The Question of Race Relations



people diversified

Diversity is beautiful.


bjwordpressdivider (1)



8 in 10 Seek ‘Major’ Focus on Race as Most Say Relations Are Worsening (POLL)



A vast 83 percent of Americans say the next president should place an “especially major” focus on trying to improve race relations – which, following the Dallas police killings and high-profile shootings of blacks by police, majorities see as bad and getting worse.

Sixty-three percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say race relations generally are bad and 55 percent say they’re worsening, sharply more negative views than just two months ago. Only a third say relations are good and just one in 10 say they’re getting better.

See PDF with full results here.

This translates into a broad desire for progress. Not only do 83 percent say the next president should put an especially major focus on trying to improve race relations, nearly half in this group also say it’s “extremely” important. Just 12 percent don’t want a major focus on the issue, and few of them feel strongly about it.

To the extent race relations influence the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton may benefit: the public trusts her more than Donald Trump to handle the issue by 58 to 26 percent, with Clinton preferred by 89 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents and a quarter of Republicans. She also leads Trump by 66-21 percent on the issue among those who think the next president should focus heavily on race relations.

Racial Groups

Clinton-Trump gaps on race relations span racial groups in this poll, produced for ABC byLanger Research Associates. Though her advantage expands to 74-12 percent among nonwhites (a broadly Democratic group), Clinton also leads Trump on the issue by 15 points among whites, 50-35 percent. Among whites who think relations are deteriorating, though, Trump’s trust deficit with Clinton disappears.

Seventy-two percent of blacks, 65 percent of Hispanics and 63 percent of whites say race relations currently are bad. Half of blacks, and 55 and 56 percent of whites and Hispanics, respectively, also say they’re getting worse.

Blacks and Hispanics are 11 points more apt than whites to say the next president should put a major focus on the issue. But the big difference is in how many call this extremely important: Just 40 percent of whites who favor a major focus on race relations, vs. 67 and 64 percent of blacks and Hispanics, respectively.

Other Groups

Pessimism about race relations is higher among young adults, 73 percent, compared with 61 percent of those older than 29. Americans without a college degree are 10 points more likely than those with a college degree to think relations are poor and 14 points more likely to think the situation is getting worse. Both groups contain higher shares of minorities.

City dwellers are 10 points more likely than rural residents to view relations as generally poor, but the latter are 9 points more apt to think things are getting worse. And women are 8 points more likely than men to think relations are worsening.

Democrats and liberals both split on whether race relations are getting worse or merely staying the same. By contrast, majorities of independents and moderates – as well as about two in three Republicans, conservatives and evangelical white Protestants – think relations are declining.

In the largest political difference, four in 10 liberal Democrats think race relations are worsening (a plurality says they’re staying the same), compared with two-thirds of conservative Republicans.

That said, improving race relations is a bigger priority for Democrats and liberals; more than nine in 10 say the next president should be someone who puts a major focus on the issue, and among them, six in 10 say it’s extremely important. While three-quarters of Republicans also favor a major focus on race relations, only 35 percent say it’s extremely important.


bjwordpressdivider (1)



Peace is what most of us want. Peace is what we need. One of the things we need to bring about peace is to end all racism. I didn’t used to think racism remained a real problem. I worked with people of color, volunteered with them and envied their ready-made tans. But as time has gone on I have realized that other Caucasian people felt differently. With the election of Obama and the re-election, I realized that I was different from most Caucasians that I knew. Now I am speaking up about race relations and I am sorry for all the innocent lives of color that have been lost. Black people have a right to worry about their children. So do Muslim parents, Asian parents and indigenous parents.


Bob Marley was right. There is One Family, One Love, and One World. If we destroy it, we are all responsible; if we heal it and ourselves we all get credit. May peace be the word you wake up to in the morning and the last word you think of before you go to sleep.



Are You Being Battered in Your Relationship?

