school faceless student tired

My Monkey Mind Has Taken Over

My monkey mind has taken over my life! Here’s how to identify it and how to stop it. 

Heard or experienced any of these lately? COVID brain, self-diagnosed ADHD, auto-pilot, zoning out, scattered thoughts. These responses, spacey moments or knee jerk reactions are stress responses. They are what happens when our survival instinct kicks in and our monkey mind takes control. 

Monkey Mind Defined 

Human brains are composed of three sections. They are our lizard brain, our monkey brain and our human brain.

Our lizard brains control the basic instincts, our monkey brain controls our tissue and complex things like emotions and our human brain which allows us to remove emotions from our thoughts and to think things through or practice mindfulness. This article here goes a bit more in depth if you want to dig in (it’s absolutely fascinating)! 

Our monkey mind is the part of our brain that runs the inner monologue, the part that runs wild during meditation, and it’s tied to your ego and inner critic. Monkey mind tells you that you will never be good enough, you have too much on your plate, that you need to rush rush rush and go go go. It’s important to learn how to control and quiet our monkey mind if we want to be fully present in our lives. 

Before we dig into controlling our monkey mind I want to share that our monkey and lizard brains serve a major purpose! Since our human brain is designed to analyze situations and reactions when we encounter danger or trigger our fight or flight response we rely heavily on our lizard and monkey brains to get us to safety. 

How to Spot Your Monkey Mind 

A major problem with our well working monkey mind is that when we are overwhelmed, stressed or in an extended state of being busy we default to it. Monkey mind becomes prominent when we multitask causing us to go into auto-pilot and make decisions without thinking them through. 

For example, let’s say you are stressed to the max working on a deadline, you aren’t super thrilled with your job to begin with, you’re working from home in a small apartment and your significant other comes in to ask you a question while you’re in the middle of a sentence. You are stressed, overwhelmed, grumpy and a little frustrated with the overwhelming emotions so you may respond with a default answer because you weren’t listening or snap at them for interrupting you. This is your monkey mind and it is a warning sign that you need to stop, take a break and close some of the tabs in your brain to reduce your stress levels. 

I’m anti-multitasking on important things because it is impossible for your brain to truly focus on two things at once but I double down on this stance when it comes to the truly important things like human relationships. Make time to clear your mind. 

How to Control Your Monkey Mind 

So great, you know your monkey mind is running the ship – you are on auto-pilot, not paying attention to where the car is going – now what? Here are a few ideas for you! 

Stop, take a break, take a few deep breaths and get present in your body. If you have a meditation practice try doing a mini meditation – even just a minute of meditation can help calm my monkey mind when it’s in overdrive. 

Move your body! Get up and move, go on a walk, walk around your apartment or yard, dance for a minute or just shake your arms and legs out. Moving your body helps calm down your monkey mind and helps you get present in your body. 

Write! Get the thoughts out of your brain and on paper. I find journaling SO helpful when my brain is in chaos mode. If my brain is so full of thoughts that I can’t decide what to write I’ll throw a gratitude list together and see where that takes me. Sometimes I need to exercise my thoughts, regardless of how true they are, on paper similar to moving my body. 

Do less and reduce how busy you are! I know, this is the hard one! If you have the privilege and capacity to work smarter not harder – do it. Reduce the extra work in your life, limit the emotional labor you do for free, protect your energy and take the extra time to fill your own cup with self-care (the real kind not the marketing face mask kind). 

Remember: Being Busy Is Not Cool! 

Hope this helps! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about your monkey mind and I hope this encourages you to rest your brain and your body. 

Need help making a plan to work smarter and not harder? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can look at your schedule together! 

Want to find a job that lets you work less and enjoy your life more? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can find your dream job. 

No idea where to start? Overwhelmed? Need help calming that monkey mind? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation or check out my Etsy for my self-paced programs. 

Sending you all lot’s of love and rest! 

**This blog is not meant to replace mental or physical health advice from your physician. Please work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.

