Some of our Leaders Seem to Have a Problem with “Brain-Mouth Disconnect Syndrome”

By Natasha L. Foreman

Some people need to just think before they speak, or simply refrain from answering a question when they have absolutely nothing of intelligence to say in response. Case in point…again… Oklahoma state Representative Sally Kern.

This woman appears to have what I call, “brain-mouth disconnect syndrome” whenever a microphone or reporter is nearby. Her mouth gets to yapping but her brain is totally disconnected from the process. She needs a handler who does a better job screening what comes out of her mouth. Do you remember when three years ago she made the comment that gay people are destroying the United States and were a greater threat than terrorists? If not, I have included the link to this footage at the end of this post. Do you remember Kern’s Divorce Bill that would have made it hard for people to get divorced in Oklahoma? Yes, I included that link below as well.

Well Ms. Kern has really stepped in her own mess last Wednesday during an affirmative action bill debate she back-handed both women and African-Americans by saying that women don’t work as hard and earn as much as men because they are more concerned about raising their families, and the high incarceration rate of Black people must have something to do with them not wanting to work hard in school.

We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school?…I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.

But let’s hear it directly from the horse’s mouth shall we? Oh and look at the body language and reaction from her constituents in the audience! Thank goodness for YouTube…

Yep, she said it and after coming under attack and her people returning from their extended lunch break (I’m joking about the latter) she tries to clean up her comments by saying that women are some of the hardest workers in the world, and that what she said didn’t come from her “true spirit“. Okay so where did it come from? Will people have to question which spirit (true or false) she’s speaking from every time she opens her mouth?

Maybe it’s time for Ms. Kern to take some sensitivity training, or re-training. Anthony Davis, the President of the NAACP Oklahoma chapter is cutting Kern no slack and is standing firm in his call for her resignation, and urging Kern’s constituents do the same- saying, “Let’s send a message out that in Oklahoma we will not tolerate racism at its ugliest level.”

See the Oklahoma news KOCO report that covered the story and interviewed both Anthony Davis and state Representative Mike Shelton:

I’m all for freedom of speech but when do we draw the line especially when words of hate, bigotry, and racism come from the mouths of our country’s leaders, influencers, and those who intend to lead?

If we are to be the example for the rest of the world to follow why then should we be surprised that there is so much hate spewed about our country and our people? We talk about athletes and entertainers being role models and that they should watch what they say and do, but what about highly visible business people and those in government positions who serve the people of this nation? What standards are set for them, or are they not considered role models?

What are your thoughts?

Oh and by the way here’s the link to her Divorce Bill recommendation:

And her remarks about gays in 2008 in case you never heard it or need your memory refreshed:

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>Peace Be Still: Dealing With Belligerent People 11.30.10

>Just a few minutes ago I was leaving my mother's home and as I drove out of her sub-division of her neighborhood, I turned on my signal and waited at the stop sign. I saw two cars approaching in the rain about 75 meters (or more) away. I exited and carefully maneuvered around a small pothole and as I did one of the drivers- who was obviously speeding well beyond the 35 mph limit- was immediately near the bumper of my car, swerving and honking the horn. I looked at my speedometer and after a few feet I was already going faster than the speed limit. I looked in my rear-view mirror and the driver was swerving in the lane next to me, and then veered back into my lane. Why was this other driver speeding, especially in the rain? I said aloud as though I was speaking to the driver, "why are you driving so fast?"

I quickly prayed for patience. I continued driving and kept my cool through the twists and turns of the street while this driver turned on their high beams and continued tailgating me. I was getting a little irritated but I continued driving calmly as I focused on driving and keeping a safe cushion between my car and the driver's. Eventually when I could safely pull over I decided to do so to give this irate and obviously rushed driver the space to go around me and continue on their way. But instead of going around me the driver pulled over behind me and then enraged, quickly pulled next to my car almost causing the car that followed us to crash into the driver. I looked out my window and there was another woman staring back at me yelling. I said to myself, "peace be still" and then rolled down my window. I looked at this woman as she punched her right fist into her left hand and began to yell, "I just want to know…I just want to know…." What she wanted to know was why I hadn't waited for her to zoom past me. I told her that I had ample room to enter the street, but I hadn't gauged how fast she was truly driving.

I am an excellent driver and I can accurately gauge the distance and speed of my car and others. I also have superior peripheral vision. I know that I can be a "speed demon" but I also know that in harsh weather conditions you should not push the limits of your car. In harsh weather conditions you should not risk speeding and making quick and sharp turns. I factored in the rain and that it was overcast before I entered the street. I factored in that the driver was about 75 meters away from my car, and that the car that followed them was at least one car-length behind. I factored in that this is a dangerous street and that the majority of the residents on that street have to know this fact.

