Louisa: Gone too soon!

Louisa - Love of my Life my baby girl!

Louisa – Love of my Life my baby girl!

Louisa Passed October 27. 2013

Just a reminder Advocates against domestic violence. To date there have been ONLY 5 contributions!

Is it really possible that after all my years of service to women;s issues – that only 2 women showed up in court to show solidarity on Louisa’s behalf against her attacker and only the same two women came to her funeral this October? Is it also impossible to expect a few bucks be put in the mailbox because after 4 months there are only 5 donations? Silly me – I thought enough donations would pour in to cover a brick for both daughters, but not even one single brink has been covered!

CRY!

Was it also probable that a man who never knew any of us had a seedling planted in her honor after reading her story?

INDIFFERENCE!
If we can’t do better than this – then perhaps that is why we are not taken seriously when we beg for help with domestic violence! Perhaps that is why 4 women a day are murdered by a male they know/or love/trust! If we don’t help each other why should anyone else care?

My two daughters Denise and Louisa both victims of Domestic violence – serious head wounds shown below are now gone! I am left alone and I was hopeful not left alone to carry on to fight against Domestic Violence.

I am not only fighting for all three of us, I am fighting for you and your daughters too! Let us hope others will join the fight so NO other mothers are left childless too!

In lieu of flowers I asked please donate in Louisa’s name toward $400.00 needed for a center circle brick in Van Saun Park’s “Pathway to Freedom” sponsored by “Shelter our Sisters” in Hackensack, NJ 07601 (any amount no matter how small will be appreciated)

Contribute IN LOUISA RICHARDSON’s name directly to
SHELTER OUR SISTERS
405 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

This mother has lost her two daughters – her best friends and has had insult added to injury: no flowers, no advocates, no visitation room full of visitors- I may never get over that! Was our five year fight against DV in vain? I expected so much more and she deserved so much more- may the Lord have mercy on the souls of those who ignored her plight and her fight and did not bother to pay last respects!

I can easily afford the damned bricks – you are all missing the point of this devastation! I need to know my daughter’s agony counted for something! They were beautiful before he bludgeoned one’s head in and blew the other ones brains out!

This is domestic violence and we all need to stand up!

Denise was dying from Cancer when George bludgeoned her

Denise was dying from Cancer when George bludgeoned her

Louisa crying out for help in a nursing home after loosing half her head

Louisa crying out for help in a nursing home after loosing half her head

Not a women's advocate in site when I needed support in court!
Not a women’s advocate in site when I needed support in court!

Louisa Richardson

Louisa Richardson

My baby girl is once again fighting for her life!

Louisa in Critical Condition

Louisa needs your prayers, best wishes, good Karma, and whatever else you have to send her way.
She is in critical condition, battling for her life once again!
Suffering from a month long bout with pneumonia we nearly lost her last night then her lung collapsed.

She has bravely battled for the last 5 years now we all want the Very best for Louisa so I am sending this shout out both to alert you all and to ask for your spiritual help.

Over the last few years you have often asked about Louisa and I know you have prayed for and sent her your best wishes. I thank you!

Women Rise!

Women Rise!
© Barbara McAfee

Barbara McAfee is the singer-songwriter. It is rousing and uplifting! Click the link below to hear the song. I hope you will sing along—the words are here.
Click  http://gildroy.com/WomenR.mp3?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

Image

Chorus:
When women wake, mountains move.
When women wake, mountains move.
When women rise, the world rises with us.
So women wake, women wake
Women rise, women rise, women rise….

In a million small gestures, we weave it all together
Much of what we do goes unseen and unsung
But from our daily labors, our downright stubborn loving
A new world is begun….
Chorus
We’re not going to wait ‘til we’re perfect
The women we are will just have to suffice
We likely won’t ask for permission to change things
We may not even be nice….
Chorus
Is there something that grabs your attention?
A face or a story that won’t let you go?
Each gesture you make in repairing this world
Will matter more than you’ll ever know.

