2015:Just When I Thought I Had Shit Figured Out, You Proved I Know Nothing.

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“A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.”

Click here to see the complete report.

Reading the above assessment of my 2015 blog traffic report felt like winning “Most Improved” at your high school varsity golf team banquet… pitiful (and I should know I won that very award and they lost my trophy in the mail).

For some reason I thought I would be able to change the world with my words nearly over night with my blog and YouTube vlog…but alas the year came and went unwavering in its opposition to my success.
The beginning of my 30th year was prefaced by:
-Extreme fatigue and the totaling of a parked truck and my already failing automobile.
-An invisible video blog that everyone said was inspiring but never watched (I know because Google Analytics never lies).
-Being sued for joint custody of my then 3 year old daughter by her biological donor because I finally broke down and filed for child support.
-Living with someone who criticizes my every move and insults my character on a deeply personal level consistently, but who happens to be fighting cancer so I can’t say shit.
-Still being broke…as fuck as the whole the world erupts in chaos and i just want run away and live in a cabin in the woods…
You know the normal stuff people deal with while ushering in their 3rd decade of life.

I thought that, circumstances being what they are, I should have no problem coming up with content to write about…problem was too much content, not enough time and evil ass perfection paralysis.

I have over 180 “draft” posts sitting half finished waiting for me to fluff them up and press “publish”… but I hesitate…WTF is wrong with me?

I’m exhausted that’s what.
I’m just fucking tired.
I’m tired of working on average 52 hours a week and only bringing home $523 because I don’t earn a living wage.
I’m fucking fed up with having no time to myself and feeling like a shitty mom for wanting to take a shit in the bathroom alone.

All I want to do is garden, talk shit about politics and pop culture, quilt, cook, raise some animals, and be the type of mom that raises a kid who benefits man kind…Is that too much to ask?

Blog, why can’t you magically attract more readers?

I know I’m not the only radicalized hippie out here.

Where y’all at?

Damn, this turned into a journal entry quicker than it should have ….smh. Sheesh; but I suppose that’s OK as long as I keep writing. As long as I keep writing, I keep expressing myself and in doing so I create small ripples…ripples can become waves and waves have the power to erode mountains.

Don’t count me out just yet folks.

I’m still here.

XOXO,

Lauren Croom

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Revolutionaries are Regular People

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When you realize that you are poor but you were born middle class and are busting your hump but are statistically on a downward trajectory, the revolution has begun.

When you understand that companies aren’t hiring for the type of long-term pension-based employment that all other post-depression generations enjoyed; and you realize your overpriced noose of a degree trained you not in entrepreneurship, but in how to work for a now dead system, the revolution has begun.
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When you turn on the TV and think: “If this was in black and white I wouldn’t be able to tell what era I was in”, the revolution has begun.

You see the revolution is in you. You just have to open your eyes to your own power.

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In every Revolution the work is done by regular people. Women and Men who just get tired of waiting for someone else to act, someone else to say out loud that “this shit ain’t right”.

In every Revolution there were people who shirked the work of change in opposition to those who sacrificed everything, however they still benefited from the struggle in the long run…

Those nay-sayers will always be.

The weak of will and spirit always disavow straight spines and tall walkers in lieu of the comforts of conformity and cowardice.

When you look in the mirror do you see something bigger and better than the labels that have been ascribed to you?

When you hear or witness injustice do you boil over with a feeling of helplessness?

Have you ever felt like you know too much about history, too much about media manipulation, too much about the legislative and subtle oppression that holds this country hostage…so much so you have yearned for the ignorance you once had?

Are you afraid your kids won’t inherit a better, safer world?

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You are a Revolutionary. Embrace your reflection.

You don’t have to get arrested in a protest to be the change you seek; you don’t even have to take off of work.

You just need to speak up.  Do your research, vet your sources, educate those around you, know your rights and if you question if you are on the right side of history ask yourself this: If I stay silent will I respect myself?  When my children grown up will they be proud of my actions or distance themselves from my beliefs?

It isn’t hard once you realize it’s your destiny. You know what they say: “The revolution will not be televised”…that’s because it’s internal… The Revolution has only to be recognized in your own eyes to be realized.