Authenticity, Protecting your Energy & Toxic Positivity

Toxic positivity is the most powerful weapon against authenticity. Don’t believe me? Let me explain. 

Before we start here’s little background on toxic positivity

I love love. I love play, excitement, joy, fun! But it is wildly ignorant to believe that everything will always be rainbow and sunshine! I preach that our mindset matters and having a generally positive outlook is helpful for our mental state BUT we can go overboard in the positivity department. This is when positivity becomes toxic. 

Toxic positivity is the overgeneralization that we should be positive and optimistic ALWAYS. It stems from an unwillingness to acknowledge or experience negative emotions. Toxic positivity can feel fake at best and can force participants to repress their negative feelings at worst. 

Youtube Breakdown of Bossbabe culture!

What’s so bad about ignoring our negative emotions? Any emotion we ignore, bury or try to hide is just a bubble of trauma waiting to be burst. If we do not FEEL and ACKNOWLEDGE our emotions they maintain power over us and slip into our subconscious. They start impacting how we make decisions with or without our knowledge. 

In other words, toxic positivity is being SO optimistic we refuse to acknowledge who or what we are. It buries our authenticity and convinces us that we shouldn’t feel negative emotions (and we all know how I feel about shoulding”). 

Toxic positivity is not just “look at the positives” it’s saying to actively ignore and avoid the negatives. 

Toxic Positivity in the Wild

So now that we have our definition let’s jump into how it is used against us (usually against women or femme members of society). 

I’m going to use the phrase positive vibes to explain this. Let’s say I have a neon sign that says “positive vibes only” in my living room. Cute, right? 

Sure, BUT what if you, my bff, come over and need to complain. You really need to let out all the big sad feelings you are having because your husband left you, he stole your favorite cat, he wants custody of your aquarium that you bought and paid for and he was cheating on you with an employee at the pet store. Rough right? 

We sit down on the couch with the sign hanging on the wall behind me. As you tell me all about the AWFUL things that are happening to you, I sit there, with my glaring sign behind me and tell you “everything happens for a reason” or “you don’t want to be with a man like that anyway”. By saying this I begin subtly (or not so subtly) SHAMING you into positivity when you really need to feel all your feels instead. 

That neon sign behind me begins making you feel ashamed for bringing “negative” vibes into the space. It invalidates your feelings and makes the statement that you shouldn’t be feeling or sharing these negative experiences. Toxic positivity tells you that it is shameful to not be positive, to feel bad for yourself, to have emotions. Because of this, toxic positivity forces us to stay stuck where we are. 

Two Reasons Toxic Positivity Causes Stagnation 

  1. It causes us to repress how we feel and hide parts of ourselves to keep the peace. When we ignore our humanness we prevent ourselves from processing the pain. We would rather stay exactly where we are than deal with the emotion due to the fear that it may not be a positive experience. 
  1. When we pretend everything is ok (or convince ourselves that everything is perfect) we can’t see where we need to grow. Toxic positivity glosses over all the places we can grow. It smooths out any blemishes, it prevents us from seeing things as they are and if we can’t identify the issues we can’t fix them. 

Toxic positivity creates inauthentic and fake happiness. It tells us that just being in this moment means that we should (you know how I feel about should) be happy. Asking people to use perspective before they have had a chance to process their emotions marginalizes their experience and dehumanizes them. By forcing people to repress their emotions we are telling them that their baseline emotional level is “too much” or “inappropriate” under the guise of making other people comfortable. You should never make yourself less to make others comfortable (but you should respect their boundaries). 

Toxic Positivity in #Bossbabe Culture 

As I mentioned earlier, toxic positivity is usually used against women. The power of positive thinking is a marketing tool used by MLMs to convince women to invest in their programs. MLMs or “multi-level marketing” schemes are organizations that operate by recruiting salespeople who are not employees of the company. In most instances these sales people are then asked to recruit other sales people to make more money. Women are fed the line that they will “be a boss babe”, “own their own business” or #workhardplayhard to fuel their success. 

