Monday, February 6, 2017

Third Party and Alternative Candidates: Where You At?

So I'm just going to get right to it here.  Anyone seen or heard from Jill Stein lately?  No?  How about Gary Johnson?  Nothing?  Where are all those people who are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils?  Surely they are making a ton of noise right now.  No?  Right.  Didn't think so. 

This is why no one takes third party candidates and alternative candidates seriously.  This is why no one pays attention to them.  This is why people don't take individuals who support these candidates seriously either.  The time is ripe for third party and alternative options like Johnson, Stein, and others (and their respective parties) to make some noise.  The Democrats have proven themselves to be feckless, spineless, and clueless.  Republicans have shown themselves at best to be soulless opportunists and at worst dim witted bigots.  The field is wide open for alternative and third party candidates to step up and make some noise.  But much like the two major parties, the alternatives are proven themselves to be equally as inept and opportunistic.

Now would be the perfect time for them to make a stand.  Never has there been a more unpopular POTUS than the carnival barker who now occupies the chair.  There is a genuine and deep mistrust for both of the two major parties.  The people want and I would argue NEED alternatives.  These third party candidates should be making noise now.  They should be establishing and energizing their base now.  They should be organizing and promoting themselves and their agendas now.  They should be pushing individuals who can motivate and inspire now.  They should be making their case to the people now. 

Instead they are absent.  Silent.  With the notable exception of a few grassroots movers, shakers, and power brokers these parties aren't doing shit.  They are invisible.  They have no voice.  They have no real presence.  The general public has no idea what these parties are doing, plan to do, and what their positions are on the critical issues that are affecting the nation.  Most people have already forgotten about them.  That's not the public's fault either.  That's THEIR fault.  That's Stein's fault.  That's the Green Party's fault.  That's Johnson's fault.  They're not on the frontlines.  They're on the sidelines.

What's worse is a couple of years from now they'll pop up with their hands out looking for support.  They'll say the same tired things we hear them say every election.  They'll talk about how terrible the two main parties are.  They'll talk about voting for the lesser of two evils.  They wont say anything of substance. Then they'll lose, take the money they hustled up, and disappear until the next election cycle, much to the chagrin of those who supported their efforts and genuinely wanted change. 

If these third party and alternative candidates want to be taken seriously they need to get off the sidelines and get in the game.  Put the work in.  Don't just show up looking to raise money when the next election rolls around.  Show the people you're serious NOW.  Show them you are ready to lead NOW.  Show them you are a viable alternative NOW.  Show them a serious candidate they can get behind NOW. 

Or don't...and be quiet.  People are tired of the same of nonsense, and that includes alternative parties like the Green Party.  People aren't stupid.  They know if you're in it to win it...and you're not.  So why waste time with you?  Go hard now...or go the hell home.  Third parties where you at?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black Christians Stop Telling Us To "Love Our Enemies"

Before I start I want to state that this post is not meant to offend or hurt my Christian sisters and brothers in any way.  That said, I have to speak the truth as I see it.  This issue is very important and we have to unpack and discuss this if we ever hope to move forward.  The water is going to get deep and it's going to be hot.  But family, this is a discussion that is long overdue.

There is no nice way to say this.  So I'm going to just say it outright.  Right now many Black Christians are aiding in the oppression of Black people.  For too long now, Black preachers and Black Christians have been pacifying and placating Black people in times of crisis and moral outrage.  We're been told to love, hug, forgive, and embrace those who seek to do us great harm.  We've been told to pray for those who are actively working to undermine our progress as a people.  We're being told to reach out to those who hate us not for what we've done, but for simply being who we are.  This idea of extending love to those who hate us is not only foolish but it is dangerous and it is one of the primary reasons why we are still struggling in the 21st century.  Not only that, but when you consider that many of the pastors and religious leaders who encourage us to do this are actually in league with our enemies it ceases being foolishness and becomes treacherous and insidious.

