Children without being married: The blame game

imageIt’s been a minute but I don’t have time for real pleasantries. So “Hey folks,” let’s dive right in.

I am in a #hotepnegro filled group and this question was:
“Unmarried fathers: why didn’t you marry your child’s mother?”

The amount of bullshit answers that was received is hilarious. Now mind you, this is a group where the HOTEP Negro men love to dissect BW thoroughly and in such a derogatory way. This is the same group where some of the men lacked adequate testosterone to engage in dialogue without calling me derogatory names. Very few have answered the question. The majority of those that gave an answer, gave the most asinine and unintelligent answers. Somehow they found a way to blame the black woman. I find it interesting that we as black women are the cause for every bit of failure that happens in this society and BM have none. Check out some of these responses:

“You might not get a lot of responses on this one.”

“Because they knew she was a jump-0ff/hoe. Which, equals non-marriage material. I was married almost 12 yrs to my soon to be ex. This would be my answer if I was in their shoes.”

“Maybe it is as a simple as he is not financially stable….”

“I know just as many women who like sex. I bet the majority of females in here pontificating has partook in the pre-marital bliss before saying “I do”. I however, do not condone unprotected sex.”

“I don’t have any kids but I can only guess its because marriage is a commitment, fucking you is not…..and before yall say what about kids, how many single mothers you knw?” To be fair the author of this comment engaged in amazing dialogue and was able to come to an agreement that both sexes just don’t take responsibility.

“Sometimes people don’t marry because it would cut off benefits.”

“Because the majority of baby mommas didn’t want to be married in the first place, but gave off that impression to a good man, just to have a child, and then ran him off! and then she went and tried to marry a deadbeat and put the child around his loser self!”
Those were just some of the comments. There were more that just blew my mind away. It amazes me how many folks live in glass houses yet love to throw stones. Here’s a reality, children involve an egg and a sperm. Having sex is one way that the two can meet. Regardless of whether you are engaging in protected sex or not be it condoms or birth control or even the rhythm method there is always a possibility that conception might occur. Actually the way sperm are programmed, they are fighting for conception. Women release on average one egg whereas, when a man ejaculates that hundreds of making baby driven sperm that are released. It takes two to procreate. The moment you (male) laid down with her you accepted the possibility that you could impregnate her. While your intentions may have been to just get your rocks off, the fact is that you opened the door for a baby and whatever else this woman may want of you. The same goes for women. Stop operating on assumptions. Yes, he want to have sex with you. Yes sex can result in procreation. It doesn’t mean that procreation will equal marriage. Stop allowing the opportunity for good penis to cloud your judgement.

In short…. If you smashing know that 1+1 most definitely equals 2. This doesn’t make me a feminist. That makes me a REAList.

In health,

Maliyka

Colloquy: National Die-In

#blacklivesmatter…that should be foremost in everyone’s mind, especially black people’s. Not to discredit the Latino culture however, the time has come to accept that you too are a child of the African diaspora known as Mother Africa. There’s a war surrounding us and we who’s heritage no matter how distant it may be are the target. Just think how much stronger we might be if together we fought against the injustices that strike at us each day. Pretty powerful I say. Pretty powerful you know.

Breast Feeding and mental illness

While I am not a mother or even sure that I want to be one, I realizes the importance of breastfeeding and the implications that mental illness may have on a mother’s ability to do so. I have seen mental illness up close and personal when it comes to motherhood. For years, I always wondered how my mother dealt with being a mother and postpartum depression. I finally got a chance to find out how she death with mental illness, mothering and breast-feeding. You can read my mother’s story here.  After you finish reading my mother’s story make sure to read the other black mother’s stories about how having a mental illness affected their ablity to breastfeed.

In health,

Maliyka

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: PRAYERS FOR US

 

Today marks my 34th year and I know I am blessed. After all, I am here. While feeling eternally grateful that God chose to let me close out one year and begin another, I’m a bit sad. Not because God didn’t grant others the same. Rather, I’m saddened at the manner in which their lives were ended. Over the past few days, I’ve been following the happenings of #Ferguson. I’ve shed the tears and I’ve gotten angry even though I have no real energy anymore to do so anymore. I’ve read the articles acknowledging that, “America is not for Blacks.” I’ve acknowledged that too. It’s really not.

Y’all go ahead and keep thinking that all of the laws, which affords us some rights were put in place because we were on their mind. Trust and believe that if they could, they would have it so that we can’t benefit. At least other countries are open about their caste system and the lesser folks know that they won’t benefit from anything. We the only ones who sing kumbaya and think they’re thinking of us.

