Candidly Elle

I'm just a girl in love with words and sentences.
Race Privilege: Does it exist?

Race Privilege: Does it exist?

Typically, I shy away from topics where one race is pitted against another, however, over the last few weeks I have seen white privilege vs. black judgement. Take the US Olympic team for instance. You have Ryan Lochte and Gabrielle Douglas, two Olympians. Two amazing athletes extremely dominate in gymnastics and swimming. One [Douglas] admonished for not showing patriotism, while the other coddled for their bad behavior [Lochte]. Gabby Douglas, an African American woman and four-time Olympic gold medalist ridiculed from her hairstyle, her patriotism, and her love for the country she’s representing. During a time where we should be cheering these athletes on, some choose the internet bullying route.

Douglas/Getty Images

Douglas/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte lies, embarrassing himself, his family, and his country. The Olympic committee suggested we should give him a pass–oh he’s a kid making mistakes. Stop it! Ryan is a 32-year-old man who should be held accountable for this bad behavior. Still, the difference between Ryan and Gabby. Ryan is white. So when we say “white privilege” we mean white people getting a preverbal pass. Ryan showed zero patriotism when he hightailed a flight [I’m sure at the advice of lawyers] back from Rio to the US leaving his buddies behind to take the fall; never fully apologizing or assume responsibility for his lies. Still, some [Billy Bush] in the media justified his actions. Gabby didn’t put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem (by the way, if you have a military background we either salute or stand at attention) social media dragging her through the mud.

The "Final Five" on August 9, 2016 in Olympic Village Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Getty Images

The “Final Five” on August 9, 2016, in Olympic Village Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Getty Images

When the National Anthem is played or sung (Proper Etiquette):

  1. Designation: The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
  2. Conduct During Playing: During a rendition of the national anthem:
    1. When the flag is displayed:
      1. individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
      2. members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
      3. all other person’s present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act, in the same manner, they would if the flag were displayed.
Matt Lauer Interview/NBC News

Matt Lauer Interview/NBC News

America something isn’t right with this picture. It’s wasn’t very patriotic of Lochte when he lied to his country about being attacked and held at gunpoint. He has stated he is remorseful for his “shenanigans.” I sincerely hope Ryan truly changes his actions, stop blaming the Brazilian people for your petulant ways. He receives a wake-up call of sorts this week. His lost all four of his sponsorships—Speedo and Ralph Lauren. In closing, it’s not my nature to bully anyone; I don’t condone it at all. However, in this case, we should support both Douglas and Lochte—we are a nation of unity, there is no need for a divide.

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Always candid,

Elle

My Political Voice Matters..But I Choose To Stay Silent

My Political Voice Matters..But I Choose To Stay Silent

People naturally assume by gender or skin tone, which way a person should/would vote. Well—every time I’m challenged on this notion and I prove their assumption incorrect. This issue initially started when we first elected President Barack Obama. I was personally attacked and viciously accused (online and by friends) of not having a voice or choice voting solely on emotion, not the college education I held. As simpleminded as it sounds it was true. People think minorities are unintelligent. Oh—I have held many conversations with a few people who believe such nonsense. It’s the primary reason I chose not to discuss certain subjects publicly anymore.

politics-religion-300

Among those subjects are religion and politics.  Why? I respect the opinions of others, it’s maddening at times the same respect isn’t reflected, it just creates unnecessary problems. I don’t know about your time; however I refuse to argue when I could be at Starbucks for happy hour. Again, I will vote I just won’t be as vocal about my selection—that’s still private (and undecided) to me. A few of my friends have noticed my silence, so I felt a strong urging to justified my pause. I’ve seen a lot of post via social media just down right disgusting. People feel the need to bash the candidates rather than find a common ground on what is actually wrong with our country, electing an able person to right the wrongs. Fighting will not solve anything.

Many of these serial posters are uninformed on the issues point the finger at the current president (btw I like my gas under $2). In my brutally honest opinion—again the one that I am entitled to; I happen to believe if you can’t identify the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) and their purpose or understand how the Electoral College works you shouldn’t be discussing politics. Also, I will definitely faze you out if you aren’t registered to vote.

What I have realized is there is still undercover racism (on both sides) sitting at our dinner table. One thing about me I will never (I hate that word) judge a person for their personal beliefs or political stance, we all have first amendment right to freedom of speech. So, when I see people post stuff bashing one side of the political spectrum while uplifting another it makes me very sad. Why do people claim “first amendment” when they don’t value someone’s opinion. For now I will remain silent voting quietly. All I ask is you give due diligence to everyone who is entitled to an opinion.

Always Candid and Honest,

Elle

P.S. I’ll be discussing how to plan a successful book signing event!

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Mother’s Day gift ideas for the writer mom.

Mother’s Day gift ideas for the writer mom.

