ashamed.

Police diligently tracked the  stalker, meticulously documenting incident after incident of harassment.

At one point, authorities thought they were closing in on their perp. They arrested and interrogated a close friend of Ruth’s boyfriend. Police, briefly, believed they’d found their stalker.

They were wrong.

Undeterred, police refused to give up.

Finally, they got their break, and after nearly four years of constant harassment, arrested Ruth’s long-time boyfriend, Shane Webber.

Webber is charged with causing Harassment, Alarm or Distress.

He had been harassing, stalking and intimidating his own girlfriend for the entire time they had been dating.

He has pled guilty.

Upon hearing the news, Ruth issued a statement proclaiming, “I want him to be put in prison because he has wrecked the past three-and-a-half years of my life… I’ve known him for 10 years, so in a way it feels like the past 10 years have been wasted.”

Webber is due to be sentenced on October 6, 2011.

Posted in Andrew Breitbart, Anthony Weiner, C-Haze, Congress, Current Events, Government, News, Politics, Twitter

Weiner Needs to Resign

When I posted previously about Representative Anthony Weiner’s colossal dick move-tweeting penis pics of himself to schoolgirls  co-eds, I wasn’t ready to say whether or not he should resign.

I was pretty clear, right away, on the point that the man is a jerk, but hell, if lying and cheating on our spouses kept us out of politics, we wouldn’t have any politicians left, would we?

Now, however, with multiple women coming out of the woodwork… all telling similar stories of how Weiner pursued them relentlessly…

… Alongside the fact that we’re learning Weiner’s wife is pregnant with their first child…

This, in conjunction with all the allegations of his using congressional resources to communicate with this women…

But wait! There’s more.

We learned of Anthony Weiner’s callous willingness to lie to the nation, attempting to convince his constituents, the press and the nation that Arch Nemesis Conservative Blogger Andrew Breitbart hacked into his Twitter account and posted false photos in an effort to embarrass the Congressman.

Once caught, he tells us that “to the best of his knowledge, all the women were over the age of consent”.

We’re beginning to hear stories with lurid details, finding out that Anthony Weiner, via text, was making plans to meet with a woman in person– in Vegas- that he had been sexting almost daily.

As the truth about his secret cyber-life began leaking to the press, and it became increasing obvious he wasn’t getting out of this one unscathed, he coached at least one woman to lie for him.

According to Politico, Weiner gives instructions to his lust interest in a June 1 e-mail:

Have a couple of iterations of: ‘This is silly. Like so many others, I follow Rep. Weiner on Twitter. I don’t know him and have never met him. He briefly followed me and sent me a dm (direct message) saying thank you for the follow. That’s it.’

Next, he goes on to offer to have a member of his PR team contact her, should she need some additional pointers on how to B.S. the press. This, of course, raises the question of whether or not he used Congressional resources (i.e. staff) in an effort to cover up his shenanigans.

Ugh.

I’ve heard enough.

There are a lot of cute twists and turns to this story, and had it been a fictional parity of Washington, DC, it might have been humorous.

A congressman named Weiner gets caught posting pictures of his weiner on the internet, spawning a sex scandal; Weiner’s wife, aide to perhaps the most famous woman scorned in the world, the woman who is married to none other than Slick Willy himself… is pregnant with their child.

Unfortunately, Hollywood screenplay this is not, and real people put real trust in this man.

It’s time for Weiner to resign.

Posted in Andrew Breitbart, Anthony Weiner, C-Haze, Congress, Current Events, Democrats, Liberal, Marriage, News, Politics, Twitter

Weiner, Weiner, Pants on Fire

Well, it appears Representative Weiner really is a weiner after all, as he finally admits to both taking and sending the dreaded penis pic

A shot that was seen around the world!

Senator Anthony Weiner stated today that yes, the picture depicting him in all his boxer-brief glory was, in fact him. Further, he was not hacked, and the picture was sent purposely (though as a joke) to a woman via Twitter.

Mr. Weiner, a newly wed who has been married less than a year, further admits that this is not the first sexually inappropriate relationship he has engaged in online, saying there have been perhaps six such cyber-encounters over the past three years. Some of these relationships have occurred since his marriage, though he denies having ever been unfaithful.

I’m sure his wife finds that nugget of information quite comforting, assuming she can bring herself to believe a single word that comes out of his ever-moving mouth.

It seems Rep. Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, discussed his online behavior prior to their wedding, and have no intention of splitting up over this.

Hell, when it comes to politicians, this scandal is lukewarm compared to what we’ve become accustomed to, right?

I wonder if, while assisting Clinton, Ms. Abedin learned a thing or two about how to swallow the humiliation that comes with learning, quite publicly and in real time, along with the rest of the world, that one’s spouse is a cheating bastard.

Personally, I’m quite shocked.

