President Bush showed Saddam Hussein shock and awe when American forces invaded Bagdad, Iraq in 2003.
And, as a MSNBC commentator told it, Fani Willis showed Trump and his allies shock and awe when she laid out her 19 indictments against Trump and his 18 criminal enterprise defendants. It wasn’t a Jack Smith precision strike against Trump, it was carpet bombing the MAGA enterprise. Willis explained to the American people how all of Trump’s shenanigans from his call to the Georgia Secretary of State to find him 11,780 votes to overturn Biden’s victory to setting up fake electors in a handful of swing states, tampering with voting boxes, witness harassment, and more.
The Sista’ gave us a “one-two” punch. It was so refreshing to hear someone put it all out there, as no ones else really has. The other 3 indictments are against Trump alone. So, it’s hard to understand the full story and everyone who’s involved when there’s an indictment for mishandling classified documents here, an indictment for falsifying business documents there, and of course Jack’s indictment against Trump for election interference and January 6th. Finally, a Sista’ comes along and lays it all out for you at once.
Not only is Ms. Willis the first prosecutor to highlight the criminal enterprise behind Trump’s treasonous actions and the people associated with it, she is the first to shine a light on the path forward for other states. By referencing how the Trump organization recruited fake electors in states such as New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan and more in addition to Georgia, Willis’ case could help these states bring charges as well. Yes, Fani is the Sojourner Truth of indictments. Amen.
The Fulton County DA is a divorced mother of two girls now in their twenties and has a net worth of around $5 million. At 52, Fani has a successful law career that is paying her close to $1 million a year and a strong relationship with her daughters and ex-husband.
The trial Fani says she will bring in 6 months will be the trial of the year watched all over the year. And, SuzyKnew! will continue to watch Fani!
If you missed the live video yesterday, here it is:
Each of us should have the freedom to make decisions about our own bodies and lives with dignity and respect, free from barriers and stigma. Birth control pills are an important part of the full range of sexual and reproductive health care.
They’re also one of the best-studied medicines on the market today. But despite 60+ years of proven safety and effectiveness, people in the United States still face barriers to access.
Since 2004, a growing movement has been underway to make birth control pills more accessible by breaking down these barriers and building evidence and support for bringing birth control pills over the counter (OTC) in the United States.
What are the barriers to birth control pills?
Not having a regular health care provider
Time away from school or work to visit a provider
Limited hours of on-campus clinics
Transportation to a provider’s office
The cost of a provider visit
Lack of insurance coverage
Parental consent requirement
These barriers to birth control—and health care in general—are deeply rooted in systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and oppression.
Continuing the celebration of Easter, SuzyKnew! shares “Holy Family”by jessica care moore in We Want Out Bodies Back. Photo is courtesy of Soujourners and is a new icon depicting “Our Lady of Ferguson and All Those Killed by Gun Violence.”
Dear Black Madonna
Dear sacred mothers
America is coming for our sons with AR15s
Just as they came for Jesus
How many crosses shall we burn?
50 years after Detroit and Newark set fire to racial inequality and police brutality
How many die before we erupt?
Our children, blood-lava, spilling on concrete jungle streets
how many prayer mats face east and pray
3 times a day for relief, for sanctuary, for peace.
I watch my son’s arms grow longer
I listen to his mind strengthen, his pride
push past America.
What is a slave name?
he asks me at 10
This is the moment our sons let go of our hands & want to play in the park with friends or walk home alone.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate! Happy Passover Holiday (Chag Sameach) to my Jewish sisters and Ramadan Mubarak to my Islamic sisters!
What a great season! It’s all about purity, liberation, and redemption! And that, along with the onset of Spring, fills me with hope, happiness and peace. No, my life isn’t perfect. Far from it, in fact (but that’s another story for another day). But even as I go through my own personal hellfire, I feel uplifted by the faithful and enthusiastic about the days to come.