What I had not gauged was that she was speeding well beyond 40 mph; not originally- but only once I entered the street and out of frustration she accelerated. What I had not factored in was that although it was raining there would be a driver willing to risk driving upwards of 15 mph over the posted 35 mph limit on a very narrow and unpredictable winding road; a location of numerous accidents. What I had not factored in was that although she saw me enter the slick street, that she would not slow down- instead she would accelerate. I had not considered that she would not even slow down for the obvious potholes in the street- regardless if I had been there. I had not considered that although the city had placed speed limit monitoring signs on the street to alert speeding drivers that they were far-exceeding the posted speed limit- that someone would ignore these signs even in a heavy rain.

I did not say all of this to her though because after I apologized I realized that she wasn't willing to accept my apology- she wanted to argue; she wanted to yell. I wanted to get home to eat my natural-cut french fries that I had just purchased from Wendy's. She wanted to continue engaging me in her inquiry and hopefully upset me. I wanted to get out of the rain and out of my four-inch heels and my suit. So I didn't fall into the trap. I didn't tell her that she was speeding and driving faster than what would be considered safe. I didn't tell her that there have been too many accidents on this narrow street and that she should know better. When she asked me why did I risk her life, I didn't respond by asking her why did she risk my life, her life, and the life of the driver that followed at a safe distance behind her. I didn't ask her why her anger almost caused the other driver to hit her car when she swerved to confront me.

I could tell that she had a bad day and that she was already angry long before she encountered me. If she had children and or a husband- she was already intent on ruining their day also when she got home. I looked at her car and saw the huge dents from prior accidents alongside and in the front of her car- and I told myself that she is an accident-magnet and probably leaves everyday expecting to get into one.

I took a slow, deep breath and looked this woman in her eyes and remained calm. I repeated a few times that I had apologized, and then I extended my apologies once more. Then I sat there and continued making eye contact as the rain trickled into my car and on my clothes. My calmness upset her even more. Frustrated that she could not get the reaction she expected from me, she tried to drive off but her car was in park. She yelled out as she rolled up her window and slammed on the gas. Her wheels spun wildly and her car slid back onto the street. I turned on my signal (as I always do when leaving from a parked position) and re-entered the street and followed behind her car amazed at how I kept my cool and did not sink to her level. She turned left onto her street and I kept driving home.

There was a time when I would have engaged in a shouting match with her, I would have out-yelled her, and made her day worse than it was. At that point we both would have had a bad day, and her family would have been miserable. This won't be her last time flipping out on someone, losing control, and having road rage. This won't be my last encounter with someone like her- but I hope that I handle the situation as well or better than I did today. We must control our emotions. We must 'check' ourselves. When faced with chaos we must say silently or aloud, "peace be still" so that we can control our sea of emotions.

Natasha L. Foreman

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>Remembering Our Loved Ones

>Yesterday, May 13, 2010 marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of a dear friend of mine, Brandon Alexander Clarke. He was so very young, not even thirty when he passed. I frequently think of Brandon. I can hear his laugh and see his smile. I look at pictures of him, of us, of him with friends and associates…and I smile as I hold back the tears. Tears of sadness and tears of joy having known such a wonderfully talented, intelligent, loving, kind, humorous (and goofy at times), and giving man who I valued and respected on so many levels.

In six short years Brandon and I grew to be very close friends. When he was first diagnosed with cancer he kept the findings a secret, sharing with only close friends and family. I was honored when he asked me to come visit him in the hospital. We would sit there for hours laughing, joking and talking about everything under the sun. I even cracked jokes when he asked me to rub his feet and legs (to help with his circulation)…I tried to keep a straight face as I looked him in the eyes and said, “Brandon you would come up with anything to get me to rub your feet and treat you like royalty” and he replied that that was true and then with a sly grin he stated that he was royalty; we then cracked up laughing. I remember him teasing me the first day I visited him because I had lost even more weight since the last time he had seen me and he commented in only the way he knew how with me, “uh girl your butt has disappeared…where did it go? Hurry, go find it and quick….”

