Tag Archives: featured

I am the Activist who took the “Heartwarming” Picture of the Soldier and Little Girl in Baltimore

I’m the girl that took the picture of the soldier and child in Baltimore that went viral. I meant to capture a sad moment, one of wasted resources and failure. Who knew that so many people think all of our race and economic problems could be solved if someone would just think to smile at a child?

The accusations of being a pot stirrer, a know-nothing liberal, and race-baiter have been coming at me almost faster than I can read them. Good. Keep it coming. You wouldn’t hate me if I didn’t make you uncomfortable. Keep telling me to forget the misery and to just see the happiness; keep criticizing me for bringing it up. Keep talking about it, because that is the first step. But let’s keep it real when we talk about it.

How can you look at a picture from Baltimore that could easily be from Afghanistan and think it shows a promising future? The problems leading up to this picture continue to be swept under the rug while people mindlessly smile over a picture of a child. How about we focus on the fact that 86% of public school students in Baltimore get free/reduced lunch? How about we focus on the predatory payday loan and checks cashed establishments that people in this neighborhood are subjected to, continuing the cycle of poverty they are in? How about we focus on the fact that I took this picture on Fulton Ave about a month ago, and it’s pretty average for much of Baltimore:

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I don’t find my picture to be tragic because I hate the military or because I hate guns. It seems to me that 30 seconds of critical thinking would clarify that. I find it to be tragic because we don’t give a damn about these communities until the destruction threatens the rest of us. If this was a picture of a child on a field trip to the Pentagon, I’d see how it’s cute. Adorable, even. But that isn’t what this is. This is a community being told they are too vile and worthless for anyone to give a damn about them until they start to burn things down — and even then, people only care long enough to be keyboard activists with uninformed opinions.

Baltimore has a lot of problems, but being a city full of people that want to loot and riot isn’t one of them. I think it’s pretty clear why there was a riot — what did the police expect when they loaded up with riot gear, turned off public transit, didn’t allow children to leave, and instigated pissed off kids whose frontal lobes aren’t fully developed? Yet here we are, painting Baltimore as a city of lawlessness. If we’re going to talk about lawlessness in Baltimore, let’s talk about the millions of dollars used to settle and hide cases of police brutality.

I have watched news anchors and the internet in general wonder why people felt the need to burn the businesses in the community, consequently limiting their own options of where to shop. Over my week in Baltimore, I listened to and talked to a lot of people, from those who were pro-riot to those who were pro-peace. The impression that I got wasn’t that all people necessarily hate all businesses that aren’t black owned — it’s that they hate that the businesses won’t pay living wages or promote people of color. Without the ability to build capital (or even pay rent) and without the experience of being more than entry level employees, how are people supposed to start their own businesses? How will there ever be more black-owned businesses in primarily black communities?

In my opinion, the onus is now on wealthy business owners of all races in Baltimore and the surrounding area to do their part in making the city a more livable place. It’s on the middle and upper middle class residents of Maryland to change the way things are run. I saw an incredible amount of unity build up in one week of Baltimore protests; a level of unity that is rare for any kind of movement. The revolution is here, and “us vs. them” is not going to be black vs white. It’s going to the people who have hopped on board vs. those who haven’t. Do not stand on the wrong side. Support the organizations that are on the ground making a difference. Support the organizations working to feed the hungry children of Baltimore and working to make the streets safe. Do not shop at places that do not allow their entry level employees to grow. Nothing will change over night, but it’s time we start working to provide education and opportunities instead of casting judgement when most of us can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in West Baltimore.

Follow my Facebook and Twitter. You can subscribe to my blog here.  A version of this post also appeared on my Huffington Post blog.

Can You Help My AK Pick a Filter? I Don’t Know if I Should Go With XX Pro or Valencia. Also, Target Pretends to Care about Guns

Look, I support your right to have a gun. I even support your right to open carry your gun. But I do not support you in your endeavor to be a complete and total asshole. Remember back in May, when those open carry assholes decided that instead of Instagramming pictures of their burritos at Chipotle, they’d rather IG pictures of themselves holding assault rifles at Chipotle? What you probably don’t remember is all of the normal, sane people who elect to open carry in Arizona and don’t cause a general ruckus. Mostly because they, you know, don’t violate the law and jeopardize a business’s licensing just to make their point.

photoOops!

