50 Billion….

Prison is a 50 billion dollar business..they have to keep the beds filled.
Where are they built? Rural areas. Away from loved ones.
Who is in control there? No one that can relate to the prisoner.
How many men of color are represented behind bars? Over 50 percent…the next 9 years are crucial for the 3rd grade boys of color because 50 percent will drop out, meaning high school and college will be less of a reality. The chances of them earning slow money diminishes when the chance to earn fast money increases.
We need to give our children a heads up. We are going on 3 generations of our men of color being locked down…if I had 10 sons, 7 are at risk for doing time…it’s time to save our boys..too many men behind bars that look like me.
It’s not my son today, but one day it could be and I hope we care enough to make sure all of our sons are making good choices and avoiding getting a record.
This is why behavior in school is crucial. Many are failing tests because they cannot comprehend what’s on the test, so the negative behavior becomes a coping mechanism of sorts, to mask the behavior.. I can remember the individuals that were in my third grade class who were failing and acting up are dead or in jail AND were fatherless…we gotta get the dads back on their jobs…..
CMM

Role Strain

“Mothers have experienced role strain, going from a supportive role in the home to the head of the household. Mothers are conditioned to be nurturers and teachers FIRST, instead of providers (hunters and gatherers). Men are born to hunt and gather. Women teach and nurture. When you are forced out of your natural role, the priorities of the family change from thriving to surviving.”
McNeil (2014)

Values of a liberal society

Ross (1967)
People CAN and WANT to change, despite their challenges in front of them.
Values of a liberal society state that:
Individuals need a social climate which encourages growth, development, and challenges them to reach higher.

Laue and Cormick (1978)
Professional role is that of an advocate and advocates are people who speak for those who cant speak for themselves.

Freedom-Justice-Empowerment-the goal one day is to have the individual advocate for their OWN needs and rights
CMM
#Project180

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Abuse part 2

Abused
God can heal the heart of an abused person. You have to give Him all of the broken pieces. He washes the wounds, mends the mindsets, wipes away your tears. He has undergirded you to rise above being abused and become everything He created you to be from the foundation of the world.

Profile of an abused person:
Abusers leave their victims with feelings of personal defectiveness and rejection. The fear of their situation or their “stains” being uncovered causes the abused to develop destructive ways of relating to other people. These self-protective ways are like reapplying the scab that healed the cut. These are pitfalls to wholesome, healthy relationships and limit the ability to know God on an intimate level, because of the walls being built around them.

Hunt (2008) uses the acronym ABUSED used to describe a person with these characteristics:

A-Ambivalent
Conflicted emotions about pain/pleasure of sexual feelings and give mixed signals to others on an emotional level. Unable to have normal relations and the partner ends up paying the price for the abuse that occurred prior to the relationship.
B-Betrayed
Unable to trust or have faith in God and other people. Very leery of others. Untrusting and fearful.
U-Unexcitable
Lacks passion for both good and evil, and is seeking to be free of conflict with others. Often you see isolation and withdrawal tendencies here. “The ostrich head in the sand.”
S-Self-absorbed
Consumed with trying to keep themselves protected. Unable to be sensitive to others. “Control freak”. If I can control what you do in my environment, I can limit your ability to inflict pain in my situation.
E-Emotionally Controlled
Disengaged from true feelings and becomes blind to the feelings of others. “I don’t care how you feel, my feelings are primary.”
D-Dependent on Self
Seeks to always be in control due to an inability to depend on God or others. Again, the individual wants to control their total environment due to individuals that were trusted to keep them safe, and betrayed their trust. Now the individual feels like they have to depend on themselves for safety, so they build walls around them brick by brick.
CMM

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Abuse

Feelings of abuse

Ashamed
Beaten down
Cut down
Criticized
Dehumanized
Disrespected
Embarrassed
Humiliated
Inferior
Insulted
Invalidated
Labeled
Lectured to
Mocked
Offended
Put down
Resentful
Ridiculed
Stereotyped
Teased
Underestimated
Worthless

Abuse of Freedom/Control

Bossed around
Controlled
Imposed upon
Imprisoned
Inhibited
Invaded
Forced
Manipulated
Obligated
Over-controlled
Over-ruled
Powerless
Pressured
Restricted
Suffocated
Trapped

Abuse of Love/Connection/
Importance

Abandoned
Alone
Brushed off
Confused
Disapproved of
Discouraged
Ignored
Insignificant
Invisible
Left out
Lonely
Misunderstood
Neglected
Rejected
Uncared about
Unheard
Unknown
Unimportant
Uninformed
Unloved
Unsupported
Unwanted

Abuse of Justice/Truth

Accused
Blamed
Cheated
Disbelieved
Falsely accused
Guilt-tripped
Interrogated
Judged
Lied about
Lied to
Misled
Punished
Robbed

Abuse of Safety

Abused
Afraid
Attacked
Defensive
Frightened
Insecure
Intimidated
Over-protected
Scared
Terrified
Threatened
Under-protected
Unsafe
Violated

Abuse of Trust
Cynical
Guarded
Skeptical
Suspicious
Untrusted
Untrusting

CMM

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I have a case of MHS!

I have MHS!!

I’m sorry to announce that I have MHS. It’s been diagnosed since May 2013. Someone asked me during graduation last year. “Were you under a doctors care? I replied, “Two times a week for the last 2 years. Actually, I saw specialists 3 times every Saturday in Philadelphia, and a field specialist every Tuesday in Harrisburg from August 2011 to April 2013.”
My friend asked what was wrong. I replied, “I was given a diagnosis of “closed mindedness with early-onset entropy.”

My diagnosis was described as possessing a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments, and if symptoms didn’t improve, I was headed toward entropy, which leads to death of my system. Now the diagnosis made sense.

I kept hitting the ceiling, I kept hitting my head, I kept spinning my wheels. I continued being stuck at the same dead end jobs. The only way to get rid of closed mindedness with early onset entropy was to make weekly visits to the specialist in Philadelphia. These weekly visits lasted 8 hours or longer, and each session lasted 2.5 hours with homework and reading. The prescriptions consisted of healthy doses of Ethics, Skills, Systems, Psychology. The doses changed every 15 weeks with new doctors and specialists.
I heard terms such as “extrapolate, delineate, summation, ethical truths such as beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy.. capstone, target population, SPSS, the list goes on. These are words that I never heard before, but my closed mind began to open up.

Also, part of my deliverance was learning how to write scholarly and in a format I never saw before(APA), and developing marketable skills.

“At the end of the 2 years of seeing these specialists, you will have cured your problem and have what’s called MHS.
There is a cost for this, a sacrifice, but if you follow the prescription, you will have MHS. You have to walk across the stage to get it though. Let’s set an appointment for May 10th 2013. You will receive your MHS then. I must warn you, this appointment won’t be alone, as there will be many doing the same thing you are doing. ”

We were told to “trust the process”, persevere, make it happen. My mind has opened up!
I’m proud to say I have MHS!!
CMM

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Cycles of Dysfunction- Trauma

Trauma:
I want to talk about a subject that is continuing to keep the cycles of dysfunction going around. It’s a 6 letter word called:
TRAUMA…
Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
In medicine, it’s physical injury.

Trauma is a situation or a memory that you want to forget, but CAN’T!!
The sad part about trauma is that it occurs, individuals are wounded, damaged, and injured physically, mentally, and emotionally. Some never get help for their trauma, as they never heal.

The sad part about trauma is that people know it happened to them or others, but won’t pick their head out of the sand. We allow it to happen, but don’t do anything to heal for it.

Think about a good memory, a memory that is pleasant, good, and an awesome experience. You remember every detail about the experience, and you want to tell everyone about what happened!
Well, trauma works the opposite, the setting is negative, the abused doesn’t want to tell because they are wounded and embarrassed. Many say, If I try to forget about what happened, it will go away.”
Many turn to risky lifestyles, drugs and alcohol to numb their pain.

This behavior has been occurring in our communities for too long. Abuse is something that keeps on giving.
They may want to tell someone, however, they are afraid to, and usually the abuser is someone the abused knows. You remember the season, time of year, the time of day the traumatic event occurred.
Date and time of a traumatic experience can affect the baseline (normal) behavior of the individual. Individuals who have experienced trauma tend to have flashbacks, reminders of the negative experiences often show up at the time the trauma occurred.
We see this often in individuals who have a diagnosis of depression, mood disorders, etc.
When you are trying to get to the root of a behavior, usually without someone telling you verbally, their non-verbal behavior will help tell the story.
When uncovering and using reframing and clarification, one can point out the behavior as the “smokescreen” that masks their true feelings.
When identifying patterns of behavior, don’t overlook that the behavior could be the result of a traumatic experience.
Abuse is a gift that keeps on giving. Let’s return the gift and exchange abuse for healing. Healing cannot occur unless there is exposure of the root.
CMM