Who doesn’t want someone to give them the blueprints to success! It all sounds fun until you run out of friends and family to recruit from. All you have to do is plug in your network and build like the inspirational woman in the video they showed you with the sad sob story. When you no longer have the ability to add anyone else to your team because you’ve tapped your network dry, your dreams of being a #bossbabe begin to feel like failure.

In a lot of these organizations the person who recruited you is making money off your success SO they will feed you lies of toxic positivity or shame you into believing that you aren’t working hard enough. According to your bossbabe boss you are not allowed to fail or failure is not an option. Unfortunately for your bossbabe mentor, you can (and probably will at some point or another) fail.

A major issue with this failure is the financial burden it causes on the women who are duped into participating. These organizations do not just prey on suburban middle class women – they don’t care who they make money off of as long as they can get them to pay for their products. They do this by telling rags to riches stories to “empower” the women involved. But they don’t disclose the failure rates of women who join.

The Power of Positive Thinking

I think MLMs are totally fine if you have disposable income and want to try to make money but I do not believe they are the environment that can pull you out of poverty – and they are willing to take anyone’s money regardless of the odds of success. So, if you are spending your last pennies on a product that you then have to encourage others to buy before you can make money you are probably making a poor financial investment. It’s not IMPOSSIBLE to succeed from this position but it is harder. 

This power of positive thinking makes you believe you are the anomaly instead of normal. It will shame you into believing that you have to be willing to do “whatever it takes” to succeed. It’s bullshit- positive thinking isn’t the only piece that leads to success – and we need to throw toxic positivity away. 

Conclusion

Please don’t take this as an anti-positivity post – I love having a sunny disposition when it’s authentic! I truly believe that there is power in positive thinking – but there is just as much value in honoring your emotions, listening to your own intuition and rejecting inauthentic positivity. Please remember when you feel anything other than positive – that’s ok, normal and important as well! 

*I am not a doctor or therapist. 

Triggered af & Wanting what other people have

While we continue our chat about wants I NEED to say this: You’re allowed to want what other people have! 

I don’t know about all of you but for me quarantine has been a time warp of mindless scrolling and social media envy. I would watch Instagram stories of people living lives so vastly different than mine and I would get filled with envy – I was triggered. 

Triggers in Action

After envy runs its course it is usually followed by shame. Shame for being jealous, shame for wanting what other people had, shame for wishing I was living a different life or had a different set of circumstances. 

Shame is a useless emotion and I grew tired of tapping into it so I decided it was time to address my triggers head on – and that’s when everything clicked. 

It is ok to have envy, it is ok to be jealous of what other people have, it’s ok to feel sad, annoyed, frustrated. ALL FEELINGS ARE VALID. It’s important to feel them, analyze them, look at them. 

But it’s not ok to take action from this place. 

What to Do With triggers

While that’s great in concept it’s a little hard to apply in real life. So I came up with a way to turn my triggers into growth. To learn from my envy and it’s been an amazing mindset shift. 

To do this we need to ask ourselves why we are triggered. We have to dig into the feeling we are having and why we are having it. We have to get REAL AF with ourselves and not be afraid of what we find. 

What I’ve discovered is that most envy comes from a place of fear or scarcity. A place where we ask “Why do they have what I want” when we really need to ask “Why do I feel like I can’t have what they have?” or “Why do I feel like I’m not enough?”. 

We can’t place our envy on other people – we have to find where it comes from inside of us. 

Its ok to want

I’ve learned that we aren’t usually triggered by other people – we are triggered by what they have. This is because they have what we want. They have something that aligns with us. 

So instead of acting out of envy we need to use them as inspiration. We need to tell ourselves that our jealousy is not a “bad” thing, it’s just our brain telling us we are experiencing scarcity or lack. We are worried that we are not enough. 