For the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the first week in April 2023 is especially important. For the Islamic faithful, about midway through their month-long observance of Ramadan, this is a time to purify their intentions, words, and actions. For Christians, our Holy week began with Palm Sunday and ends with the celebration of our redemption through the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. And during the same week (on April 5th), Jewish people celebrated their liberation from bondage during the Feast of Passover. (Source: USA Today)
I don’t know about you, but I find the confluence of these messages about purification, redemption, and liberation especially poignant this year. They fill me with hope for a future much brighter than today. In their purest form, the messages of these sacred celebrations provide basic instructions for how to live happy and fulfilled lives in ways that serve the God we all praise and worship. They’re guideposts, if you will, along the journey of life. And regardless of which faith you follow, this season reminds us all that God can and will lift us out of darkness.
I’m no religious scholar or expert. I’m honestly not even that great a Christian. But I personally don’t believe that you have to be a “perfect” Muslim, Jew, or Christian to be worthy of God’s grace and mercy. We are, after all, only human, and no human is perfect, no matter how “devout”. In fact, some of the very worst crimes against humanity historically have been perpetrated by the so-called “devout”. Remember the Transatlantic Slave Trade? The Inquisition? The Holocaust? The 9/11 attacks? Not to mention all of the abuse that happens on a smaller, but no less insidious, scale in churches, temples, and mosques all around the world.
Even today, it’s those “devout” Christians seeking to ban books, control girls’ and women’s bodies, and eliminate anyone who doesn’t ascribe to the patriarchal, hetero-normative traditions they espouse. It only takes a cursory glance at recent headlines to understand that, as a society, we seem to be moving backwards. If you’re familiar with The Handmaid’s Tale, the book or the series, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that Gilead isn’t some fictional dystopian future. Gilead is here.
And yet …
As dreadful as the world seems right now, I still dwell in a place of hope, mercy, and grace. Despite all the forces that work against the good in our world, I feel optimistic about the days to come. Because I believe the forces of good will defeat the forces of evil. I believe that love will triumph over hate, and that justice will prevail. It won’t just happen overnight, though. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, and everyone is going to have to help. But with purity of intentions, words and actions, we can all be liberated from the bonds of hate and division and find redemption in our better selves. Our very survival depends on it.
If you’re feeling hopeless and lost, look around you. See the buds forming on the trees? After a long winter, the very sight of them gives me hope! Step outside and just breathe for a moment. Even if it’s chilly and cloudy where you are, can’t you feel Spring in the air, with its promise new growth and coming sunshine? Keep breathing deeply, Sis. Allow the renewal of Spring to renew your spirit. Then re-connect with your faith, whatever that may be. And allow yourself to hope.
Maybe I’m naive to feel so optimistic. Or maybe I’m just faithful to the tenets of my beliefs. But I believe my Redeemer lives, and that’s all I need to have hope.
Have a great week!
(PLEASE NOTE: I know that a few deep breaths of spring air will not help with depression, anxiety, or feelings of loss and despair. If you’re struggling with these and other types of feelings, please know that first of all, you are not alone. Secondly, help is available should you need it. A good place to start is with NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness. Call them at 1-800-NAMI (6264). Text them at 62640. You can chat with them at NAMI.org/help. And you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re in crisis and need immediate help, call 988 right now. You got this, Sis.)
Today, we are sharing Fertility Friday’s interview with Dr. Camile Hammond, an expert on infertility, to provide the perspective of a medical doctor, who is also a Black woman, on fibroids.
Camille T.C. Hammond, MD, MPH is the CEO of the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation. Dr. Hammond is an expert on infertility education, advocacy and support. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature and in newspapers and magazines. Dr. Hammond, as well as her work, have been featured on TV,and in the news. She has testified to legislators on Capitol Hill about infertility related legislation.
Dr. Hammond has hosted hundreds of education conferences for families sharing about different ways to become a parent and overcome infertility. Through her Foundation, Dr. Hammond has awarded 92 families with grants of up to $10,000.