An Open Letter to: Eve Ensler

BettyJean Downing

Eve Ensler: ONE BILLION RISING, 2/14/13 V-Day’s most ambitious campaign yet

Eve,
I absolutely spread the word far and wide and made sure all my contacts did the same. I am writing to share how shocked I was that in all my years advocating for women and working in the filed  fighting violence against women – that this is the first time I have heard about ONE BILLION RISING! What a fantastic idea- thank you and please help me and other groups understand how to help make sure every woman and girl is aware of it in time to participate in ONE BILLION RISING 2014.

I am concerned that all women’s groups are not united and therefore our rally cries are not loud enough and powerful enough to shake the foundations of power against us. What can we do to enlist other women’s groups to engage in each other’s causes, to encourage all women to participate in every movement out there that empowers women? What can we do together to show the powers that be we really are a power to be reckoned with? As a whole, women do not present a united front; instead we are the women against violence, mothers against drunks, LGBT, Pro Life, Pro Choice, Anti War etc. etc. When will we just be the majority that we are? When will we again present ourselves as the WOMEN of America

You are absolutely right 33% of us will be beaten or raped, 4 a day in this country are murdered at the hands of a loved one who had beaten them before and was released to kill. About 50 % of us are adamantly against the other 50% politically, which mockingly keeps us politically weakened and unable to hold positions of power at home, on the job or in politics. An even larger percent ( I estimate upwards of 85%) of us is powerless financially because we are not united enough to grab and hold the power to self govern.

We stand at the point of sink or swim, we rally for particular issues and it’s like missing the forest for the trees. We are woman- we are the majority. The violence stops when we have our rights and full power. We won’t have that till we stop fighting amongst ourselves over the issues that were manufactured to keep us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. That old “a house divided against itself cannot stand” is true. Let history teach us and others that united we can overcome. We women are equal and can stand ready to lead and rule our own lives. Let’s demand respect, full equality, an end to violence can only come when we are united as the majority, powerful and voting as one block demanding full rights to self govern. Let the issues remain issues to be dealt with when we are in the position to govern but lets first get in the position to self govern.

Women’s History Month begins on Friday, March 1, 2013 (in 8 days) and ends on Sunday, March 31, 2013. 

Let’s demand a slot every day in honor of women’s history!

BettyJean
Thank you for joining ONE BILLION RISING, V-Day’s most ambitious campaign yet. 

When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women. Since then, hundreds of thousands of V-Day activists in audiences and on stages in over 140 countries have come together to demand an end to violence against women and girls. The funds we’ve raised together have kept organizations’ doors open, and the issue front and center in local media. 

But still today, the United Nations states that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime that’s more than one billion women and girls alive today. 

V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, showing them exactly what one billion looks like. 

ONE BILLION RISING is a promise that on February 14th, 2013, we will ensure that millions of women and men rise up around the world to say, “ENOUGH. The violence ends NOW.” 

BettyJean, there is so much more to come. But for right now, you can help us launch ONE BILLION RISING with a few simple actions:
Share ONE BILLION RISING with your networks
Sign up for our text message updates in the US by texting BILLION to 50555
Follow V-Day on Facebook and Twitter

ONE BILLION RISING will make the earth move by uniting us through dance across every country.

BettyJean, I look forward to dancing, striking and rising to end violence against women and girls together with you.

In solidarity,

Eve Ensler

IN A BINDER

The shake-out from Tuesday’s debate has this tin-sounding rattle banging off the rafters around the word, BINDERS. I’ve read – all over FaceBook from my women friends who are Obama Supporters – that the use of the word “Binders” has proven to be the dog whistle only “bitches” can hear. Forgive what seems to be a kennel reference; but I’m wishing I could be in New York this weekend for the Dog part of the Dog & Pony Show Tour.

AKC Meet the Breeds, hosted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and The International Cat Association (TICA) will return to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on October 20th and 21st, 2012.

And here I find the ONLY refuge to address what I’m seeing, reading and learning about Political Discourse regarding their reaction to Mitt Romney’s use of the word. Romney stated that he was handed “binders of Women” in response to his proactive soliciting of resumes and recommendations, from Women’s Groups, for qualified Women he could include in his Cabinet. In recounting the anecdote as an example of his record on gender fairness in employment, Romney gave Women who actually WORK the inkling that under his Administration, the view of strengths Women bring to the Workforce, fully half of our Economic Potential, will be an upgrade.

