Monday, December 31, 2007

Wife Stabs Husband for Opening Xmas Present Too Early

A woman stabs her husband due to an argument that started when her spouse opened the Christmas present earlier than she intended for him to open it.

The aggressive wife is 34-year-old Misty Johnson from Rock Springs, Wyoming. She was charged for her deed with aggravated assault and battery (a felony) and misdemeanor domestic battery against her husband Shawn Fay Johnson, also 34.

The Husband was taken to a local hospital as soon as possible where he was treated of a wound to the chest and then released, police informed. He was the one that called 911 at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday and reported that his wife had stabbed him, the authorities said.

An officer who was patrolling the area was informed and arrived at the scene shortly after the call.

On Thursday, a judge set the bail for Misty Johnson at $7,500 and according to the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office she was released on Friday from the county jail.

Police investigators said that Shawn Johnson revealed that his wife was the one who started arguing immediately after she returned home shortly before the stabbing incident.

Information on the content of the present or if it really was for Shawn Johnson hasn’t been released yet and according to detective David Thompson the investigators haven’t found out.

When searching the scene of the accident, police officers found a marriage license according to which they were married in late September.

- Clearly this is another episode of 'Snapped.' A woman who stabs her husband over a Christmas gift being opened before the scheduled time needs counseling or some form of help.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bishop Thomas Weeks Speaks on Estranged Wife Juanita Bynum

Bishop Thomas Weeks, III recently did a series of interviews to discuss the situation with Juanita Bynum, his estranged wife. Weeks was indicted by a grand jury for aggravated assault, terroristic threatening and two counts of simple battery.

However, the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence (the procedure is legally known as "dead docketing"). This has led to some controversy, as some have accused Juanita Bynum of attempting to profit from the glow of publicity coming from the events that took place in her life. She labeled herself "the new face of domestic violence", and took interviews while the trial was taking place.

Bynum's husband, Thomas Weeks III, has been on a major media campaign to defuse the negative publicity surrounding the events that occured with his wife. His church has lost 1500 members during the past 4 months.

According to media sources, Weeks has claimed that his wife is behaving in the way she has because she desperately needs money for her ministry and wants her ex-husband in prison so no other woman can marry him. Weeks argues that the ordeal is the result of a setup.

Weeks told Lee Bailey of EUR Web: "The truth is it wasn’t a beat down and the truth is that I am not an abuser. The truth is that I’ve been the one abused previously in my marriage and kept it silent. The fact still remains that I was the abused at any level in this relationship."

Weeks also challenged the legitimacy of the bruises obtained by his wife.

"And then 4 and a half hours later after these bruises appear she uploads them to a website," said the Bishop.

Weeks has eluded to the fact that his wife has "emotional and mental challenges" in her past in which she "goes in and out of reason and wisdom and fact and truth". He continues his media campaign, which has tarnished the image of both individuals.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dr. Boyce Watkins on NPR - Black Family Issues/Finances

As a finance professor, I see regular misconceptions in media about black people, black families and black wealth. America somehow has chosen to believe that the reason for wealth disparities in America is that African-Americans have simply chosen to be lazy and engage in the practice of bad money management. They also cite the fact that black families are not married as regularly and that this is a reason for poverty in the black community.

I could not disagree more.

The reason for the wealth disparity between blacks and whites is very simple: For 400 years (a very long time), America had a clear tradition of not allowing black people to pass wealth onto their children. As a result, all the big buildings in Manhattan, all the major media companies, and all the large corporations in America are owned, run and controlled by the white community. Period. Most wealth is inherited wealth and we were not allowed to inherit.

Black people choosing not to get married is no worse nor better than the fact that many families in America choose to get divorced. Honestly, I think divorce is far more devastating to the life of a child than not getting married. If one throws in the fact that non-custodial parents are obligated to pay child support, then the income gap, in a perfect world, should disappear. One can argue that two parents are better than one, but at the same time, 3 parents would be better than 2, and 4 parents would be better than 3. You could make this argument forever, and to use the one vs. two parent disparity as the fundamental basis to explain America's commitment to racial inequality is ridiculous.

Bottom line: Love is what matters, and if you look at the lives of Al Gore's son and kids in the suburbs who engage in just as much deviant behavior as kids in "the hood", you will see that a parent's decision to get married or not can be good for the child or bad, depending on the circumstances.

