Tag Archives: OMG

Young. Dumb. Dead

Jamisha Gilbert pictureThis week has been filled with heartbreak in our community.  It started when another young woman went missing and only a few days later turned up dead.
Jamisha Gilbert’s disappearance and her death is so fresh considering we are still grappling over Alexis Murphy.  Alexis, by the way, is still missing and this  week we hit the four month mark since she vanished.
It’s tragic to know that one mother knows where her daughter is (provided little comfort), while another mother still suffers at night not knowing if her daughter is alive.

Add to the mix, the 11 college kids from Washington & Lee who had their lives changed forever this week.  They were all riding in an SUV after a night of “lot’s of fun”, only to crash.  One kid killed.  vigilI’m sure the driver will be charged with
vehicular manslaughter any day.  He’s already charged with DUI.  The thing is, it could’ve been any of those kids behind the wheel.  He was probably just unlucky enough to have the largest vehicle.

Then there was the incident between two friends in Roanoke on Wednesday afternoon.  One of them was handling a gun.  It went off.  The other teenager was killed.  Child’s Play?

In all of these incidents, what comes to mind is young and dumb.  Before you think I’m here to pass judgement, I’m not.  The truth is at one point we’ve all been young and dumb.  I can think of a few things in my high school or college days that could’ve taken me on a whole different path.  For that matter, there were some decision I made in my 20’s that could’ve put me in a coffin a lot sooner.

I’m sure many of you could say the same even if you don’t do it publicly.

What really disturbs me though is how I believe social media has perhaps magnified and glorified dumb behavior.

Explicit warning labels on CD’s,  Rated-R movies and Pay-Per-View were the threats in the “old days”.  Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube and the list goes on.

In so many of these tragedies now, it’s bothersome  to see these young girls on Facebook and making online videos, just putting themselves out there as a piece of meat.  This week we’ve seen more videos of “kids in the news” readily admitting online that they smoke weed.   How many times have you run across Facebook photos showing underage drinking?

Don’t you know by now that when you do something online you do it in front of the world?  It’s young. It’s dumb.  It’s tacky.  To you young women out there, let me tell you, what you all are doing online isn’t cute and oh yes, there are consequences.  I don’t think that is reason enough to be murdered or raped, but you have to know bad behavior attracts evil.

Parents, you gotta start talking to your kids and don’t wait until they’re 14 and 15.   “Train up a Child….”  And yes, while all children make mistakes (as part of badge of honor to adulthood), we all have to step up and revert back to the “It takes a Village…”

Our kids will be young and dumb, but it is imperative that those of us who survived our poor decisions, protect them from theirs.

A Lesson For Us All

meomMidnight came and went on September 30th.  The federal government shut down (partially).  How did this happen? Why did this happen?

Probably the easiest answer is because of partisan difference.  However, I think we’d be fools if we didn’t acknowledge the take away for all of us is so much bigger.  Let our lawmakers unwillingness and inability to work together be a lesson for us all.

How many times have we as “everyday” folk allowed our greed, pettiness, hate and jealousy filter to through our work, home and other aspects of our lives?  Our actions and emotions have a way of spreading.  Were you  cruel to a co-worker or someone at church?  Who knows what you could’ve accomplished TOGETHER if you hadn’t offended so-and-so.

Hopefully Washington will get it together soon enough.  In the meantime, we should put our own lives under a microscope  and examine what kind of shutdown we’ve created and the fall out we left behind.

Chew on This…

workforceI was out recently doing a story, when I ran across a woman who was job hunting.  No big deal.  She was in her mid 60’s.  No big deal.  She was having a tough time finding a job and she felt it all had to do with her age.  Very big deal.

While I’m still in my 30’s, age discrimination is something you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not know it’ s happening.  It’s increasingly becoming more of a problem too as older Americans have to go back to work in order to keep up with the cost of living.  Someone very close to me is currently at the receiving end of a younger managers constant rant and scrutiny all because of their age.  Shame on them and shame on you if you are trying to make someone’s life miserable because they’re older and therefore you deem them incompetent.

For heavens sakes,  these people are quite competent.  Some, yes, may move a little slower, they may not be as tech savvy.  However, they are full of wisdom, full of experience and quite frankly, they have a better work ethic than my generation and the ones that follow.

The next time you decide not to hire someone simply based on their age or mistreat them in any other way for that matter, remember, these were our babysitters  growing up.  These were our teachers and swim coaches.  These are are mom’s and dad’s and one day it’ll be you!

What Are You Superstitious About?

superstitionsCan’t you hear the Stevie Wonder song ….

The fact of the matter is we all have superstitions.  I find it funny too, because even though I don’t really believe in (all) of them, I find myself doing things to avoid getting jinxed.  Here are a few I’ve learned over the years:

1.  Don’t sweep over someone’s foot or cross over their leg (bad luck)

2.  Eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day (good luck/prosperity)

3.  (This one is from a good friend of mine).  Don’t buy your girlfriend/boyfriend shoes, they’ll walk out of your life.  Also, don’t buy them a watch because time will run out on your relationship

4. Don’t walk under a ladder (bad luck)

5.  Don’t split a pole (bad luck)

6.  Don’t break a mirror (7 years of bad luck)

7.  Avoid black cats (bad luck)

8.  It’s bad luck to leave the house through a different door than the one you came in from.  (WDBJ7 Producer)

9.  Step on a crack…break your mother’s back

10.  Kiss a clock  i.e.  1:23am/pm  12:34am/pm 1:11am/pm (good luck)

Now let’s here some of your superstitions!