I consider Obama to be on a too-wide learning curve when it came to statesmanship. But my sisters have demonstrated an appalling stupidity that proves to me that they, like their “Eye Candy,” have absolutely NO BUSINESS engaging in political discussion.  Mitt’s description of the office product in which those resumes were presented was a great deal more business-oriented than were those women who made such a bizarre case out of it. In my thirty years working as a Temp or Temp-to-Hired-then-restored-to-Temp career, I’ve been tasked with ordering, labeling and filling BINDERS with papers organized according to a sort for ready reference. I’ve created BINDERS for Employee Handbooks, for Manuals, for Purchase Order hard copies, for Presentation Persuaders and for Programming Documentation.  Anyone operating a switchboard, relies on the ubiquitous BINDER with ALL THE PERTINENT INFORMATION to which I would need to refer.  Sheet-protected rosters, addresses, extensions, franchisees, directions to the location … trust me: Binders are still stocked by businesses who earn real money for their stock-holders and employees. In the day of the iPhone, anything so cumbersome as hard copy bound in a stiff, 3-Ringer most certainly holds little interest for the text-ers and the tweeters and the #Hashtaggers.

So, as breeds go, I’m an Ol’ Dawg. I try to behave myself like a good doggie. I keep the barking to a minimum. But I’m getting antsy listening to the indicators around me that I am – indeed – a member of a Sisterhood that encompasses some serious lines identified by specific traits bred into them for a purpose.

I’m a working dog, not a show dog. I read the comments of other feminists who don’t appear to fully grasp that the only thing keeping Women from being taken seriously is behavior that is not to be taken seriously.  At the Jacob Javitz Center this weekend, attendees will learn from traditionalists who seek specific traits in the dogs they choose for a specific purpose. A dog with a temperament that is suitable for households with children might not be the preference of a duck hunter in the market for a companion/retriever. A Long-Haired Cat with a playful disposition might be more than an elderly person would be able to care for, but would be just the perfect addition to a single professional’s household.

That being said, I reject being lumped in with any woman, no matter how representative her opinion or reaction is supposed to be, who would not extend courteous consideration to a candidate for President whose track record is proactive with respect to seeking out female candidates for high appointed office.   As Governor of Massachusetts, he treated Women with respect, solicited their input,  found and employed them in nearly half the positions available in his Administration.

Here’s a recommendation to the women who made such a Bogard of  his delivery.  Treat powerful men WHO CAN HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS with courtesy and you will be treated with a reciprocal courtesy.  His ACTIONS communicate a willingness to appeal to 52% of the population and possibly 60% of super voters.  Straighten up and comprehend the communication going on here.  A potential for a mutually-beneficial deal is on the table.  The Candidate is conveying, in the eye to eye diplomacy of business, that he is receptive to your input.  Don’t extend the basic courtesy of consideration, and it is highly unlikely that he’ll consider appeals for further consideration of your own agenda. Behavior that demonstrates such partisan contempt is conclusive admission of unsuitability for exercising power of any sort.

Really, I. Struggle. To. Choose. A. Word. To. Describe. You.

If I call you “Ladies” will you go into a Tasmanian rant? If I say, “My Sisters,” do I need to cover my head with a BINDER and duck? If I call you Girls, will a Tourettes-like eruption greet me in violent rejection?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

The reaction of SOME feminists to the Challenger’s use of the word, BINDERS concisely illustrated what men deal with when they’re just trying to be guys getting things done. I cringe.   Electing a President is very serious business. No one who comes off with such pettiness and foolishness in a business situation can then expect to be taken seriously as an Office Mate, Supervisor, Partner or Manager.