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Bi Lauren Croom Follow Me @lostbelothefoldtumblr_myyc8ljDz51rj5axvo2_500

 

An Open Letter: to the passive aggresive broads trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary…SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t working.

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Dear Kate Cronin-Furman, Mira Rapp-Hooper , and all the other woman trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary,

I believe your assertion that for some “late-breaking sexism often means later-onset identification with the principles of second-wave feminism”, however that experience is EXACTLY why I’m CHOOSING to vote for Bernie Sanders as opposed to Hillary Clinton; and I’d like the think pieces on why I’m naive or somehow less of a feminist than you are to stop.

I am an HBCU Dean’s List grad. I am a Black Single Mother of a 4-year-old daughter. I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I have been eking out an existence working 10-12 hours days for $12 an hour in one of the most discriminatory industries (Hollywood) in the world. You assume that because I won’t blindly vote for Hillary I must be naive to the discrimination of the business world or the social structure of this country in general; this position is not only disparaging, but sexist, and ageist all bundled up nicely in a tight fist that I’m tired of being assaulted with.

I’m proud the woman before me have paved a pathway for us, but didn’t they do so in order for me to have the freedom to vote about the issues and the candidates’ political and social anatomy not their physical anatomy? Making young educated women out to be people pleasing and inexperienced shows a level of callus that is scary and truly disheartening. The woman of the baby boomer age were once idealist…what happened to that belly burning fire that was emboldened by opposition and in search of true progressive change? Why settle for just any woman when there is more at stake here than ovaries in the oval office? We have a Supreme Court justice nom on the line, we have oil pipelines from Canada pending, we have a trade deal that could dismantle what little democratic power we have left over corporations, and we have a privatized prison system that threatens to sue if we don’t continue to fuel them with free labor. I and thousands of other women graduated from college as the economy fell apart; we faced even more abysmal job prospects than we would have had we been met solely with the sexism already expected in the workplace.

I am not some starry-eyed child who doesn’t know what’s good for me. I am the product of my history, culture, and environment. I am the niece of two Uncles jailed by Clinton’s 94’ Crime Bill. I am a bi-sexual woman who is puzzled that the same woman who supported her husband in signing DOMA, the HIV travel ban, as well as overseeing the doubling of LGBT discharges from the military in his tenure, can act as if that never happened or claim to have magically “evolved” dismissing my and countless other peoples pain. Hillary didn’t fully support same sex marriage until 2013…yes…2013! She flew in the face of change and only joined our ranks as the prevailing winds of pew polling blew. She’s never stood true as a weather vane for equal human rights for all…only the humans who benefit her public image.

Bottom line: I don’t trust her. I don’t trust Hillary to do right by me or any of the issues I care about. If I were a man the very women who bash me would respect my right as an American to vote for the person, male or female whom I’m most ideologically aligned with. However, I am not a man…and these women… my sisters claim “there is a special place in Hell” for me and that I only support Bernie because his camp is where all the boys are. The legacy I want to leave my daughter isn’t one of forced affiliation or entitlement; it’s one of progressive ethics so I’ll stand tall in my opposition. If Bernie wins on a platform of revolutionary change I can take comfort in the fact that regardless of which side they played ALL women will benefit both directly and indirectly from that.

I do hope that a woman will inhabit the white house one day soon, but that isn’t my ONLY hope… I pray that by the time my child is of college age she won’t have to tackle the issues I have had to. I hope she won’t have to decide between living a life and paying back student loans. Yes, sexism is very real but so is the need to reduce income inequality, corporate welfare, and the cost of health care. I have aspirations for myself and my daughter that are bigger than the shadow cast by Hillary and when I look into my child’s eyes and my own in the mirror, I know there are better female candidates out there, but we as women need to recognize them… let’s not squander our “1st woman” card on a layup.

Please.

Most Certainly a Feminist,

Lauren J. Croom 

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1/31/2016

It has been reported by a survivor that Boko Haram used three female suicide bombers to burn children alive inevitably killing 86 people in Dalori,  Nigeria. Two nearby camps housing over 25,000 people who have fled Boko Haram were also attacked. This is my response to the puppets who think themselves powerful.

 

This isn’t ancient Pompeii…

This is Wednesday.