In other words: I get sick of people trying to say that black families are immoral or culturally inferior. Our culture is just fine thank you. Also, racial inequality and wealth gaps are due to one thing: historical discrimination. If you want to talk about creating a fair america, then you must first correct the huge imbalance created by racist ancestry. Trying to be fair from this point on (as Ward Connerly tries to argue) is like a lifelong crook stealing billions and then promising not to steal anymore. A fix must be applied to past wrongs before you can move forward in fairness.

I did this NPR interview on the topic not too long ago. It was done with Farai Chideya, a woman I had a huge crush on during my time in graduate school. Don't tell her I said that (haha!).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Forgiving Infidelity - Moving Past the Pain

by Gina Streaty - Love and Life writer for FIERCE411.COM

It’s been said that women are far more forgiving than men when it comes to infidelity. I don’t know who took that poll, but they must have skipped a few sisters. The women of today aren’t very forgiving at all, from what I can tell. Sure, most will keep their man after discovering his adulterous behavior, but they make sure his life becomes one miserable, inescapable hell. Last I checked, that is NOT forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a choice that, once made, can liberate us from resentment, anger, or the desire to snatch a steak knife from a kitchen drawer. It’s a healthy choice. Mentally and spiritually, we free ourselves of whatever malice or rage we harbor toward our man and even toward his hot little accomplice. But, it doesn’t mean we have to roll over and play dead, or stay with his lying ass. We can, if we want to, but we can also open the door, hand him his walking papers, and kick his two-timing tail to the curb. The point is, whatever we chose to do—be it move on in life with him or without him—we need to be able to forgive him.

Sure, it’s difficult to do. It takes more than an apology to repair shattered trust and rebuild a relationship that has been victimized by adultery. It takes communication to understand why he cheated in the first place. (And it’s not just because he’s a damn dog.) Understand, most people don’t cheat just for the sake of doing so. There’s usually something more. Maybe he’s still sowing his wild oats and sampling skank-fare because he’s a complete commitaphobe not ready to settle down. Perhaps he thinks he’s God’s gift to women. Maybe he thinks you’re too uptight, frigid, too controlling, or not as attentive to his needs. Whatever the reason(s) behind his “extracurricular” activity, legitimate or not, he needs to be honest about it and you need to encourage him to fess up. Find out if the infidelity is just one symptom of something more serious. Talk to him. Try to be rational. And listen with both ears and much common sense. Also, be mindful of the fact that most men will tell you exactly want you want to hear, if they know you’re in love and there’s a good chance it will get them back in your good graces and your bed.

Once you pardon him, don’t accuse him of a repeat offense unless you’re certain he’s guilty. Suspicion of guilt doesn’t count. We know the signs of adultery, ladies, whether we admit it or not. That old saying is keenly accurate: If we think he’s up to something, he probably is. Let’s not be an idiot about it, like the sniffling, teary-eyed women on the talk show beat. “I found panties in my bedroom and lipstick on his collar and a used condom in the car. I think he MIGHT be cheating on me.” If we’re that woman, let’s wake up and smell the coffee. But, before we start slinging Clorox on his Sean Jean, razor whipping his Rocawear, or spoon-beating the hell out of a pot of grits, let’s make sure we have our facts straight. Have a talk with him. Lay everything out in the open, let loose the tears and the anger and speak our entire mind. If at the end of that diatribe he expresses genuine remorse and accepts responsibility for what he’s done, and we want to pick ourselves up, dry our tears, and give Brotha Boy a second (or his third or fourth) chance, fine. I’ve seen many a relationship survive a fire storm. I’m talking about women who deal with chronic cheaters, and men who’d be great at taking lie detector tests and failing them spectacularly. No sooner than these guys pour out an apology and promise to never cheat again, their car door slams, 22’s” set fire to pavement, and homey is back on his cell phone making plans to kick it with a hoochie on the other side of town. The women, on the other hand, sit and simmer, maybe cut up his clothes, or call him all kinds of names in a heated verbal vomit, then kick him to the curb, only to swing the door wide open for him to strut back through later. Sure, they’re still together, but what kind of relationship is that, and who would want it?

