Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Deutsche Übersetzung ist unten.
God did not make junk.
When he breathed life into each of us, he did not take into consideration racism, sexism, exclusionism, separatism, irrationalism, or isolationism.
God would not breathe into us the desire to have an inclination for practices that violate human dignity which include torture, rape, social exclusion, labor exploitation, slavery, and social injustice. If you have always been allowed to live your life to your fullest potential, never having been victimized or repressed because of your skin color or sexual orientation or different-ability, this may be difficult to relate to. Injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ability is wrong. Period. The well-being of one is also the well-being of everyone.
We as a people, must have a change of heart. Aristotle said it best: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” The emotional pain and trauma caused by exclusion and racism and violence are just simply not acceptable. If you can feel it in your heart, you will surely be able to wrap your brain around it–and be a catalyst for a positive change.
Every human being, regardless of age, different-ability, status, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, is to be treated with respect. Imagine having your dignity stripped away…
I was invited by Sebastian Schürheck to give the opening speech at the Cologne Rainbow Gala in 2018. In part, here is what I said and this is why people all over the world are marching today:
In a world filled with discrimination, we must learn equity and fairness; in a world of despair and disease we must learn to have hope and in a world full of intolerance, we need to learn acceptance, compassion, and sensitivity.
And remember this: silence is golden but it can also be deadly. If I had not spoken up and fought for my son to have a chance at life, it very well could be that he would not be here today, so if you see any injustice–speak up! If you are being treated wrongly: speak up! If you feel that somebody needs to be told that they are loved, tell them so! Don’t suffer in silence and be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There’s nothing shameful about being human with all of our strengths and weaknesses. We must learn to accept and love ourselves and each other. Love is a powerful thing!
And remember, in order to achieve our highest potential in life, we
we sometimes have to be fighters. So be driven. Push and recognize that character is developed in difficult times. Life is too short and too precious to be nonchalant. We can defy adversity. We can develop resilience. Anything is possible because it ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out! Repeat after me, ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out! And that is the heart of the matter.
Gott hat keinen Schrott gemacht.
Als er jedem von uns Leben einhauchte, berücksichtigte er weder Rassismus, Sexismus, Ausgrenzung, Separatismus, Irrationalismus noch Isolationismus.
Gott hat uns nicht den Wunsch eingehaucht, eine Neigung zu Praktiken zu haben, die die Menschenwürde verletzen, zu denen Folter, Vergewaltigung, soziale Ausgrenzung, Ausbeutung der Arbeitskraft, Sklaverei und soziale Ungerechtigkeit gehören. Wenn es dir immer erlaubt war, dein Leben in vollen Zügen zu leben, und du nie aufgrund deiner Hautfarbe oder sexuellen Orientierung oder deiner unterschiedlichen Fähigkeiten zum Opfer gefallen bist oder unterdrückt wurdest, ist das vielleicht schwer nachzuvollziehen. Ungerechtigkeit und Ungleichheit gegenüber jeder Rasse, Ethnie, Geschlechtsidentität, sexuellen Orientierung oder Fähigkeit ist falsch. Punkt. Das Wohlergehen des Einzelnen ist auch das Wohlergehen aller.
Wir als Volk müssen einen Sinneswandel vollziehen. Aristoteles hat es am besten gesagt: “Den Verstand zu erziehen, ohne das Herz zu erziehen, ist überhaupt keine Erziehung.” Der emotionale Schmerz und das Trauma, die durch Ausgrenzung und Rassismus und Gewalt verursacht werden, sind einfach nicht akzeptabel. Wenn du es in deinem Herzen fühlst, kannst du dein Gehirn sicher umhüllen – und ein Katalysator für eine positive Veränderung sein.
Jeder Mensch, ungeachtet seines Alters, seiner unterschiedlichen Fähigkeiten, seines Status, seines Geschlechts, seiner ethnischen Zugehörigkeit oder seines religiösen Glaubens, ist mit Respekt zu behandeln. Stell dich vor, man nimmt dir deine Würde weg…
Ich wurde von Sebastian Schürheck eingeladen, die Eröffnungsrede bei der Kölner Regenbogengala 2018 zu halten. Zum Teil habe ich das hier gesagt, und deshalb marschieren heute Menschen auf der ganzen Welt:
In einer Welt voller Diskriminierung müssen wir Gerechtigkeit und Fairness lernen; in einer Welt voller Verzweiflung und Krankheit müssen wir lernen, Hoffnung zu haben, und in einer Welt voller Intoleranz müssen wir Akzeptanz, Mitgefühl und Sensibilität lernen.