When we give in to envy or comparison all we are doing is giving our power away and participating in the energy of lack. We are telling ourselves we “can’t” have what we want. 

It’s bullsh*t. 

Turning Triggers Into Friends

But, with this knowledge we can make our triggers our friends. When we meet our triggers where they are, get to know the emotions, find the place of lack and support ourselves on a journey to our wants, we get to grow – they help us find the places we could use a little extra love and support. We get to take control. 

Honestly, I still get triggered. But, with this knowledge I’ve been able to take my triggers and turn them into opportunities for growth, clues on what I want and they’ve helped me identify where I need to add more self love into my life. 

Your triggers don’t have to control you. Ready to turn them into growth? 

Triggered AF MasterClass Coming Soon!

If you want more sign up for my “Triggered AF” masterclass on 8/3. We will dive into our triggers, tools for turning them into growth and how to take care of ourselves lovingly along the way. We will validate our feelings and then use them to develop ourselves and align with what we want. Details here. https://mailchi.mp/4a301b8bc6c2/triggered-af

Let’s grow babies. 

Media Consumption Boundaries

I am in a vicious game of Hungry Hungry Hippos (media consumption wise). I’m in desperate need of some media boundaries and conscious consumption. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Our Social Distancing Summer is making it easier than ever to sit behind our screens and consume the never ending marbles of information. Between Twitter trends, Instagram stories, Facebook arguments with racist relatives and the never ending, never sleeping news cycle this consumption is EXHAUSTING. 

I feel myself believing that I can’t stop eating the marbles. I can’t stop consuming.

Why? 

Because if I stop consuming I fall behind. I will no longer know what is going on. I may even be disconnected. 

On the occasions I do disconnect, I feel guilty because it’s a privilege to be able to forget for a little while. 

Obviously, this is unsustainable. So how do we stop eating all the marbles without falling behind with the news? 

Boundaries and Conscious Consumption

Boundaries 

Boundaries are a hot topic in the self help world. Every self help blog, book or Ted Talk I’ve consumed has mentioned them. Unfortunately, we hear a lot about them but we usually don’t get a full picture on them. Let’s break them down together before we move on. 

Boundaries, by definition, are limits we set based on how we want to interact with people or things. Setting healthy boundaries allows us to protect ourselves from the energy other people or things may require from us. They can be time limits, physical limits, emotional space, or mental limits. 

The important thing with boundaries is to remember that we set them to take care of ourselves NOT to burden ourselves with “shoulds” or pointless rules. 

My new and improved media consumption boundaries are: 

  • Screen time limit of 5 hours in a day on my phone (this includes Facetime because that is still phone screen time) 
  • 1 hour of each social media app per day 
  • 1 hour of additional news consumption 
  • No engaging or sharing content that includes violence against BIPOC or minorities

These limits are what work for me but remember to customize your boundaries to you! If you live alone maybe up that screen time option so you have more time to Facetime friends and family. Or maybe you’re really good about not being on your phone but you watch CNN 24/7 and you need to limit the number of news broadcasts you watch. Whatever works for you! 

*Reminder: Do not quit your boundaries just because you make a mistake or consume more media than intended. Some days I only use 3 hours of screen time, other days I use 6, either way I just try again the next day. 

Conscious Consumption 

Now that I have my boundaries in place I can prioritize conscious consumption. To do this I *try* to remember to ask myself the following questions: 

  • Is this serving me in any way? (Ways include but not limited to: joy, knowledge or entertainment) 
  • How is this media making me feel about myself?
  • If I were to have missed this media would I be uneducated on current events?
  • Is there more to learn on this subject or am I obsessively consuming content trying to make sense of something I have no control over? 

The list goes on and on but the sentiments are the same. I want to make sure I’m consuming things that are either essential or helpful to my mental or physical well being. If consuming certain pieces of media make me feel like shit (looking at you diet culture) and they are not essential or useful knowledge for me, I put effort into not consuming them. 