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Drama

Drama:

Real drama IS:
Promoting the fine arts, painting, sculpture, serious music, dance….
“Drama” IS NOT:
Dramatized storylines on “reality” TV, starting trouble with peer groups, social media, or other areas. Many thrive on it, consisting of any number of situations that have an easy solution, which would bring a fairly good outcome, but individuals choose another bad way to deal with it, consisting of backstabbing, blackmailing/gossiping/betraying their friends.
#Drama

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The Destructive Number of 50

50 percent. It’s the stone cold truth..This isn’t a “bash the deadbeat dad convo,” but it’s one that we need to address. If this post is too much for you to handle, ask the families and the communities affected if it’s too much for them!!

This commentary is going to be very real and unadulterated, and I hope you can understand my heart and where it’s coming from.

One thing we have to do as men is accept the truth about the condition of our fellow brothers in our society. All behavior, good or bad, is LEARNED. A father isn’t born to abandon his children. But it’s a learned behavior.

One of my favorite journalists, the late, great, William Raspberry states:

“It isn’t the incompetence of mothers of children of color that is at issue, but the absence of half of the adult support needed for families to be most effective.”

After talking to some young men this morning, This quote had me thinking about the state of our fathers and families in our communities.

It’s sad to be so numb toward “Daddy” not being around that we are ok with him not being around. It’s become a norm of the culture. Dads hold an important place in the development of sons and daughters. This is a dysfunctional norm that needs to be reversed. When has it ever been “ok” for Dad not to be in the home?
Now for the question we have been asking for the longest time.
Where are the fathers? Why do some fathers get a pass, and moms are left holding the bag? It’s not all their fault. There are many factors leading to fatherlessness, and I’ll touch on a few points here.

To simplify this in terms that we can understand, I will use the number 10.

1. 50 percent are in prison, so that’s out of 10 men. Off the bat, 50 percent.. Before we even address the issue of fatherlessness, 5 are gone. Taken away, locked down, or dead.. Able-bodied, strong, men. Many men are doing a life prison term in prison on a layaway plan!! 8 years here, 6 years there, 25 years there, 10
years there, 15 here. Before you realize it, you have wasted a large portion of your productive years locked away behind bars.

You remove the men from the household, you remove the strength of the family. Slavemasters and overseers did it during the European enslavement of people of color. Separation of families. Divide and conquer. If you were blessed to have a big family with your husband, and he happens to get sold off to a plantation far, far away, with no contact, His name may change. A strictly business transaction, no feelings attached to the ones in control. You name what you have dominion over. Adam named all of the animals when this Earth was created. Whatever identity of a man was left was stripped away and non-existent.
Identity isn’t given, it’s developed through affirmation, acknowledgement, a strong system and structure. This is what our community needs.
So that leaves us with 5 men. 50 percent! There’s a big gaping hole for the soul. Our communities operating at a 50 percent loss!!! Ask a businessman if he can operate at 50 percent capacity? Not happening!! Your business venture won’t survive.

2. The emotionally-absent father. It’s a common complaint.
“My husband is just so passive.”
“He feels his job is to make money, and then he’s entitled to do what he wants when he gets home.”
“It’s whatever. I don’t care what you do.” Check his back. He may be spineless…No backbone.
“He rarely gets involved with the kids—all he wants to do is hunt, fish, and watch television in the “man cave.”
Dad is there physically, but his head is somewhere else. In the “nothing box.” I like to visit the “nothing box.”, but we need to learn how to come out of the box when we are done visiting. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but give some attention to your children.

3. The physically absent father. Johnny Appleseed…Going around repopulating the Earth, “sowing the oats”. The proverbial “rolling stone.” Stopping by at Christmas-time, always gone…and a new sibling is born by September.
In the 1970’s, Welfare became the “father.” It provided, food, shelter, and clothing, and the more children you had, the more benefits increased. Thus, the term “the no man in the house rule.” If a man was found to be residing in the home of a recipient of services, those services were terminated until he left. Welfare became Daddy and never left. I’m not knocking social services, but it’s a reality.

