Our first live public hangout – Midterm Elections Aftermath.

This week we looked at what went on, or did not go on during the midterm elections.

Mia_Love_by_Gage_SkidmoreMia Love is the first female black Republican (Mormon or otherwise, but she is Mormon) to serve in the House of Representatives. She has been elected to represent Utah’s 4th Congressional District and formerly served as the mayor of Saratoga Springs. Diva in Demand had great respect for the life her parents built as Haitian Immigrants with ten dollars in their pockets. I shared that respect, but voiced a concern that the primary characteristics highlighted in the bid to raise money for her campaign were not her proven experience or leadership, but merely the fact that she is black and female. With no Federal legislative experience or academic credentials, she purports to be the CBC’s worse nightmare and pledges to turn things upside down. We all agree that she isn’t going to make the waves she thinks she will.

We talked about the great number of people who sat out the midterm elections, which tend to be lower voter turnout elections in general. It is still important to vote, even when the president is not being reelected.

?????Melette shared a news story with us about Lincoln University President Robert R. Jennings expressed, at the female convocation of that school, his concerns about women who make false allegations of rape because of a consensual sexual encounter that produced less than favorable results. Melette and I had strong negative feelings about the potential impact of the speech upon women who find themselves the victims of attacks, while Diva in Demand pointed out that false accusations do happen and perhaps the president could not find any other way to reach the female student body as a whole. Jennings later said that it was not his intent to discourage anyone from reporting a rape.

sigma pinWe closed with commemoration of the fact that Wednesday, November 12, 2014 will mark 92 years of service for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. The sorority, of which all of us are members, was founded by seven educators on the campus of Butler University at a time when racial violence and discrimination was a grim reality in our nation. Diva and Melette challenged our sorors and viewers to serve our fellow man in celebration of the achievements of our beloved Sigma.

Midterm elections are coming.

votebuttonOn Tuesday, November 4, precincts across the country will be electing state and federal representatives during midterm elections. GOP candidates are attempting to connect their opponents to the less popular policies of the Obama administration as Democrats continue to portray Republicans as greedy and out of touch with middle America. Regardless of party affiliation, it is most important that everyone registers and votes.

Discussing Mental Health

National Suicide Prevention Helpline


If you are considering suicide or are in crisis, please call.

In the aftermath of Robin William’s struggle with depression and suicide, we talked about mental health in the African American community, where adults are 20 percent more likely to report psychological distress and teens are likely to make more suicide attempts than their white counterparts.

We talked about stigmas in the community, where 63 percent of people believe that depression is a sign of weakness and 56 percent of people believe that depression is a normal part of aging.  Melette and I talked about our experiences dealing with mental illness in our families and Diva shared her journey of seeking treatment for her Bipolar Disorder. We all agreed that it is important to encourage those who are experiencing depression to seek treatment from sources qualified to provide counseling and referral to medical services.

Here are some warning signs of clinical depression from helpguide.org (the National Suicide Prevention Helpline also helps people in depression in crisis – 1-877-273-8255) :


  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.



Peach Recall, Ray Rice, Immigration, and Remember the Time

Please be sure to click the recall section for more information on the peach, plum, pluot and nectarine recall that affects fruit sold at Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s and Costco. Thanks.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended from two games and fined $529,411 by the NFL in the aftermath of a domestic violence incident in Atlantic City which rendered his then fiance and now wife unconscious. He was subsequently charged with felony aggravated assault. The NFL has been widely criticized for not applying a severe enough punishment and the Ravens have been criticized because of their support of Rice. Melette felt that Steven A. Smith’s suspension by ESPN for his remarks in defense of Rice was richly deserved. Diva in Demand felt that the incident penalized Rice too heavily for his fiancee’s bad behavior. I (TJ) just hated the entire situation and wish everybody made better choices all around so that maybe more attention could be paid to the women and children who need help to get away from domestic violence.

Melette and Diva in Demand had a spirited conversation about the humanitarian crisis that has been created as a result of the huge increase in border crossings of women and children. I did not participate because of technical difficulties on my end, but Diva in Demand brought up an important point about the violence in Chicago and the fact that young people in that city are not being served by the government of our country while it seeks to provide for those who willingly disobey our laws.

Our book review for the week was Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in his final days by Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard and Tanner Colby.  It was published June 3, 2014 by Weinstein Books and gives a conversational account of the time Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard spent in the employ of Michael Jackson and his children. There are plenty of good stories and poignant moments. Diva did not like the book as she said it betayed the artist. Melette and I liked the book.

We will be discussing Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in September.