Everyone who is in a healthy relationship knows it will have its ups and downs.  But not all relationships are healthy.  How do you know whether or not your intimate partner is a potential batterer? Let’s look at some truths. Was your partner ever abused as a  child? These children can grow up to be abusers or victims because they watched it while they were growing up.


Was their father violent? Violence breeds batters. The batterer will grow up thinking that abuse is a norm in a relationship.


Have they ever show violence against other people?


Did they physically abuse you or an ex in a past relationship? Physical abuse during dating is a guarantee of abuse in the relationship. There is overwhelming evidence that after one beating there will be more to follow. As time passes, the beatings will become more severe and more frequent. The abuser may begin to also beat the children. In truth, you can’t change them, so don’t marry them or continue in the relationship.


Does the batterer play with guns or use them to protect themselves?


Does the abuser lose his temper frequently and more easily than seems normal? An inability to handle frustration is a warning buzzer indicating future physical violence. If relatively small frustrations set them off, such as someone pulling ahead of them in traffic, the abuser probably will not be able to handle many of the frustration of a normal marriage or relationship. The abuser will lose their temper and scream or blow their top. Abusers are people who cannot handle frustration and they will turn to violence as a solution to what they perceive as problems. If someone punches walls, breaks objects including ones with great sentimental value to you, or throw items in a rage, they will likely turn on their intimate partner one day.


Does the batterer commit acts of violence against objects and things rather than people?


Are they cruel to animals including the family pets? If pets often die or run away, this is a warning to you.  Anyone who savegely beats a pet or kills one is a potential abuser.


Does your intimate partner drink or use drugs to excess?


Does the partner demonstrate an unusual amount of jealousy when you are not with them? Is your partner jealous of family and friends who are in your life?


Are you required to spend all of your time with them or do they require to be notified of every place you go during the course of your day? It may feel flattering at first and you will be told it is because your partner just loves you so much and misses you intensely, but it is signal and a way to control.


If your partner gives you advice, do they become outraged if you make your own decision?


Does your partner seem to have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality?  Is you partner charming and gracious and the fun person at the party when you are out and a screaming yelling monster at home? Is your partner someone you just can’t please?  You never do the laundry right or cook what they like to eat, or you are a bad cook or housekeeper, you don’t make enough money or look good enough. An inability to be pleased, and tendency to always blame someone else for unhappiness indicates that they are a potential abuser.


Is there a sense of overkill in his beatings and in his kindness? Are their actions — good or bad — bigger than life?


Do you feel fear when your partner becomes angry with you or someone else? Do you adjust your behavior to calm them down or to prevent them from becoming upset?


Do they cling to rigid stereotypes of what men and women should look like or act like? Do they demean you if you fall short of the standards?


Do they have a poor self-image? Beatings often occur when they feel that their stereotypical role is being undermined.


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be in an abusive relationship. It will not improve and you and any children should get out. No matter where you live, here in America or in another country, find out what options you have. Make a go bag. Pack clothes, money, passport, medical information, medications for you and children, don’t hesitate to flee. Your life may depend on it. Find out what support you can receive from the legal system and use it. Show your children that no one ever has a right to hit, slap, kick, or punch you or them. Many places have domestic violence shelters that will house you, give you options, talk with the children, give you ideas about a job or an apartment. The volunteers and staff in these shelters are often victims themselves.. Even if they are not themselves survivors, these people are trained to know how to help ou save yourself and your children.  They will help you through the entire process.










DV used to be called the "silent scream" Speak up now for your life and your children's lives..

DV used to be called the “silent scream”
Speak up now for your life and your children’s lives..




Freedom from fear and violence

Freedom from fear and violence

The Source of Joy

Experience love

Experience love

” No one knows what makes the soul wake
up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has

blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousand new moons appear. Roses

open laughting. Hearts become perfect
rubies like those from Badakshan. The

body turns entirely spirit. Leaves
become branches in this wind. Why is

it now so easy to surrender, even for
those already surrendered? There’s no

answer to any of this. No one knows the source of joy. A poet breathes
into a reed flute, and the tip of every hair makes music. Shams sails

clown clods of dirt from the roof, and we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.