Und denken Sie daran: Schweigen ist golden, aber es kann auch tödlich sein. Hätte ich nicht den Mund aufgemacht und dafür gekämpft, dass mein Sohn eine Chance auf Leben hat, könnte es sehr gut sein, dass er heute nicht hier wäre, wenn Sie also irgendeine Ungerechtigkeit sehen, sprechen Sie es aus! Wenn Sie ungerecht behandelt werden: Sprechen Sie lauter! Wenn Sie das Gefühl haben, dass jemandem gesagt werden muss, dass er geliebt wird, sagen Sie es ihm! Leiden Sie nicht im Stillen und haben Sie keine Angst oder schämen Sie sich nicht, um Hilfe zu bitten. Es ist nichts Schändliches daran, ein Mensch mit all unseren Stärken und Schwächen zu sein. Wir müssen lernen, uns selbst und einander zu akzeptieren und zu lieben. Liebe ist eine mächtige Sache!
Und denken Sie daran, dass wir, um unser höchstes Potenzial im Leben zu erreichen, müssen wir manchmal Kämpfer sein. Also lassen Sie sich treiben. Drängen Sie und erkennen Sie, dass sich der Charakter in schwierigen Zeiten entwickelt. Das Leben ist zu kurz und zu kostbar, um nonchalant zu sein. Wir können Widrigkeiten trotzen. Wir können Belastbarkeit entwickeln. Alles ist möglich, denn Aufgeben gibts nicht! Sprechen Sie mir nach: Aufgeben gibts nicht und das ist der Herz alle Dinge.. Alles ist möglich, denn es gibt kein Aufgeben und kein Aufgeben! Sprechen Sie mir nach: Es gibt kein Aufgeben und kein Aufgeben! Und das ist der Kern der Sache.
We’ve all had to have “Come to Jesus” conversations with our loved ones and ourselves during these difficult times of unrest, after George Floyd’s murder under the knee of a white policeman.
Last week, my son, Brett, a twenty six year old, black young man sat me down for such a meeting. He insisted I silence the television, and turn my cell phone off as he needed my undivided attention.
My son wanted to know what I felt could be done to help correct the injustice and essentially, how was I stepping up?
My children, although both bi-racial, have been raised predominantly by the black side of their family (my mother and me).
The influence from their white father was zero tolerance for racism and exclusion. Steve actually went so far as to fight the establishment when he was denied membership to The Esquire Club, a private African American men’s club in Seattle, founded in 1947. He was extremely liberal, and as a gifted basketball player, he shined on Seattle University’s historic team that upset undefeated Texas Western. Steve Looney, now deceased, shared stories of the turbulent times while traveling in the south, with his teammates, where they were nicknamed 4 Coons and The Loons as he was often the only one of few white players in the lineup. Steve shared how on road trips, in solidarity, he would join his black friends and all would sleep and eat on the bus, as the black team members were not allowed in certain hotels and restaurants. As part of Steve’s legacy, we established The Steve Looney Scholarship.(Read www.menopausebarbees.com The Heart of an Education-Paying it Forward).
My son, acknowledged the privilege that my family’s hard work and history has afforded him. He is a graduate of the University of Washington Foster School of Business. He’s a member of The Seattle Tennis Club, a club with a ten year wait list. He lives in an affluent neighborhood. He is well traveled. With his fair skin and blue eyes, he often has to let strangers (predominantly white) know, he is indeed black. This was particularly the case while he was living in Chicago and working in the suburbs where he faced racial disparaging remarks by ignorant encounters. Unbeknownst to many of the vendors he called upon, they didn’t know they were in the presence of an African American, while complaining about blacks moving in their suburbia.
Our conversation was long and deep. I expressed that change must occur by leveling the playing field. We need a strong foundation to build a sturdy home to withstand every storm. The strong foundation begins with supporting our youth and offering opportunity. I’m on the advisory board of Treehouse and the mission statement is, “To give children in foster care a childhood and a future.” WE must educate and if this is from scholarships or mentorships, we ALL can give- time or money. My friends, Marta and Lucio Dalla Gasperina, founders of Tommy Bahama, who introduced me to Treehouse, dreamed up Fostering Scholars, where they offered full rides to foster kids at Seattle U. This program was established in 2006, and as of June 2019, there were 46 graduates with a retention rate of 83%. They stepped down as owners of Tommy Bahama, but stepped up for the children.
A few years ago, a black man I know who was employed by my mother and I, was incarcerated for several years. When he was released, possible jobs were limited if not existent. I called my friend, Mark Benezra of Buffalo Industries who gave him not only employment, but an opportunity to get into society and to get a life. Today, this friend has produced a board game, he is launching on health and fitness. I am beyond proud of his efforts to make his mess his message and stay healthy. Mark stepped up and showed, opportunities abound when opportunity is offered.
