Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sinn-ister Musings: The Irony of Donald Trump

For 8 years we've been listening to Republicans talk about constitutional conservatism.  We've been hearing how only a return to true conservatism can save this country.  We watched conservatives attack "RINOS" and those who even appear to support progressives.  We've heard about how inexperienced Obama is.  Pure conservatism was touted as America's only salvation.

You can imagine then how amused I am at the fact that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee for the GOP.  That shit is HILARIOUS to me.  Donald J. Trump.  A man who is on record stating the economy does better under the Democrats.  A man who donated to Hillary Clinton and praised her record.  A man who is for universal healthcare.  A man who up until recently was pro choice. 

Let's set aside the absurdity of Trump's campaign and rhetoric for a moment and all have a laugh at the conservatives who made all that noise over the past decade.  Seeing you walk back all that bullshit is gold.  Seeing you flip flopping, waffling, and trying to salvage this fiasco is awesome.  Listening to your mealy mouthed back peddling and watching you sweat trying to justify Trump is beyond great.

You played yourselves.  It's funny as all hell.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Africa Bambaataa: Why it's Important to Stand Up and Speak Out

Those who know me well know that I've spent more than half my life in the underground Hip Hop circuit.  I am far from a house hold name though and I'm old enough that few will remember my very meager contributions to the underground music set.  I'm not a star.  I'm not an icon.  I've never won a Grammy.  I've never gone platinum or even gold.  For all intents and purposes I'm just another brother who loves Hip Hop.  That said, I love Hip Hop.  I love Hip Hop culture.  I love the music.  I am as close to a Hip Hop purist as you can possibly get.  It is for this reason that I am compelled to speak out on the allegations surrounding Africa Bambaataa of the Zulu Nation.

After receiving a phone call from a long time Hip Hop partner who lives on the west coast I have to speak.  After a DM conversation with another good friend a few days ago(who also lives on the west coast) I can no longer be silent.  After listening to an incredibly disheartening interview from on of Hip Hop's true fathers I can no longer hold my tongue.  Many people are going to take issue with some of what I have to say.  But this needs to be said and I need to say it.

If the allegations against Bambaataa are true(and there is strong evidence to suggest it is) then we who claim to love Hip Hop should be condemning this in the strongest way possible.  Child molestation is not something we should waffle on, mince words, or dismiss.  The dismissive nature in which many of us, particularly those of us who remember the Golden Age, is deeply disturbing.  The fact that many of us don't want to speak on this or when we DO speak on it we are downplaying it and dancing around it is, in a word, wrong.  Child abuse and child molestation is a crime.  The victims must live with the trauma for the rest of their lives.  This is not something we should ignore, look past, dismiss, or play down.  We must be direct and we must be straight up with our language.  What happened was wrong.  Period.  Full stop.

Recently I heard an interview with KRS-One.  Now before I continue I've long had a deep and powerful respect for KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions.  Their contributions to the game run deep.  KRS was the emcee you wanted to emulate.  His mic presence, lyrical ability, dedication to Hip Hop, and staying power is a testament to how important he and BDP are to Hip Hop culture.  So you can imagine my disappointment when he was asked about Bambaataa he responded "I don't give a fuck".  It was like being hit in the chest.  I expected KRS to speak loud and strongly condemn the actions of a child molester.  Instead, KRS displayed the type of dismissiveness I spoke of and almost seemed disinterested in the question.

We can't do that.  We can't.  Our voices must be loud.  Our voices must me strong.  Our voices must be direct.  As the elders of Hip Hop we owe it to the culture to speak out.  And we're not.  We're looking the other way.  We're being silent.  We aren't saying what needs to be said.  And that....is wrong.

So today I'm going on record.  Because I cannot in good faith or in good conscious continue to pretend this isn't an issue.  Child molestation is a terrible, terrible thing.  Those who know must come forward.  Those who participated must be punished.  We must speak with one voice and say "We will not tolerate this.  This isn't Hip Hop culture.  This isn't what Hip Hop is about.  This.  Is. Wrong. 

I wont be silent on the issue any longer.  When asked, I will speak and I will speak loudly.  Thank you for reading.

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

All Lives Matter: Disingenous Bullshit in it's Purest Form

Monday Afternoon Musings....

Them: "Doc why does "All Lives Matter" bother you so much?

Me: "Because it's disingenuous bullshit in it's purist form.  First of all you sit and act is if when we declare "Black Lives Matter" we are speaking as if other lives don't.  You're on some bullshit right off the bat.  You ignore the context in which the words are spoken.  You ignore the climate and circumstances that gave rise to the phrase.  You pretend as if we are asserting ONLY Black Lives Matter when what we are in fact doing is asserting that our lives matter TOO. 

Secondly, if all lives mattered where were you when Eric Garner got choked out for "selling cigarettes"?  Were you standing with us?  Or were you making excuses for why Garner deserved to die?  Where were you when Tamir Rice was shot dead playing in the park?  Where you speaking out with us and sharing in our outrage?  Or were you making excuses for the police who murdered him?