I’ve had the heavy twitter discussions. I’ve used twitter to call out and question elected officials. Most of all, I’ve prayed.

I’ve prayed for the protection of my family, friends, even my enemy. Michael Brown is just one more name to add to the never ending names of people who were killed by the people who are charged with protecting us…serving us.  If we are honest, that’s the biggest problem. These are the people who are paid to protect us, killing us!

 

There’s no question that people like myself, hate that those among us are killing ourselves. We question why. The answer is quite simple and rather than debating on the whys, those of us who can need to do more. The psychological effects of slavery years later are still present. We expect those who don’t even love themselves, to love someone else. It’s impossible. Love is an emotion that’s learned. Love is reciprocated. Slavery ended over 100 years ago and the Civil Rights only 50 years ago, yet the damage done during that period is still present. Many of us are a people who never learned how to value ourselves and were constantly told that we were not worth any value. The self-hatred that we display evidences this. However, that still does not negate that those who are charged to protect us from even ourselves can’t be trusted to do so. How are we supposed to feel safe when we can’t even expect that?

President Obama called for reflections after Michael Brown’s murder. I disagree. We don’t need to reflect. We reflected when Medgar was killed. When Malcolm…Martin…Shu’aibSeanTrayvonOscarJordan…….were all killed. The time for reflection is over. We need ACTION…JUSTICE…ANSWERS…A PLAN. We don’t need another petition….rally,  rather we need legislation…laws…punishment to end this era of being unsafe from the people who should be taking care of us. We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their failure to stand by us…for us when it comes to ensuring that we are protected…made to feel safe.

Today, as I celebrate my birthday I will be reflecting on what more I can do to ensure that future generations do not live in fear of not just the people in their hoods killing but the police as well. While I will not be present physically at the vigil for the National Moment of Silence today at 7 pm today, I will be taking a moment to be silent in memory of all of the men and women, boys and girls who were gunned down and treated as if they never mattered. Today I say prayers for all people of color that one day they may be able to interact with all no matter their color and not be afraid. I say a prayer for all of the mothers and fathers who have buried their children as a result of a senseless death. I say a prayer for those who are childless, yet want to children but live in fear of birthing a child to the madness of the world. I say a prayer for peace…harmony…fairness… happiness…love…justice. I just PRAY!!!

Words of wisdom: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” -Frederick Douglass

In Health,

Maliyka

It’s domestic violence awareness month too

 

A year ago, I went on a semi-rant about the NFL’s lack of involvement with domestic violence awareness (you can read all about it here). This year I am taking my rant a tad bit louder. Let me start by saying, I LOVE FOOTBALL. My favorite teams is the Jets. I am a loyal supporter even when they disappoint me. However, i am also a health educator and have a responsibility to educate the public about health issues. So despite my love, for football, educate I will.

On December 3, 2013, HuffPost Live aired “NFL Domestic Violence,” after Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend and later himself. According to HuffPost Live, 21 of 32 NFL teams had a player charged with domestic violence that year. Even still, the NFL has not stepped up to the plate and taken an active role in addressing domestic violence. While I appreciate their involvement in the breast cancer movement, domestic violence is just as important of a movement. While I commend players like Chris Canty and Chris Johnson on speaking out against domestic violence the NFL needs to step up as an organization and not only acknowledge but carry out programming to discuss their employees roles in all of this madness.  

According to a The Guardian article, “Reports of domestic violence increased by 10 percent in areas where the local National Football League team lost a game it was expected to win.” I challenge the NFL to do more. While domestic violence is not exclusive to the NFL, there is no question that the problem exist at an alarming rate.  More needs to be done to decrease this number. I am sure that it can be done seeing as how both Chris’ have stepped up to the plate and are doing.

It’s been a blessing and a curse. I have seen the savageness of domestic violence. I have been afraid that one day I would get a call that would change my life. It is easy to say what we won’t do or allow to happen. Honestly, none of us knows just what we will do. All we can do is hope that we won’t be a victim.

Words of Wisdom:

“In violence we forget who we are.”  – Mary McCarthy

In health,

Maliyka

The Song I cry: Justice for Black America

September 23, 2013, makes 2 years that I sat and penned this open letter to the Georgia Board of Pardon & Parolee in Memorandum of Troy Davis. The words came from my heart. They were words that I believed in and still do. It breaks my heart that they did not listen to a word anyone said.