Michael Jordan’s brand donated 100 million to organizations fighting racism against black people. He stepped up, by Just Doing it!
Alexis Ohania, co-founder of Reddit and husband of Serena Williams is resigned from his board, and urged that seat be filled by a black candidate. This is a company that as of 2018, employed approximately 350 people. In 2017, the company was valued at 1.8 billion. He is Stepping UP, by Stepping Down! Bravo
So today, and everyday, the challenge is- how are you Stepping Up?
Thank you, Brett for speaking up and inspiring this post. You lift me up everyday in every way. I will continue to step up and support our African American youth by donating my time and money to programs to give them a foundation and future.
You Never Know What’s Going to Happen.
Yesterday was one of those days.
The reporter Christiane Vielhaber, from the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, a German daily newspaper published here in Cologne, which has the largest circulation in the Cologne–Bonn Metropolitan Region, surprised me with a telephone call. She wanted my thoughts on the explosive crisis in America resulting from the murder of George Floyd. I was out of breath on a spin bike. We agreed to talk in a couple of hours.
My thoughts were published today.
My German-speaking friends, you all can read the article, and for my English speaking friends, here is the translation.
Man weiß nie, was passieren wird.
Gestern war einer dieser Tage.
Die Reporterin Christiane Vielhaber vom Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, einer deutschen Tageszeitung, die hier in Köln erscheint und die auflagenstärkste in der Metropolregion Köln-Bonn ist, überraschte mich mit einem Telefonanruf. Sie wollte meine Gedanken zu der explosiven Krise in Amerika infolge der Ermordung von George Floyd wissen. Auf einem Spin-Bike war ich außer Atem. Wir vereinbarten, in ein paar Stunden zu sprechen.
Meine Gedanken wurden heute veröffentlicht.
Meine deutschsprachigen Freunde, Sie alle können den Artikel lesen.
Question: Do you also have contact to your family in Seattle where there are also protests?
TM: Yes, I talk to my sister on the phone every day. She says she’s never seen anything like it. Looting and vandalism, mingling with protesters. America is on fire.
Question: Did the escalation surprise you?
TM: America and the world needed to see something like this so that maybe things will finally change. We black people are angry, but we are not surprised by the development. There’s a long history of racial hatred in America. It has its roots in slavery (extending to plantation life, the Jim Crow Laws, the right to vote and the Civil Rights Act of 1964), but not enough has changed since then. And now the cruelties and injustice are filmed and can be seen all over the world.
Question: What must happen now?
TM: We all have to stick together now, the white people have to join in, so that law and order of the heart can be established in and for everyone. It cannot go on like this in this country. My uncle Quincy Jones has also called for an online campaign today #theshowmustpause in which many people in the industry across the globe will participate.
Question: Has Barack Obama’s presidency achieved nothing at all?
TM: One president alone cannot change what has developed over centuries. But I’m sure that if he were still in office things would not have escalated to this point. Trump has a lot to do with that.
Question: Have you experienced racism yourself?
TM: My sisters and I went to private schools, my parents were financially secure, so we were quite protected. But my father collected expensive cars like Rolls Royces for example. He was stopped by the police several times, for no reason, because after all, what was a black man doing driving a car like that (if he wasn’t driving for Ms. Daisy)? Once, our home was raided by the police because stolen goods were suspected in it. Afterward the police claimed it was a mix-up–wrong house. They never returned my mother’s jewelry that they stole.
Question: Do you think Trump will be re-elected?
TM: I hope not. He has no heart and no compassion for people. But one never knows. The important thing now is that we all, truly all, go out to vote in November.
Because you never know what’s going to happen.
Today I had planned to post about taking our beautiful city of Seattle back and the fight and plight of our homeless population. The situation which our City Council condones is to restrict the homeless encampment removals. In other words, the homeless are able to encamp anywhere of their choosing. Over the weekend, I personally witnessed a homeless man in a public park adjacent to Safeway on Capitol Hill, pull down his pants and defecate, yes take a crap in plain daylight. As outrageous as that visual was, my dismay against our City Council was hijacked by a much bigger global problem.
It is said we must think globally, but act locally. Last night, in my insomnia, I watched and waited patiently for the address of President Trump. I tossed and turned in my bed at 1:30 A.M. flipping between CNN, MSNBC and local news stations. I watched the fires from Philadelphia to Santa Monica, Minneapolis to Bellevue, Washington where the despicable looters ransacked my friend’s who are family, Goldfarb’s Jewelry store. It didn’t hit close to home, it hit home.
