• DeAara Lewis

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I Was Harassed by an Off Duty Police Officer…(Now I Get How Trayvon Martin Must Have Felt)

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On Saturday, October 26th at 10:39 a.m. I was followed and threatened by a supposed off duty police officer. It was a white woman with long red hair, driving a black jeep cherokee with the Tennessee/Shelby County license plate number G40 88L. She accused me of pulling out in front of her at a stop sign at Barksdale and Felix, to which, when I retraced my steps, I did not. She was talking on her cell phone about to turn right onto Barksdale off of Felix. I slowed down when I saw her about to turn so I wouldn’t get hit, when she stopped, I continued to drive. She blew her horn at me, I blew my horn back.

I then noticed that every turn I made, she made. She eventually followed me home, but I drove past my house and finally, after I was safely off of my street I just stopped. She pulled up alongside of me, I rolled down my window and asked, “Are you following me?” She said, “Yes, I just wanted to let you know that you ran a stop sign and almost hit me at my house. You are lucky that I am off duty right now, I just wanted to let you know that.”

I responded, “I did not almost hit you, I had the right of way. And this is how you respond, by stalking me?” She claimed she was not stalking me, to which I replied, “That’s exactly what you are doing. You have been following me, I feel threatened and that is considered stalking. I don’t care if you are off duty or were on duty, you will not harass me because I have a lawyer!” She sat there for a few seconds and then I replied, “Now, go on.” And motioned her to leave with my hand. She then pulled off and I immediately got her license plate.

I will be taking action, if she is in fact a real cop (I really don’t know what “off duty” title she was speaking of, she very well could have just been trying to blow smoke up my ass). But with her trying to be a rogue Bad Ass, she dropped off several clues as to who she is.

After I calmed down, the first thing that came to my mind was Trayvon Martin. I now have some context as to what he probably felt. I too felt afraid and angry. I turned different corners to try to see was she following me and she continued. Finally, angry, afraid and not in the mood for games, I confronted her. She threatened me with “her badge.” Thankfully, no one was hurt, but do you see how ugly this could have gotten?

Even if I ran the stop sign, she still had no right to stalk me. I am not some ignorant little black girl who does not know the law. I will not tolerate being harassed by those in power who use their badge for abuse when it was designed for them to serve and protect. I ask that you share this story! If this woman is out following people and using her badge to attempt to intimidate people anytime she feels annoyed, then she must be held accountable! #justiceforall #offdutyabuse

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Republicans Can Pass Laws to Keep Americans From Voting, but They Can’t Stop Us From Moving Forward!

“They created a problem where there was no problem,” contends Sara L. Lewis about the voter I.D. laws many states have passed.

When the Memphis, TN career public school educator learned about the stricter voter I.D. laws that many states had enacted into law or were attempting to enact into law, she became infuriated.  Immediately, she was reminded of the poll taxes that were created during the Jim Crow era of the south that included arbitrary laws and tests to discourage minorities and poor people from voting.

Having recently seen a flash mob and how it motivated people, Lewis with the help of her grandchildren, created “The Obama Stride” Flash Mob.  It is a song and line dance created to inspire Americans to go to the polls and vote for President Barack Obama on November 6th.

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The Witch Hunt on Chris Brown’s Soul Part II

3. Claim: Rihanna is a role model for young girls, whether she likes it or not.

Rebuttal: Rihanna sings about committing suicide, liking S&M, being able to handle large penises and having oral sex performed on her.  What parent in their right mind would advocate for her to be a role model?  That’s a title she has debunked many times too.  She has made it very clear that she wants to and will be herself, regardless of the consequences or what the public thinks.

4. Claim: Chris Brown is an abuser.

Rebuttal: Out of all the jabs being aimed at Chris Brown, this one annoys me the most.  The most widely accepted definition for an “abuser” is someone who does something habitually.

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The Witch Hunt on Chris Brown’s Soul Part I

(This is a 4 part series)

I had gone back and forth on whether or not I was going to blog about this.  But as I kept reading these so-called experts so timely chime in on Chris Brown, analyze Rihanna and predict the future of what their collaborations will do to young girls, I felt compelled to say something.

Instead of doing a traditional post, I decided to address the most common claims that I’ve been hearing regarding this entire unfortunate situation.

Claim: Miranda Lambert’s famous quote that seem to be echoing across the Internet world, “Where I come from, beating up on a woman is never okay.”

Rebuttal: Not only was this so obvious that she was trying nab some publicity by picking on the current media target, it was also inaccurate.  First, where Chris Brown comes from, domestic violence is not okay either, because his mother left the situation.  Chris Brown never condoned what he did.  He immediately turned himself in, admitted his wrongdoing, took his punishment and did what was necessary of him.  He also received five years probation.  Whether some think that was a harsh enough punishment or not is not the point, the point is, he suffered consequences.  Probably the biggest one being the bitterness of the public and losing a woman he loved very much.  So when did he say or show that what he did was okay?  When?  Don’t worry, I’ll wait for that answer.Also, why hasn’t Miranda Lambert ever expressed this outrage against George Jones who is much more relevant in her circle than Chris Brown?  Is he not just as known for his violence against women as his music?  Is she not aware of this?  So what makes what he did any less significant than what Chris Brown did?  I’m curious to see the fluff answer she would have for this.  All Miranda showed was that she too knows how to garner publicity for herself and jump on the bandwagon.

Claim: The Rhianna and Chris Brown collaborations is sending the wrong message to young girls.

Rebuttal: You know, this one is the one I hear the most and it reminds of a scene from the movie “The Help” when Hilly Holbrook justified her prejudices and hatred on trying to protect “the children.”I am sure there are some people out there who genuinely have this concern, but I’m not buying that most do. Children have long been used to justify why an adult does not like something.  It’s one of the easiest scapegoats out there.People are acting as if the two have gotten back in a romantic relationship.  Although it is rumored that they have, that is not yet a fact.  All the public knows is that they did two songs together.  And it’s also a matter of perspective.Why can’t the message being sent to young girls be to forgive and go on with one’s life?  Why can’t the message be to young boys that a person can turn their life around regardless of the challenge?Furthermore, how do these so-called experts know that is the message being sent?  Have any of these girls been polled? Have any of these girls been asked without it being a loaded question?  Of course if a study where to come out, I’d be skeptical due to how easily it can be manipulated and skewed to fit the results the author wants to see.Why don’t they just say what they really think, “We don’t like that you are doing what we don’t want you to do so we are going to make you feel ashamed, make you feel guilty by trying to convince you that you are hurting young girls so that you can do what we want you to do, so we can feel better.”  Besides, the public owns celebrities, right?  They are our fucking possessions and it is their job to live their lives for us and do what we think is best.  Yep, sounds like STANS to me too.And probably the even more truthful answer would be, “I really don’t care about this, but I get some media attention and this really helps to get my name out there so I’m going to pretend to be concerned about two artist who’s albums I never bought prior to this happening in the first place and I never will.”

Click Here For Part II

Whitney Houston – Enough is Enough. Let This be the Last one to Succumb to Addiction

I was in the car on my way to the New Edition reunion concert.  My sister and I were frustrated because we were only two minutes away from the exit that would get us to the Desoto Civic Center, but we had been basically sitting in the same spot for close to 30 minutes.  We couldn’t believe how far traffic was backed up.  Apparently, New Edition still had it.

Then I got the text.  A very blunt, straight-forward text from a good friend of mine who was already at the concert and waiting for us to get there – “Whitney Houston is dead.”  That’s all it said.

For about ten seconds, I just stared at my phone.  Then I covered my mouth and said, “Oh my God!”  My sister turned and looked at me and nervously asked, “What is it?  What  happened?”

I looked at her and said, “I don’t even want to say.”  Knowing how she idolized Whitney Houston, remembering it was my sister who played her album repeatedly introducing me to her.  I knew this was not going to go well.

“Whitney Houston is dead.”  I blurted out.  My sister just stared at me and then asked me who sent the message.  I told her who and she dismissed it saying that it was just a cruel joke.  I felt initial relief trying to make myself believe the same thing.  Or maybe he just heard a cruel rumor, but I couldn’t shake it.

“I don’t think he would joke about anything like this.”   So like so many others and with only 10% power left on my cell phone, I googled “Whitney Houston.”  And that’s when I saw it.  The ABC News Headline read, “Whitney Houston Dead at 48.”  I looked at my sister and said, “It’s true.”

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“You’re the Pretty Sister…”

“You’re the pretty sister.”  This is something my sisters and I have heard all of our lives.  For some reason, certain people would take it upon themselves as if it was their God-given right to let us know who they found the more attractive.  As though we were going to feel validated and go off and brag to the other one that we won this round.

I’ve never understood why some people felt the urge to do that, as if we didn’t have enough insecurities growing up in this construct, I use to be polite about this, not wanting to hurt that person’s feelings and I would casually laugh it off or kindly reply, “We are all pretty…yada, yada, yada” and try to convince them why they shouldn’t think that way.  Now I’m down to being quite blunt about it.  If someone can come up to me and say that as if I would sell my sisters out over a beauty contest, then that person must not think much of me anyway, so I consider my response fair game.

It pisses me off for a number of reasons.  Comparisons can cause unnecessary rifts amongst siblings and it’s quite heartbreaking to witness.  Thankfully, my sisters and I have certain family members (mainly my mother) who didn’t play into that and we learned how to hash out our problems and stay 100% authentic with each other.

Of course, we can’t stop people from comparing us; my nephew has even fallen victim to it, more so because he has a darker complexion.  So-called well-meaning people have sold him out too based on their preconceived notions about him because of his complexion and because he likes hip hop music.  Once again, because of what my sisters and I went through as well as some of his other family members who are his allies, we were able to quickly intervene, form a fort around him and train him to see himself through his own eyes.  He trips up every now and then, but luckily he has firm grasp on who he is.

If you find yourself getting mixed into the comparison game with insensitive people,  I suggest that you set a firm boundary with them.  Let them know that what they are saying is offensive and unacceptable.  If they continue to do it, cut them off.  A genuine friend would never try to play you against the people you love.  Whatever you do, don’t blame your sibling or family member for it or worse, buy into it.  Beauty is subjective.  And at the end of the day, all that really matters is the love and loyalty you all have for one another, to hell with the rest.

Why are so many people comfortable in misery? Why do so few want to do anything about it?

I was watching “The Oprah Winfrey Show” today with Goldie Hawn.  The show was about happiness and the lack of it amongst the vast majority of people.  The show also talked about things people could do to increase their level of happiness.  When the show ended, I found myself thinking, “Why is it so hard to be happy?”

Most people who know me, know that I am a strong advocate for self-development and personal healing.  I have been working on my own personal development off and on since I was fourteen years old.  I’ve experimented with a lot of different techniques, life coaches, books, meditations and organizations to try to make some real sense out of who the hell I was and this construct I was born into.

A year ago, following some very tragic experiences, I became 100% committed to healing myself and breaking any cycles of self-destruction or sabotage in my life.  One thing I did not realize was happening is, when you commit to a path of healing and self discovery, some people may unconsciously put you on a pedestal.  My father, who is a master facilitator and the founder of Aafante, a group that is dedicated to helping people of color face and heal from the wounds of oppression, is all too familiar with this.  As a matter of fact, it was witnessing how some people saw him, that provided me the insight I needed when certain people begin to look at me in a similar way.  If One is not careful, their ego can drink this type of attention up and use it to define them.

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