If anything or anyone I watch or engage with starts to make me feel negatively towards myself I put it down. 

Your Turn 

If you have been struggling with media consumption or if you have been working from home and feel the need to be “on” or available all the time, I encourage you to give boundary setting and conscious consumption a try. 

And, as always, if you need help getting your boundaries organized or set please reach out! I am more than happy to set up a session to help you live a life that fulfills you. Let’s make your dreams into your reality by making conscious decisions. 

butreallythocoaching@gmail.com 

Be You, Quit Trying to Be Perfect

If I had a penny for every post I’ve seen with something along the lines of “Be you, everyone else is taken <3”  I would no longer have student loan debt. While this cliche is easy to mock (and trust me – early 20’s Emily mocked it ruthlessly), I’ve recently come to the realization that it’s so popular because it’s actually kind of hard to do. Being yourself – being unique – truly identifying who you are and what you want in a situation is hard and a little confusing.

I can hear you groaning through the keyboard but hear me out, friends.This was a really hard task for me – I used to find it insanely difficult to be and define “me” and I don’t think I’m alone in this. I had a really hard time figuring out which thoughts, feelings and impulses were “me” vs the things I’ve been conditioned to believe or think. 

To truly identify me I had to:  

Separate who I was from how I felt (emotions) 

Separate who I was from all of my thoughts (impulsive thinking brain) 

After a lot of journaling, self discovery and asking myself a lot of why’s I found one of the roots to my identity crisis. Perfectionism.

As we all know, no one is perfect but a lot of us try to be. I had decided that I could not do ANYTHING that I was not perfect at…which triggered a major identity crisis considering NO ONE IS PERFECT.

No One Is Perfect

 Perfection is insidious. It is the downfall of mindset work. Perfection convinces us that we have to show up at 100% or we shouldn’t show up at all. It’s unattainable, unsustainable and frankly a load of bs.So I had to put myself in perfectionism recovery. Here are a few of the ways I shifted my mindset on perfection so I could get to know ME. 

*Before we jump in – I am NOT a therapist. If your perfectionist tendencies are interfering with your day to day life please seek the help of a medical professional. 

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts and Feelings 

Step one! Monitor those thoughts and feelings. Keep a journal, take a mental tally, set a reminder on your phone to take timeouts and check in – do whatever you need to do. 

You are not your thoughts or feelings BUT they do affect you. To help stop the perfectionism monster in its tracks you have to catch it. (Think of this like Swiper from Dora the Explorer – if you don’t see perfectionism sneak in you can’t stop it). 

Every time you catch yourself thinking a perfectionist thought such as “I shouldn’t even bother because this isn’t good enough” or “I’ll never have the perfect living room like all the instagram influencers” or “I’m going to quit posting about BLM because I can’t come up with the perfect or BEST way to talk about it”; Stop. Noodle on it. And think about it. Is this thought serving you? This thought – is it telling you who you are? How does it align with who you are?

Meeting your perfectionism in your thoughts is hard work.This will take TIME and PRACTICE.

Eliminate Good & Bad (Perfect & Imperfect) 

One way I’ve shifted my thoughts around perfection is by eliminating good & bad. I used perfectionism as a procrastination excuse. 

Ex: If I can’t meditate for a full 10-20 minutes then I shouldn’t do it at all because it’s not perfect or enough. Ex: If I can’t exercise for an hour everyday then it’s pointless and not enough. 

This mindset is a guaranteed ticket to failure town. Instead of aiming for perfection I aim for action. 

Ex: Doing 3 minutes of meditation is good. It is better than 0. Walking the dog for exercise is good, it is more than sitting on the couch. 

We don’t get to see instant results when we do things BUT if we kick perfectionism and build the habit we get better day by day sustainably. 

This was a crucial step for me because once I could recognize that any action towards my goal was PROGRESS! Tracking progress is motivating and serves us so much more than striving for perfection.