God always had one who is doing what they’re supposed to. Noah built the ark, on direct orders from God. Even though the world called him stupid, be still kept focus.
When the rain and floods came, it was too late. But Noah was prepared, as he followed directions. He was a man that did what he was supposed to do. Noah didn’t feel like building it, but he listened to God, and he thought about the most important people in the world, which was his family, his 3 sons (Shem, Ham, and Japeth), and their wives, and 2 of every kind of living thing.

Boys do what they want to do FIRST, then maybe they will do what is less pleasing. I have 2 sons who are filling this role nicely. It’s always the stage of development that you are in and never the age. There are 50 year old people who are the maturity level of a teenager. Why? They never developed into a mature individual internally. Chronologically, they may be 50. Looks can be deceiving.
Never base maturity on age, it’s the stage of development.

The focus has left our men. We cannot continue to irresponsibly place our privy member into everything walking, talking, smiling, and swiveling down the street.
If you do get in a situation where you have a child on the way, start thinking about how you will secure your rights to the womb, because it will be more than 18 years of payments.
Another sad observation is that many men will learn how to be fathers ON THEIR OWN. They will grow up, misguided, misinformed, and live by trial and error. I learned that way. My sons and whoever I impact, hopefully won’t.

Some adults are present-time thinkers, as teenagers are. “It’s all about me right now!”
They think about the here and now, not 5 minutes from now, or a day from now. It’s all about the moment. Satisfy me now, and I’ll worry about the consequence later on. Not a good look. Pay for it now, worry later..

So we have eliminated 9 men out of our group of 10. Statistics out of our small experiment so far says that ONE man out of ten will be doing the job. Not a man who has done it all right, but one who picks up from where he stumbles and keeps going. A righteous man falls 7 times, BUT riseth again. We will make mistakes in this body because we are human beings. Expect to mess up. You will miss the mark sometimes. You aren’t a failure because of a mistake. Remember, we all have skeletons in the closet, but be careful about pointing out the bones(faults) of others, make sure your bones aren’t sticking out!

Fatherlessness is such a crisis in our country, our communities. One out of 10 is not good. Out of 10 men, one has to hold up the banner.
Sadly, to recap, out of 10 men, over half will be locked up, 1 will be emotionally absent, 1 will be physically absent and ONE father, just ONE will be on his job. One out of 10, 10 out of 100…

This is a call to action. Let’s go!! It’s time to reclaim our sons. It’s always a good time, and the time is NOW. Pray for them to come home. I would like to think they were away fighting in Afghanistan, but the reality is, they aren’t. I heard a parent say that before to her son, that Daddy was away fighting a war, when in fact, he was upstate doing 8 to 20. Not good. Let’s get on our jobs and save our children!!
CMM

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The Foolishness of a Biased Attitude

The Foolishness of Bias

Bias is something you should recognize and control before it controls you.

Dr. Samuel Cartwright was a well respected doctor in Louisiana, who had internal conflict and bias of his own, which fueled his opinions in the antebellum climate of the Confederate States of America.

Cartwright was someone that I included in my research and journal article to explain and bring to light how powerful AND biased individuals can affect opinions, attitudes, and the way we treat others who clearly are different from us. Cartwright explained how enslaved individuals could be cured of “Drapetomania”, and the cure was inhumane, consisting of cutting off the big toes to stop runaways and/or severe whippings.

Cartwright’s observation and diagnosis was completely false. Cartwright used pseudoscience to justify his bias. (Scientific racism).
Doctors are to take a Hippocratic Oath, which includes segments of beneficence and nonmaleficence…In other words, “for the good of all involved, and above all else, do no harm.

Dr. Samuel Cartwright, surmised that enslaved individuals who wanted to escape suffered from a mental illness called “drapetomania”. The term drapetomania derived from the Greek words “drapetes” or “runaway” and “mania” or “madness”. Drapetomania was described as a mental disorder derived from slave masters who made themselves too comfortable with their property, treating them as equals.

Dr. Cartwright stated that with “proper medical advice, the practice of absconding could be prevented if warning signs such as sulkiness and dissatisfaction for no reason can be noticed early enough.”

The remedy or “proper medical advice” was to “whip the devil out of the runaway” or cut off their big toes to discourage running away.

In my expert opinion, Dr. Cartwright and the attitudes of the antebellum period was the elixir that fuels negative stereotypes. Check your bias before you make a
declaration or a “discovery.” Bias will fuel your findings.
McNeil © (2013)