Gifts for a Writer Mom on Mother’s Day

Mother’s will love anything gift you give them from the heart. I know this for a fact, my children have given me plenty of homemade/school made guest that I love and cherish to this day. However I love it when they me gift that are specific to my career as a writer. With Mother’s Day peeping up this Sunday there are many gifts to give mom on this special day. Sure you can make breakfast in bed or buy a thoughtful card it is the thought that counts. But what go you get for that special personalized gift for the mommy who has a passion for writing (or reading)? Here are a few ideas just for mom for under $30.

(The prices and links to these ideas are attached to their photo.)

     1. Journal-An inscribed journal with personal author quotes. My favorite is the Aitao Journal Diary String Key Retro Vintage Classic Leather Bound Notebook Dark Coffee:

Aitao Journal, Photo amazon.com

Aitao Journal $7.18,
                   Photo amazon.com

     2. Starbucks gift card-Help mom earn more stars and inch further to that gold personalized reward card. Plus, writers love coffee!

Photo Starbucks.com

Photo Starbucks.com $25.00 minimum gift card purchase.

     3. Personalize items-CafePress.com has a wonderful collection of mugs and bags for the avid writer.

Writers Block Tote, Photo CafePress.com

Writers Block Tote $14.99,
                 Photo CafePress.com

     4. Motivation to write with this cool “Peace Love Write” t-shirt. There’s nothing like a few words of encouragement from love ones only with a few hours or day of quiet to write or read. The gift of silence is priceless for those fervent readers and writers.

Peace Love Write T-shirt courtesy of CafePress.com

Peace Love Write T-shirt                                                                       Courtesy of  www.CafePress.com

All of these gifts paired together(or separate) would make a very stylish mom on Sunday! Don’t forget shower her with love on that special day, shower mom with love the entire day. Sometimes writers lose focus, but a kind word never lost a friend. Tell mom you love her and you’re proud of the writing goals she’s accomplished. I’m sure Mom will be enjoy her special day either way!

Happy Mother’s Day,

Elle <3

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Baltimore Riots: Violence is not the answer.

Baltimore Riots: Violence is not the answer.

I once thought we lived in a peaceful civilized country.  But, I was wrong that was a sheltered existence that my parents gave and my naiveté believed and soaked it all in.  Now in the wake of the latest murders of Freddie Gray and Walter Scott before that Michael Brown who raised his hands shouting “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting“. It’s hard to think about MLK’s dream…because the content of ones character is out the window and the color of ones skin is the still of the utmost importance.  When will this country realized that we are much stronger united as will fall divided. I think about my son, with his pale skin and brown eyes and I wonder if the world will change in ten years? I have also been told that I don’t have to worry about the “Black man’s plight” because my son is half white.  Bullets are colorblind, therefore I worry.

As a society we need to understand that violence is just not the answer. When I think of the Civil Rights era, the anniversary of Selma and the dream that Dr. King had, it just doesn’t correlate with how we live in the twenty-first century. There is a way towards coexistence, if we all took time to put away our misgivings about each other as a race to realize that our bodies bleed the same blood. I don’t think this is the dream that Dr. King spoke about. Tearing down your own neighborhood isn’t going to provide you with the answers. What happened to Freddie Grey is a complete devastation; however if you want answers there is a way to seek them. The old proverb “Speak softy and carry a big stick.” Weighs heavily on the riots in Baltimore. You can cautiously and respectfully stand your ground while only using violence as a necessity. Don’t judge an entire group of policemen on the merit of a couple of bad seeds.

Freddie Gray’s death was a terrible occurrence in a society, where some feel as though black lives don’t matter. As a black woman I find this disheartening that the police still feel as though they are invincible. We vote people in office to serve and protect, not kill and cover up. History is repeating itself and not in the most appealing way. I have my own views on this situation; however many have told me I that I don’t understand the “plight of a black man”, because my son is multi-racial and he looks Caucasian. That maybe true to some extent but I still worry as any mother would when my son walks out of the front door in the morning for school. We are still judged by the color of our skin and not the content of our character. So I challenged that notion of not having the right or not “understanding the struggle” I am the sister, aunt, daughter and cousin of many black men. I have one brother and God forbid he is stop and judged solely by the skin color he had no choosing in. I asked when is enough going to be enough? The Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doesn’t seem to have control of her city with the statements she’s been making about giving the looters “space to destroy“. Violence is not the answer, looting solves what problem? Take what we learned from Ferguson. Tearing up the city will not incite change.

Our ancestors had to fight for rights against racial intolerance and prejudice. Burning down your neighbors and looting in your city isn’t going to make the situation better. Violence is not a means to solution. Rioting and looting the streets will only harm the community. Also, the looting that you see on the television is not colorblind, whites and blacks are out there tearing apart the streets damaging the community. If you want change, use your voice and vote! Get an education, run for office. Hit society with words of empowerment. None of this will bring Freddie Grey, Mike Brown, Walter Scott or Trayvon Martin back from the dead. So, instead of the riots why don’t we vote the right people in office and inspire change. Make them do the jobs they were voted in to do. Don’t allow another mother to bury a son for injustice.

Thanks for reading,

Elle

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