Brock Turner, You Will Not Win This One.

Brock Turner, You Will Not Win This One.

Your case could be overturned, but your story will live on forever.

In the early hours of January 18th, 2015, two lives were forever changed. One became a victim, the other a registered sex offender. The latter of the two most definitely deserves his new identity, but he should have paid a much higher price. Brock Turner, I have been following your case from the very beginning, and I have a few words for you.

For one reason or another, you do not think you should have to live with the weight of this case on your shoulders. Most recently, you have stated that you would like your case overturned, which ultimately means that you’d like to pretend as if all of this never happened.

You do not want to be known as the Stanford freshman who sexually assaulted someone outside of a fraternity house. I don’t think that anyone would want that label, but you get what you give.

You are a coward. You are a predator. You are evil.

Your father believes that “20 minutes of action” was not enough to taint your reputation as the Stanford swimmer. You know what? Had you not made the conscientious decision to ultimately ruin somebody else’s life, you could still be the Olympic-hopeful that everyone knew and loved.

You could've had it all.

Instead, you chose to rape an unconscious, intoxicated woman behind a dumpster and blame it on alcohol consumption and “sexual promiscuity", whilst also claiming that it was consensual. It's been said before, and I'll say it again:

Somebody who is under heavy influence of drugs and/or alcohol is not able to give proper consent.

No matter how much you'd like to believe she wanted it, too, she did not. She does not remember anything from the incident, and you knew that she likely had too much to drink, so you are the only one at fault here.

Do not blame this on any sexual tendencies she may have had, while at a BAC over three times the legal limit; she was incapable of giving ANY consent. How would you feel if you woke up in a hospital, only to find out later that you were raped at a frat party? Not only that, she was informed of this through the internet and television news.

I want you to take a moment to think about how traumatizing this must have been for her.

Judge Persky was concerned that an actual prison sentence would have "a severe impact" on you, never mind the fact that there is someone out there who probably lost countless hours of sleep because of what you did to her.

Hopefully you were listening to her 7,000 word statement that she read to you directly at your sentencing on June 2, 2016. Having read the whole thing myself, I found it to be very powerful and emotional, but one of the opening lines is the most iconic by far:

You don't know me, but you've been inside me, and that's why we're here today.

That in itself is enough reason for you to live with the consequences of your actions.

You claim that you would “give anything to change what happened”, but would you really? If so, with whose wellbeing in mind? What you did was outwardly selfish, inhumane, and wrong. I’m not sure how many times you’ll need to be told that before you finally accept the punishments you HAVE been given.

For what it’s worth, you received a VERY lenient punishment. You were sentenced six months in a county jail -- not even a federal prison -- to only serve half of that due to ‘good behavior’? Meanwhile, the woman you inflicted inexplicable pain upon will deal with what happened for the rest of her life.

You may be known as the former Stanford swimmer, but you will ALWAYS be a registered sex offender in the state of Ohio. Unfortunately, your previous credentials will always remain with you in the eyes of society, but it does not change the fact that what you did is irreversible.

If anything, following your story has taught me that some things in life are simply unfair. I hope that you will eventually accept that what you did was wrong, and that you'll strive to become a better person. I think that would be a long shot, as you will never be able to erase what you did. That in itself could never excuse the injustices your victim faced through all of this, but I hope she knows that there are so many people on her side. Though her identity remains anonymous to the public, she prevailed with dignity, strength, and courage, and she set an example for sexual assault victims nationwide to speak up.

You will not win this one, Mr. Turner.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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I Am Still Alive. I Am Still Breathing. And I Have Few Things I Want To Say

I don't give up that easily.

They hug me with such pity in their eyes and they say, "don't give up! You are so brave!" But their eyes twitch as they say this and I know that they are lying. They think that I can't hear them as they turn around and whisper to themselves; that girl is dead.