We can absolve our man of all sin and pardon him for a temporary lapse in judgment, but if we can’t let go of our anger and move on, we haven’t really forgiven him; and without that, we can’t have a solid relationship. Where there is resentment and condemnation, trust and honesty are nonexistent. If we’re calling Joey Greco to spy on our guy, checking his cell phone for suspicious numbers, and scanning his clothes for stains like a CSI investigator, we are kidding AND torturing ourselves. We haven’t exonerated him. A friend of mine forgave her cheating husband whose infidelity resulted in a child born outside of their marriage. She gave him a second chance and wiped the slate clean. Just recently, she learned there were other acts of adultery committed and lies that were covered up. Needless to say, she’s calling it quits now and I applaud her for finding the strength to not go sistah-girl on him and send him to the ER. I admire her ability to still have compassion for him, knowing that in the long-run he will regret losing his family and the home they built together. Yes, she excused him AGAIN but, as she put it, she’s taken more than her fair share of disrespect from a whorehound. “This time, he’s got to go!”

Ask yourself if he’s worth another chance, then make a decision and stick to it. If you say you forgive him, mean it! Don’t hold his sin over his head and make him pay for it for the rest of his life. Don’t get suspicious when the PMS voices start speaking to you; and don’t overreact if you see him propped in front of the TV salivating over a butt shaking video vixen. If you bury his transgression in a grave only to exhume it every time something reminds you of what he did, you haven’t let go. Let his sin rest in peace so that you and he can have some! Doing anything less will give his wrongdoing power over you, and it’s not worth it. That’s not to say you aren’t going to have reminders of what’s transpired. But, don’t torture yourself or him obsessing and talking about it.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what he did or condoning it. It means releasing it; letting go of what he did—completely! If we choose to let him off the hook, let’s do it all the way. Salvage what’s left and grow from it or direct that Playa “To the left! To the left!” and go on about our business. Just remember that absolution requires love, acceptance, honesty, understanding, and generosity. If we can clear the hurdle of forgiveness, we might heal our relationship, but we’ll definitely heal ourselves.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Woman has 10 husbands

A 26- year old woman is accused of having 10 different husbands, all at the same time.

Eunice Lopez of Miami has been charged with bigamy after allegedly marrying 10 different men in a 4 year period. She arrived from Cuba to South Florida in 2002 and is a legal U.S. resident.

"I can tell you that none of the individuals she married had any type of residency," said Terry Chavez, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade office of the state attorney.

Authorities claim that Lopez charged men money to help them secure their immigration status. She would then continue to ask for money, threatening to expose them if they told the police.

Chavez said the state attorney's office began investigating after being tipped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Juanita Bynum's Husband Thomas Weeks Apologizes

Bishop Thomas Weeks, estranged husband of Gospel personality Juanita Bynum, publicly apologized to Bynum this week. According to Essence Magazine, Weeks sent out an e-blast with the following statements:

“In the book I share my weaknesses as a husband. I also share weaknesses on the other side of my spouse. From that I have wounded her and I want to say publicly, and privately from my heart, ‘I’m sorry,’” he says.

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the book contains chapters entitled, “Opposites Attract, But Do They Last” and “She Wanted to Be the Next Oprah at Any Cost.”

Weeks had planned a major media tour to promote the book, including appearances on The Tom Joyner Morning show and 1380 WAOK in Atlanta. Weeks has promised that anyone who purchased the book can now get a refund.

The message was sent in an 8 minute video email sent to thousands of worshippers. Weeks calls the message "The Most important message ever sent".

According to Weeks, the couple has not spoken since August 21, when Weeks was accused of beating, choking and stomping his wife in an Atlanta airport hotel parking lot. Since that time, Bynum has been under scrutiny, as some have accused her of using her experience as a chance to gain greater fame and opportunity.