This is the result of a different type of volcano; deadlier than Vesuvius.

This is what happens when oppression is so pervasive,

so unescapable that instead of exploding outward

and feeling empowered to unify and repair the damages of colonialism;

some instead implode,

and in-turn choose to destroy the lives of those more accessible to them.

They turn in on themselves

cannibalizing their Mothers and Daughters

burying themselves deeper under soot and ash.

The deeper they entomb themselves under the burden of familial flesh,

 the farther they fall into futile feudalism…

Ancestors wail

but cloudy minded corruption, bloodied currency and the gushing  wounds of insatiable vengeance

deafen their chorus cries for vision,

 for a return to the regality of a people blinded to their power

sourced from a self-love so brilliant it has eroded the gags and shackles of murdered blood ties

and separation

even without a knowing of their past

the Taken bare the mark of an inborn pulsating rhythm

so distinct and viscous it bubbles up in caldrons of culture spanning every corner of the known world.

Yet at home

on the continent where humanity was forged

those who drew the dividing lines of countries and came touting the language of forced faith,

wait patiently for the silence that follows

the last shot fired,

the last throat cut,

the last ember of native life not stolen in form but in feeling

to lay still

eyes peeled

fixed on a heaven they’ll never see

bodies fertilizing the very thing

they died for without knowing

 

Bi: Lauren Croom

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Searching For America

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1/21/2016

Bernie Sanders campaign premiered a new ad this morning like nothing I’ve seen before. The ad focuses on the social grass roots movement that has propelled Bernie to this point in the campaign and it got me thinking…

No mud was slung.
Just hearts filled
that sung…
Sung high to the heavens for a new day begun…
Some prayed for a home, a place to feel safe.
Some just centered themselves
meditating to end hate.
Some begged to be free of their chains and disdain
for a government that doesn’t know them by name.

We went searching for America
but it’s been hard to find
cuz you see it’s not defined
by the lines we’ve designed
of blue and of red
that divide
and divvy up
it’s made up of people
of families of schools
of Churches and Masjids
of Sikhs and of Jews
We source our DNA
from a plethora of hues
Our fathers and mothers
fled tyranny too
so why turn our backs
on those who cry out?

Is it because we assume
that
they’ll do to Us
what we did to those
who helped in the crux
As our survival hung
in the balance
a trust
was extended by
those who watched from the brush
as we invaded their home
first one ship then another
they could have watched as we froze
but their connection to the Mother
begged they shroud us from cold
In the years on we lost
in the lesson
as greed and fear blinded us so fiercely
to the blessing
that these
the original people bestowed on the
men who claim to have founded
a country they’d stolen

Are we afraid if we
admit we were wrong
we’ll have to reflect on
all of the harm
that building a country
on the backs of black slaves
yellow track layers
and brown bodied naves
has done to those people
and us in return…

Are we afraid if we acknowledge their
lives we have to then to
acknowledge the rights
we stripped away from them
to further or goals
further our boarders
but what of our souls?

We can rationalize with religion
blame Cain, Canaan or Babel
but as time unfolds are we really able
to forget?
White wash our books and that’s it?
Not quit
The thing with history most don’t get
we have a tricky way of always repeating it
So even after we’ve let loose the shackles
hung a plaque
said some words
we aren’t any better till we break from the heard
stop insisting we once had a land that was “great”
that was built on fine values of inclusion and faith

That time is a myth
It did not exist
There’s always been scapegoats
And muckrackers too
Don’t think I’d leave out those who chose to tell truth

For without those small torches
and people with pens
and the dirty conditions that reflected the lens
If none chose to stand
If all felt content
to suffer in squalor not fit for humans
If people laid down
and just took what they got
If they never died to vote
If they never charged and fought
If we all just stayed silent
as Young boys are shot
as the Climate gets hot
as our dreams deferred rot

Then that crystal stair in Harlem would shatter in shards
slaying the unsung who folded his cards

We went searching for America
and we marched until
we reached roads end
and we’re marching still

We haven’t yet found what we’re looking for
But would be American if we searched no more?

Bi: Lauren Croom

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200 years ago? Try 20 minutes.

