Wednesday, 15 May 2013 07:31
"My name is Nardyne Jefferies; my only child, Brishell Jones, was murdered on March 30th, 2010, by a gun. She sent me an email; she'd made reservations . . . for Mother's Day. And I never got my Mother's Day dinner with my daughter. And it's just hard, because all the special moments that we shared, you know—I can't make any more memories with Brishell. And I just miss everything about her . . . and time really doesn't make it any easier—I feel like it just really hurts just as much for me three years and some months later as it did then, because you think about what could have been, and what was supposed to have been, and what should have been.
Enough is enough. I don't know how much more bloodshed has to be spilled on these streets . . . We have to come together. This definitely is not a Black thing, it's not a White thing, it's not a gang thing, it's not an inner-city thing. This is a human thing. And too many humans are losing their lives to gun violence."
This Mother's Day, Nardyne Jefferies was one of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF)'s "Faces of Courage." They are part of a club no mother ever wants to join. Most, like Nardyne, have lost children to gun violence. Nardyne's beautiful daughter Brishell was only 16 when she was killed by bullets from an AK-47 in a drive-by shooting. Others have had spouses or other family members killed or injured by guns or been victims of gun violence themselves and have struggled to help their families deal with the trauma gun violence leaves behind. All of these mothers whose lives have been shattered by gun violence shared their stories in a series of videos developed by CDF and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America as part of a Mother's Day campaign. The campaign is focused on honoring gun violence victims and their families—and taking action so fewer mothers who celebrated Mother's Day last weekend and mourning their own children next year and in years to come. Every year 2,694 children and teens are killed by guns—one child or teen every three hours and 15 minutes.
As part of the campaign, Moms Demand Action has created a Mother's Bill of Rights. It reads:
"We, as mothers, have the absolute right to protect our children from harm. We have the right to know our children are safe from gun violence, from the moment they leave our arms in the morning until they return home later in the day. But the rights of American mothers are under attack by criminals, the gun lobby, and legislators who are unable to stand up for common-sense gun reforms. The right of mothers to protect our children SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 20:16
A young Black man came to my office to seek support of The Journal for a position he was seeking. When the subject of his being a Republican came up, he volunteered that his father had introduced him to a lot of Republicans and they were nice to him. My response at the time was that he should look at the evidence to see who is a Republican and who is a Democrat. There are at least 40 Black Democrats in Congress and no Black elected Republican Congressmen or Senators.
If Black Politicians are to maximize their power, they will do it as a group. What if Dr. King had decided that he would work alone? We who are Black and proud would still be seeking the right to eat at a lunch counter, unmolested. We would not have Civil Rights Laws outlawing discrimination in employment opportunities.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 06:22
As another Mother's Day rolls around, for me, it's different. My mother is gone. I have the mother of my children and the mothers of my grandchildren, and I can say, without hesitation, they are all great and wonderful women. Each is different in motherhood, and while they don't hold my heart as my mother did, they hold the hearts of the greatest prizes my wife and I ever contributed to anyone - our three sons. In turn, they gave us seven grandchildren. Fair trade is acceptable.
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 06:55
Leave A Future For Your Children!
Over the years we have travelled home to Bakersfield for Easter, but the traditions changed. When the kids were young, we took colored eggs and hid them to watch the little ones find them. Now the kids have grown up and some of them have grown kids. The grown grand kids are painting, dyeing, and hiding eggs for the younger grand – whenever they come. Often times, now, they go elsewhere.
One of the things I noticed there, in my childhood hometown, was that the town has changed, but in so many ways, it is still the same. I see Real Estate offices with company names that indicate they were there when I was a kid. I notice automobile dealers that were there when I grew up there. I'm sure that these businesses have been handed down from generation to generation.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:45
When I watched the tall, handsome African American man speaking to a massive crowd at the Boston Cathedral in their time of trouble, I was proud because I remember a different Boston in the 1970's. The tall, handsome man with his tall, beautiful wife, named Michelle, was there to console the Bostonians who had been bombed at the end of one of their traditions, the Boston Marathon. The tall, handsome man was the President of the United States - Barack Obama. He had been introduced to the crowd by the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, another African American who has served as Governor since 2007.
The Boston I remembered goes back to 1974 when a ruling by Federal Judge, Arthur Garrity, ordered the integration of Boston School district busing. The order led to open expressions of hatred and violence towards Blacks and race rioting reminiscent of the rioting across America in their resistance to granting African Americans equality.
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