We've all heard the scriptures.  We've all heard the empty platitudes.  If you are Black at some point in your life you've heard some Black Christian tell you to love your enemy.  You've been told to turn the other cheek.  You've been gas lighted into believing that if you fight back then YOU are wrong.  That hatred has won.  You've been gas lighted into believing that if you defend yourself you are no different than your enemy.  You've been told that you must love your enemy.  That only love can drive out hate.  These empty platitudes do not serve you.  They lock you in state of victimization.  It addles and softens your mind.  It robs you of your will to resist.  You become sheep, unable and even unwilling to defend yourself against the wolves that intend to make a meal of you.

You will not change your enemies heart by loving them.  If that were the case, racism would be a relic of the past.  Black Christians who encourage you to love those who hate and despise you do you no favors.  The onus is not on us to change the hearts of the wicked.  We will not hug, love, or pray our way out of oppression.  History teaches us this.  Such attitudes place the responsibility for change on the oppressed.  Suddenly it becomes our job to change the minds of racist and bigoted people.  It absolves those people any responsibility for their behavior.  It's foolish.  Not only that but as I said above, but when you put thought to it, it's also treacherous and insidious.

Consider this.  How many times have you heard a Black minister or Christian state that they love ISIS? How many times have you ever heard a Black minister tell a white American that they must love terrorists?  That they should pray for Al Qaeda?  That they should embrace America's enemies?  That white Americans should forgive Micah Xavier Johnson?  You don't hear that.  Ever.  You don't see Black preachers telling the families of Boston Marathon bombings or 9/11 victims to let go of their hate. You don't hear them telling them that violence solves nothing and only love can defeat hatred.  But they will tell you to hug Dylann Roof.  They will tell you to pray for white supremacists.  They will tell you to love the KKK.  They will tell you to forgive white nationalists.  They will have you running with open arms to those who wish you dead.  It is treacherous. 

Black Christians it's time to stop this.  We are facing some perilous times.  There are people in positions of great power working against us.  Now is not the time for absolution.  Now is not the time for hugs.  We need  our will and our wits about us.  We need our strength and passion.  What we do not need is you softening the hearts and minds of people with empty platitudes.  What we don't need is you using scripture to rob sisters and brothers of their will to resist and extinguishing their fire.  When all wrongs have been made right and things are as they should be, then we can talk about hugs and forgiveness.  But now is not the time.  You are hurting us.  You are weakening us.  You are making us vulnerable to those who seek to kill us.  Stop telling us to love our enemies.  At best it reveals that you are short sighted and naïve.  At worst, it reveals you as an agent of our oppressors.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Black People: You Can't Defeat Trump Thinking Like Trump

I really wanted to use this blog entry to speak on something that I feel is really important. 

Many of us are deeply concerned and extremely upset with the actions of the Trump administration. Things such as Trump's immigration ban, the completely unnecessary crisis with Mexico over his nonsensical wall, the imminent repeal of the ACA, and so many other issues has us all deeply troubled.  Indeed these are extremely troubling times.

But I want to speak to my sisters and brothers for a minute.  How some of us are reacting to these issues is almost as troubling as the issues themselves.  I know some of us are afraid.  I know some of us don't know what to do.  That's fine.  It's OK to be afraid.  It's understandable if you are confused.  But what is definitely NOT OK is to yield to Trump's bigotry and racism.  It's not OK to capitulate under the guise of negotiation.  It's not OK to engage in the same xenophobia and bigoted behavior that's being used against us.  It's completely counterproductive and it aids our enemies and deepens the crisis we find ourselves in.

For example, I've read and heard brothers and sisters support building a wall.  I've read excuses that range from "Immigrants are taking jobs away from Black people" to "What have the Mexican people done for us?".  I've read similar excuses from sisters and brothers who support Trump's immigration ban.  I've heard people say "I'm not a Muslim, it doesn't affect me".  It's incredibly short sighted and it highlights just how deeply entrenched white supremacy is in the Black mind.  I've even seen comments on immigration extend to Africa and our African sisters and brothers. It is extremely anti-Black and it upsets me greatly.

