Dear Dads do not Ruin Your Daughters by BreC

Wassup everybody it’s BreC again and today I want to talk about the effects of absent parents. In the midst of my dad’s passing I have realized the effects that absent parenting has had on my life. I realized this truth through my tears. I know you are probably thinking well what does that mean, so I’ll tell you. When my dad died I cried, but it wasn’t for what I lost, but what I never had a chance to have.
At my dad’s funeral service people told the best stories of him. He was everyone’s protector. He made everyone feel special. He was dependable and reliable to people. He was this constant strong force in everyone’s life. That made me proud, but I think I reverted to that little girl in that moment that was sitting there wondering; why does he not want to be all these things to me?
During my childhood my mommy had a great job. She worked at the University of Pennsylvania in facilities. We went on vacations, and all though she couldn’t give me all her time, material wise she gave me the world. Life changed at 14 when she got laid off. We went from going on trips to barely being able to live. Coming from being spoiled this caused a shift in my mom’s personality, and during this time my dad started coming back around. 
The times I did spend with my dad were great, but him walking in and out of my life caused me to be a little unsettled. For years the only thing I could remember about my dad, was him telling me not to come to his house unannounced. That stuck with me for 6 years. Hind sight being 20/20 I did not realize he stayed away from me due to his insecurities.
So at 22 I wrote him a letter explaining how he made me feel. How I never spent birthdays with him. How he wasn’t there at major parts of my life. How I didn’t want money I just wanted a dad. We started communicating again. I thought my adult life was a second chance for us. God had different plans because by 23 he was dead. Once again I was stuck thinking, he was constant to everybody else, except me.
So I am writing this to say Dear Dads, be there for your daughters. Dear Moms, don’t make fathers feel inadequate. At 23 I can love people efficiently. I have issues with expressing my emotions. I am still that person just longing to be herself; not just like my mom, or just like my dad. The way children are parented shapes their life. Children are a open canvas. So I say this to say paint it beautifully. I know my dad loved me the best he could. So this story is not to bash, but to raise awareness to absent parenting. 

Rest peacefully Robert L. Manning. You are missed and you are loved!

  

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Murder Behind the Music: The Psychology of Backmasking by L@mbo Lim

Backmasking in music is a technique made popular in the Beatles, 1966 album Revolver. After the conspiracy was presented that Paul McCartney died in a car crash and was replaced by a impersonator; it was believed backmasking was used to tell the tale. Backward messages such as, “turn me on dead man,” hinted to the fact that the real Paul McCartney was dead. Later this technique was used as a form of censorship. To some religious organizations it’s seen as Satanic. Although many arguments can be made about backmasking; today I want to discuss the psychological effects of backmasking.
Backmasking is the technique of purposely putting messages into music that can only be heard when played backwards. This technique is thought to have effects on the subconscious mind, and make people make unconscious decisions. For example, there have been many instances in which people committed murder and used music as the blame. Marilyn Manson’s music was blamed for the Columbine Massacre. Angry parents believed their children’s love of Manson’s music forced them to carry out violent fantasies. Many media outlets blamed Manson’s music for encouraging violence. Lyrics back masked in songs such as, Dope Hat, were revealed to say, “I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna kill you, kill yourself, kill yourself.” We’re thought to have given the Columbine killers incentives to kill because subliminal messages caused unconscious decisions. 

Many psychologist, such as Mark D. Allen, a professor at Brigham Young University, believes this theory is impossible. I believe rhythms can effect mood, but blaming music on murder is a scapegoat. Music is not hypnosis, it does not put you in a trance. Although, different rhythms can trigger emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, etc.. When it becomes overwhelming you conscious mind will say turn it off. The subconscious is only effective in dreams. For example, listening to a song such as, Manson’s Dope Hat, may cause you to have a bad dream. However, the subconscious cannot make a conscious decision such as, murder. On the other hand, people should be conscious of the effect music has on mood. If music is altering your feelings it may not be a good idea to it because negative emotions promote stress.

Music is a release, especially when we believe we can identify with the song. Music should be used as entertainment, not consumption. Anything a person lets consume them is unhealthy. In ending remember the subconscious cannot make conscious decisions. Also remember music alters the mood; therefore, listen wisely.

  

Love with Condition is Not Unconditional 

I was having a rough time choosing which avenue to post this too, but since it is a relationship issue I’ll go with the social segment. Today’s topic is the way titles effect our relationship and the way we love. If someone is given the title supervisor; employees automatically have a higher level of respect. In this instance, why is respect conditional? If someone is given the title mother; certain demands are needed. In this instance, if they fall short should they be condemned for their entire life? These titles hold the same power in relationships.
I am the girl that can date for a year before I commit. I am also the girl that expects more when a title is given. As Fabolous says it, I prefer a “situationship” because it’s free, unconditional, and fun. So I’m going to tell this story to maybe help people save their own relationships.  
I was the helpless romantic that found love in a hopeless place. Just kidding I was actually indecisive and wasn’t looking. However, through a gaze I found it. It started off small simply flirting, as most people do. Than dates got involved, which were fun. It was as if I found a best friend and love mixed into one. After this sex got involved, and boy was it heightened; a climax I can say I never hit. When you’re just kicking it with a person there is no conditions, which means both parties are still free to do as the wish. The thought of that made me demand a title because me being the egotistical person I am would not allow me to come second to anyone.

At first we had early relationship jitters as everyone does. It feels as if you’re in a blissful world in which only the two of you inhabit. Everyday was fun and every night was passionate. However, as time passed the relationship changed. It went from fun to serious and conditional because we both expected more from the commitment. Why were things different when there was no title? When we went by our names it was acceptable for us both to be ourselves. When you add the title lover that guarantees passion. When we add the titles boyfriend or girlfriend, that guarantees a conformed personality. When you add the title spouse that guarantees a bind of finances and everything else. Something that was once free now requires thought. When the path starts bumpy eventually a road block is going to be hit, and it was.

So I was told, “I’m breaking up with you for us.” In my mind that meant just take my heart and crumble it in your hand, than step on it while you’re at it. However, I’m now realizing that was the best decision ever. We’re not only back to being friends, but we are back to being ourselves. The passion and love is back to being unconditional and free.
I told this story to say, do not let titles get you bent out of shape. Lead with love and not a condition. A soul tie is what bonds people a title just solidifies it for the public. You can put definitions on people. Don’t let titles such as, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife make you forget the reason you love a person. If someone changes to fit a condition that is the same as losing a person. Save your relationships by not getting so caught up on conditions and titles, but by loving freely. 
I want to end by saying this week’s theme was free love and acceptance. When most people think of free love they think LGBT, but free love can be a issue heterosexual couples have as well. Free love is love without condition no matter who it’s with. Free love is the key to a long life. So everyone please love freely. 


Welcome Caitlyn Jenner by BreC

Caitlyn Jenner’s cover for Vanity Fair has sparked both media attention, and my attention. This monumental accomplishment gave me the inspiration to blog about it. 2-5% of the people in this world are transgender or experience some form of gender dysphoria. 1 out of every 12,000 men are living as transgenders, and 1 out of every 34,000 females are living as transgenders. 20% of these people are now dead. Not due to natural causes or disease, but due to murder. Transphobia has killed 1000s of people. Those who are not dead; however, do not have it easy. Since explicit discrimination laws only exist in 16 states and D.C, brutality against transgenders is overlooked. Since 40% of the violence is initiated by police; it’s open season for other abusers. This article is not about, why people hate transgenders, it’s about Caitlyn Jenner’s accomplishment. However, I do have one question, why do people hate other people because of their differences? Now back to this blog’s purpose.
Vanity’s Fair cover has been graced by numerous supermodels and superstars such as, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, and now Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce Jenner came on the scene as one of the greatest Olympians of all time. However, modern society is more familiar with him as the father of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Now future generations will know her as Caitlyn Jenner the silent activist for trans-rights who saved through her story. 
Religious fanatics may say his transformation was the work of the devil, and he’s going to hell. Critics may say his transformation was a publicity stunt and he’s being a media whore. Bruce would probably say, She is finally free. I would say Caitlyn is a hero. People can fix their noses, complexions, and weight, but why is it wrong for people to fix feeling trapped in the wrong body? For decades Bruce has felt trapped in a man’s body. He has finally freed himself, and introduced the world to Caitlyn Jenner. His use of Vanity Fair as an outlet has made a stand for the fallen and battered of the trans-community. In a world where people view gay as weird, this cover is a step towards equality. My personal opinion is it should have been captioned, We Are Human Too!