In Fertility Friday’s podcast, Dr. Hammond discusses why Black women are more prone to fibroids and how fibroids can relate to pain
Ladies, we live in interesting times. Just as we kick off Women’s History Month and celebrate International Women’s Day, we wait with bated breath to find out if Texas Judge Kacsmaryk will ban mifepristone, a key drug for medication abortion.
At the same time, Jessa Duggar, a self-professed Christian, known for her reality show 19 Kids and Counting as well and having strong anti-contraception and anti-abortion views had the audacity to post a YouTube video claiming she had a D&C after her fifth pregnancy – not an abortion. It’s the same procedure.
Appointed by Trump and considered a conservative, anti-abortion activist, Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling could declare mifepristone unlawfully approved. Although most experts say the case is based on false medical claims, mifepristone could be forced off the market nation-wide. Ultimately, it is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has the last say. The FDA may have to conduct additional clinical studies to put the drug back on the market. But, this could take years, which would mean thousands of women would be harmed, possibly being forced to endure longer and more painful procedures or bleed out on the hospital table.
Abortion and D&C are the same procedure: evacuating the uterus with suction or a knife. Jessa had the privilege to have the procedure and deceive her followers by calling it a “D&C” instead of an abortion. Her state bans all abortions unless they are “life-saving.” So, other women in Arkansas have to bleed out to prove they need an abortion to save their lives, leaving some infertile or too sick to work and care for their children.
Ladies – Some women, like Jessa, can have abortions in states where abortion is banned. While others cannot. Mifepristone is a safe and effective drug that facilitate the abortion procedure. If you haven’t already, call your representatives and come out and demonstrate for your health, for all women’s health, for health for all. .
Valentine’s Day: When lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. (Source: Brittannica.com)
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your soul mate, Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends, or Palentine’s Day with your non-gender specific buddies, February 14th means celebrating LOVE! And, as the saying goes, ain’t love grand?
Valentine’s Day brings to mind gifts of jewelry and long-stemmed roses. It calls up images of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, cozy, romantic dinners, and sappy greeting cards. It also makes me think of those nasty, chalky, little heart-shaped candies with silly greetings on them.
Now, I know this holiday can conjure up some pretty strong feelings, and not all of them good ones. Many folks, single and attached, think of February 14th as “just another day” and don’t really consider Valentine’s Day a big deal. Except, maybe, as an excuse to binge on chocolate. They go about their lives completely unbothered by the pressures and expectations of this romantic holiday. This year, many are more hyped about celebrating Taco Tuesday than some overly commercialized “holiday” about romantic love.
But there are some for whom Valentine’s Day triggers negative emotions, which is understandable. Especially for people who’re single and not happy about it. February 14th makes them acutely aware of their lack of romance. This tends to hit women especially hard, given the societal pressures to be “coupled” with someone. As if a woman’s worth depends on her relationship status. Ugh!
Social media doesn’t help with all of the cutesy posts of couples enjoying romantic dinners, proposals, and elaborate dates. All the Valentine’s Day hype can exacerbate feelings of loneliness, despair and depression. And this can even trigger self-destructive behaviors, up to and including suicidal ideation and action. Others stoically white-knuckle it with gritted teeth, waiting for the calendar to flip to February 15th, when it’ll be safe to go on Instagram, again.
Whether you love Valentine’s Day or dread it, have you ever wondered how we got here? I mean, why do we even celebrate it? I’ve always heard people grumble about Valentine’s Day being a made up, Hallmark holiday. But all holidays are “made up”. And in the Western world of the 21st century, ALL holidays are Hallmark holidays.
Most of us already knew that Valentine’s Day is named after a Saint and is also referred to as St. Valentine’s Day. But who was St. Valentine? Why is a Catholic saint associated with romance?
And what’s up with Cupid? What does a chubby, little, naked, flying baby have to do with love? Also, why is the baby naked and who gave him a damn bow and arrow?
I know I’m not the only one asking these questions. So, I did a little digging. And come to find out, St. Valentine’s Day goes way back (long before Hallmark was a thing, obviously) to the 14th century. What’s even wilder is that its roots, like so many Christian traditions, go back even farther: to pre-Christian Rome.
(Full disclosure: When I say I went digging, I mean I hit up a few different reputable websites. I didn’t do any deep dive into historical archives, or anything. My main sources were sites like (and including) Brittannica.com and History.com. I read a few other articles, too. But that’s it. I’m not an historian and this ain’t a history blog, so …)
Valentine’s Day’s origins are vague and hazy. Many historians believe that St. Valentine’s Day originated from the pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia. Romans celebrated Lupercalia on February 15th to commemorate the coming of Spring with “fertility rites”. Some of these rituals may have included pairing women with men by lottery. Because the past was the worst, especially for women. Yuck.
Anyway. Romans celebrated Lupercalia even as Christianity spread and became the dominant religion in Rome. However, at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I put an end to Lupercalia, forbidding its rites, rituals, and celebration. Many believe that St. Valentine’s Day, which is also celebrated in mid-February, but on the 14th replaced Lupercalia, with randomly pairing women with men morphing into a celebration of romantic love. Again, yuck.
But we don’t know that for sure. And there’s no proof that St. Valentine’s Day was celebrated as a day of romance until the 14th century, some 900 years later. So, who knows?
As for the actual Saint, the Catholic Church recognizes three St. Valentines, all of whom were martyrs. The consensus among historians seems to focus on two (or maybe one) individuals named Valentine. First, there was a priest named Valentine from the 3rd century. The Roman Emperor at that time was this guy named Claudius II Gothicus. The story is that he decided single men made better soldiers than men with wives and kids. So, he passed a law forbidding young, single men from marrying so that he’d have enough soldiers for his wars.
Father Valentine was like “Nah”, and kept marrying young couples, anyway. He did this secretly, but obviously someone snitched, because he got caught. And Claudius, hater that he was, sentenced Valentine to death in 270 CE. According to legend, while he awaited execution, Fr. Valentine signed a letter “From Your Valentine” that he wrote to his jailer’s daughter (possibly), whom he cured from blindness and/or fell in love with (maybe).
Either that or, as other legends state, St. Valentine was a bishop, not a priest, who came from Terni, and who was also executed by Claudius II Gothicus. Some believe these two are the same guy. Others believe these are just old ass legends.
I know. Confusing and vague as heck, right?
We do know that by the Middle Ages, St. Valentine was one of the most popular saints in places like England and France. We also know that the first known written Valentine’s Day greetings began to appear in 1400. In fact, the oldest known written Valentine was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. He supposedly wrote it while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt. A Love After Lockup situation, perhaps?
So, from the 1400s onwards, the Western world has celebrated Valentine’s Day with romance, gifts, and greetings, despite its murky, mysterious origins. Yes, it’s become overly commercialized. And yes, it probably perpetuates the hetero-normative patriarchy. And yes, for some, it can trigger intense loneliness and depression. But at least there’s chocolate!
Oh, and the creepy, chubby, weaponized angel baby named Cupid? That lil dude has deep roots as well. Historians believe that Cupid evolved from a Roman god with roots in Greek mythology, Eros. Eros was the god of love, of course. Originally, Eros presented as a handsome immortal who played with the emotions of both gods and humans. He used golden arrows to incite love, and leaden ones to sow discord and aversion. Eventually, this handsome, grown ass ADULT somehow morphed into the mischievous, chubby, bow and arrow wielding baby we know and love today. But no one knows how or why.
I still don’t know why a flying baby would carry a bow and arrow in the first place. That just seems so hazardous and wrong. I suppose I could’ve dug deeper into Cupid. But to be honest, I ain’t got that kind of time. If you know more about Cupid and his origins, please comment below. Also comment below and share your Valentine’s Day plans. How did they go? What did you do?
Until next time, have a safe and Happy St. Valentine’s Day!!
Have you ever heard of Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD)? I wish I could definitively cite where I first read about this. But I can’t. I accidentally stumbled upon this term while researching something else and fell down a rabbit hole. If you want, you can check out psychcentral.com, healthline.com, or any other prominent mental health publication to learn more. What follows is my interpretation of what I learned, so don’t sue me for not citing more specific sources!
First of all, Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD) is not currently classified as a distinct mental health disorder in the DSM-5. Don’t know what the DSM-5 is? Don’t worry – I got you. The DSM-5 is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, a book by the American Psychiatric Association. So basically, it’s like the psychiatric Bible of mental diseases. It’s the official last word on whether a condition is considered by the professionals as a specific mental health disorder. Back in the day, being LGBTQIA+ was considered a mental health disorder and listed in earlier editions of the DSM. Hence the need for a 5th edition, which is the most current.
Anyway, OLD isn’t a distinct mental disorder, though some mental health professionals think it should be. So stay tuned for later editions of the DSM-5. In the meantime, while it’s not considered an official mental illness, it is a serious condition that can be diagnosed, and often accompanies other mental disorders. More on that in a bit.
When a person has OLD, they become fixated on someone with whom they believe they’re in love. But symptoms of OLD go way beyond the boundaries of healthy relationships. A person with OLD becomes obsessive and controlling to the point where it not only adversely affects their own life, but also the life of the object of their fixation. This person feels an overwhelming need to “protect” and control the object of their obsession and often feels jealous and insecure. They become possessive and can even socially isolate themselves so that they can focus all of their time and attention on the person they believe they love. These feelings can lead to stalking, harassment, abuse, and even murder. Especially when the object of their desire rejects them.
Symptoms vary, of course. However, there are some commonalities among people diagnosed with OLD. Here are a few:
An overwhelming feeling of love and attraction to someone, whether they’re in a relationship with them or not.
A reduced ability to function and live a normal life.
A need to constantly contact the object of their obsession, like sending constant texts, dms, etc.
A total disregard for boundaries, including time, physical space, social life, work, etc. (like showing up to your job).
Extreme insecurity requiring endless reassurance.
Jealousy and an overwhelming need to “protect” and control.
Extreme possessiveness and a need to control who the object of their fixation sees, wears, and engages with; as well as a need to control where and when the subject of their obsession goes and why they do.
An inability to maintain normal relationships.
As I said earlier, people with OLD often have other mental illnesses, the most common of which include Borderline Personality Disorder, Delusional Jealousy, Obsessive Jealousy, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder. I don’t have the time or space here to define all of these for you, but feel free to use context clues to get a general idea of the kinds of mental disorders often accompany OLD. Or Google them like I did.
The most interesting thing to me is that while very rare (it only affects about 0.1% of the population in the US), it affects women more than men, and no one knows why. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched too much “You” on Netflix, too many true crime videos, or because of all my research on domestic and intimate partner violence. But I was totally shocked to learn this affects women more than men. Who knew?
Anyway, that’s what Obsessive Love Disorder is all about in a nutshell. Have you ever experienced anything like this in your life? Ever been stalked? Ever done any stalking? Let us know in the comments below. And if you answered yes to either question, help is available!
(No, really. Please seek help if you or someone you know displays any of these symptoms. Please.)
This weekend we share Fertility Friday’s podcast on surviving pregnancy loss and miscarriage.
Pregnancy loss is far more common than most of us realize. Nearly 15% of all pregnancies end in loss – that works out to approximately 1 out of 6 pregnancies. The rate of miscarriage also increases with age. By the time we get to our mid 40s, miscarriage rates can reach as high as 50%
Our culture does an incredible poor job of informing women about anything related to our menstrual cycles and fertility. Particularly when it comes to how our fertility changes with age.
We’re told to avoid pregnancy at all costs when we’re in our teens and early 20s, but what should we do in our 30s and early 40s?