Related story: Juanita Bynum Opens Up to Essence Magazine

Friday, December 7, 2007

Destressing - Taking Time to Nurture Ourselves

A successful 24-year-old woman told me that she went to see her physician about what she described as frequent almost debilitating anxiety attacks. We ended up in a conversation about the number of Black women we know who are on antidepressants, which her physician also prescribed for her. Like this young lady, as women, we push ourselves to the limit taking care of everything and everyone. We handle our business both on the job and off, pursuing careers, attending school, and managing relationships. We’re natural born doers and nurturers genetically predisposed to multitask and look after those we love—and we’re good at it. But when it comes to caring for ourselves, aside from our hair and nails, we are negligent at best. We don’t do nearly enough self-nurturing—looking out for number one—as we should. As a result, we’re stressed out. Our body is overtaxed, our health suffers, and our mind and spirit are deprived of the sustenance they need to keep us at our operative best. As spiritually and emotionally drained, mentally befuddled, and physically worn out beings, we wind up jeopardizing all the hard work we do. Yet we rarely realize just how detrimental the physiological effects of prolonged stress are on us.

Unlike our distant fore-sistahs, we are fortunate to have every modern convenience at our fingertips. We have more resources, gadgets and gizmos available to us than ever before and can summon any necessity at the click of a mouse or by picking up the phone. The wisdom our mothers and grandmothers acquired through years of experience, trial and error, we gain by tuning in to Oprah or listening to a self-help audio tape. Yet, we’re not as spry or contented as our earlier sisters. My grandmother, for example, didn’t have a microwave, cell phone, PDA, online grocery shopping with free delivery, or any of the other modern conveniences I take for granted. However she was able hold down a job, maintain her house, take care of children, slide “real” home-cooked meals on the table, sit down to watch her favorite TV shows, and still get to bed at a decent hour. Sure she was tired, but she wasn’t burned-out. There’s barely enough time in one of my 24-hour days to catch the local news—and thank God for dry cleaners, on-line shopping, and take-out! Without them, I’d be a hopeless mess.

It’s no wonder so many African American women are openly confessing to and being diagnosed with myriad stress-induced ailments including clinical depression, something once considered a stigma in our community. Women who once withstood anything and chanted in unison Maya’s “And Still I Rise” are now seeking relief in a bottle of antidepressants and on a psychiatrist’s couch. Not that there’s anything wrong with prescription drugs and professional counseling, but… Somewhere along the way in this rat race of life, we misplaced what grounded us, and now we’re struggling to maintain a secure foothold on our sanity.

The good news is there is hope for us. We can get our bearings straight and garner ourselves some peace of mind. By internalizing our focus and attuning ourselves to our spiritual existence, we can breathe life back into ourselves. The best way is through quietude. Meditation, if you will. Some people call it “prayer.” But, however we choose to define it is irrelevant. If we take a few moments out of our hectic day to sit quietly and reflect on our life, where we are, where we’ve been, and what we’re moving toward, it can be a tremendous source of calm and healing for our mental and spiritual self. Taking a long walk can have the same meditative effect. In fact, anything that slows us down, helps us to regroup, brings us peace or joy, and takes us out of the stress zone can be spelled R-E-L-I-E-F: yoga, exercise, listening to soothing music, writing, relaxing in a hot bath, getting a massage, dancing, painting, journaling, singing, even having sex. Tantric sex, for example, is said to make one highly sensual and lead to spiritual enlightenment. The added bonus is that, if done properly, it also delivers a walloping, mind-blowing, “whole body” orgasm—the equivalent of a seismic quake—that can blast away even next year’s tension and stress. Can anyone say, “Ommmmm?”

Relaxing is not difficult. It only requires time, discipline and remembering that less stress equals an improved physical and mental state. Our body and mind co-exist in a symbiotic relationship. If we would make "getting still" or "loosening up" an important ritual, we would find our thoughts more focused and our bodies invigorated. We would be attuned to our unique physical presence in the world and able to evaluate our life and its circumstances in a more rational way. This in turn would enable us to gain greater control over our day-to-day activities. It would also enhance our relationships by making us more aware of and emotionally accessible to those around us. As stress-free beings, we'd look, think and feel better. We'd gain a clearer picture of our life and responsibilities, as well as a patent understanding of what's happening inside us, which makes managing anything a whole lot easier.

So let’s de-stress, ladies. Let’s relinquish this anxiety, regroup and regain command of who we are. Let’s give ourselves a daily ten minute (minimum!) reprieve, the gift of calmness and serenity, and bring ourselves back to center. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, sink into tranquility and, in the process, give some TLC to number O-N-E. We deserve it!