Just call me “Dancing Davis” (Video Included)

Let’s get the most pressing question out of the way.  No, I didn’t win.  However, the Salvation Army’s Turning Point won in a huge way this past weekend.

Dancing with the  Valley Stars brought in an estimated $28,000 dollars in profit for the local domestic violence shelter.

I had such a great time being one of this years “Stars”.  Kudos to my teachers Terry and Dawn Hall.  Terry and I cha-cha’d our butts off.  So much, so, I almost slipped at the end.  But instantly I reverted back to my cheerleading days and just kept hearing that inner voice say “Stick It, Stick It”.  I’ve also got to give credit to the professional teacher.   He held on to me pretty well.

CLICK THE LINK TO SEE ME DANCE  http://www.wdbj7.com/videogallery/73282825/News/WEB-EXTRA-Watch-WDBJ7-s-Hollani-Davis-routine-during-Dancing-with-the-Valley-stars

I had such a blast.  I do have to say though, the real “Dancing with the Stars”  on that network, not to be named, is definitely a lot harder than it looks.  Then again, those contestants practice 8 hours a day.  I practiced a total of about 4.

Thanks to all those including my sister and wonderful co-workers who came out to support.  Now, onto the next challenge, whatever that may be!

Miseducated. Misguided. Misled.

I took a couple days off before writing this entry, to how can I put this?  I needed to collect my thoughts. Earlier this week, one of our reporters (Elizabeth Harrington) covered a story about a man in Craig County who has a monkey in his front yard with a cut out face of President Obama.  (The monkey is also wearing an Obama t-shirt).  Needless to say, the man is not a supporter of the President.  I could honestly care less who he likes, but as an African-American the whole monkey thing he’s got going, is completely disrespectful.  I would say the same thing and feel the same way if someone put a big cracker in their yard with a cut-out face of Mitt Romney.

Still, for anyone who chooses to show their emotions this way, it is their First Amendment right.  The guy says he doesn’t get the hatred mentality that his monkey references.  He also says, he has African-American friends.  Personally, I’m not so sure about that.  Friends are different from acquaintances.   I find it hard to believe that African-Americans per se would be your “friend” when you outwardly show a kind of hatred and bigotry that ultimately led to the Civil War and later the brutality of the Civil Rights movement.

If you don’t like someone or what they stand for, fine.  However, when you start reaching back and pulling out centuries old symbols that ultimately led to bloodshed and still scars our country, that I believe is crossing the line.

Still, as I said, I do believe this man has a right to keep this display.  I also believe WDBJ should have covered this story.  Our job is to report the happenings in our community.  Good, bad, whatever you want to call it, we give you the news.  Some of our viewers didn’t see it that way.  Here are a few of the emails we received.

“The airing of a foolish man who dressed up a monkey to look like the President of the United States and hung it on a flag pole with a sign speaks volumes regarding the level of disrespect for the office of the President (regardless of who or which party) some elements of our society are propagating.”  ~Roanoke Viewer

“I think that putting the monkey with the Obama face on it on the news was uncalled for. Why would you give a person who did that credence? Even if it wasn’t racist, (which I’m not sure it wasn’t), it sure was done in poor taste and certainly not newsworthy.”           ~ WDBJ7 Viewer

“There was absolutely no place for that racist to be but on what use to be my favorite news.” ~Roanoke Viewer

I would love to hear your thoughts!

WDBJ at the White House

Hollani Davis interviews President Obama at the White House. Someone get me a box to stand on. I’m 5’1 1/2. The President is reportedly 6’1 1/2.

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with my news director and one of WDBJ7’s award-winning photographer’s.  We were invited to the White House to interview President Obama.
Before I go any further let me say this.  Yes it is an election year, and yes, we are very much aware that the President is trying to garner support.  I will also say, that our station would have also accepted an invitation to interview Mitt Romney if he was occupying the Oval Office.  But guess what?  Romney will be in Salem, Virginia on Tuesday, June 26th and we’ll be there!

Preparing for the 6PM Live Shot on the South Lawn. Gotta read over that script. No fumbling!

No matter your politics (and I will not divulge mine), going to the White House is an experience.  For me, it was a long and rewarding day.  7AM -12PM.  There was very little downtime.  Between touring the residence, going on a garden
tour, interviewing the president, meeting with several of his cabinet members and other staff, having lunch with his advisers, attending an afternoon press briefing, cranking out 4 stories, you didn’t know if you were coming or going.

Bo KNOWS how to bring in the crowd!

WDBJ7 Photographer Rob Chewning. Getting things set up! He’s the best!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the excitement of Bo (the presidential dog) coming out onto the White House Lawn twice!

Whether or not you like the President and his policies, being in the White House is incredible.

It’s American pride at its best.  You feel like you are watching history unfold right before you, and maybe that’s because in some aspects, you are.  White House staff aids, the Secret Service, even the kitchen staff are always on their A game.  By the way, shot out to the kitchen cooks.  The meal they served for lunch was incredible.

Hampton University alumna Danielle Crutchfield. We met freshman year. Today she serves at the pleasure of President Obama.