First of all, everything your enemy does affects you.  The weapons being used against Muslims, Mexicans, and anyone who isn't a white Anglo-Saxon Christian will be used against you.  Ignoring your enemy until he is knocking on your doorstep is folly.  Furthermore, you are not going to defeat white supremacy thinking like white supremacists.  You aren't going to defeat white supremacy acting like white supremacists.  You sure as hell aren't going to defeat white supremacy AIDING it.  You cannot build a house using the oppressor's tools.  We must get white supremacy OUT of our heads and change how we think.  As marginalized people, we cannot expect to exploit other marginalized people and profit or ignore the actions of white supremacists until we are forced to act.

The coming days are going to be difficult and stressful.  But we must as a people remain focused and vigilant.  What's more, we need to be very careful our behaviors do not aid our enemies.  We must be careful we do not become what we are trying to fight.  If we engage in the same type of xenophobic, short sighted bigotry as our enemies, if we attempt to use the same weapons that will be used to impale us then Donald Trump has already won and we have already lost.  Think family....think...

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Absolute Absurdity of Building A Wall

I'm going to be completely frank on this post.  Because truthfully we shouldn't even be talking about this.  This really shouldn't even be a thing.  At all.  Period.  The fact that this is an actual discussion speaks to just how unforgivably ridiculous American society has become.  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about President Donald J. Trump's absurd and absolutely laughable plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.  It's outrageous to the point of being cartoonish.  It would be comedic if it wasn't so ridiculous.  In fact, I don't know who is more outrageous: Donald Trump for proposing the idea or us for entertaining it.

I mean what part of this plan ISN'T absurd?  It's logistically impossible.  The cost of trying to build a wall is through the stratosphere.  It's not going to deter undocumented immigrants from entering the country.  It's kindergarten level foolishness.  Yet here we are entertaining this as if it's even possible, much less feasible.  It's as if our minds have be muddled to the point of where we cannot think clearly.  Why is no one challenging the new President on this?  Why are we pretending this is a thing?  Why are we not calling this out for being the unforgivably brazen fuckery that it is?

I want to say Americans cannot be this uneducated.  But apparently we are.  Either that or we hate Mexicans so much that we'll entertain any nonsensical rubbish from any nonsensical clown(my money is on both if I must be honest).  Because this is clown level foolishness people.  We all know it too.  There is no way to build a wall along the entire border of Mexico.  It's ridiculous to even suggest.   Maps are your friends people.  It's just not possible.  I don't know why anyone would think for a moment that it is. 

Then there is the cost.  Mexico isn't paying for a wall.  Hello, McFly.  Anyone home?  Any effort to build one is coming out of American tax payers pockets.  Period.  We know it.  Hell even Trump himself knows it.  His attempts to bully Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is cringe worthy.  It's not going to happen.  Trump has even casually threatened a 20% import tax on Mexico.  A move that will not only hurt the American economy, but should it hurt the Mexican economy it will only result in MORE people coming to the States.  It's mind boggling how stupid this is.

Want more?  Let's pretend you COULD build a wall along the Mexican border.  Less than half of the undocumented immigrants in the country are Mexican nationals.  Most undocumented immigrants are here on overstayed visas.  They did not run across the border of Mexico.  So what in God's name is a wall supposed to do?  How does a wall even BEGIN to address the issue of illegal immigration? It's like a child came up with all this.

There is no part of "build a wall" that isn't ridiculous. Not one part.  It's absurd from the word go.  The question we need to start asking is why no one is calling this what it is?  Where is the media?  Where are politicians who know better?  Who is going to have the stones to call this nonsense out for what it is?  Am I the only one that sees how racist, pathetic, and outlandish this is?  I can't be...