Today, I want you to reflect on the power of 1. I’m sure if Derek Chauvin had taken 1 minute to think about the repercussions of his actions, we would not all be paying witness to this historic pandemonium. I’m certain if only 1 of other three officers, stepped in and pulled Derek Chauvin off of George Floyd’s neck, we would not be in a nationwide curfew where burning, looting, and killings are occurring. Perhaps, even if 1 intervened 1 moment earlier, this murder wouldn’t have occurred. I’m sure if our 1 President would as Dan Rather tweeted, address the nation in a prime time speech during this crisis and call for the arrest of all the officers involved in the taking of one man’s life, we could save so many and call for a stop to the madness.
Looting Defined – steal goods from (a place), typically during a war or riot.
Destroying our cities, and stealing from businesses is not the answer. STOP LOOTING AND TEARING DOWN YOUR CITIES!
Let’s not loose focus, people. George Floyd’s life was looted. His dreams, his future, his family – all stolen, by the power of 1.
George Floyd, the unarmed Black man who suffocated under the knee of a white policeman in the United States city of Minneapolis, has been described as “a loving person” and a devoted father who worked hard to support his family.
“Everybody loved my brother,” Philonese Floyd.
Let me preface this blog by saying I have the deepest respect for our public servants. I witness the hard works of my friend, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, who literally faces the fires everyday. I am humbled by her dedication and strength to combat what I deem one of the hardest jobs in America. Over the years, my faith has been restored by a faltered system as I have witnessed at work dedicated friends such as Nick Metz, former Aurora Police Chief, and family members, Rosa Melendez, retired Regional Director at U.S. Department of Justice.
However, today I’m sharing a very personal story about police privilege, which at a tender age nearly shattered my faith in a system designed to serve and protect us.
I was 16 and eager to get behind the wheel, so I acquiesced to running any errands my family deemed necessary.
It was the mid 1980’s, when I pulled into our family’s secluded private gated property and parked the Centaur, a limited edition convertible English roadster. My father was a car collector and my siblings and I had access to all of his vehicles. I share this because my father was admittedly flamboyant. He was constantly in the news, such as the article posted below here. But he worked hard and he was successful and he enjoyed the lifestyle so many of his white contemporaries were entitled to. This included building a swimming pool in our back yard and sending my sisters and me for private educations. As a self made business man in the central district of the city, with a million dollar lake view primary residence and as a landlord with multiple apartment buildings, he, and my family therefore unfortunately were the target of police speculation. The speculation was that Daddy’s means were acquired by illegal and illicit activities such as dealing drugs during the Just say No campaign commissioned by Nancy Reagan in the 1980’s.
My father hailed from Detroit. His mother died when he was 17 and he was left to his own survival measures. He was street savvy and not one to suffer fools. He was smart, and although he was a talented musician, he made his wealth by investing.
He was outspoken and I still have trauma when I recall the numerous times Daddy’s unwarranted encounters with the police landed him in jail. Simple outings in one of his flashy automobiles would make him suspect, pulled over, and arrested for no reason. Today, no doubt, Daddy’s outburst and interactions would have easily made him a victim such as Rodney King or George Floyd.
Daddy and me in his 1979 Clenet limited edition roadster
I recall it was evening, most likely dinner time. Mama would have one of her scrumptious meals simmering. After blaring the stereo of my favorite tunes in the car, 16 year old me strolled up the front porch. I was shocked as I reached the front door and saw through the large glass window, contained in the family dining room my immediate and a few members of my extended family. A police officer let me in my home and ushered me to where my family was waiting, while swarms of other uniformed policemen foraged through our home. We were held for hours while the police ransacked each room in our house. They dumped out plants on the floor, emptied dressing cabinets, leaving the house in complete disarray. Including stealing, yes, stealing my parent’s jewelry. As I reflect back on this night, I am grateful my father was not home when the raid occurred. I shudder to think of what that encounter might have resulted in.
Mama in our living room circa the 1980’s.
Our family home circa the time the police raid occured
The following afternoon, after the disrespect, utter disruption of our lives, and robbery, my parents received an apology that the police had raided the wrong house. They weren’t looking for Gerald Frank, but a Frank Jenkins that lived up the street. I was 16. I learned that day that not all police are there to serve and protect.
The Menopausebarbees want George Floyd and his family to know, we are with you. We see you. We feel your pain. We know it wasn’t about drugs.
RIP #George Floyd
Seattle Times article May 11, 1985
TIME AND AGAIN (Deutsche Übersetzung ist unten)
I have never seen the life of someone literally snuffed out of them. Until yesterday.