I am Muslim and in the Islamic faith the death penalty can be employed but in order to do so there must be CREDIBLE witness. By CREDIBLE they must be of good character. There cannot be a doubt that they are telling the truth. Are these steps ignored in Islamic countries? Of course because man is wicked and rather than follow God’s law they are always trying to implement their own law. It is for that reason alone that I cannot support the death penalty. In this country alone, history has shown us that far too often people are imprisoned with sh*tty evidence and spend their whole life incarcerated. Then one day, new evidence emerges and all the judge and the prosecution can say is, “We are sorry.” You’re damn right you are sorry. But guess what sorry doesn’t cut it. Sorry will not bring that the years they lost. The relationships destroyed. The abuse suffered. Sorry does not mean a damn thing in the grand scheme of things.

It is no secret that we are all human. Of course we make mistakes however, knowing that we are not exempt from fallacy how can we employ the death penalty. While I am sympathetic for the family who lost a husband, a son, friend, etc. that does not mean that vigilante justice at the hands of the prosecution should be employed.  The fact remains that the evidence showed that there may have been a flaw in Troy’s prosecution. There was a chance that he actually could have been guilty. To murder him still is the greatest travesty of justice. It shows that we are no worse as a country than the country that speak blasphemy about. Indeed, we are hypocrites.

This country is so quick to ensure that justice is meted out for Blacks who kill Whites. Any hint of guilt and the gavel is smashed down with a resounding, GUILTY!  Unfortunately, that same practice is not employed when roles are reversed and it is White killing Black people. David J. Leonard talks about this in his recent post, “White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death”. Troy Davis was yet another injustice rooted in racism. As was the murder of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Darius Simmons, Bo Morrison, James Craig Anderson, etc. All of these men were murdered yet there was no outcry. There was no one screaming Death Penalty except maybe the much ignore Black America.

It has been 2 years, and while I don’t speak of Troy Davis often, I will never forget how America continues  to collect blood on its hand. This country was founded with blood on its hands. From the trickery employed to stealing land from its native people to the kidnapping and enslavement of Black people. I will continue to fight for the rights of Black America. I will continue to scream JUSTICE for the INJUSTICE. One day I will be able to say, “Victory is mine.”  Until that day my armor is on and my weapon of choice…advocacy is armed and ready to go.

Even with a Black president in Office, equality for Black America still has not arrived. Racism still exist. While there is no question that things have gotten better the fact remains, that the more things change…the more they remain the same. While we do not have “Strange Fruit“, hanging from trees anymore we have bodies being dragged in chains behind cars or run over by trucks. We have police officers employing excessive force citing it was an accident. We have health inequality, education inequality, pay inequality, etc.  You name it we have it right along with the few stories of success mired in racial experiences. No racism is not gone from our country it continues to breathe over us quite forcibly. It is because I know and accept this that I will continue the fight for equality that men and women like El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), Martin Luther King, Jr. Medgar Evers, Shirley Chisholm, Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, David Walker, Fannie Lou Hammer, Bertha Gilbert, etc  started. I will not be silenced nor will I allow those who wronged the dead and as well as the living forget their part that they played. Their day of reckoning will come be it in this life or the next. Until then I will fight on!

Words of Wisdom: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr.

In health,
Maliyka

Education is key: An organization doing their part

ImageI get overjoyed when I hear of others selflessly giving of themselves whether it be time or money. I even more overjoyed at this organization’s desire to help all. As a Muslim who has been on this earth long enough to see Muslims painted with the same broad stroke…terrorist< I am extremely happy that there are a lot of Muslim organizations i.e. Muslims who refute those claims on a daily basis.

My heart is full at the efforts that the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has put forth to enable to children to have the tools that they need to succeed in school. As Muslims, we are taught that we should learn from the cradle to the grave. The problem is, that you need the proper tools to do this. With so many parents struggling to provide food, shelter, and clothing sometimes the necessary things needed to obtain a quality education fall to the wayside. In a time when things are so expensive sometimes food on the table outweighs 3-ringed binders.

Across the country, ICNA will be giving out school supplies to all children in need regardless of their religion. I commend them for their efforts and wish them success. Hopefully, this endeavor will grow and be in every city in the United States. To do that, they need donations. I support this organization not only as a Muslim but as a philanthropist who believes in supporting quality philanthropic organizations.

You can go here to find the nearest donation site. Here’s to all having a happy and healthy school year. 

Words of wisdom: “Charity looks at the need and not at the cause.” -Jewish Proverb

In health,

Maliyka

Why I won’t sign: Kaitlyn Hunt

kateFor several years, I have been a member of change.org, signing petitions. Some of the petitions have been questionable and did not deserve my support. However, I just pressed skip and kept it moving. Recently, a petition popped up and after reading it I had to shake my head.

Here is the thing, when it comes to homosexual relations, I really do not care. At this stage in my life, I feel that if you are happy with your lifestyles/choices/orientation so be it. My name is Maliyka A.A. Muhammad and my main concern is me. You want to get married….knock yourself out. I hear marriage is tiresome and puts you in a whole other tax bracket with Uncle Sam plus divorce rates are high for heterosexual couples. But hey, if that is what you want who am I to stand in your way. This society has bigger issues to deal with like stopping cancer in its tracks. Eliminating HIV/AIDS infections. Combatting childhood obesity. You know real superman issues. Determining who should or should not get married really doesn’t fall under that category. As my sister once said to me and I ran with it, “If you like it…I love it.” I am cool with a lot of people who choose to sleep with someone I wouldn’t that goes for some of the opposite sex too. Some of these people are as close to me as my blood sisters. I have met their significant others. It is all love and then some.

Moving on to Kaitlyn Hunt. You can view the petition here or not. The short version is that Kate is a lesbian who recently turned 18. Her girlfriend is only 15 years of age. As soon as she turned 18, the girlfriends parents went and pressed charges claiming that Kat turned the gay. Kate has been charged with “lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12–16 years of age.” Now do I think that the parents are…WACK…LAME…CORNY…A CORNBALL…basically a non-factor…yep sure do. Do I think that Assistant State Attorney is perpetuating a parents disgust at their child’s lifestyle…absolutely. However, that does not take away from the fact that Kate committed a crime. The fact remains that the girlfriend, is not of the legal age consent. Regardless of how unrealistic it is, Kate was supposed to break it off with her girlfriend the minute that she turned 18. And in truth, her parents should have been parents instead of her friend and warned her of the potential consequences. If they did well than as my grandmother would say, “A hard head make a sore behind.” If they did not…shame one them. As a parent sometimes you end up being the bad guy…deal with it. I know I appreciate my mother for all of her bad guy moments. It was one of her bad guy moments. Go figure him and her evenetually broke-up for other reasons thank GOD.

While I am in favor of equality and I do agree with Bridget Crawford’s perspective, which can be read here , the fact remains that Kate did in fact commit a crime. Two wrongs do not make a right. 18 year old boys who have a 15 year old girlfriend should be charged and in many cases they are especially if the girl is white and the boyfriend is black and live in some backwater town.

I was once a young girl, and I had a boyfriend who definitely belonged under the jail given our age difference. Things like statutory rape were not in our vocabulary. At least not in mine. As an adult, I think about how selfish that decision was and am grateful that no one ever got arrested on my behalf. Funny thing is that, in my younger brother’s case my mother let his little girlfriend know that he could indeed go to jail for dating him. Although, he was mad at me I had to let him know that she was correct.

As the battle for equality comes to head with same-sex marriage being legalized in so many states real conversatiion need to be had. No means no even if she is a girl/boy just like you. The legal age of consent in almost all states is 17. If you are older than 17 and they are not, it is statutory rape. Domestic violence is wrong regardless of who are sleeping with. Same-sex relationship do not mean that a relationship is going to be easy. Even these relationships have their ups and down. Unfortunately, even in love there are consequences. This happens to be one of those Romeo & Juliet ones. I wish Kate luck in her legal battle. While I do believe that the punishment is indeed extreme and prejudicial, the fact remains that she was wrong. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Words of Wisdom: “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

In health,
Maliyka

Maliyka is health

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Since my inception into the public health realm, I constantly find myself asking myself just what is good health. All of the definitions state that good health is the absence of disease. Personally, that definition seems to broad. What happens if you do have a disease but in spite of the disease you are healthy? You are not suffering from any opportunistic infections. You have no co-morbidity. To the outside world, you are as healthy as the healthy person. Just what category do you fall under?

It is questions like this that run the mind of us folks who have taken on the role as a health educator. The who’s, why’s , what’s, where’s and how’s are always front in center in our mind. We are agents of change. We don’t go into the field of health for money. Rather we do it because we have a love for it. We seek to make this a better world for those that live in it. At least, that is why I went into the field. The only way I will be a millionaire is if I marry rich or hit the lottery. I am content in being Maliyka A. Muhammad…public health agent.

This blog will talk about all of the issues that relate to public health. There won’t be a drama fest unless it relates to hunting for the best answer surrounding a complex health education. Each day, Monday-Friday I will talk about a different as it relates to a different topic. The topics are:

Mental health Mondays
Talk about it Tuesday
Women’s Wednesday
Man-up Thursday
Fit Friday

Feel free to drop me a note if you have a specific question that you want answered. Talk about it Tuesday is dedicated to just that. On that note sit back and enjoy my world as I navigate throught it as a public health agent.

The prescription for the day is be happy and healthy. It’s the key to good health.

In health,
Maliyka is health