Anyway thanks for reading.  You know how we do...
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Outrageous Hypocrisy of Evangelicals

I want to write about something that really isn't being talked about all that much.  Something that is on my mind and hasn't left me alone since November. 

Evangelical Christians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Donald Trump.  I mean the number wasn't even close.  It was in the stratosphere.  I'm talking 80% of Evangelicals.  They overwhelmingly support Trump.  They are completely behind him.  What's more, many of them are PROUD that they voted for Trump.  They voted for Trump with great enthusiasm.  I don't mind telling you that it boggles the mind.

I mean how can evangelicals even attempt to justify their support of Donald Trump? I mean it's not like Trump's transgressions are some well guarded secret.  We all know his history.  We all saw how he behaved on the campaign trail.  He has been married three times.  He is a serial adulterer.  He is a pathological liar.  He's been accused of rape and pedophilia. I mean I'm not making this stuff up.  It's out there for anyone and everyone to see.  Yet none of those things bothered them one single bit. 

I mean this is the same group of people that are damning everyone to hell for just about everything imaginable.  Pre-marital sex or sex out of wedlock?  You're going to hell.  Divorced?  Practice any other faith but Christianity? You're going to hell.  Smoke?  Drink?  Party?  Hell, hell, and hell.  Oh and don't get me started on their approach to our sisters and brothers in the LGBT community.  Or their approach to any woman who has ever had an abortion.  You would think The Donald wouldn't even be a consideration.  But the exact opposite was true.  He was not only their first choice, he was their only choice.

I've even heard evangelicals say nonsensical things like "God can work with anyone" or "We don't know Trump's heart".  Well if God can work with anyone why wouldn't God work with any of the other candidates running for the office? Why would God choose someone completely lacking a moral center?  We don't know Trump's heart but we DO know his history. You're telling me God chose HIM of all people?  Of course these are rhetorical questions. If you asked evangelicals any of these questions they would most certainly with respond with empty and useless platitudes and scriptures. 

I have theories mind you.  I could talk about how evangelical Christianity is interwoven with White Supremacy. I could talk about how it's no coincidence that most evangelical Christians identify as conservatives.  I could talk about how right wing politics and Christianity have become big business in America.  But I'll save all that for another posting for another day.

Instead I'll just sit back and observe as evangelical Christians engage in almost legendary levels of hypocrisy.  It's astounding to me...and not in a good way either.  It reaffirms a lot of what I've already come to know about the church in America.  But I'll save that for another post on another day as well.  Thanks for reading.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Age of Alternate Facts

There is an old saying: "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts." Apparently though, in 2017 that is no longer the case.  This past Sunday Kellyanne Conway attempted to change all that.  As you may or may not know, Conway went on Meet the Press and not only defended the blatantly false and inaccurate claims of WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer but went a step further and referred to these claims as "alternate facts".  As opposed I guess to "actual facts".

Now follow me for a second.  Conway isn't the first, second, or third WH spokesperson in the history of this country to tell a lie.  She isn't the first to get caught in one or called out for telling one. It's par for the course whether we want to admit it or not.  But referring to an obvious falsehood as an "alternative fact"?  That's new.  To basically look at the camera and boldly call a lie the truth?  That's fairly new too.  I mean the game started the same way it always starts.  She got called on a lie.  She tried to deflect.  She played the victim.  She ducked the question.  All the standard stuff.  But when Chuck Todd pressed her and wouldn't let off the hook she employed a new tactic.  She suggested that Spicer wasn't lying or wrong or even mistaken.  She suggested that he was giving alternative facts.  She literally erased the line between what's real and what isn't real. She erased the line between a lie and the truth.

I shouldn't have to tell anyone how dangerous this is.  Sure we've all got jokes and most people really don't give a damn about how many people showed up or watched an inauguration.  But think about it.  We have a WH that is essentially dictating what facts are.  We have a WH that is essentially saying "To hell with the truth.  It happened because WE SAID it happened.".  We have a WH telling us what is real and what isn't real, truth be damned.  That. Is. Dangerous.  If they will go this route on something as insignificant as the turnout for the inauguration what happens when the subject is something serious?  This goes well beyond breach of trust.  It's an administration literally telling you what you are allowed to believe, whether it's true of not.