I wrote this article to ask, after you take your last breathe, is your body still alive? No, it’s not, which means your spirit carries life. A spirit is characterized by energy, not sex. I’m saying this to say the physical body is a costume. This means Bruce was just given the wrong one. In the land of the free, why is it only acceptable to live your life caged? Don’t be hateful, don’t criticize, but let Caitlyn be free. When people start worrying about themselves, rather than others, love can start. I will end by saying I commend Caitlyn for being a silent voice, and have hope the trans-community will one day be viewed as just people.

My sources came from http://www.transgenderlaw.org 

People Hurt Not Words by BreC

Carter attended Northpoint High School, and from the moment he entered he knew he was different from the other guys. Jocks and their cheer leader girlfriends ran the school. From Carter’s stature you would think he was a jock, but he actually was a cheerleader. Carter was not gay, but he identified more with women because he was raised by his mother. He understood their sensitivity and wanted to help them the best way he could. The jocks, nerds, computer geeks, emos, cool kids, and every other kid had a field day with this decision. He was constantly called a sissy, oversized faggot, and tranny. Each day at home he would cry silently to himself because he knew each day at school he would be tormented. The words got too be overwhelming to the point he would hear sissy, oversized faggot, and tranny in his mind when he daydreamed and in his dreams when he slept.

On Monday, March 2, 2015, his mother went to wake him as she normally would. When she looked in his room everything was neat and she realized he wasn’t there. This was a shock to her because he never wakes up on time, and she would have to beg him to clean his room. She called his cellphone and got no response. This wasn’t odd because sometimes he didn’t always answer. At 10am two police officers came to her door, passed her a letter, and said “Ma’am we need you to come to the coroners and identify your son because we found him on the train tracks. When she looked down at the note in her hand it read at the end in big, bold, black letters ” I JUST WANT TO BE ACCEPTED.”

Approximately 105 Americans die a day from suicide. This is about 38,000 people each year (CDC). One of the reasons is because people hurt, not words. When people take time out to make fun of people they do not stop and think of the torment that is caused. Each time the boy that is a little feminine is called a faggot, it’s programmed in his mind that his personality is not socially accepted. Each time a girl is called a whore because she wears short skirts its programmed in her mind her style is not socially accepted. People do not stop and think how this effects people. The boy that is teased could be at his breaking point because he is at war with his sexuality. The girl that is teased could be at her breaking point because she is really a virgin and can’t understand people’s cruelty. As a bully you have to think, is it okay to be a murderer? If I was to go to trial would I get life? This sounds extreme, but the result of someone’s words ended someone’s life.

If you are a person that feels like you can no longer deal with life, seek therapy because your life is worth it, and your death doesn’t only effect you. Use the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 18002738255. It’s available 24/7 for English and Spanish speakers. If you are a bully remember words don’t kill, but people do! So if you are using your words to kill you are a murderer. 

   
 

Social Me: Free Love & Acceptance by Bri Alexander

Hey Guys and Gals! This month on Social me, we will look at the concept of well-being from a more abstract perspective: free love and acceptance. What does it mean to love? Furthermore, what is free love and how does that relate to the concept of acceptance? In our society, we have the definition of love that is plastered on our television screens, blasting our radios and spread throughout our books- but, what about other, non-traditional types of love? Instead of recipes and exercises, today I am going to take you all inside an exclusive interview I had with two people part of the LGBT family, the new revolutionary type of love. As they attest to what it is like to experience a different type of love and how they feel, it is with the highest hopes that a new definition of love and self-acceptance can be sparked and understood.  

