March 31 – April 13, 2016
On The Dock This Issue:
Likes & Self Esteem: The Danger of Social Media
As of a few months ago, I would describe my relationship with social media as addictive. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter kept me up at night.
I was posting first thing in the morning, during the middle of the day, and at night. I thought to myself, I have to get the word out about my fitness classes. I have to see if anyone left me any messages. I have to check this fitness group for tips, and on, and on. It was as if social media posting was my third career. I would log in for one purpose and continue scrolling until my bedtime at 9 pm quickly turned into10 pm.
Losing sleep because of posting? Yes, that’s a problem. But, that’s not the real danger.
The real danger of social media is that it can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. How? Think about it. How many times have you counted the likes you have received on a post, particularly a picture of you taken by someone else or a selfie? Go ahead and count. I’ll wait.
Now, how many times have you counted the number of likes on a colleague’s post, picture, or selfie and compared it to your own? Have you ever asked yourself: Wait, why did her picture get more likes than mine? Is she prettier than me? Do people like her posts more than mine?
If you have ever seen a post about a Facebook friend’s engagement, newborn baby, new house, promotion, new car, or new outfit, and immediately questioned why don’t you have those things, then you’re actively lowering your self-esteem. Posts often blind us from a simple reality: life is a struggle.
Most people are not going to post the fight that they had with their fiancée . . . Yet, we allow a friend’s posts to skew our reality and force us to question our self-worth.
Most people are not going to post the fight that they had with their fiancée, the time the house went into foreclosure, or the time their car got re-possessed. Yet, we allow a friend’s posts to skew our reality and force us to question our self-worth.
Tanya Simons sums up our reaction to social media when she writes in the Huffington Post, “No matter what you are doing or how happy you are, one look on Facebook can convince you that everyone you know is having a much better time than you.”
Am I cursing social media? Absolutely not. However, being careful of how we allow it to affect our self-esteem is the key. In my hours of scrolling, I came across an anonymous meme that rings very true. “Don’t compare your real life to someone else’s controlled on-line content.” Your life is yours. Your health is yours. Live it, love it, and enjoy it, but be mindful of allowing someone’s posts to deflate your self-esteem and affect your mental health.
An Historical Moment: Blacks Provide Americans Safety and Security
Today, African Americans are in leadership positions responsible for the safety and security of all the people in the United States of America. This includes President Barack Obama, President of the United States; Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States; Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security for the United States; and Susan Rice, National Security Advisor for the United States.
To appreciate how significant this historical point is for African Americans and the United States, one must have knowledge of the African American experience in the United States during slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, and civil rights eras. Contrary to views held during and since slavery about the African Americans intellect, Obama, Lynch, Johnson, and Rice have shown that African Americans are very capable of managing the political and business affairs of the United States.
President Barack Obama
is the elected head of state of the United States of America.
He leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief.
He is considered one of the world's most powerful people.
is the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. She serves as the chief in-house advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues. She participates in the meetings of the National Security Council and usually chairs the Principal Committee meetings with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense (i.e. the meetings not attended by the President). She is supported by the National Security Staff (NSS) that produces research and briefings for her to review and present, either to the National Security Council or directly to the President.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is the head of the United States Department of Justice and is the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government. The attorney general serves as a member of the president's cabinet. Federal law enforcement agencies reporting to her include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Marshals Service (USMS), and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Finally, Secretary Jeh Johnson is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the United States and the safety of United States citizens. He is a member of the President's Cabinet, too. Congress created this position when it created the Homeland Security Act, following the attacks of September 11, 2001. This department consist primarily of components transferred from other cabinet departments because of their role in homeland security such as the Coast Guard, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Without knowing history, these achievements can be overlooked. Knowing history and how the image of Blacks have been projected, makes the images and reality of Obama and our security team monumental.
Photo: (Left to Right) FBI Director James Comey, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.
