The Online Protest In Honor of Those Mistreated By Law Enforcers: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown

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People have taken to social media, again, to talk about concerns revolving what’s happening in the news and on our timelines this week. Popular hash-tag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown brewed up controversy as folks participating in an online rally/protest against the media’s decision of choosing an image that negatively represents the characters of black people. It kick off with the misrepresentation of Michael Brown, a young black male who was fatally shot in St. Louis by police this week.

michael brown

The story of Michael Brown is a very sad one. A young man, who did nothing wrong at the time of his attempted arrest, was slaughter in front of a community and left in the street for hours before officials decided to clear the scene. The police decision to leave Brown hours after the shooting nearly provoked a riot between people in the neighborhood and the law enforcers. As the week continues to play out, protests emerge as  All I have to say about this is why are blacks still having this battle to be treated fairly?! Why do we continue to be labeled as a group of people who don’t deserve the same level of respect as whites?! We’re all human.

Growing up being black, I can’t help but ask “why does the media choose to publicize our worse?” There is so much good that’s being done by black people.  But we have to dig deep into the underground media to see those who are doing good deeds. We have to go out of our way to hear positive things because what’s flashing in front of us doesn’t tell the truth about what’s happening in our communities. As the world watches these videos of police brutality acts towards black people, blacks must remember that they aren’t what society portray them as. They have the potential to be great no matter how much the world tries to manipulate their thoughts into believing they can’t. It’s pure ignorance to allow the media to choose the worst in deciding what will represent us a group of people. You see what they’ve done with Michael Brown!

This hash-tag is something everyone should take part in as were watching what’s happening in St. Louis. What will the media portray me as if I was shot?

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I’m more than judgements. Everyone deserves to be heard. So if you’re more than what on the exterior and more than what people judge you as, post a picture using the hash-tag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown to show the media that they must stop making us look ignorant. Stop treating us like we’re derogatory creatures. We help build this country to be what it is today like everyone else who lives here. We shouldn’t have to remind the world about it.

Share some of your #IfTheyGunnedMeDown posts with us. Post them to our comments. Leave your mark as someone who deserves a chance.

Will we have a voice?! Read Will Blacks Have to Wait Another 100 Years? on Doc’s Castle Media.

But My Friend Told Me So

Hello,

Recently, I was watching TV and this commercial came on that stated “acne hates magnets because my friend told me so.” After hearing that, I had to comment.  Throughout grade school you and your friends will talk about a variety of subjects from what foods to eat to sex. But even though you might believe everything your friends say, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.

In middle school and in high school, you’ll learn new things and throughout this journey everyone is going to believe they’re right about something. But since everyone is still learning, some people can’t possible know all the answers.  On top of that, some of your friends might not be telling the truth. They could be afraid of who you are, but might not want to seem like a “punk.” So they agree with what you do or might say, “Oh yeah, that’s right,” knowing that it might not be.

I’ll give you guys an example.  While I was in high school, I had a friend talking with a group of people who were discussing sex. They were talking about the possibilities of a girl not getting pregnant, one way being by the girl sitting on top of a boy, and another way by a girl having sex it in the pool.  I’ll tell you that neither one of these ways is correct, a girl can still get pregnant! So in this case, would you listen to you friends?

Group Discussion

Here’s another example. I heard someone say once, “My mom doesn’t know everything. My friend knows so much more.”  Look, I know at this age you don’t always want to believe your mother. Since your friends are closer to your age, you want to believe them because they can relate more. But in this generation, there’s TV shows and the Internet influencing everyone’s decisions. Your friends could be telling you about what they’re watching. They might even suggest you to look up using these resources to prove their point. But you have to remember that even television and the Internet could be wrong.

Listening to friends

To get the truth and information for making decisions, you could gather examples from many others and think about it or if all else fail try it out yourself.  (Disclaimer: Please do not do anything that will truly harm yourself or anyone else.)   I’ve always had a friend that believed they were right all the time. The best thing I think you should do is ask a few other people, like an adult you can talk to and trust or a young adult you look up to, and put the pieces together. Figure out what to truly believe.  Life as a teenager is all about learning. Everything is a learning process.  With this blog entry, I hope this’ll help you throughout your journey and get you thinking before you take what you do for face value. Do your research!

Peace and love,

Vonni

Have you read the last column for Vonni’s Advice? Read Fake Friends and Break-Ups on Doc’s Castle Media.