Interviewee 1: Damien Moody
1. How do you identify yourself and when did you realize this?

I am a gay black male who has sex change plans. If I can fully remember……I was between 6-9. I had a strange attraction to men but hid my real sexuality for many years due to judgement and also the verbal and physical abuse because people knew and thought I was gay. I also met a lot of Homophobic bullies.

2. What was/is the hardest thing about your experience with identifying yourself and how do/did you cope with it?

The hardest thing I ever went through was the abuse I endured from bullies at schools I went to as well as the drama I suffered because of my oldest brother. He used to bully and abuse me mainly calling me gay slurs and threatening me.

I just suffered the abuse for years until I was old enough to fight back and stay away

3. Are you proud of who you are and is there any person/thing in particular that currently inspires you?

I am very happy with who I became and I will be happy with my future as well. My biggest inspiration is Rupaul.

4. What is some advice that you would give to others in the process of “coming out” and accepting him/herself?

Don’t let anyone stop you from being you. Rupaul say all the time ” If u can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?” No matter what…… You cannot love or accept anyone before you love and accept yourself. I don’t care if your gay, bisexual, bi-curious, transgendered, transsexual…….you must be you and do not let anyone stop your shine. I been through abuse, bullying, suicide attempts and so much more and survived putting God first. You can do it to and prayer answers every question you have.

Interviewee 2: Keyana Smith

1. How do you identify yourself and when did you realize this?

I identify myself as a lesbian and I realized this when I didn’t like talking to boys or when they did not interest me. When I dated my current girlfriend and I felt comfortable with myself.

2. What was/is the hardest thing about your experience with identifying yourself and how do/did you cope with it?

This was when I was comfortable with myself but I knew my family wouldn’t like it, so I thought that I would take my life. I was thinking that I didn’t want to let my family down so I’d rather take my life before I do that.

3. Are you proud of who you are and is there any person/thing in particular that currently inspires you?

I am very proud of who I am and my girlfriend inspires and lets me know every day that I need to be proud of that.

4. What is some advice that you would give to others in the process of “coming out” and accepting him/herself?

That you should come out and love yourself. People are going to talk about you but the best thing you can do is be you. Never live for someone else because of how you think they will react because at the end of the day you have to make yourself happy and live for you.

 A special thanks to Damien Moody and Keyana Smith for their bravery in sharing their stories. Sometimes, it is the most difficult thing that is the most instrumental. There are a plethora of people who struggle with the choice of whether to express their real, true love for self and others. This month and all months we at Save the Charms encourage all individuals to be open-minded and defy society’s attempt to define love in the one-dimensional context that it often appears.

Here are a list of websites that offer support for acceptance and the process of identity formation:

http://lgbt-social-group.meetup.com/cities/us/pa/philadelphia/

http://www.cision.com/us/2011/06/top-10-lgbt-websites-and-blogs/

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

  

Locked Out of the American Dream by Aliya Garfield

The Philadelphia School District is failing the city’s children. It is so sad to see that politics are proving to be more important than educating the kids who should be of the highestimportance because they are in fact the future of the city. Continuing on this path will only lead to the annihilation of the black community. This can be easily done by destroying our greatest resource, our youth. Although they are deemed ‘minors’ this title does not accurately describe the youth’s position is society. In all reality the young people are the most important socially and majorly influence all innovation and progress. It sickens me to observe how youth especially poor or black and extra especially poor and black youth are stereotyped, brutalized, and miseducated.  Miseducation is one majorly successful tool that is used to keep the extermination agenda cranking on like a well-oiled machine. I am disgusted with the injustice that is being done to our precious children. Our rubies and our diamonds, are being thrown in the gutter and shown every day just how little they seem to matter in the great scheme of things. 


Mother is the first teacher for most children but pretty early in life we send them off to the care of others for the sake of education. The promise of the “American Dream” tells us to go to school and get a good education, go to college, get a good job, work hard and you will be successful. That no matter where you started in life you have the ability to move up from there and education is the key. But why does is seem to me this formula for success isn’t exactly set in stone? For some the American Dream is one come true but it’s just a pipe dream for many others. A good education is not the same thing for every student. In fact going to school and getting a good education is not the key to success for all studentbecause some students go to school and are unknowingly given a different key, miseducation. 