Celebrate EVERY LITTLE SUCCESS 

As a kid I would color in my coloring book, deem my art “not good enough” and then throw it away. My sweet, kind mother would pull my coloring out of my trash and hang it on the fridge because she thought it was good enough – I thought she was off her rocker. 

I was afraid that my art was never going to be good enough – my mother celebrated it. This was super important for me because it validated my skills even if I didn’t believe in them. 

As an adult I recently picked up the habit of celebrating every little success like I won the lotto. 


Complete the laundry? Dance party! 

Finish everything on my to do list? Take a nap in the sunshine! 

Catch a perfectionist thought before it derailed my day? CELEBRATE

Anything and everything is a cause for celebration. Make life your party. 

Get an Outside Opinion 

My final tip: Work with a mentor! Go to a therapist! Hire a coach!! Talk to someone about it. If you truly want to get to know who you are and what you want you have to eliminate the noise – and that includes the noise we’ve been conditioned to believe about ourselves. Work with someone you trust and who has your best interest in mind. 

Once you start noticing perfectionism it becomes a lot easier to catch. Once you start identifying which thoughts are yours and which are conditioned into you by your family/society/ external forces you get to take control. You get to kick perfection. You get to decide what you want your life to look like – and please – don’t try to make it perfect. 

Need help getting your mindset in check and getting to the root of who you are and what you want? Reach out to butreallythocoaching@gmail.com or visit the coaching tab. 

Let’s kick perfection and get to know our authentic selves. 

Black History We Didn’t Learn About In School

As part of my journey to be a better ally I’ve been educating myself on America’s systemic oppression of Black people. It’s no surprise that a lot of our (white people’s) wrong doings were white washed or downplayed in History class in an effort to coddle us into thinking we lived in a post-racist society (of course this was total bs). Black history was hidden in plain sight from us.

Taking Black History Education into Our Own Hands  

Since I don’t think I’m alone in my ignorance on those issues, Brenton and I decided it would be an excellent use of our podcast But Really Tho to dig into things that were conveniently glossed over. I went down a COINTELPRO rabbit hole and he dug into the Tulsa Race Massacre. I’ve included our research (with some personal commentary peppered in) below and I hope you will take the time to educate yourself. Sources will be included at the bottom of each section. 

If you are an auditory learner you can stream the podcast via the link below or on any major podcast player. 

Let’s Learn 

http://butreallytho.buzzsprout.com/835951/4076894-episode-21-black-history-they-didn-t-teach-us-in-school

COINTELPRO, the Black Panther Party and Fred Hampton (Emily’s share) 

Black Panther Party 

To truly dig into this we need to start with a base level knowledge of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence. As a child, I was told that the Black Panthers were part of the Black Power movement. Images of men with guns in leather jackets and black berets were juxtaposed with photos of MLK’s “peaceful protests”. This was not only a disservice to my and my peers’ educations but it’s also a disservice to the Black community and lacks historical accuracy. 

I’m going to confess a major piece of ignorance here. The way I was taught about the Black Panther Party in history class I assumed Malcom X was the founder – this is inaccurate. The Panthers started the party in the wake of Malcom X’s assisination and after a teenager named Matthew Johnson was murdered by the SF PD in 1966. 

The Black Panther Party was a political party that wanted to end police brutality. Formed by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale they organized social programs (such as a children’s breakfast program and healthcare clinics) and presented a 10 point program for ending police brutality, assisting with housing, employment opportunities and justice for all. 

The Black Panther Party organized armed neighborhood watches to protect their communities. At their peak they were about 2000 members strong across the US. They had chapters in major cities such as LA, NYC, CHI and Philadelphia.

MIsconceptions and the FBI’s Lie

Media and history often portrays the Black Panthers as a gang or a communist organization but they were neither. The first FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called the Black Panther Party “one of the greatest threats to the nations internal security” in 1968. By 1969 the Panthers had been declared a communist party and an enemy of the United States by the FBI. Because of this declaration the FBI began investigating the Black Panther Party through their CounterIntelligence Program – COINTELPRO. 