For three long excruciating minutes, in broad daylight, George Floyd squirmed on the ground somewhere in Minneapolis day before yesterday. He lay prone on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind his back. With his neck pinned to the ground underneath the knee of a policeman, his eyes bulged. TIME AND AGAIN, a raspy-voiced George called out, “I can’t breathe officer! You’re hurting me! My neck hurts! My stomach hurts! Mama! Mama!” The officer didn’t budge.
There was no director in this horror film to shout, “Cut!” but there were bystanders who shouted out, “He can’t breathe! Get up off of him!! Get up off of him!” TIME AND AGAIN they called out. Then, George lay still, eyes seeing nothing, his raspy voice silent. Blood gushed from his nose. His urine had released involuntarily. This often happens when you are scared to death and on the brink of it. The officer still didn’t move. And when this officer finally decided that the entire life of Mr. Floyd was sucked out of him, he and his partner–who by the way, stood there watching and kept the witnesses at bay–just casually walked away. All in a day’s work. The details of how this tragic story began you can find online. But how it began doesn’t matter–it’s how it ended that defies comprehension.
Once subdued and in handcuffs, a suspect is no longer considered to be a threat.
This police officer, this madman knew exactly what he was doing.
Last week we were in an uproar about Ahmaud Arbery. We can work our way back from there. The injustices are too many to count.
What in the entire hell is going on in 2020???
I try to find the good in everything, and the only “good” thing about this incident is that it was filmed. It was recorded.
And TIME AND AGAIN we are reminded that brutality, racism, and injustice have a long dark history. Will we ever see the light? Will this narrative ever end?
Watch the video and see if you are not horrified.
ZEIT UND WIEDERHOLUNG
Ich habe noch nie erlebt, dass das Leben eines Menschen buchstäblich aus ihm herausgeschnupft wurde. Bis gestern.
Drei lange qualvolle Minuten lang wand sich George Floyd vorgestern am helllichten Tag irgendwo in Minneapolis auf dem Boden. Er lag bäuchlings auf dem Bauch, die Hände hinter dem Rücken gefesselt. Sein Hals war unterhalb des Knies eines Polizisten am Boden festgeklemmt, und seine Augen wölbten sich. ZEIT UND WIEDER, rief ein rauer George mit rauer Stimme: “Ich kriege keine Luft, Officer! Sie tun mir weh! Mein Hals tut weh! Mein Bauch tut weh! Mama! Mama!” Der Offizier rührte sich nicht vom Fleck.
In diesem Horrorfilm gab es keinen Regisseur, der “Schnitt!” rief, aber es gab Zuschauer, die riefen: “Er kann nicht atmen! Er kann nicht atmen!” Stehen Sie auf! Stehen Sie auf! Runter von ihm!” ZEIT UND WIEDERHOLEN riefen sie. Dann lag George still, die Augen sahen nichts, seine raue Stimme verstummte. Blut sprudelte aus seiner Nase. Sein Urin hatte sich unfreiwillig gelöst. Das passiert oft, wenn man zu Tode erschreckt ist und kurz davor steht. Der Offizier bewegte sich immer noch nicht. Und als dieser Offizier schließlich entschied, dass das gesamte Leben von Mr. Floyd aus ihm herausgesaugt wurde, gingen er und sein Partner – der übrigens zusah und die Zeugen in Schach hielt – einfach beiläufig weg. Alles an einem Arbeitstag. Die Einzelheiten darüber, wie diese tragische Geschichte begann, finden Sie online. Aber wie sie begann, ist unwichtig – wie sie endete, ist unbegreiflich.
Sobald ein Verdächtiger unterdrückt und in Handschellen gefesselt ist, wird er nicht mehr als Bedrohung angesehen.
Dieser Polizist, dieser Verrückte wusste genau, was er tat.
Letzte Woche waren wir wegen Ahmaud Arbery in Aufruhr. Von dort aus können wir uns zurückarbeiten. Die Ungerechtigkeiten sind zu zahlreich, um sie zu zählen.
Was zum Teufel geht im Jahr 2020 vor sich?
Ich versuche, in allem das Gute zu finden, und das einzig “Gute” an diesem Vorfall ist, dass er gefilmt wurde. Er wurde aufgezeichnet.
Und ZEIT UND WIEDER werden wir daran erinnert, dass Brutalität, Rassismus und Ungerechtigkeit eine lange, dunkle Geschichte haben. Werden wir jemals das Licht sehen? Wird diese Erzählung jemals enden?
Schaue dir das Video an und sieh, ob du nicht entsetzt bist.