Feminists:  Recognize and respect your status as spokespersons for Women.  A carefully thought out and delivered response conveys both intelligence and integrity.  Women are relying on you to represent them respectably.  I recall how so many Obama supporters ignored the overwhelming evidence of Sarah Palin’s competence and reacted with grossly personal-based rejection.  They supported the very bias on which insufficient men rely to cheat women every day.  Crass, personal rejection is a major league dis-qualifier for business.  Whether one AGREES with a “gate-keeper” is not the point.  The entity represents your enclave into the realization of your dreams.  A good business person doesn’t want your friendship for social purposes.  He seeks your friendship in the business of recovering the Economy, Stupid!  Whether or not one agreed with Hillary had nothing to do with her qualifications to serve;  she was exposed to sufficient experience to prepare her to respond to the input from those who Consent to be Governed.  By her nature, she was a generous, responsible, hard-working professional.  But too often, the Women who supported her campaign degenerated into reactionary conduct that showed their ignorance and inability process power.  As Spokeswomen, our Feminist Leaders must demurer from rising to every bell, from jumping into the fray, and certainly from engaging in silliness unworthy of a National Presidential Debate.  Perhaps we’re treated like “Second Class Citizens” because our Leadership’s behavior is anything but First Class.

I’m bent, stapled and mutilated here. I want to think that the manners of a professional have been bred into me by the mentors and business owners who have employed me and political colleagues with whom I have served. But I flat-out cannot STAND IT that these females have leveled themselves with such a discouragingly cranky image of working women.

Black doesn’t have to mean Democrat in 2012

Guest post from Julene of Women For Action

Race 2012 Project: Black Republican is it an Oxymoron and when did Black Mean Democrat?

Pic from aroundharlem.com

Pic from aroundharlem.com

Some would say the Black Republican individual is incomprehensible, beyond moral belief. Why would African Americans support a party that appear to work against black mobilization? The Republican Party itself has been dominated by “the Good Ole Boys Network”, an unofficial fraternity of powerful white men that appears to be resistant to change and ideas that would diversify the political spectrum, and financial progress for minorities and women. A Black Republican could be one of the greatest American oxymoron. The Republican Party itself refutes change, especially in what it appears to be one of the most controversial presidential elections, in American history, as an African American occupies the White House. Yet, Democrats are without perfection. Blacks have supported the party for decades, yet a portion of black America have been subjected to an economic wasteland, without the proper resources and the political backing to revive the community. The Republican and Democratic Party stand side by side making up a powerful two-party system in America. Yet there is reason to believe that both parties have turned their backs on the harsh realities within Black America.

The Republican Party have boldly iterated ideas that will revert America back to a time before the 20th century.  There were no labor unions, then; companies paid their workers well below living wages and labor conditions were hazardous, to say the least. Voting laws marginalized those with little influence and power.  Women were unable to make decisions for their reproductive health, as poor women died from  backroom and back alley abortions, while wealthy white women had the financial resources, to do what they wanted. Policies were simply unfair, subjecting Black America to the worst kind of poverty. This could be the American reality as Republicans work towards disbanding unions, restricting voting rights, and amending the constitution, so that women would no longer have the right to make choices for their reproductive health. The party appears to promote policies that will benefit the rich, at the expense of everyone else;  They hope to privatize Medicare, Social Security and disarm entitlement programs. These programs benefit the poor and most working class Americans, especially throughout a recession. Yet they plan to cut taxes on wealthy Americans, and do away with some regulations on Big Business.  It is an American reality that could be catastrophic to the progress of the 20th century.

Yet Black Republicans would argue that Democrats are the “Do Nothing Party”, leaving millions of minorities unemployed. Blacks have the highest unemployment rate in America. In September, 13.4 percent of black workers, or 2.44 million people, remained out of work.(1) In addition,  inner city children, which makes up predominantly minorities and blacks, are subjected to less than mediocre education. Republicans could attribute this to the unresponsiveness of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party does not need to woo the African American community, nor do they need to work towards any sort of repair throughout the community; they already have the black vote. Democrats have become a party  that appear to push policies that are trending amongst contemporary America. This is justifiable because the party needs to sustain its voting influence, while doing away with measures that may diminish the party’s resources, especially on what may be perceived as irreparable systematic issues .