Consider the state of Philadelphia public schools. I think it was my 2nd semester at CCP that I learned about something called the school to prison pipe line. While some would lead you to believe that this is simply a trend that is the result of strict school policies and zero tolerance rules weeding out so called undesirables it is actually a system that is designed to put our kids on this path to prison for profit. We need to be aware of this system that targets and criminalizes poor and black youth at as young in age as possible and sets them up early forlife in the judicial circuit. Philly schools provide fertile breeding grounds for the fodder to sustain this pipe-line. 80% of the students in the Philadelphia School District are eligible for free/reduced school lunch. This eligibility is an indicator of the extensive levels of poverty in Philadelphia compared to the state average eligibility rate of 43%. Philly is 46% black and more than a quarter of the city’s population is below poverty. Compare this to our close neighbors of Bucks and 

Montgomery counties where the black populations are both less than 10% of the total populations and the below poverty percentage rates are even lower than that. As you ponder these numbers does is make any sense as to why our county jails are a massive complex where individuals can receive their sex change hormones, methadone and HIV meds while watching cable no problem no cost. At the same time schools are finding it hard to afford basics like janitors or a nurse and kids are dying from things like asthma attacks. 


It seems backwards to me that Philadelphia schools spend less per student than a lot of other school districts in PA but the city still claims such a major budget deficit. The federal government provides money for education generally at or belowa rate of about 20% of the total budget with the state and local governments each being responsible for about 40% of the budget for a particular school district.  Meaning it is up to Philadelphia to provide for its children but instead Philadelphia spends millions on a new skate park and plans for a new LOVE park. And there are those that would say one has nothing to do with the other and that I don’t understand the way money is budgeted and distributed. Let me say I would agree that I don’t understand because how could anything be more important than correctly educating the leaders of our future? Don’t tell me there is no money for schools when there is still money being spent elsewhere. Today classrooms have become a place where students are conditioned to pass tests to get a little federal money while the state and local governments,who are supposed to provide the bulk of the cheese, come up way short when it comes to Philly kids.


Instead of taking care of the kids and giving them their best chances a heavy burden is placed on their backs. The federal government sets national standards that states must meet in order to receive federal funding for their school districts. The imposed national standards are so far reaching that they have a major impact in each individual classroom. Much more of an impact than the actual money that schools get from meeting these standards. I don’t see this as fair. The city wants the students to operate on a portion of what should be the budget well enough to make AYPTrying to meet federal standards while being cash strapped is like running in a track meet with a leg cast on and starting in the parking lot instead of at the starting block with everyone else. What makes it worse is that the standards apply a one size fits all approach to education without taking into consideration all the different factors that contribute to a child’s success on a standardized testThe standard on which these test are based are not our own. The design calls for certain groups to fail. 


All of these elements contribute to the miseducation off minority youth. In Philly many groups, black, Hispanic, Asian, poor, urban, special needs, disabled and English language learners, can be considered minority. Something we all need to keep in mind is that together these groups are the majority compared to those who actually benefit from the miseducation system of white supremacy. If we want to change the realities of miseducation it is necessary to create a system of alternative education. It is important for the black community to fund,build, staff and operate our own schools for our own children.Relying on America’s public schools to educate us has left the black community in peril. Without immediate intervention the future doesn’t look to bright at all. 


We as a community have to stop trusting others to give our kids the right key to open the door of success. Otherwise our children will continue to fall prey to pipe dreamsSchool to prison pipe dreams. It is up to us as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, babysitters, mentors and friends to guide and educate the younger generations. It is also important that we put plans into action. 50 years from now there is no reason for this topic to still be a discussion or idea. Black community schools have the potential to be a reality tomorrow if we stopped buying Jordan’s, Michael Kors, Chinese food and McDonald’s today. If we are locked out of the American dream by design it is well overdue that we create our own dream to live.