I remember years ago when we worked together at Club Wet in Brea at Bar 330, where Brandon and a few of our other friends were promoters and I was responsible for helping oversee and manage the night’s operations for another dear friend Kristian (the man behind Club Wet). One evening after I was done with my responsibilities, I walked towards the dance floor and began chatting with patrons making sure they were enjoying their evening, and Brandon walked up typing away on his Side Kick. It seemed like his Side Kick was glued to his hands and I always teased him about it (now I see the addiction since I own a Blackberry and can’t seem to put it down). So that evening I made a sassy comment about his Side Kick and somehow we got on the topic of security code breaking and whether women were truly gifted enough to break a man’s phone code. I told him that it was indeed possible and that I was confident that I could break his code in a matter of minutes. He challenged me to break his three-digit code, confident that after a few tries I would give up. Anyone that knows me knows that I love challenges and I love trash-talking. I grabbed the phone and in 30 seconds I entered his code and handed him back his phone with a huge smile on my face.

Brandon’s mouth almost hit the floor as he kept staring at his phone and back at me several times. “How did you know my code? How did you figure it out? It could have been any combination of three numbers and you knew my code,” he whined. I laughed and told him I knew it would be an area code and one that no one would ever guess, but since I was born in that area it was the first on my mind. Brandon was stunned. I teased him about that incident for years after…even his last days here with us on Earth I could not resist mentioning that evening. Brandon still had a SideKick.

I can recall birthdays, celebrations, clubbing, and long talks. I can recall the excitement in his voice when he called to tell me he was graduating from college. I can remember our last lunch together when I came for a visit and he took me and my sister to eat off the coast in south Orange County. That day he wanted to talk about everything except his battle with cancer. He wanted to talk about our friendship, about our wishes and dreams, about our love of the ocean, and about how I would keep these youngsters away from my sister (who was still at teenager at the time). I smile every time I look at pictures he sent me of his puppy Kanye. We would joke about how I would get Kanye a girlfriend.

Yesterday I returned from a beautiful mini-vacation where I had the chance to visit a place that I longed to see since I was seven years old, the very place my father promised to take me. I had waited 26-27 years for this trip and it absolutely took my breath away. While I was there I could feel my dad’s presence and at times it was overwhelming. The promise was kept. Coming home as I looked at the clouds below and surrounding the plane, and at the water and patches of land I thought of Brandon. I thought of God’s grace, mercy, and the blessings that he brings us daily. I was and am so blessed to have had and still have my father and Brandon in my life. I am blessed to keep the memory of all of my loved ones alive as I often reflect on years of moments I shared with each of them, Once home I returned to my own life’s battles and fears, and I surrendered to the peace of “dealing with that tomorrow”.

I have had regrets in my life that I have been told I should not regret and in turn should let go of those feelings. I did not get the chance to say good bye to my father before he passed in 2001. I did not get the chance to say one last time, “I love you dad”. I did not get this opportunity with my friend Tracey who fought and lost her long battle with lupus; I did not get the chance with many of my family members who suddenly passed away. With Brandon I got the chance. I saved our text messages from the days before he took his last breath. I got the chance to tell my friend that I love him and I valued our friendship. I got to tell him how hurt I was that he kept the news (that doctors had only given him a short time to live) from me because he was trying to “protect me” and to avoid feeling as though he was “burdening someone”. Those last days my friend told me he loved me too and that everything was okay. The day he passed he was surrounded by loved ones. I could not be there for his memorial service and it tore me up inside…until our other friend (also named) Brandon spoke the most comforting words to me that brought me some peace and resolve.

From that moment I knew that I was there, just as our joy-filled friend was here with me…and still is! In my heart and mind Brandon is with me and my memories of him and our friendship keeps him alive always. I share this story with everyone because I am sure that each of you have lost at least one loved one. Maybe you had the opportunity to say those last words that were on and in your heart, maybe you did not. One thing you can always know to be true is that in you they continue to live. Honor them today and every day by doing good, living well, and treating your mind and body like the special gifts that they are…that way you are here longer to share your memories of love with others.

Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman

>International Women’s Day Highlighted by "Join Me on the Bridge" Event

>For International Day, Women for Women International held a Join Me on the Bridge global event that joined women and men across nations to honor and support the efforts of women in Rwanda and the DR Congo towards self-sufficiency, empowerment, and freedom from the harsh cruelties of war. It is amazing to see how many people came out to show their support on numerous bridges in cities around the world on March 6-8.

Bridges in New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities had supporters waving peace signs, flags, and pictures to passerby. What is especially touching is to see the images from Rwanda and DRC…the look of faith and hope in their eyes.

To see pictures from many of the locations visit:

I look forward to seeing a larger turnout next year as we continue celebrating our accomplishments as women internationally, while also demanding peace in those countries that rape, torture, mutilate, enslave, abuse, and murder women (and their children).

Through organizations like Women for Women International women in these countries will one day be free from living in fear, and free to live the life and be exposed to the opportunities many of us take for granted.

If you have not taken the time to learn about this great organization that I support, please visit their site today:

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman