Shawneda Author, Novelist, Blogger, Creative Strategist, Social Media Copy Expert
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Something WONDERFUL This Way Comes

Facebook memories are a great place for me to erase old things most days. As a social media platform overall it is one of my least favorite.I'd probably delete it if I could... but I digress. 

Every now and again the "memories to look back on" bring up something that inspires more than the delete button. Like this post about the importance of embracing our failures. This television show helped a very emotionally drained life turned topsy turvy me as I soldiered on through my divorce. 

Relying on God to help me with my studies and caring for my daughter were the best parts of those days as I inched along through the day to day parts of my life. I'd told my ex-husband I knew he "fancied" another lady at our church two years prior to the demise of our marriage. I watched him pursue her despite the papers not being filed for our divorce. Thanked God for not allowing me to internalize his decisions while also taking full responsibility for my part in our marriage ending...again, I digress. 

This Facebook post reminded me of all of the amazing things I've learned now that I embrace my failures. As I approach the end of my undergraduate studies and prepare to enter my graduate studies I'm thankful for every lesson and blessing.  Life has taught me so much more than I'd ever imagined in the failures as well as pursuing my dreams. Doesn't hurt that teaching is one of my "spiritual gifts" according to all of the ministerial training from my "church days", which may be a reason I love students (including being one). 

2013 was also the last year I led the Diamond Butterfly small group at my former church. As I prepare to launch a new author course, I'm also outlining a FREE online self-led version of Diamond Butterfly based on the devotionals. Download the app to find out as soon as it happens or check back here to make sure you don't miss it. 

Speaking of the "good ol'days" I've rebooted my way before it's time online Christian book interview show "Faithful Folios Tv" to it's new 3.0 version. There will be more posts about Christian books, book events, and authors to get to know with the explosion of eBooks and the decline of the Christian fiction genre for several reasons... I believe it's the least I can do for some of my favorite people in the world... readers. 

Reading is still one of my favorite things to do. I've totally revamped the app I built for you to give you more of what you want and starting March 1st all of the reader features you told me you'd like in the survey from last year will be LIVE. So thankful and excited to be able to have this space to share with you. Remember how much God loves you and how far you've come since the first time you acknowledged and received His love. No matter what you're going through, never forget He will always be there for you. He loves you. Stay encouraged and when you're able as much as you can continue to share His love. 

Time for the Difficult Conversation America Needs to have to Begin

Words don't really exist to express how I feel about what I read happened yesterday in Chicago that was broadcast on Facebook Live. Simmering beneath the amber waves of grey, pooling together at the foot of the purple mounted majesties above the fruited plains where God shed His grace the spirit of dissension fueled by centuries of ignorance, a list of ridiculous 'isms' and hate has taken root, festered and with every generation in a new different way opens as a vile ugly thing for all with eyes willing to see a new hatred blooms. 

Doesn't matter if the victims are the indigenous people who occupied this land for centuries before Columbus landed on the East Coast. Asian descendants whose grandparents were gathered and quartered in camps during the war "just in case" despite having been born and loving the very soil where they were being kept "detained." Mexicans, Muslims and anyone who looks Muslim being profiled, mocked and attacked. People of African descent who've experienced and endured unlimited amounts of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and prejudice. People of European descent presumed to be guilty of racist attitudes because the people who oppressed and exploited other cultures in the past look like them. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nor those questioning who they do or don't want to be with sexually. No one should be subject to physical attack based on another person's opinion or beliefs. 

Yesterday, a young Caucasian man came under attack by four people of African descent. Not the first hate crime committed against a Caucasian person in America but definitely the first time it was broadcast or paraded. The same way hangings and lynchings used to be paraded and celebrated in the South. All of these things are disgusting. I'm not going to post pictures of either. I'm heartbroken thinking about what he endured just like I'm heartbroken thinking about what other victims of hate crimes have endured. Most people responded with outrage, shock, frustration and sadness. While other people jumped on the opportunity to try to divide our fragmented country further by connecting this incident with a social media movement. Which if believed would only sow more seeds of hate. 

No one deserves to be physically attacked because of their skin color, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, religious belief, financial standing or political stance. People aren't going to stop thinking what they think and telling people how to think isn't a right. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right even for people with whom we don't agree. However ...

Freedom of attack DOESN'T exist! 

Someone calls me a nigger, or a bitch... I'm not required to answer. I definitely don't agree. Probably won't waste my energy to respond that is their opinion and not my business. Someone PHYSICALLY attacks me because I'm a woman or of African descent they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law including the hate crime law. Someone attacks a young Caucasian white man because he is Caucasian they should be prosecuted using the same laws. Just like I believe anyone of ANY race who commits a crime against someone else because of a racist, bigoted or prejudice should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Doesn't always happen but that is another blogpost for another day. 

Nothing warrants the treatment this young man endured. Nothing warrants the treatment anyone who is attacked physically endures as a result of racism, sexism, classism, religious intolerance, bigotry, prejudice or sexual orientation.  I refuse to defend the young people who did this because they were wrong just as every other person whose committed a hate crime against anyone is wrong. Just like the people using this as a platform to push their agenda are wrong. 

We need to begin to have some difficult conversations inside America. With each other across cultures and communities and inside our cultures and communities. Holding this generation  of Caucasians culpable for the atrocities inflicted on people from the past won't change the past or fix the future. Pretending the oppression and mistreatment of minorities hasn't left crippling effects on country hasn't worked either. 

I'm not upset with the "ALT RIGHT" or "BLACK LIVES MATTERS" people for being heard when they talk the most and the LOUDEST. 
Time has come. The SILENT MAJORITY in the middle who want us all to respect and be able to live in this country together without physically attacking each other of all races, colors, creeds, religions and financial standings  need to SPEAK UP. 

These conversations will not be comfortable, easy, quick or smooth. 
No matter how uncomfortable, slow and painful... for us to heal and move forward as a country they will be worth it. 

We must all begin to have these conversations and stop allowing the people we don't agree with to assume our silence condones their views. Once we all do the work needed to care for ourselves as individuals, families, communities, cities, states and nations together we can begin to see this very old, very destructive problem be 

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