What's even more upsetting is that Conway knew she'd get away with it.  At one point she arrogantly brushed her hair back, posturing as if she was completely in the right.  That is because for a long time now we've been watching and allowing the media and the government lie, distort, misrepresent, and fabricate truth.  It's been going on for years and it's been getting progressively worse.  We've also become a very soft minded, anti-intellectual, hyper-partisan society.  Combine that with the racial and social bias that permeates this country and it's not hard to see why Conway had no fear going on national television and presenting a lie as the truth.  It's incredibly disturbing.

The Trump Administration has ushered in the age of alternative facts.  An age where the truth is meaningless.  Where facts are malleable, ambiguous things wide open for interpretation.  I sincerely hope I'm not the only person who sees how dangerous this path is that we are on.  Thanks for reading.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

White America Wanted Donald Trump

*This blog posting was inspired by a spirited discussion with a good friend.

Today Donald Trump officially became the 45th President of the United States of America.  Even writing it doesn't feel right.  It's like being trapped in an absurd SNL skit.  But it happened.  He's the President.  Many of us are going back and forth as to why and how Trump became POTUS.  Discussions range from Hillary's arrogance to DNC corruption to Russia to Bernie Sanders not being on the ticket.  But me being me I have to lay the blame squarely where I feel it belongs.  While there may be some truth to all of those things, at the end of the day white America chose Donald J. Trump. That is the one undeniable truth. That fact cannot be argued.

Let's be real. We can go back and forth about why we think white America openly chose an inexperienced, bigoted, racist, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, closet Klansman, but at the end of the day the fact remains that is exactly what they did.  To me, that screams two words: white nationalism.  Donald Trump is the most unqualified candidate to ever seek the office.  He has no political or military experience.  He has an almost child like temperament.  His outrageous behavior is well documented.  His racism, his sexism and misogyny, his xenophobia, his Islamaphobia, and his narcissistic foolishness has all been on full display since the primaries.  The very real possibility exist that he hasn't paid a dime in taxes in over two decades.  He is a lying, conniving carnival barker.  White America chose him anyway.  That should tell you something.

He ran on a platform of hatred.  Let's be real.  He ran on building walls and deporting Mexicans and Muslims.  He ran on bringing lawless minorities under control.  He ran on putting "America first".  He ran on raw, blatant white nationalism.  That was his entire platform.  And he won.

Now I know that is difficult for some to accept.  They don't want to believe that their white "friends" or coworkers who voted for Trump are the bigoted individuals that they truly are.  So they have come up with several excuses for them.  They talk about how flawed a candidate Hillary was.  They talk about how different the outcome would be if only Bernie Sanders were on the ticket.  They do these things while ignoring the obvious.  That white people felt a man endorsed by the KKK was a reasonable alternative.  That an open racist with no political experience was a option.  They play the game of "what if" while conveniently ignoring that their friends and coworkers rationalized voting for a bigoted buffoon.

It's time to let go of what if. It's time let go of Bernie Sanders. He's not now nor has he ever been our saviour. His comments about Jeff Sessions proves that much (and highlights why he did so poorly with PoC in the primaries). It's time to let all of that go IMO.  We need to recognize our enemy, roll up our sleeves, and be ready to fight. Because Donald Trump and his ilk are preparing for us. Steve Bannon is proof of that.  Jeff Sessions is proof of that.   Make no mistake about it. We damn well better get prepared for them.

For all the arguments that can be made there is one fact that cannot be disputed.  White America voted for Donald J. Trump.  He won the majority of votes in every white demographic.  They wanted him.  The sooner we accept that, the sooner we will learn to identify who are friends and enemies really are.  Thanks for reading.

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