The FBI weakened the Black Panther Party by exploiting existing rivalries within the Black Power movement, trying to undermine and dismantle the free breakfast for children program (absolute monsters for trying to take food away from kids), and did this by planting a spy named William O’Neal. This work ultimately led to the assisination of the Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969. 

Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton went to school to study law because he wanted to do something about police brutality. He was a leader with the NAACP youth council and after hearing about the Black Panthers he moved to downtown Chicago to join them. 

Fred Hampton was smart and charismatic. He brokered non-aggression pacts between Chicago street gangs. He quickly grew to be the leader of the Chicago Black Panther Chapter. As leader, he organized social programs such as the breakfast for Children Program and the Peoples Clinic. The FBI became interested in him because of his leadership role. 

Fred Hampton quote on the breakfast for children program being a revolution.

William O’Neal was a criminal that the FBI convinced to infiltrate the Black Panther Party to get close to Fred Hampton. The FBI paid him to rise the ranks of the party and slip them information. Under the guidance of the FBI O’Neal executed plans to cause rift between the Panther Party members and build mistrust within the group. 

December 1969

On the evening of 12/3/1969 O’Neal slipped a sleeping pill in Fred’s drink before leaving the Panther Party headquarters – Fred’s house. Officers were then dispatched to Fred’s house where they shot 100 times into the home. Fred’s bodyguard Mark Clark was killed instantly and one round was fired from his gun AFTER he had been shot in the heart. 

The police shot Fred in his bed while injuring his pregnant fiance and other Panther Party members. His fiance survived and had a boy, now called Fred Hampton Jr. The remaining Panther Party members at the house were charged with attempted murder, armed violence and a barrage of misinformation. In the end the charges against them were dropped due to a DOJ investigation.

The Chicago PD referred to the incident as a “fierce gun battle” but the DOJ investigation proved that 99 out of 100 shots were fired from the Chicago PD – making this a one sided battle and assisination. 

we understood that politics is nothing but war without bloodshed and war is nothing but politics with bloodshed. Fred Hampton Quote

COINTELPRO 

Since the police, not the FBI, shot and killed Fred this seems like it would be an easy cover up, right? Well, a short time after the murder there was an FBI break in at the Philidelphia office. These documents revealed COINTELPRO information including the FBI’s possession of a floor plan to Fred’s house marked with his room and an outline of a deal to cover up FBI involvement in the assasination. 

Charges and Settlements 

In 1970 the survivors of the raid and relatives of Hampton sued the government for $47.7 million dollars over their civil rights being violated. The case was dismissed. After it was determined that the government withheld documents the case was reopened in 1979. In 1982 Cook County and the federal government agreed to pay a settlement of $1.85 million. 

Final Thoughts 

Not only is it a disservice to Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party that this was not taught in school BUT it is also infuriating to hear that society itself has brushed this story under the rug. Black history is often white washed by our education system and this is no exception. It’s important to highlight the major mistakes our government has made to avoid repeating them. If you think I missed anything or mis-spoke on the topic at all feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I am happy to issue any corrections. butreallythocoaching@gmail.com 

Sources: 

Now to the Tulsa Race Massacre (Brenton’s Share)

Aka Tulsa Race Riot, Black Wall Street Massacre, Greenwood Massacre

Referred to as the single worst incident of racial violence in American History

Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1906-1921)

Black people came to the area during the westward expansion and Native American removal. Many Black people lived with Native Americans for a variety of reasons. Some were slaves to the tribes, but many tribes had differing rules on slaves so some Black people live among them as free people.