——-Rumi, translated by Robert Bly

We can never give all of our love away.

We can never give all of our love away.

Prayer beads

Do not raise your voice

Rumi's words

Rumi’s words

To know you...

                                                                                                             My One Desire                                                                                                                        

I Heard a Slight Rustle Within the Silence

It is the middle of the night and I awoke thinking about the horror and devastation of today. My heart is breaking over the continued violence. Then as I was sitting, I heard a small sound in the quiet of the night, the black black night. I knew it to be the sound of angel wings moving as the angels moved to provide love, comfort and strength to all those involved.

My heart felt uplifted and I knew that here is hope, love, compassion and kindness in this world. Each of us are a symbol of them.

We are thinking of you. Prayers continue to rise up to the heavens. Blessings to all.

We are thinking of you.
Prayers continue to rise up to the heavens. Blessings to all.

Violence Destroys Families

Battering destroys families.

Battering destroys families.

For the victim of battering or Domestic Violence, they exist in a house with someone who hurts them. They are literally “Sleeping With the Enemy.” Abuse is the only crime in America where we ask the victim to lie down in bed next to the person who has just finished knocking their teeth out, punched them in the stomach, burned them with a cigarette, or holding a gun to their head.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Children in violent homes are often beaten or molested by someone they live with. Even for those who haven’t been beaten, They see their parents as role models. Yes, they often try to protect their mothers but the majority of them repeat the beatings they saw over and over as a child . They  learned to be an abuser. Girls in violent families whether beaten or not, watch the victim be punched, dragged, choked, slapped  burned with a cigarette and many other vile acts. They learn from their family that they are victims.  As they grow older, it is not unusual for abusers and victims to find each other. They live together in their set roles.

This woman is being victimized

This woman is being victimized

Love should never hurt

Love should never hurt

The scene of Domestic Violence begins like any other relationship. Two people meet and fall in love. They live together or marry and may eventually have a baby. An abuser doesn’t always begin to abuse while they are dating. Sometimes it begins on the honeymoon. That first punch to teach the victim who is in charge. The abuser wants her to know exactly what is expected. Dinner at six, his shirts laundered just so. He expects her to be home all day and he will be calling to check up on her. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until a pregnancy becomes reality. The abuser may say they are pleased and excited, but will then begin to beat the victim up. Frequently, the abuse consists of punching her over and over in the stomach. Many women have lost their babies because of abuse. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until the children are older and the house doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to. The house is full of playing, laughing, screaming or giggling children. They learn soon enough not to bring anyone home to play because an episode of abuse may begin. These are families in name only.

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

To attempt to prevent episodes of abuse, the victim will try to have everything just the way the abuser wants it. The children are taught to be quiet and just eat dinner and go do homework. They stay in their rooms or go to a friend’s house so that they won’t be battered or have to hear the screams of pain and the abusive slurs that go hand in hand with the physical abuse.

Speak out

Speak out

If you are being abused or know someone who is, get out and go to a shelter. Almost all cities have shelters now. Get yourself and the kids out before the abuse escalates and someone is dead. In a shelter, you will find medical help, warm beds, food, counseling, legal advice and assistance. You and your children will be protected and supported as you begin the process of starting a new life without violence.

It is never, never right to abuse a woman or children. It is never right to abuse a man. This is not really love. It is power and control. The abuser thinks he owns you. Leaving the violent home will be the beginning of having the ability to live without the fear of abuse.

A handprint

Our Passion for Justice

Justice is part of the foundation of our civilization

Justice is part of the foundation of our civilization

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling, not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice–not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity–a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
——Excerpted by Carter Hayward from Our Passion for Justice

Photo by Barbara Mattio 2010

Sunset Black Mountain, North Carolina Photo by Barbara Mattio