The phone rings and I ignore it because I am tired of explaining, "I am fine," to people that send me heart emojis and then start complaining about their ex. As if they were just asking about my soul because it was expected of them. I tune them out as they continue ranting about their insignificant daily struggle. All while my lifeless eyes dart back and forth. And I full on know that in their head they aren't rooting for me but actually enjoying the darkness that took over my life.

And so I move on. Cut ties. Burn lies.

But it's always funny how people want to be your friend when you come out of the flames but couldn't offer water when you were in the fire.

And so that's how I got here.

Now the people that commented on the lack of life inside of me pretend to be excited when they see me with fire in my eyes. "I knew you would get through it." They say to me with clenched teeth. I can see the steam and confusion radiating from them as they try to figure out how I am still alive.

Now people look at me and ask, "how did you move on from such pain?!"

Because I wanted to live.

That's why.

Because my grandparents didn't leave a country for freedom so that years later I could play victim on linoleum tile. Because when I looked up at the night sky I could still see the stars. And when I woke up in the morning the sun was back right where it said it would be. Because all around me the world told me to be ashamed of the tissue between my legs. That I should hold my dead down. Living in darkness is normal. Burning in flames is just life. I was not given the name of a Greek goddess so that I could wash up dead on the beach.

And I am alive. I am still breathing. The world is still turning. The tides, the sun, and the moon are all there. And me? I'm not going anywhere.

This is not where I offer up my testimony on how life gets better and one day you will smile. This is not where I preach to the choir. This is not where I tilt my head back with a laugh and say the pain was all worth it.

This is where I say; I am the warrior queen raging like fire. I am the girl that rolls her windows down so she can sing classic rock on the country roads. I am the girl that's seen fire, darkness, and Hell.

Eyes of a hawk.

Eyes of a survivor.

Eyes that will haunt you.

A queen until death.

Cover Image Credit: Matas Olsauskas

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Can Black People Culture Appropriate Or Is It Just Assimilation?

MIley Cyrus didn't invent twerking.

Recently I've been hearing a lot of talk about cultural appropriation. Other races have always been fond of the black culture, but now it seems that they are so fond that they have been taking things that are specifically for the black culture, renaming it and making it theirs. And if you think I'm lying here are a few examples.

Twerking- In 2013 Miley Cyrus made the song "We Can't Stop" where she was seen twerking and gyrating. When the media saw this they went crazy and made it seem like Miley Cyrus invented twerking. NEWS FLASH! Black people have been twerking for years. The song "Back that Azz Up" was made in the 2000s and that song discussed and provoked the act of twerking.

Bantu knots- Bantu Knots have been a natural hairstyle black women have styled their hair with for years. But all of a sudden white people get hold of it, change the name and call it mini buns. I have no problem with white people wearing the style but don't act like you made it up.

Braids- Bo Derek braids... really? Kim Kardashian is known for culture appropriating. Her whole family is, from the big lips like black women, butts the size of basketballs. These are all qualities many black women have naturally. They date black men and want to have mixed babies so bad it's pathetic. Then for Kim to act like Bo Derek really created those braids, or to wear cornrows then call them Boxer Braids like our parents haven't been putting those styles in our heads before the Kardashians even knew what they were.

This comes to the question, can black people culture appropriate, too?

Many have said no because black people feel that since white people are the majority they set the rules. So if black people wear their hair straight or dress a certain way it's because they are trying to conform to society because they have to if they want to get a good job.Which is called assimilation, that's why many natural hair black women will often straighten their hair for interviews and then once they are guaranteed the job, then they will wear their natural hair.

But one thing I was confused on when black people wear things such as tribal wear and dashikis, is that cultural appropriation? because technically we are not African. Some Africans don't even like to be known as black or grouped in with African Americans. Because if you think about it, Africans have a completely different culture than African Americans. We share similarities but there are still total differences.

Like when Beyoncé wore a hijab in her music video "Hymn for the Weekend." It was an Indian themed music video. Is that not appropriation? If a white person dressed in another cultures clothing, people would be mad, so whats the difference?

Comment on your opinion.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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