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Is it just me? I was both excited by our president’s candor but immediately dejected and shrunken when he said “200 or 300” years… I had just experienced racial profiling 20 or 30 mins before I heard the quote. Slavery and Racism  didn’t just up and decide to die after “Emacipation” … Ask the Black Americans who were in elected government positions as the national guard left the South post reconstruction … or the generations of Black men who built Birmingham, and other cities like it, working chain gangs as rented prisoners; serving sentences on trumped up charges… Ask those who were critically ill but turned away from all white hospitals less than 50 years ago… Ask my Grandfather who couldn’t legally vote until after he was an established business man and had fathered my uncle and a few aunts…No slavery still exists… just by a different name my sweet hearts… It hasn’t gone anywhere…The mask of racism has just slipped under the skin instead of over it… and folks are up in arms over our President using a word that isn’t on the FCC sensor list…riddle me this: Why ISN’T that word on the sensor list? Hmmm… maybe because it was used in everything from census records to vaudeville to Mark Twain novels… Don’t be offended that he said the word, be offended by why he had to and why old Dixie is still flying over the South Carolina capital building.

Tell Me Again Why I’m Not Classified a Super Hero?: Living a Fulfilled Life Below The Poverty Line

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So as usual I stumbled upon an article in CITY LAB that basically highlights the reason I have to focus my thoughts and meditate so incredibly hard every morning before I leave the house…Why, Money (or the lack there of) of course!

A new study, highlighted by the article provides data and figures that display the disparities between stagnating earnings and the “soaring” cost of housing all around the country.

Whilst I read the article, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard it would be to survive as a Single Mother in Los Angeles without my beloved Superpower.

What, you may ask, is this so-called “Superpower”?

Survival… I’m a born survivalist. There isn’t a situation that I have been placed in that I couldn’t find a Houdini like escape from. Much like Superman when exposed to the sun… I have only grown stronger the more exposed I am to adversity. Repeated and unforgiving poverty is just the latest of arch nemesis’ I have had to face.

When I read an article like this I understand that these numbers aren’t what they seem. They aren’t simply statistics. The numbers that erect these figures and tables represent other “Super humans” who, like myself are doing what they have to do to make due with what scraps they are given. Basically we are finding ways to create gourmet meals out of boxed mac-n-cheese every night.

Still, it is startling that these are just a slim sliver in the staggering stack of statistics …(ok, that alliteration cannot be ignored) that show us what America looks like in this seemingly “post-recession” delusional state. America’s ranking in STEM Education an Standard of living  are all far lower and our ranking in Infant Mortality, Suicide, Domestic Terrorism, are all up in our more progressive “1st world” peers. What is growing clearer with each quarter of data it that this “top-down system”, in which  things get more expensive but working hard pays less and less in comparison, is not sustainable.

Tupac’s words on Kendrick Lamar’s Mortal Man really seem prophetic right now:

” KENDRICK: I always wanted to ask you about a certain situa-, about a metaphor actually, you spoke on the ground. What you mean ‘bout that, what the ground represent?

TUPAC: The ground is gonna open up and swallow the evil. That’s how I see it, my word is bond. I see and the ground is the symbol for the poor people, the poor people is gonna open up this whole world and swallow up the rich people. Cause the rich people gonna be so fat, they gonna be so appetizing, you know what I’m saying, wealthy, appetizing. The poor gonna be so poor and hungry, you know what I’m saying it’s gonna be like… there might be some cannibalism out this mutha, they might eat the rich”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that people in my circumstance (or worse) feel compelled to pull out the hot sauce and sauerkraut just yet, but I do believe he has a point.

The poor are this country’s ground…this country’s foundation. If we can’t afford the basics of life what happens to the foundation? If a future Steve Jobs or Wozniak for that matter has to drop out of school before his breakthrough, not because he’s created the next big thing, but because he can’t afford to pay for the class that will inspire him…what then?

Our numbers are down for a reason…because our people feel beat down. Business 101: Take care of your people and they’ll take care of you. If we empower the average Woman (or Man) and take away his worry about (at the very least) health care and education costs, we can hit the reset button on this country’s…i don’t know… pretty much EVERY FUCKING THING!

If You are still reading this can we PLEASE take over the world? Thanks.