Blood in the Streets: Part III, The Children

Why

TheChildrenIt’s been just a few short months since the first two parts of this series were shared. Already, there have been a shocking number of more violent incidents. During that short time, a famous athlete, Mr. Colin Kaepernick has gained national attention for his form of silent protest. Other athletes, soldiers, and even students have followed in his footsteps.

Still it feels like we are no closer to a solution.

What is the solution? Is there a solution?

These are questions that can be heard tossed around on both sides. It’s obvious something needs to be done but not many people seem to have a clue where to begin. Many feel fear of “stirring the pot” so to speak, and my response is simply-perhaps the proverbial pot needs to be stirred.
We need to keep dialoging. We need to be uncomfortable in the conversations and situations in order to come to a positive middle ground. I’ve often feared bringing up these conversations myself; being one of the first ones. Some may say I’m placing a target on my forehead. I’m fully aware that I may be doing just that. This one, however, is personal to me. When my friends and family already have targets on their forehead, I guess I might as well join the bunch.

Vines

There have even been children who have fallen victim to this sort of warped society we’re living in both physically and mentally. As a PTSD sufferer myself, I have suggested to friends that there should be massive group therapies (as well as individual) taking place. These options need to be enacted in order to treat the trauma not only these children, but also adults, are facing.

Trayvon Martin was one of the first names in these modern times to hit home for me. So much so that I felt the need to speak up then too. That could have been my son. That could have been your son. The media and politicians like to spin these as “black issues” that only effect black people. That could not be farther from the truth. This is a human rights issue. The moment atrocities like this occur, it becomes everyone’s issue—whether you like it or not.

Sadly, we need to explain these issues to our children. As a parent of a young, sensitive child I understand how painfully difficult this can be. The weight of having to do such a thing could make us want to avoid the situation all-together. Though their lives could be the price we pay for avoiding these touchy topics.

So let’s continue talking, and moving, and changing, so that perhaps in our not-so-distant future there will no longer be blood in the streets. No more blood from my brother, your brother, sister, father, son, mother, daughter, cousin, lover, friend, or anyone.

Blood in the Streets Series

This series is dedicated to all of the people of color that have supported me both emotionally and professionally not only over these past few years, but through my entire life.

This one is for you Miss Sophia, “Filly” Felicia, Val, Meli, Ashley, Amor, Jess, Jason, O, Viv, Tony, Pam, Curt, Ka, Gloria, Ra, Hahn, and countless others.

I value and appreciate you.

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Filing a Grief Report

There will be an updated Terms of Service added to CardCastles within the next few days.

I’ve seen the need for this in recent years more rather than less so I decided to finally write up a legitimate, legally-binding document.

These changes are mainly being put in place not only to protect my individual/intellectual property rights as an artist, but to protect this community of loyals (Daydreamers, as you’ve been affectionately referred to. Credit to Maddie at @1EarthUnited for that pretty pearl.)

I’m aware that there may come a time where a troll may harass you, or another user may make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes there may be an argument that takes place in the comments section when no one is here to see it.

That is precisely the kind of incident this Grief Report system was designed for.

Filing a Grief Report

How To

  • Head on over to the Contact page.
  • Scroll to the Contact form and select “Grievance” (See Example)
rep_instructions
Grief Report Filing Example
  • Describe the incident or complaint.
  • Submit and wait for Confirmation Email.

Now, let’s hope we never have to use these.

Safety and Our Children

Happy Clouds

Lately, some events have been taking place that may make parents feel their children are not as safe as they once were.  In some cases, this is quite true. So, we ask ourselves as parents “What can we do?” “How can we prevent this?”

There is no simple answer. Although many of us are taking peaceful steps to help put a stop to this, we cannot put a halt to all of the violence in the world. As one of my favorite characters in a story once said “There’s just too much of it…”

We can however start taking measures to educate our children on safety both in & out of the home.

Below is a list I’ve created over the past few months for my own son and his friends.

In the Home

  1. Limit internet access unless completely necessary. (School projects, printing, keeping in touch with family, etc) Smaller children should not have internet access at all unless an educational program or app you approve of requires it. In both cases, internet usage should always be supervised.
  2. Dialogue with your children in terms understandable to them about the dangers of internet predators and cyber-bullying.
  3. Speak to smaller children about “strangers” that may try to lure them somewhere when they are outside of the home. (I know this is a scary subject for both parent and child but try to explain it to your child or children in a way that won’t terrify them…but still make them understand the danger.)
  4. Put restrictions on all gadgets like smart phones, tablets, and iPods.
  5. If your child plays video games, supervise them and please…for the love of puppies DON’T buy them anything too graphic or violent! That stuff is rated M for MATURE for a reason. Those kinds of games are meant for adults. In my not so humble opinion, children 12 and under should not be allowed to play games online. They are playing amongst adults and for reasons mirrored above, it’s just not a great idea.

 Outside of the Home

  1. If your child walks to school or anywhere, if you’re available, go with them. If you’re not, have them go with a friend and the friend’s parent that you trust. If this option doesn’t work, try a family member. Children should just never be alone nowadays. It’s sad to say but it’s true.
  2. Ask your child about safety measures they may be taking in school. Go over any steps or drills with them at home and make sure they understand.
  3. Keep an open line of communication with the school and your child or children’s teacher(s). *This one is super important. Give your most recent contact information whenever it changes and be sure you have theirs.
  4. Teach your child that if they see something that’s “not quite right”, say something. Tell a teacher, an aide, their bus driver, a police officer, or any trustworthy adult.
  5. Have them aware of their surroundings. Take them for a drive (or walk) and show them where the nearest police station is, hospital, fire department, stores, etc. These are good things to know in case of an emergency.

These are just some highlights. Schools are excellent these days on educating your children about the importance of safety such as this. However, I strongly recommend going over this list and passing it on. If you find this to be extremely helpful, let me know & I’ll post it up on a page & have a printable format available for you to pass around among fellow parents or school faculty members.

Most importantly, hug your children and tell them you love them often. We can never do too much of that. 🙂