Mass Incarceration Update
The Sentencing Projects comparative analysis of U.S. Prison Population Trends 1999-2014
reveals that 39 states have experienced a decline in their prison populations since reaching their peak prison populations within the past 15 years. In addition, 11 states have had continuing rises in imprisonment.
Twelve states have produced double-digit
declines for some period since 1999, led by New Jersey (31%), New York (28%), Rhode Island (25%), and California (22%). Notably, these states have achieved substantial reductions with no adverse effect on public safety.
Among states with rising prison populations, four have experienced double-digit increases, led by Nebraska and Arkansas, whose respective prisons populations grew by 22% and 18% since 2009. Despite sharing in the national crime drop, these states have resisted the trend toward decarceration.
Decarcerating juveniles for life without parole is the subject of Josh Royners’ Juvenile Life without Parole: An Overview
. The book includes discussions on the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana,
which will sharply curtail the number of people serving life without parole sentences for offenses committed as juveniles.
Approximately 2,500 people are currently serving life without parole for offenses committed as juveniles; 16 states and the District of Columbia have banned the use of the sentence for juvenile offenders.
The Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership has gathered even more clothes to ship to our partners in The Gambia and you can help. Based on last year’s needs, we still seek women’s clothes, but even more children and men’s clothes. Most importantly, since most Gambians are thin, we need clothes for thin to medium/thin-sized people.
The two groups who we work with use the clothes to sell at discounted prices. They use the funds from the sales mostly to help provide an education for local students in need and to develop their entrepreneurial skills. You can learn more about the two groups, by clicking their names: Baobob Youth Development Association
and Secca Memorial School
To date, we have sent three barrels. Your donations are fully tax-deductible. To arrange to make a clothes donation, e-mail
or call Wayne Young at 202-583-3438.
Black Lives Matter to Help Lead San Francisco Pride Parade
In a move that illustrates the intersectionality of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the work of activists who advocate for LGBTQ rights, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee has named BLM as one of its grand marshals for the 2016 pride parade.
The 46th annual San Francisco Pride Parade is scheduled for June 26, and this year’s theme is “For Racial and Economic Justice.” The parade typically has about 13 grand marshals each year. Black Lives Matter will serve as the organizational grand marshal; co-founder Alicia Garza was a grand marshal in 2015.
Guns at GOP Convention?
A Change.Org petition calls for the allowance to carry firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention in July. The petition quotes one of the Republican’s biggest benefactors, the National Rifle Association:
"The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that "gunfree zones... tell every insane killer in America... (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk."
All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack Hussein Obama's "gun-free zones." Donald Trump said
"I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have—and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day...you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That's bait."
Click here to read and sign the petition
National Black Memorabilia, Fine Art, and Craft Show - Sat, April 9 and Sun, April 10
Church Wives Left / Side Chicks Right
High Point High School
3601 Power Mill Road
Sat, Apr 2, 8p, $30-$40
The Moors, Modern Masonry, & Money
Sam El Amin
11 Crescent Rd
Tue, Apr 5, 7p, free
DC Emancipation Lecture
DC Department of Employment Services
4058 Minnesota Ave NE
Thu, Apr 7, noon, free
National Black Memorabilia, Fine Art, and Craft Show
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
16 Chestnut Street
Sat, Apr 9, 10a-7p, $
Sun, Apr 10, 10a-5p, $
Moving Words Winners Poetry Reading
OTA Club & Café
2832 Wilson Blvd
Sun, Apr 10, 4p-6p, free
Miller Beach Arts & Creative District Pop Up Artisan Fair
Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts
540 S. Lake Street
Fri, Apr 1,5p-9p
Sat, Apr 2, 11a-4p, free
Los Angeles, CA
Black Alliance for Just Immigration Convention
Holman United Methodist Church
3320 W Adams Blvd
Fri, Apr 8-Sun, Apr 10
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
10th Anniversary Gala
California African American Museum
600 State Drive
Sat, Apr 9, 7p-10p, $
BedStuy Book Club
351 Tompkins Avenue
Sat, Apr 2, 4p-6p, free
Connect with Port Of Harlem