Thinking about College (What should I do)

Hello,

So I know a lot of Doc’s Castle Media fans are young adults and teenagers, and recently I came up with a topic about college. When choosing and applying to a college, it can be a stressful and a very important decision in your life. The main issue here is deciding what you want to be for the rest of your life! Wow, I know at this age you’re thinking about what you should wear tomorrow. But it’s something you have to think about. To make this decision easier for you, I have a list of some things I did while pondering that hard decision of what I want to be. I can honestly say you probably will find more than one thing you want to do with your life. Luckily, they have minors for that in whatever university you attend or choose to attend. Here’s my list:

Picking A College

1.) Write down a list of the top five jobs you want to have in life (these will be your majors.)

2.) Write down a list of ten schools that have that major.

3.) Pick three main majors you choose to pursue.

4.) Pick three schools you like with those majors.

5.) Think about if you really want to pursue that major, and think of all the jobs you’d get into with a degree in that major.

6.) Look at the requirements for these majors. Do you still want to do that?

7.) If yes, than look at the schools you’ve picked and see which ones have the majors. Look at least two of the three of your choices because you might want to change them later, once you’re in college. People do that quite often.

If you don’t want to go along with those requirements, than look at the next major choice that you have in mind and continue to search.

8.) Now, think of the majors you choose and see if they can go with each other like (psychology and criminal justice).

If they do, think about maybe minoring in your second career choice.

If they don’t coincide with each other, than look at the cost of the school you picked and start researching the school.

9.) You should be at the step where you picked a career or two, along with your top school.

10.) Last step, when choosing a school you should look at cost, activities, and just information about your major there and the school.

Now, this is some of the stuff I did when I pick a school.  The big thing for me was that the school I really wanted to go to didn’t accept me.  What do you do when this happens?  Go to a community college or your second pick for a year, get some college credits under your belt and then apply again. I did this and now I’m at my dream school. My major now is psychology with a minor in creative writing because I want to give advice through writing, and also write stories. I know that picking a major right now is scary. But I’ll tell you about 85% of college students change their major over and over. This is why I said pick about three of the five you really like because you can change or even minor in one of the majors you really like. I wish I had someone telling me how to do all these things when I was going through the process. But what someone else didn’t have I think the next person should, and with that being said here you go!

Peace and Love,

Vonni

Do I Really Need Help? (First day of School Shooting)

Ok, in today’s news in Baltimore, Maryland, there has been a shooting at Perry Hall High School.  Reporters are still developing the story, but in the last year (2011-2012), there has been many counts of school shootings and stabbings in the city and counties of Baltimore.
Baltimore's First Day of School Shooting
Why is this happening? From a psychology student I say this, “it’s too many students and not enough time for each individual student.”  In my opinion, from all the test schools give the damn students, there should be a test for their well-being. Enough of me fussing. These students need someone to talk to. They need to find ways of getting their anger out instead of trying to take someone else out!

I’m happy to say that you are talking to a student in college that suffers from depression. I know it’s hard to live life at times, but there are outlets you can use to help you!  Today, I’m here to give you two main tools I use that helps me out a lot!  I hope someone reads this before they do something major that they’ll regret!

  • Write in a journal (it can be online). So many websites say this but they don’t tell you how to start a journal for yourself.  Here is how, write if you are feeling, whether it be happy, sad, depressed, suicidal, or any other emotions.  Let’s use sad as an example, you should write down why you are sad, “I’m sad because…” Then write what would make you feel better. If it is something you can do to change how you feel, do it! But if you feel like you are going to hurt yourself or someone else, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); this is a suicide help line, and they are 24/7! They’ll talk you through anything.
  • Get a therapist. In college, it is easier to get one because most of the time they are on the campus for your use. It’s one of the services that you’ve paid for in your tuition. But even in middle and high school you may find a councilor for cheap, or even free, here is one website where you may receive therapy: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Learn/Therapy . Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, there are so many people who need one-on-one time. Even if it is once or twice that you speak to a therapist, I’m sure you will feel better about any decisions you are making with their guidance!

School and dealing with people everyday is hard enough. But throw in a mental problem and I’m sure you will have people blowing so much steam it’s not even funny.  Using my two main steps should be able to help anyone no matter the age, first because they are both private, and secondly, you are releasing the tension and stress that’s being built up! We all as people need to release tension and stress, but we have to find the right outlets to do it!

If you have a question or topic you would like for me to address, send it to vonnieb905@gmail.com

Peace and Love,

Vonni

How to Avoid Bullying

Bullying has been the topic in the news a lot recently, definitely from the movie Bully. The movie has been shining some light on the issue and what goes on in schools across the nation.

A question I’ve been getting lately is how to avoid getting bully. Now, let me be honest in this day of age. Bullying is very hard to avoid but the way you handle bullying is the trick that you must know!

Celebrities get bullied by the media everyday, and they still come on the stage and performed.  Bullying is not good in any matter but it seems to happen to everyone! So don’t think that you are alone.
Bullying
Let me shine the light on myself for a moment since I’ve said it happens to everyone. One of my worst experiences with bullying happened in middle school.  I was very tall and awkward like most girls at that age, but in my family we have a problem with underarm odor. Since I was still learning about my body, I didn’t understand deodorant. Well, one day in my English class, this girl wanted to tease me about my odor and I was very upset.  With me being quiet, I didn’t say anything even though a few of my classmates were laughing.  Yes, I was embarrassed but I just let it roll off my back.  When class was over, I was packing my bags and the bully and her friend was sitting there; she decided to stand up and then spray me with air fresher.  I wanted to cry because this was very cruel. But I didn’t want to show that they got to me, so I just cried on the inside and went to my next class.

Now, this is the first time I’m telling this story. No one should have to go through this! Bullying is wrong, and the people who are thinking of bullying don’t do it! Bullying causes physical, emotional and psychological pain!

From me to you, to avoid bullying don’t try too hard to fit in. People can tell when people are trying too hard to fit in. When you find friends, don’t try to make too many of them. Again, this is trying too hard! Be yourself and don’t get pressured! Being yourself maybe hard because you are trying to make friends. But when people see that you may be weak, they will use that against you. Take pride in yourself and use that to get people to like you.  One thing that many people have told me is that I’m a geek. What I say to them is “Yes, I’m a geek, but I’ll get good grades and pass these classes while you are still here.”  With that being said, have a sharp tongue, but ONLY when you need to use it.  I can go on and on with some of the tips I have learned over the years, but these few should help you get by!

If you want me to give you advice on a topic, or have a question; please send me an email to vonnieb905@gmail.com

Peace and Love,

Vonni

How Can I Get Comfortable Around New People

Ok, this was a suggestion from my Facebook page! How do you become comfortable around new people? Since I’m an extremely shy person, I will give you some tips about how I do it.  I have been shy all my life and since I am older, I can say my shyness isn’t as bad as it was but, believe me, it’s still there.  From walking up to a guy to get his number to asking direction to a totally stranger, I was shy all around.
Becoming comfortable around new people
In my opinion shyness steams off of self-esteem, but that’s not all of why you are shy. I know people who have high self-esteem and are very shy, and vice versa. But how can you overcome this and get comfortable around new people?  I have 3 main tips, and trust me, it has helped me a lot following these 3 tips! They are as follows:

1) Feel the new people you want to hang around out, meaning try to see if we have some things in common, because people are mostly judging someone before we even know the person. That may come off as not right to do.

2) Make your first two conversations light. If you start talking to them, you will feel more comfortable around them.  Don’t talk about big subjects like politics, sports, or sex because that is uncomfortable for a lot of people, and it starts a lot of arguments.

3) Once you found something that you both have in common, keep talking about that.  This is one of the best ways to keep the conversation going and it breaks the ice.  I have built friendships while using this tip. Elaborating more on this tip, if you both like lip gloss, talk about that and then bring in other makeup in your conversation. See if you both like it.  This can lead to you going out to your favorite make up store together.

I hope these tips help you because they have helped me a lot! If you have something you like for me to talk about, or a question you want me to answer send me an email at vonnieb905@gmail.com

Peace and Love,

Vonni

Friend + Enemies = Frenemy

You know that friend (well, that so-called friend) that says he/she will always have your back but then they’re always telling you, you look a hot mess? Well, you, my dear friend, have a frenemy. A frenemy is a bully but is so jealous of you that they always have to be around you. They act like they want to see you doing good, but  they want you doing bad.

A frenemy can be a male or female. They will say they are your friend, but if they’re always looking for an opportunity to bring you down or talk about you, then they aren’t a friend at all. Frenemies are always jealous, always talking about you, and always smiling in your face, wanting to be around you when you have something good going on for yourself. They somehow always make you feel bad about yourself or the situation you’re in.
Frenemy
A frenemy can be a leach, as well, not to be confused with a mooch (a friend that eats everything, but with contribute sometimes). For example, if you having a party and you invite all your friends to come celebrate but your so-called friend trys to eat everything in the party and doesn’t want to contribute AT ALL, then you probably have a frienemy. Sometimes they won’t even come to events for you.

As for girls, a frenemy is vicious when it comes to boys. Your girlfriend will tell you they will help you out to get the guy that you want, sort of like your winggirl. But all along, she tells him very mean things about you, make you look bad, and then, at the end of all that, will probably date him for themselves. Please, if you believe you have a frenemy, do not tell her the guy you really like AT ALL! You should keep that between you and him anyway. Tell her about some other guy so she will be busy working on trying to be with him, while you are really talking to the one you like.

If you have a comment please feel free to leave it below, and if you have an idea for next week email me at vonnieb905@gmail.com

Peace and Love,

Vonni