Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Children need to Learn How to React to Racism


Associated Press Writer

Associated Press —Tony Gutierrez
Stephanie Ward drives her two biracial children to a black school an hour away to give them a break from their predominantly white neighborhood in suburban Dallas. Yet, it’s hardly enough to eliminate racism from their lives.
Some of her neighbors in Plano won’t allow their kids to speak to her 4- and 6-year-olds. “They act as if we’re from Mars,” she said.
While the rebuff can be stressful — on the kids and mom — Ward was outraged when she learned that a private swim club in suburban Philadelphia revoked a summer membership for 65 mostly black and Hispanic campers. Several campers reported hearing racial comments the first time they showed up at the club, and some members pulled their children out of the pool. The camp’s $1,950 was refunded a few days later.
“The Philly situation angers me and reminds me that I’m still black in America,” said Ward. “I won’t tell my children about this. I refuse to pass on the legacy of paranoia and the sense that they’re not good enough.”
In the Detroit suburb of Canton, Kim Crouch was also angered about the treatment of the camp group June 29 at The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, even though the club’s president said overcrowding — not racism — was the reason the kids of color were turned away. The club has since invited the campers back.
The explanation sounds like business as usual to Crouch, who has been educating her 7- and 10-year-olds about handling racism since preschool. In third grade, her oldest son was told by a classmate “she wasn’t allowed to talk to him because he was a brown kid.”
With the election of President Barack Obama energizing a new generation, racial conflict can be even more confusing for minority kids. Some tips for parents:
• TALK TO THEM BEFORE IT HAPPENS: Crouch, who wrote a book called “Mother to Son: Words of Wisdom, Inspiration and Hope for Today’s Young African-American Men,” said jumbled signals from peers and the world at large can be hard for children to interpret, but she and her husband feel facing racism head on at a young age makes sense.
“What we’ve learned is that you can’t wait until your child is the victim of racism to teach them about it,” she said. “It’s important to teach them that even though life is unfair, the unfairness is not irrevocable and they can’t allow themselves to become jaded or subjugate themselves to the victim mentality.”
• GET INVOLVED: One of the first things Shelly Cadamy did when she became a mother of three black children is sign on as PTA president at her oldest child’s school.
“One of the programs we instituted via the PTA last year was to have men of color read to the kids on Friday mornings, because we really wanted the kids to see that dads of color are willing to be involved with their kids,” said Cadamy, who is white, single and fostering to adopt the three, ages 10, 7 and 4, in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Parents can also encourage schools to hold regular assemblies about racial tolerance and organize families to share information and tackle race-fueled conflict together.
• BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN BIASES: Sharon Thomas, a child and family counselor in Westmont, N.J., suggests parents stick to the facts when engaging their children in conversation about racism.
“Share age-appropriate examples of race relations in America and/or their local town that gives some honest examples of how some people ... think and behave based on fear, cultural conditioning and other social, political and economic factors.”
If a child is confronted by a racial remark or incident, offer reassurance “that it’s OK to feel whatever he/she may feel,” then let the young person decide how to respond after talking it over, Thomas said. “The child doesn’t have to think and feel the way the parents do; they are not you and haven’t experienced what you have experienced, so their thoughts and feelings are going to be different.”
Faith Ayers, a black mother in Atlanta, believes in noting differences between races early so they are not negatively internalized.
As her 2-year-old daughter grows up, she plans to “inform her that she is a black person” descended from Africa, while “many of her friends are descended from Europe, Asia and South America. I’ll let her know that culturally we are different but we are all people who should be respected.”
• INSTILL PRIDE: Strive to provide activities and attend events where children can meet and befriend others who look like them in a meaningful way.
Cadamy said her 10-year-old daughter “expresses a desire to look more like Barbie than herself,” so she has encouraged her to learn more about black history and the civil rights movement as a way to foster racial pride.
“I’ve finally convinced her to wear her beautiful hair naturally, in a short afro, with a headband rather than trying to straighten it or wrangle it in some way. So, hopefully, we’re making progress.”
• ADDRESS RACISM WHEN IT HAPPENS: Reinforce in children that racism “is wrong and should not be tolerated by anyone,” Thomas said. Encourage them to inform you, teachers or other supervising adults when situations arise that make them feel uncomfortable, she said.
Make sure they know “it is the other person’s problem, not theirs,” said Ayers.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Subject: BANANAS

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression "going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

First of all never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!
This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives..

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief..

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the
physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use:
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth.

Amazing fruit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sand and Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anyting, wrote in the sand.. "today, my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had gotten slapped, got stuck in the mire, and started drowning, but the friend who slapped him, saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "Today, my best friend saved my life."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "after I hurt you, you wrote in the sane and now you write on a stone."


The friend replied "when someone hurts us, we should write it down in the sane, where the winds of forgiveness that erase it away over time. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

Learn to write your hurts in the sane, and carve your benefits in stone.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Take the time to live! Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life!

I could be wrong, but judging by his hat, this guy ain't gonna make