I thought, from the moment this story was published, that Rep. Weiner had been targeted by Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart in an effort to embarrass the Congressman. Breitbart has lost a lot of credibility in general, after his not-so-nice attempt to paint U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Shirley Sherrod as a racist hater of all white people.

You know who I’m talking about- the guy who heavily edited Sherrod’s real nice feel-good speech from a zillion years ago, in an effort to make her look like a mighty Black Panther-ette. He’s also the guy who helped kill ACORN, due to his involvement in the extreme manipulation of the James O’Keefe video.

None of that, however, is why I was so surprised to learn Weiner’s dirty little Twitter secret.

For me, the reason was simple. Twitter is so… well… PUBLIC! Who in their right mind, especially anyone with more than 40,000 followers, who is married,  would Tweet a picture of his privates to a member of the opposite sex who is decidedly NOT his wife? He does know Twitter is public, right? I mean, he does expext his tens of thousands of followers to see the stuff he actually tweets to them, I’d imagine.

So what in the world was he thinking?

Weiner was thinking with his weiner!

This man clearly revels in punishment.

Maybe he’s like the cyber-version of those people who like to get spanked or something.

I don’t know if Representative Weiner needs to resign or not. I’ll leave that decision to his wife and him.

Hopefully, however, we can rest in knowing that Weiner’s weiner has been properly covered.

Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Marriage, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting

Abortion, Birth Control and Online Polls

Oh. My. God.

Of all the disgusting, completely irresponsible things I have seen on the internet, this is probably the worst of them all.

I just came across an article at ParentDish about the Arnold family. Alicha Arnold is pregnant, and apparently didn’t know whether or not she wanted to keep the child…

… So…

She, along with her husband, started a website. The purpose of the site is to poll the public- should they have the baby or abort it?

Mrs. Arnold, who has been married for 9 years, explains her uncertainty by saying, “I’m not convinced that I want to change the status quo… I feel that as I age I’ve actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways. I’m afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and ‘settling down,’ as they say. I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.”

Wow.

The Arnolds seem well-educated and financially stable. They both work in technology, and have been a couple for more than a decade. Certainly for these two upwardly mobile people, birth control was not a mystery, or a myth. They could have easily availed themselves to it, and yet they didn’t. When the inevitable happened (you see, when two people love each other, the man will stick his… well, you know where I’m headed with this…), and she got pregnant, she turned to that which she knows best- technology- to help make the biggest, most heart-wrenching, personal decision she will likely ever face.

No wait.

Allow me to rephrase.

She turned to others– strangers (!) to make that decision for her.

I am disgusted.

Ultimately, it seems the Arnolds, with the public’s assistance, have chosen to continue their pregnancy.

Truly, I have no idea if I’m relieved or not…

… This woman will be a mother soon.

How do you parent a child whose fate you once left to the public? To strangers, freaks, hackers, psychopaths, politicians (sorry- couldn’t resist!)?

“Now look, Junior! You better show some respect! If not for that 51% on my website, you wouldn’t even be here right now! Go clean your room like I asked you to!”

Huh.

I dunno, folks.

I declare I’ve seen it all.

Posted in Congress, Conservative, Current Events, GOP, Health Care Reform, Health Care Repeal, Healthcare Reform, House of Representatives, News, Politics, Republicans

Futility, Health Care Repeal and Symbolism

How fabulously productive Thursday was on Capitol Hill!

The House spent part of the day reading the Constitution aloud to one another, part of the day dickin’ around and not swearing in two of its new Republican members (Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick decided to skip the ceremony and were instead at a fund raiser), and the rest of the day taking test votes to see if they have enough support to symbolically repeal the health care bill.

Only in Republican-world can people manage to both read and violate the Constitution in a single day.

They must be tired!

I know the year is young, but if this is any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a fun ride, folks.

The health care repeal, if passed in the House, truly would only be a symbolic victory for House Repubs.

In other words, it wouldn’t actually result in the repeal of anything at all.

The bill won’t go anywhere beyond the House, as it would never gain enough traction to make it to the Senate floor, where Democrats still hold control.

Even if Senate Republicans could jam the bill down Harry Reid’s throat (and the stars, moons and planets throughout the galaxy somehow find themselves aligned just right, while pigs simultaneously begin flying), and get it passed, Obama would bitch-slap that thing back into Boehner’s wet dreams veto it.

With a quickness.

I get that in an enforceable-law sort of way, this bill is harmless, but still, I find myself scratching my head.

Didn’t the GOP gain control of the House of Representatives in large part by promising to curb all that wasteful spending the Democrats seem to be so addicted to?

Yet they somehow think a symbolic repeal of the health care bill is a responsible thing to do…

… Even as we learn that the price tag for passing this worthless bit of drivel would actually raise the deficit by more than $230 billion over the next 10 years, and add another trillion in national debt in the 20 years following the first 10.