There was a great land rush within Oklahoma between 1889 – 1907, when Oklahoma became a state. JB Stratford, a wealthy educated attorney, came to Tulsa in 1898. He purchased land within the area to set aside and sell directly to Black people. He believed Black people could have a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their resources. OW Gurley followed, a wealthy Black land owner who bought 40 acres of land from JB Stratford. He was considered one of the wealthiest Black men in America and owned numerous properties in Greenwood. The two led to the foundation of a wealthy Black district within Tulsa, what eventually became recognized as Greenwood in 1906. Booker T. Washington was impressed by the area when he visited in 1905 and coined it “Black Wall Street.”

America and White Supremacy

Greenwood’s success led to white residents of Tulsa to feel resentful. As the years went on, Greenwood continued to increase in economic, population, and land size. Post WWI, white supremacy was also on the rise. The KKK was resurgent and there were 31 lynchings in Oklahoma from 1906-1921. There was also the “Red Summer” in 1919, where cities in the Midwest and Northeast experienced severe race riots. During these riots, white people attacked Black communities often with the aid of police.

Tulsa Race Massacre: Monday May 30

4pm: 19 year old Dick Rowland, a Black shoe shiner, entered the elevator of the Drexel Building to go use the Black only restroom at the top floor. 17 year old Sarah Page was the white elevator operator on duty. A clerk at Renberg’s clothing store in the 1st floor heard what sounded like a scream and then saw a young Black man race from the elevator. He assumed she was assaulted and summoned the police. Current thought is that Dick probably tripped into the elevator and braced on Sarah’s arm to steady himself rather than committing assault. This was not the popular theory even though Sarah did not press charges.

Tulsa Race Massacre: Tuesday May 31

Morning: two officers arrest Dick Rowland for assault. Moved to a jail cell at the top of the Tulsa courthouse station. The sheriff was worried about a lynching as a murder suspect was grabbed the year before.

3pm: Tulsa Tribune runs a story in the afternoon with the headline “Nab N-word for Attacking Girl in an Elevator.” The paper, which was known for its sensationalist headlines, also warned of a lynching. An hour after the paper hits, white residents begin gathering around the courthouse.

8pm: The outside crowd grows to several hundred. At 9:30pm, 50-60 armed Black men show up to back up the sheriff but are turned away. Attorney James Luther later said the sheriff had summoned them by speaking to OW Gurley. The sheriff denied this claim. The armed Black men cause white people to begin arming themselves as the crowd grows to between 1000-2000.

10pm: 75 armed Black men arrive for back up, but are turned away again. Supposedly a white man asked one of them to surrender their pistol and they declined. A shot was then fired starting a gunfight immediately. The Black men retreat back to Greenwood, while the white people follow them to Greenwood. White rioters began to attack Greenwood businesses and noted KKK member W. Tate Brady was part of the riot.

Tulsa Race Massacre: Wednesday June 1

1am: The white mob begins setting fires to Black businesses. By 4pm, over two dozens of businesses were set ablaze. At 5am: a train whistle is heard and the white attackers mistook it for a signal for an all out assault. They begin to attack Black residences and shooting fleeing Black families. There are also reports of planes attacking and dropping firebombs on Black people and businesses.

9:00am: National Guard is deployed to stop the violence. By then, an estimated 4000 Black residents had been rounded up and detained. By 12pm, martial law is declared and riots are suppressed.

Two different reports estimate the dead to either be between 75-100 or 150-300. 10,000 Greenwood residents lost their homes, with an estimated $1.5 million in real estate destroyed. Many Black people had to sleep in tents after the riots when they started to rebuild the area.

The riot was largely omitted from local, state and national histories. Many survivors were also silent because they worried it could happen again. The white massacre therefore was kept relatively quiet, until 1996 when Oklahoma commissioned an investigation into the historical account. The team delivered their report in 2001. Despite a list of items to rectify were given (including reparations), Oklahoma only acknowledged the events in history books via the “1921 Tulsa Race Riot Reconciliation Act.” There is still an ongoing search for the mass graves from the event. In February 2020, Oklahoma announced plans to roll out an extensive education curriculum. The target date was April 2020, but there has been no news since COVID-19 disrupted schools.

Sources: