Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~Marianne Williamson

I live in Gary, Indiana. When I tell people that, one of two comments invariably are tossed at me...
Did you grow up with Michael Jackson?


Ah, the murder capital!

There used to be a time in my life when I would smile and pretend the comment wasn't made, only because, I'm not a big fan of redundancy, but lately, I've been getting angry about the comments...

the first one.... Michael Jackson...the Jacksons general...

Yes, the family is from G.I. Yes, they grew up in a small house over on Jackson Street around the way from Roosevelt High School. They don't live here anymore, they "owe" the city nothing (some entitlement wanting negros seem to think they do) and no, I am not jealous of their success (wth?)

the second one.... the murder capital...

at some point, people should learn basic statistics.... the city of Gary, Indiana, along with the other "top ten most dangerous places in america" are all statisical hot spots. there are about 90,000 residents within the city limits of Gary. As of today's date, there have been about 55 murders within the city limits. We're number 2 on the list right now... right behind New Orleans, population approximately 300,000 with more than 200 murders at the end of last year...

ummmmm... do you see an issue there?

both comments have become a problem for me because I have found myself defending what amounts to self hatred in the conversations I have with people. There is usually an underlying theme of "why they forget us" and "you ain't special, you live in a crime zone" to some of the conversations.

The really sad thing is... I'm having these conversations with people who have never met a Jackson or been inside the city limits of Gary... or if they have, for no more than 15 minutes (per their own admission..."we were just passing through")

The Jackson thing is mindless chatter and I've become good at ignoring it... the murder capital thing is pissing me off...


cus Black folk are the ones making the comments... as if where they live is paradise. Just the other day, as someone was reading an article of where to live or not live if you want to live (translation: white folk avoid these towns) the cities of Gary and Compton came up. There was someone in the group from Compton. He immediately attacked me for living in Gary.

"haha, and here you are acting so special and superior to people and you live in the #2 murder city in the country!"

I was confused. DUDE, YOU LIVE IN COMPTON... ITS #5 ON THE LIST!!!
now, I've been to Compton, it was a few years ago, yes, but I spent more than 15 minutes there, recognized the place for what it was and brought my black behind on back to G.I. Dude ain't never left Compton... and was full of commentary.

ok, I'm ranting. My point to all of this blathering is this: Why do we insult each other and find ways to bring each other to the low place we sometimes feel we're in as individuals and/or people. How does someone in Compton get angry because someone in Gary has some self love? and how does that person in Gary rise above the bullshit of the person in Compton with the self hate?

I just smile and know I live where I live because I CHOOSE to live there. I grew up here. Its a nice city; broke right now, corruption in government, no decent jobs for folk who need them, and its cold. But, its my hometown. I can leave my doors unlocked if I choose, and my kids never brought their bikes in during the summers while they were growing up. I only hear gunshots on New Year's Eve... though I hear the sirens at least once daily.

One day I'll retire and move somewhere else, somewhere warm, etc. The person in Compton is STUCK there... is that why they're angry about my joy?

I am powerful, I know it... he doesn't realize he's powerful. Where you live doesn't make you less powerful, what you do or don't do, what you say or don't say is what makes you more or less powerful.

When will we stop doing this to each other? When will being who we are enough for us? Why can't we just love ourselves?

NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE! That's what I tell my students. NO MORE EXCUSES!! Love yourself... you are so powerful, you are perfect in every way, you can do all things you choose to do...even live in Gary, Indiana.


woo wee...