Now look.

I realize the Democrats aren’t exactly known for their sound fiscal policy…

… But last I checked, people were actually getting something out of the hugely expensive decisions the Dems have been making recently.

Yes, “Obamacare” (as the haters say) comes with a high price tag, but once fully implemented, more than 30 million Americans who currently have no health insurance will be covered. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions, so on and so forth. The stimulus package, while not nearly as successful as Obama had hoped, did create jobs, and we are now seeing noticeable drops in unemployment numbers.

In what world does spending $230 billion on a symbolic bill actually make sense? Certainly not in the world I live in, where our nation’s deficit is already out of control, unemployment is still too high, and people can’t make their mortgage payments.

House Republicans say that the gesture is the first step in making good on a promise to the American people to repeal health care legislation.

I can’t help but wonder what happened to their promise of fiscal responsibility? Their promise to reign in the oh-so-rampant wasteful spending in Washington?

From my vantage point, the only promise being fulfilled is that of total futility.

Posted in Abortion, Current Events, Discrimination, Genocide, News, Planned Parenthood, Poverty, Race, Racism, Sex, Unplanned Pregnancy

Black Americans- An Endangered Species?

The Pro-Life-ies have a new tactic in the works, designed to shame black people out of having abortions.

Billboards are popping up throughout the south- most notably Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX- informing the masses that Black people are an endangered species, and that “The Most Dangerous Place for African American Children is in the Womb”.

Ouch.

Is this a blatantly racist attack against blacks, or is there a painful truth behind the messages?

The idea behind the billboards, according to Heroic Media, a pro-life organization out of Austin, is to highlight the disproportionately higher number of abortions chosen by African American women, as compared to other races. According to BlackGenocide.org (a pro-life arm of LEARN- Life Education and Research Network), while minority women account for roughly 13% of the overall female population, black women are responsible for 36% of all abortions. The site goes on to claim approximately 1,876 black babies are aborted in the U.S. every day.

I can find no independent verification of these numbers, but to be fair, I do realize that abortion among minority, low-income communities is disproportionately high.

That being said, we also know that 70% of all black babies that are born in this country are born into single-parent households. Minority children are much more likely to suffer from child abuse, neglect, extreme poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and premature death.

Sounds to me like African American kids are screwed no matter what.

Where is the breakdown? What is happening to our children in this country?

Some, like Heroic Media, would like us to believe the villain in the equation is Planned Parenthood. The group sites Planned Parenthood’s presence in primarily minority, low income neighborhoods. They also remind us of the horrible woman Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was. She supported Eugenics, and thought minorities and handicapped humans should be eliminated as a necessary means to build the strongest human race possible. It is widely known that with the help of haplessly manipulated black clergy, Ms. Sanger was able to open free clinics in poor black neighborhoods throughout the south, giving access to birth control for the first time ever to low income African American neighborhoods.

Some say Margaret Sanger was a hero- after all, she was merely bringing reproductive opportunities long available to wealthy whites into lower income areas. Many black residents got jobs at the clinics. Others were able to take charge, for the first time ever, of their own reproductive paths.

Others say Ms. Sanger was a criminal, a miniature Hitler, hell-bent on doing whatever necessary to create a master race. Motivated by her beliefs that African Americans are sub-standard and therefore worthy of nothing less than elimination, Margaret Sanger unapologetically charges into black neighborhoods feigning concern for the poor, while quietly plotting to annihilate an entire race.

Planned Parenthood does exist predominantly in low income neighborhoods, though I would submit the reasons for that have less to do with blatant racism, and more to do with the wealthy yuppies of America wanting nothing to do with such a negative societal reminder in their neighborhood. Wealthy women have no problem driving to the ghetto when PP’s services are warranted, so let the ugly underbelly of society stay where it belongs- right in the heart of the ugly underbelly of the city!

As for Ms. Sanger, the illustrious founder of all things birth control/women’s health/abortion related, I say she, like many of us, was an intriguing combination of women’s rights hero, champion, and monster.

I find myself thankful for the opportunities Planned Parenthood offers women- and I speak of so much more than just abortion services. Planned Parenthood offers women’s health care for those who do not have insurance. One can obtain pap smears, STD tests and birth control from their clinics, and not have to choose between paying their electric bill and taking their birth control pills in order to do it.

One thing we can all agree on is the fact that unwanted, unplanned pregnancy is an all-out epidemic in this country.

Why don’t we stop fighting over how to handle the issue once it’s too late, and the woman (or girl)- black, white or otherwise- is already pregnant, and put our collective heads together to figure out how to avoid the actual pregnancy to begin with? For millions, neither option- be it abortion OR bringing a baby into a family/society that doesn’t want them, resulting in abuse, neglect and often death- is acceptable.

What can we do about that problem?