Now Target has decided to request their customers do not bring guns into their stores, even in states that allow open carry. Um, are the open carry people who bring their assault rifles into places like Starbucks and Target actually anti-gun people who are doing their best to make gun laws as restrictive as possible? Because they’re doing a bang up job convincing people that they’re insane. Fortunately, Open Carry Texas (whose work at appropriate places, like the Alamo, I respected), made a Facebook response to Target to clear up how they feel. Texas OC clarifies that they won’t stoop so low as to interfere with or infringe upon the rights of a private corporation; they even bring up their MONTHS LONG policy of not acting like a bunch of dipshits carrying weapons into fast food establishments. They do decide to point out some important information that Target may have overlooked, though:

Time and time again, businesses that have asked guests not to bring legally possessed, self defense firearms into their establishments have seen their employees and customers victimized by criminals preying on the openly defenseless.

That sounds awful, right? Are you, as a casual reader of this information, curious about the studies that prove this, other than “time”? You aren’t alone:

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Yeah. You’re reading that correctly.
Reader: Do you have any studies to back that up?
OC Texas: Go fuck yourself.

Are they just in some contest with the Hobby Lobby owners to see who can be the most universally disliked group of people in America? What possesses a real organization to not support their comments with stats? And then to be rude when someone inquires about it?

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Open Carry, y’all might want to buy this book

 Then there’s the part where Target didn’t actually ban guns. They basically just said, “Hey guys, we think it would be really super cool if you stopped bringing your guns into our stores. We aren’t going to abide by any state laws and post the required signs that keep our property gun free, we’re going to just ask nicely.” Why? Because the people who are offended by guns haven’t taken any gun classes and don’t know the difference. Newsflash: Nothing has changed, here. If you’re legally allowed to carry in your weapon, you’re still legally allowed to bring it. You’re just a rude asshole if you do it now.

photo (1) Here I am, Instagramming myself leaving the NRA shooting range — looking totally normal, unlike some people.

Follow me on Facebook or IG…my Instagram is mostly alcohol, not guns. For that Chainsmokers song I probably got stuck in your head with the title, go here.

My Boobs Don’t Need Your Husband to See Them: Or, You Probably Think This Pic is About You

Last week one of my Facebook friends posted a link to a blog entry titled My Husband Doesn’t Need to See Your Boobs (post has since been deleted, find it here instead) I didn’t want to click on it, because I was sure it would piss me off — so of course I ended up reading it on my disaster flight and immediately became full of rage. The post is about the author’s husband having Facebook friends that post pictures of themselves in bikinis, and how it’s wrong. Yes, you read that right. Apparently any time any girl posts bikini pics on Facebook, it’s about this blogger and her husband. I bet all of their female friends sit around and just wait to take bikini photos so they can make this woman’s life and marriage miserable. Anyway, this bitch removed the ability to leave comments, so I have no choice but to write about her article here.

She starts off with some story about wearing slutty khakis in high school and then being a prude for the rest of her life. After the introduction to what it’s like to be insane, we get down to the nitty gritty.

I’m not writing to chastise you for posting your bikini pics from your lake outing. I suppose we all have enough criticism via blog spaces.

Um, what? What does that even mean? You are clearly writing an entire blog entry to chastise people for posting bikini pics, and a passive aggressive comment that “we all have enough criticism via blog spaces” only drives that home.

But I am writing to share the perspective of a woman who is fighting for her marriage. And for that reason, I want to tell you that I don’t need my husband to see your boobs.

I’m just writing from the perspective of a woman who is in a happy and committed long distance relationship. And for that reason, I want to tell you that I never tell my boyfriend who to look at, nor do I monitor his newsfeed. Because guess what? If a picture of some girl with bigger boobs than mine makes him lose interest in me, we have bigger problems than social media. Take some responsibility – happy people don’t cheat. I’m not blaming the victim, but a relationship is a two person deal, and a picture of a friend in a bikini isn’t going to make or break anything.

Anyways, what I’m saying is I don’t fault you. I don’t blame you for being confident enough to let the world see how good you look in front of the waves with your coozie and ballcap and barely anything else.

But I want to tell you that it’s a stumbling block in our marriage.

