U.S. Constitution:1st Amendment Rights……Don’t Shhhhhhhhh Me

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For those of you who are unfamiliar….

The 1st amendment to the constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances (Legal Information Institute,2018).

Most people summarize this entire clause spewing “Freedom of Speech”.  Is there a true freedom of speech? I think not! Nothing in this clause says that you can say whatever you want, where ever you want, whenever you want. It just reassures that no laws will be passed through congress that hinders religion, freedom of speech or press, peaceful assembly, or to petition the government for injustices.

Now that we are all acquainted with the ambiguous words used in Amendment 1 of the U.S. constitution…….lets get real. As a young, black, outspoken, educated woman……..I know I am seen as a serious threat to misrepresentations of justice. Rightfully so….. I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to words. I put my stock in the actions behind the expressions.

There have been so many times throughout my life that I have been coached about what not to say around a certain audience. Infuriated by reprimands of speaking truth, I would reluctantly sit and listen to slurs of information embedded with deception. I often wondered why I had to silence my passion when there was no suggestion of disrespect or deceit. Of course, I rebelled against the “sit and nod” notion and quickly found myself in a world that I was now perceived a threat to the ignorance.

I would hear people say, “Freedom of Speech” and repeated it as knowledge and not as hear say. This is a decision I despise, but I can appreciate that it made me gain the knowledge necessary to speak truth. After being schooled by one of my mentors, I read the Constitution in its entirety. All those rights, I thought were protected quickly became undefended as I focused on each word of this document.

I just wanted to be heard without the label of “menace to society”. I remember my mentor teacher telling me not to speak out against anything if I wanted longevity in education. This almost made me want to reconsider my career choice. I chose education to become an advocate for the apparent educational injustices. I was temporarily disarmed, but I found my way.

Blackballed, banned, blacklisted, ostracized, snubbed…. whichever term you chose, your words can easily land you in a position where you are wearing one of them on your shoulders. It is unfortunate, but this is our reality. Many of us work for corporations, businesses, or for the state/federal government. There is a very real chance that what you say could cause self-sabotage that will follow you your entire career.

ADVOCACY!!!!!!!! I have the right to speak out against injustice….Nope

I am an advocate. I will speak out and take action against any injustice that I face……I just have developed a type of system that keeps me accountable, but safe. I am always aware of my audience and what is at stake. I must consider the personalities and the hierarchy that is present or will later hear of my statements.  Why should this matter if you are only giving justified opinions or stating facts? It shouldn’t, but it unquestionably does.

In brief, freedom of speech depends your social status, race, sex, and audience. I will never accept this and will continue to advocate for myself and others that do not have a voice. Since the 1st amendment or any other part of the constitution will not protect me, I will protect myself with wise decisions. Even though listening to ignorance quietly, doesn’t seem productive…it is. You get the chance to hear the inaccuracies that will help you in your plight to right the wrong. Remember to always stay humble and speak your truth.

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Over and Done: When Loyalty Ends!

tierra and meThere is something to be said about a “loyal” person. As a loyal person, you are expected to withstand disloyalty and still give other people 100 percent of your loyalty. As a loyal person, you are expected to forgive and forget. As a loyal person, you are the last person considered for any accolades. When does loyalty end?

A few years ago my answer would have been astoundingly different. I considered loyalty to be the top character trait that I looked for in people. You live and learn right? The importance of loyalty and the definition of loyalty has become subjective over time. I often questioned why I felt like I was getting the short end of the stick. It was not just a feeling, it was my reality.

I decided that the definition of loyalty is situational. There are always going to be more than one reaction to an action.  Loyalty is providing what is needed in that particular situation with the hopeful outcome of success. Knowing this, my circle has changed overtime. I realized that I do not need “yes” people in my life. I am self-motivated, and I do not need external motivation. People in my life hold value in different ways. Loyal friends and family will continue to cheer you on, as long you are on a path towards success.  I do not consider it an act of  loyalty when someone cheers you on as you are headed toward disaster, without first acknowledging the catastrophic outcome.

So, when does loyalty end? It doesn’t. As I continue to grow as a person, loyalty continues to change its purpose in my life. Being taken advantage of, is not a way to prove loyalty. It is a way to be manipulated and unhappy. Remaining loyal means that you advocate for the success of a person or idea. I have been fortunate enough to have a support system that is the epitome of loyalty. Are you loyal? Are the people in your circle loyal to you?

 

Signing Out,

The Melanin Educator

Purpose: What the heck is it?

Your journey begins, when excuses end!

The calling……I guess

Snapchat-1314208948Have you ever wondered about that empty place that occupied your heart….even when you seem to have it all? I did…..very often. The day this picture was taken….an epiphany surfaced. I came to realize that this space was my life’s purpose…..unfulfilled.

Question after question has filled my head during times when the focus should have been else where. I needed to find my purpose. But, what the heck is it? I still do not have exact answers, however this blog is definitely a part of it. I never thought about starting a blog, so the nagging feeling to do so was baffling. Well, I’m here and ready to start this journey. Whatever the purpose of being here, I hope to help others on their journeys as well. #firstblogpost #purpose