The Democratic Party did not always have the black vote. In fact, Southern Democrats worked to disenfranchise blacks, while denying their civil liberties. They pushed segregation laws, denied former slaves voting rights and wages for labor. They were also resistant to  the Abolitionist Movement. Abolishing slavery threatened the South’s livelihood and the magnitude of their financial resources. Yet, a Democratic president spurred a pivotal change;  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal created opportunity and employment for blacks, who were prevented from working at the time. Blacks started supporting Democratic candidates thereon, especially those that pushed policies that were beneficial to them. The Democratic Party started to move leftward in ideas as they diversified and pushed policies that would benefit minorities, as Republicans moved rightward, resisting a change to policies. Eventually, these Southern Democrats shifted to the Republican Party, to further their segregationist agenda.  In 1948, Democratic President Harry Truman got 77% of the black vote, as he worked towards desegregating the army. But Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson received 94% of the black vote, for pushing the Civil Right Act of 1964. (2) Blacks adhered themselves to the Democratic movement. After all, black politicians were warranted by the Democratic Party. It was simple mathematics; Southern whites and Social Conservatives that dominated the Republican party retained remnants of the old ways.

Moving forward, some Black Republicans would say that African Americans are naive for voting for an African American president due to the high crime rate amongst low-income communities, the single mother syndrome, children being born out of wedlock, and alarming poverty levels. Yet their opposition may argue that voting for a black president changes the face of leadership and success, in America, which in turn, defaces black disablement. This is a group of American people that have lacked cohesion throughout the years. Its ability to come together and set forth an agenda to exercise their voting rights in order to change the face of leadership, is tremendous progress. According to Pew Research, Nearly all (95%) black voters cast their ballot for Democrat Barack Obama while white voters supported McCain (55%) over Obama (43%). (3) Republicans have probably have inherited a sense of hopelessness, in any attempt  at soliciting African Americans. If they can gain  African American support, then great, but their time and energy has appeared to have been well spent criticizing groups unlike them, as they promote rigid policies. Post President Obama’s inauguration,  Former Republican Leader Michael Steele stated that the party’s plan was to incorporate hip hop in the Republican movement; the measure was a bit desperate and offensive to Black America.  The party’s rhetoric often appear discriminatory and disdainful towards minority groups.  Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich called Obama the “Food stamp President”. Former Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum stated that “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn money.” (4) Most recently,  Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney explains that 47% of American are dependent on government and claimed that these Americans will vote for Obama. These comments are a small segment of what’s been spewed by the party. They don’t seem to care who they offend. You can say it’s the “Black President Dynamic”, making those who feel they are superior succumb to their true thoughts and ideas, as they attempt to resist what they believe as an inferior individual in power. It’s a theory. It may shed some light on why many Republican leaders, even Black Republicans, appear to be smug and condescending in their tone and behavior, especially when attempting to discredit and discard the sitting president.

As we extract some unappealing characteristics of the two-party system here in America, we have to wonder why no other political party has gained as much political significance. Surely minorities have the numbers to reflect change, as we have witnessed throughout the 2008 election. Maybe it’s fair to say that the “Good Ole Boys” reflect both parties, a society exclusive to a few. Their financial resources reflect the resistance towards a new reality. This may be why Americans are starting to feel that nothing truly gets done in government. This should be an incentive for all Americans to want to pull away from the crippling nature of a two-party system, as it leaves the power in the hands of simply a few. Americans should embark on independence and freedom of individual ideas. This is what makes this country so great. Americans have the freedom to make their own political choices. Supporting policies that are conducive to all groups is a progressive measure, while doing away with these cookie-cut approaches to legislation. It has stifled the American Dream, restricted individuals from freely choosing what’s best for the future of the country.

 This is a conversation prevalent for Americans as we work together and examine the topic of race. Fore more, follow my Race 2012 posts at womenforaction.org. Follow the conversation at the Race 2012 site. Be sure you check your local listing and tune in to watch The Race 2012 documentary on October 16th at 8pm on PBS! Oh and like the project on Facebook and Twitter.

Resources:

 

(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/latino-black-unemployment-rates_n_1943676.html

(2) (http://www.factcheck.org/2008/04/blacks-and-the-democratic-party/)

(3) http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1209/racial-ethnic-voters-presidential-election

(4) http://www.theroot.com/views/why-rick-santorum-isn-t-racist

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