Is it, though? I know you’ve amended your blog to say you aren’t insecure, but you are a liar. Either you’re married to a 15 year old boy, or you are incredibly insecure — even if you don’t realize it. Do you know what is really unattractive? Telling your SO not to look at other women. Telling them it’s a stumbling block. If my boyfriend took my magazines and ripped out the pages of shirtless men before I was allowed to read them, we wouldn’t be together much longer. And why do you think any other woman cares? Here’s an example of something another woman should feel bad for doing: “I don’t blame you for being confident enough to let my husband see how good you look in front of our bed, with my inherited crystal wine glass in your hand and your thong on and nothing else. But I want to tell you that when you sneak into my house to seduce my husband, it’s a stumbling block in our marriage.”

When I scroll through my news feed, my thumb moves in a continuous circular motion until something catches my eye and I want to look closer. And then I tap on the picture and make that little swipe with my thumb and pointer finger so I can zoom in just as close as I can to capture all the details.

Thank you for explaining Facebook.

I’m especially bad about this when there is a line of bathing suits in the pic. AND I’M A GIRL.

Mostly I’m looking at your legs asking myself, How are there seriously people without cellulite????

Well, I used to have cellulite until Crossfit made me do a bunch of squats. But don’t worry…every squat I do, all I think about is the bikini pictures I will get to post that will hopefully ruin someone’s marriage. Virtual marriage ruining is what gets me through my work out. It’s completely about YOU.

I doubt my husband is so lucky. Actually, I know it’s next to impossible to take in images like those and erase them from his mind. Because our men are much less emotional and are much more visual. And as quickly as I can forget your picture, it is filed away in his mind, ready to be pulled back out whenever he so chooses.

Maybe this is the solution. Just write on every picture, “Thank you for posting! My hubby has it filed away in his spank bank for later on!” I guarantee these girls will unfriend the both of you, and problem solved!!!

Again, I am not faulting you. And by no means am I faulting him. This man of mine diverts his eyes from whatever questionable images flash on the screen before him. But sometimes the temptation is too much.

Really? Because every word of your post sounds like you are faulting all other women, ever. And I guess hubby can do no wrong, huh? But seriously. Do you not go to the pool or beach together? Does he keep his eyes shut? Do you poke them out? What happens? Do you only vacation at public beaches in Kuwait? Oh, the evil temptation of girls in swimsuits! I wish there were more countries where you still went to jail for wearing a bikini!!

After Memorial Day, I noticed so much skin on social media that I half-yelled a warning to him as I ran out the door one morning. It’s summertime, honey! Beware the beach pics and half nude girls on Instagram! And like that, he was in solitary confinement from all virtual community for the next two days.

……..You are a terrible, miserable controlling woman and I expect you will be cheated on in no time. I cannot even imagine how my SO would respond, but I know if I was told this, I’d be changing those locks before you got back.

Protecting his eyes, protecting his heart.

More like protecting his brain and potential migraine from hearing his Debbie Downer wife bitch at him for going on the internet. Do you know you can watch orgies with like 50 women fully nude on the internet? And you’re worried about FACEBOOK? Facebook who won’t let nips show in pics???

When your bare shoulders and stretchmark-less bellies and tanned legs pop up, I not only worry if my husband will linger over your picture. I worry how he will compare me to you.

Please, tell me more about how you aren’t insecure.

But would you, could you, keep your boobs out of my marriage? You can have your memories, and we can have our sacred hearts. And we can all get along in beautiful harmony.

I think the better option is for you to delete your accounts on all forms of social media. Better safe than sorry.

Anyone who feels the need to passively aggressively make a sad little blog entry about girls in bikinis instead of directly confronting girls or, you know, getting over it, seems like they are doomed from the start. No way this chick has a great marriage. I’d understand more if she wrote this directed to HBO or photoshopped women in Vogue or almost anything else. As it stands, all she has done is come across as a controlling and demanding wife, and as a self-centered bitch. Not all Facebook picture are about you, lady. I can basically give you my personal guarantee that none of the people posting anything are thinking about you — well, except now they probably are.

For your husband:

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Yes, I also support your right to wear leggings. Check me out on Facebook, Instagram (your best bet for more pool pics), and Twitter; subscribe to my blog here
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