Friday, August 14, 2015

I Plead Guilty in The Case of Right V. Katrina

There's a lot wrong with me- with us. All of us are guilty as charged. We have single handedly created a culture where lying, cursing, and being overtly hyper sexual are the things that those of us that are "straight edged" call tame. Once upon a time, my own potentiality for conformity pushed me to read Romans 12:2 every morning.  By now, I'm 17 and my mould is pretty much set. Am I happy with who I am? Well... There's always room for improvement. However, two years ago I was in deeper than I am now and some might not understand how I could see my flaws and be so dismissive, but that's because I see myself as a work in progress, and that's not an overexaggeration by any means.

I curse a lot. I do. And I give myself a lot of leeway, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Here's why. I've got a lot on anger inside of me, and that's most of our stories. For me, I still have a lot of hostility for a lot of things that happened to me in the past and those very things provoked the bad habit. While a lot of my peers say "FUCK YOU BITCH" and laugh at the top of their lungs just to look rebellious, I starting cursing when the other words didn't work. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Now, that's not my excuse because that in and of itself is crap; I know it is. But I've been slowly curbing my usage, starting with the very thing that started it: anger. Many don't understand how hard it is for me to not empty my explitive French on everyone that ticks me off like I used to, but it has slowly made me a happier person. I realized that people are gonna progressively get worse as life goes on, but my language doesn't have to follow it. So the one time I don't curse is in a disagreement. I focus really hard on it because it's my first step to being a better me. But- I will admit- I do utilize friendly name calling and I'll plead guilty to that. I'm by no means special but rather another statistic that, by this point, no longer shocks but still manages to appall  parents worldwide. For that, I'll accept the community service- no more cursing if any kind. Not just for me, but for my generation and those around me. They deserve better from me, of all people, and for some, hopefully they'll join my boycott.

I'm a major flirt. In my case, I swear it's part of my character. Most of my friends are boys and I'm not flirtatious to an obnoxiously excessive level in my opinion as most of it is a joke, but I can understand that it may be seen to others as inappropriate. I'm old enough and mature enough to look at it from an objective view and it could be a problem. Maybe when I was an attention seeking 14 year old whose eyes lit up everytime a guy said I was pretty, flirting could be dangerous. But now, it's just a part of conversation for me and it's never a topic that is extensively discussed at once. At any rate, as a parent or concerned adult's perspective, too many young girls nowadays are turning their words into actions and I would agree that it's one of the worst things about us. I can easily list all of the people I know that aren't virgins and at this age, that's nothing to be proud of. I'm by no means being judgemental because that could have very well been me before I made changes in my life, but it is something that is worthy of disdain from our predecessors. We can't expect to be part of a generation known for open sexuality and belief in unorthodox practices and expect to be looked at any other way. Like my cursing habit, my flirting has come a long way. At one point my playful teasing put me in a situations where expectations were made. It was the classic scenario of the "lots of talk, but no results" virgin, as I like to call it. It was so bad in fact, that I had an intervention forced upon me. At first, I was pissed because I felt like it was my life and I didn't care about what anyone had to say. Now, I look back on it and I can easily say it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I improved totally and although being saucy is just an aspect of my humor, I can recognize the concerns and I promise to tone it down a bit.

I'm the occasional utilizer of the white lie. Lying is such a natural trait of every human being. Most of us have been lying since we were aware of the weight that truth bore. It is something I hate the most about myself because I'm really good at it. When you're good at something, you're al,last tempted to do it all of the time, but lies hurt more often than they do provide temporary joys. Some of my peers, however, will proudly announce that they told a major lie to their parents and got away with it and it bothers me. Lying is another thing that I had to change about myself to be a better person. It was incredibly hard because I was so used to telling white lies or lying by omission, and the day I decided to be honest with my parents, it was nerve wreaking. There are so many things that, with my personality, I prefer to keep to myself that I had to now start exposing. I can now admit that I tell my parents almost everything. White lies are still a part of my life and I'm not proud of it, but I know why I use them and it isn't for a malicious reason, but rather if I don't feel like discussing something at a certain time or if it could mean hurting feelings. To me, that's pretty good for a once compulsive liar. But, like everything else stated, I can do better for myself and those around me. Just because telling lies is in human nature and the easy way through teenage diversion doesn't mean that it's right and every time that I lie, I feel it. I've trained my conscience by now to where lying bothers me to a point where it no longer makes me content for even the moments after getting away with it. Because of this, getting caught in a lie feels even worse because on top of their disappointment, I'm disappointed in myself. So for that, I am guilty and although I have come a long way, I'd like to eventually get to a point where honesty is my only option.

Being human, I am 96% wrong by nature. However, in that 4%, I am proud of all 100% of me. By that I mean that while others are so oblivious of their wrongs, I learn to embrace my knowledge of them. While I will live my whole life with wrongs, growing more versatile as I grow up, getting the reality checks I need help me to refocus my attention to fixing some of the problems that I might have become complacent with. In my final statement, I say that I am sorry for the wrongs I have done. A lot of them have been cultivated by my environment and society with my permission and that is something not only I, but all of us need to be aware of. Admission is the first step to finding a solution. Hopefully my genuine remorse can get me off with a warning under the the premise that I will continue to get better each day and do whatever it takes to become a better sister, daughter, friend and teenager in society. That, I solemnly swear.

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

Saturday, June 27, 2015

History's New Chapters

Our history books today present in depth evaluations of how to capture, ship, purchase, break and own a slave. Note that there's no redundancy in that list, as it is chronologically arranged. You may put a man in chains, but the physical restraint cannot compare to that of mental, emotional restraint. Take a man from his wife, children, brothers and sisters; sell him naked to the highest bidder; hand him a cutlass and a deadline. He'll do your work, but you have yet to own him. Our textbooks say that to own a slave, you have to whip them, dehumanize them, feed white children from the same breast their newborn has yet to suckle- that's when they've surrendered their souls to the slave master; that's when an African has been broken.

But history never changes- we've entered a new era of "Jim Crowe" where the "breaking" movement has become revolutionized. Where the "lynching" has become modernized. Where the subliminal "skinhead" ideals have become televised. Our new slave masters are the same ones that were put into place to keep us safe. The same ones we reside beside. The same ones we were owned by before. In many ways our freedom has been reduced to what had been allowed during the days of Amelioration. The police force can be likened to those put into place to "protect the slaves" in such times. In fact, in some ways it may even appear that we are being governed by assemblies and not truly God fearing political parties.

Our children's history books won't be changed, but rather revised- among heroes such as Toussaint L'ouverture, Bussa, Vincent Oge, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ida B. Wells will be their evidence of progress: Trevon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Jr., Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Tony Robinson, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and the countless number of other African Americans that have lost their lives this year in the same manner. Beside their names, their stories will be told, extending the metaphor of the clock that continues to run backwards.

The only difference between today and yesterday is if they'll be able to own us like they did before- make us fall victim to asking for the "white-man's mercy." However, they've chosen to "cut out the middle man" by following the same tactic used by the man they celebrate every year on October 12th- genocide. Killing mothers, fathers, children and siblings; disrupting their sense of pride and peace; putting young African Americans like me to fear the sound of a siren, knowing that in an instant, I could lose my freedom, my family or even my own life; putting young African Americans like me to fear having children of our own and having our son killed on his way home from school or daughter brutalized on the way to a friend's house- all on the premise of racial profiling; putting young African Americans just like me to fear the very system we live under. That's how you break an African...

Soon we'll know if we'll be able to re-write history or be stuck re-living it.

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell