Thoughts on Thursdays: Neighborhood Watch Captain Kills Teen

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz!  Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old high school junior from Miami, FL was visiting his dad and stepmother in Orlando recently.  The young man was spending a quiet afternoon watching coverage of the NBA All Star Weekend when he decided to take a break from TV and decided to walk to the convenience store to purchase snacks…his younger brother Chad asked Trayvon (affectionately known as Tray), to bring him back some skittles.  Chad never received those skittles because Tray never returned home.  He was shot to death.  By whom you ask?  Allegedly the person who was supposed to be in charge of keeping the community safe.  George Zimmerman (who is listed in the community newsletter as Neighborhood Watch Captain), supposedly placed a 911 call to the Sanford Police Department to report a suspicious person.  How protocol usually works is that the dispatcher asks for a description of the “suspicious” person (what they’re wearing , doing, etc.) and THEY handle it from there.  But that didn’t happen…because Tray is dead.  And now his family has to bury a promising young man who had aspirations of one day becoming a pilot.  And what happened to the alleged shooter?  Mr. Zimmerman is not in jail.  Nor has he been charged with any crime.  He actually walked away from the scene.  And I know what you’re asking yourself…how is this even possible?  Well the police are looking into the possibility of the shooting being self defense.  Yes self defense!  Tray, who at the time of the incident was carrying a can of Arizona Ice tea in his jacket pocket and a package of Skittles in his front pocket was shot dead.  And how those two items could begin to justify using deadly force to shoot the young man in the chest is beyond me!  The police have refused to release the original 911 tape to the family…and I wonder why?  Maybe it will shed some light on the incident and finally bring out the truth of what really happened.  There’s one thing I’m certain of…Trayvon Martin didn’t deserve to be murdered.  And someone needs to be held responsible for their actions.  And after reading this we all know who that should be!!  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!


What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Dwayne Long

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz.  I know with the economy being in its current condition…and with food and gas prices being on the incline and employment opportunities on the decline…I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spent day and night trying to find a way to stimulate my own personal economy….exploring any and every way to do so.  But I don’t believe most of you have ever allowed your minds to journey as far Dwayne Long.  Mr. Long’s solution to the recession was….I will fake my own death!  Dwayne Long…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???  The 38-year-old man from Lunenberg, Virginia pleaded guilty on Monday to mail fraud.  Mr. Long purchased a life insurance policy (worth 750,000) in August of 2010 from Modern Woodmen of America.  The company says they received a call from someone who said they were Mr. Long’s brother-in-law…the caller claimed Mr. Long had died in a car accident (I know you’re laughing…trust me it gets better).  The caller then asks that the paperwork to file the claim be sent to a post office box.  I will give you ONE GUESS on who went to the post office to purchase the box?  None other than…Dwayne Long (I told you it got better).  Mr. Long also attempted to order a vital records embosser (similar to a notary stamp) for Prince Edward County so he could (are you ready?) provide his own death certificate (I promise you I’m not making this up)!  But the Virginia State Police were notified instead.  Mr. Long now faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on June 8th of this year.  And with whatever sentence you receive…please don’t allow anyone to read your court transcripts.  Please don’t discuss your case with any of your cellmates…because if you choose to do so…then you will be forced for your entire sentence to answer the same question over and over again.  Dwayne Long…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???!!!!! 

Thoughts on Thursdays: Forgiveness

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz!  By now I know you all have heard about the tragedy that occurred at Chardon High School in Ohio on Monday where alleged gunman, 17-year old TJ Lane went on an apparent shooting spree killing three and wounding two others.  Well the mother of Demetrius Hewlin (the third victim to die), Phyllis Ferguson has came forward to express her memories of her beloved 16-year old son and also to express her feelings toward the suspected killer.  Shockingly, they’re not what you think they would be.  Ms. Ferguson describes her son as a “huggy, kissy boy” who was a “computer nerd” that liked to read.  She also says, “I thought he’d bury me”. He’d say, ‘When you get old Ma, you’re going to live with me and we’re going to do this”.  But now those plans have been drastically changed.  And you would think that a mother who now has to bury her 16-year old son would be seeking revenge on the perpetrator right?  Well not Ms. Ferguson.  When asked what she would say if she ever came face to face with the suspect…she replied, “I would tell him I forgive him because a lot of times they don’t know what they’re doing, that’s all I’d say”.  She also goes on to say that “I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything.  GOD’s grace is new each and everyday,” and ‘ Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point”.  So after reading Ms. Ferguson’s quotes, I began to ask myself (and you should do the same)…if a woman that has lost her son has enough strength within herself to forgive the person whom allegedly killed him, then who am I to hold a grudge over issues which are far less?  I know there are many of you who don’t speak to childhood friends anymore over trivial things.  I know some of you don’t speak to family members anymore over money loaned or borrowed.  Some of you even have friends you are no longer in contact with over issues that you can’t even remember what the origin of the initial disagreement was anymore!  I’m saying this because we have to forgive others…in order to save ourselves!  I think that’s the lesson that Ms. Ferguson has taught me here…because I’m sure she has every right to carry around that anger and hatred and no one would blame her.  But what burden will that put on the rest of her life??  She has decided to Forgive…and that’s what we ALL should do!!!  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!!

Thoughts on Thursdays: Maternal Murderers

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…I have a question…what do you think is a suitable punishment for a child who goes against their parents’ wishes and eats candy bars and lies about it?  No candy or sweets for a week?  Not allowed to go outside for a few days?  Given extra household duties? (take out trash, wash dishes, etc).  Well a stepmother and grandmother from Attalla, Alabama must have thought those punishments weren’t enough, so they ordered 9 year old Savannah Hardin to run outside around their house until she was instructed to stop.  And after 3 hours she did…and now she is dead!  Jessica Mae Hardin, 27 (stepmother) and Joyce Hardin Garrard, 46 (grandmother) are now facing murder charges in the death of Savannah…who authorities say suffered a seizure from severe dehydration and died a few days later.  An autopsy later revealed that Savannah had a very low sodium count and the state pathologist ruled it a homicide.  So now we’re left asking the question why?  Aren’t these the things that normal 9 year old precocious children do?  And who in their right mind would ever think a punishment so cruel could be inflicted upon a child?  Savannah, a third-grader at Carlisle Elementary School, was adored by classmates so much so that they have turned her desk into a makeshift memorial for her where they can write letters, leave mementos, and express their love and affection.  Mrs. Hardin and Mrs. Garrard are being held at the Etowah County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond..meaning neither of them will be released anytime soon.  And whatever sentence (if convicted) they receive isn’t enough in my opinion.  Parents and Grandparents are given the most cherished job on this planet, and that’s the protection of their kids.  And with all of the things that are happening in society today, if a child isn’t safe and protected by the very ones they expect to do so, then what chance do our kids really have??  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!!! 

Thoughts on Thursdays: Lidiane Carmo

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz……A 15 year old young lady from Florida is currently being hospitalized and recovering from a horrfic accident which oocurred late Saturday on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, FL.  Sources state the accident was caused by low visibility, a direct result of heavy smoke from brush fires in the area.  Lidiane Carmo, 15, is dealing with a myriad of life- altering changes from the crash.  Not only was she severly injured, but the accident claimed the lives of her parents as well as her sister (such a tragedy for such a young woman).  And to add insult to injury, some friends worried that she would be deported as well.  See Ms. Carmo is not a US citizen.  Her family arrived here from Brazil when she was just 2 years old and after expiration of their visas, they stayed in the country illegally.  But not to worry, The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) said on Wednesday that Ms. Carmo will not be deported from the country.  The ICE stated their priorities for deportations include convicted criminals, immigration fugitives, repeat immigration law violators and recent border crossers…and luckily Ms. Carmo doesn’t fall into any of those catergories.  So ICE, I applaud your decision and even though I’m a supporter of increased border patrol and immigration reform…I’m able to realize that every case isn’t the same…and in this one I believe the correct decision was made!!  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!! 

What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Dalisha Adams

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz,

A Brooklyn, NY woman was arraigned in criminal court on Tuesday charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  Dalisha Adams….WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  The 26 year old mother of two turned herself into the police on Sunday after a city-wide search was underway to find the parents or guardian of two abandoned girls (Dominae 3, and Dioni, 2) found wondering on a sidewalk clutching a fistful of diapers.  Ms. Adams, who has no criminal record did not enter a plea in court on Tuesday as her bail was set at $2,500..and the court has now ordered her to have no contact with her daughters.  Ms. Adams’ family claims her innocence and states she was dropping off her two daughters to their father Shawn Cobbs whose mother lives near a housing complex where the girls were found.  And even if that is true, my gripe with Ms. Adams is…why didn’t you make sure the girls were secure inside before you just left them??  If you ask Ms. Adams’ family they will tell you that she was on her way to her second job (she is also a security guard).  But no job or the tardiness to said job is worth you not taking at least 2 minutes to make sure your daughters are warm and out of their coats and secure inside of a safe dwelling before you leave them.  The two girls were found by neighbors and taken to a local police station where they didn’t even know their last names to assist the officers in finding their parents.  This is a “SAD” case…and even if jail isn’t the punishment warranted in this case…I hope this is a wake up call to you Ms. Adams.  The next time you just leave your kids and don’t make sure their safe…being temporarily unable to contact them may become permanent if your behavior doesn’t change!!  Dalisha Adams….WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!!!