Oh and let's not forget the constant deflection of "What about Black on Black Crime?"  as if A)Other races don't kill each other at similar rates and B)We don't deserve justice because some of our less enlightened sisters and brothers commit crimes.

"All Lives Matter" is bullshit.  It's a silencing tactic.  If you really believed all lives matter I wouldn't have to assert that Black ones matter.  Murderers wouldn't be walking away and returning to work after killing our unarmed sisters and brothers in cold blood.  I wouldn't have to declare Black Lives Matter.  Because you'd feel me when the lives of my family are lost and you'd stand with me.

Whenever I hear "All Lives Matter" I hear "Shut up.  You're not special.  We don't care".  To which I respond with a hearty "Fuck you.  Go fuck yourself".  Because when all lives truly matter I wont have to declare Black Lives Matter anymore.   But until then I will proudly declare "BLACK LIVES MATTER" and dismiss your "ALL LIVES MATTER" as the disingenuous bullshit that it is.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Finish Them! Obama's Flawless Victory over the GOP

Greetings readers.  Some random thoughts for the weekend...

I've had more than my fair share of issues with President Obama over the last 8 years.  I've been pretty vocal about some of them too.  That said, you have to believe that Barack and Michele are somewhere laughing their asses off.

Barack Obama completely punked the GOP.  He trounced them in '08.  He trounced them in 2012.  Their obsessive attacks on him backfired at every turn.  The lies, hatred, and vitriol they used against him is now consuming the party.  The ignorant, hateful, bigoted mob they've stirred into a frenzy now threatens to burn their own house down.  The extremists, racists, and conspiracy theorists they've been pandering to have mutinied and have seized control of the ship.

While Obama cruises to the finish of an 8 year term, the GOP struggles to salvage their party which is in complete and utter disarray.    While he and Michele are poised to walk off into the sunset, the GOP has imploded and is on the brink of disaster.  His signature legislation(Obamacare), for better or for worse, dangles in their faces almost taunting them.

Again, I've had quite a number of issues with Obama.  He has frustrated me.  At times he's angered me.  I've given voice to that anger on more than one occasion.  I'm not happy about some of things he's done.  I'm even less happy about some of the things he's FAILED to do.  But in the case of his 8 year battle with a party that dedicated themselves to his failure, his victory over the GOP is absolute.  It was a rout.  A blowout.  He won and it wasn't even close.  Not only did they fail but they may have destroyed their own party in the process.

Obama wins.  Flawless Victory.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Not Voting? I'm No Longer Mad At You...

I've moved quite a bit on my stance regarding voting.  I still fully encourage brothers and sisters to get involved in the political process.  But truthfully, after looking at what the process has become, the Citizens United ruling by the SC, and the subsequent creation of super pacs, I'm not really mad at anyone who doesn't vote.

I mean it.  Politics has never been more corrupt.  The system is broken almost beyond repair.  The process has been completely seized and the amount of money in politics now is absurd.  Despite what we hear from politicians on both sides, it's almost foolish to believe that they act and exist to serve the best interest of the people.  America has become an oligarchy that only serves the interests of the fabulously wealthy.

I would say that if you ARE going to vote, then don't just punch a ballot and walk away.  Get involved in local politics.  Hold these politician's feet to the fire.  Pressure them and lean on them at every opportunity.  Protest.  Get active.  Voting by itself isn't going to do shit.  You're wasting your time.  Get involved and stay involved.  Voting by itself is going to get you little more than a sticker and 2-4 more years of the same old same old.

So yes, I still encourage people to get involved in the political process.  I do.  That said if you choose not to, I understand.  I cannot in good conscious recommend that you vote for the "lesser of two evils" or "vote to keep someone out" or "vote to support your party".  Not in this political climate.  If you are passionate about a candidate, vote for and support that candidate.  Just be sure to stay on that candidate.  It doesn't stop after election day.  If you cannot find the passion and stay home...I feel you.  Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil and it's what got us here in the first place.

Flint Michigan should remind poor and working class Americans that politicians will not think twice about taking advantage of people and will ignore their plight and needs.  Something's got to change.  It's not as simple as "get out and vote" anymore.  In truth, it never was....

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Naked Truth About Donald Trump

I want people to think about something.  Think about how many times you've heard discussions on national and local news networks about how Mexicans are coming over the border and taking jobs from Americans.  Think about how many times you've heard discussions about how Muslims are looking to infiltrate America, kill and subjugate Americans, and institute Sharia Law.  Think about how many times you've heard about "the gay agenda" and how homosexuals seek to redefine marriage and plunge America into sin, perversion, and decadence.  Think about how many times you've heard discussions about how the majority of young Black men are thugs and criminals and how Black women are lazy, unmotivated welfare queens looking for a handout.  Think about it.

I'm not talking about discussions on fringe conspiratorial outlets either.  I'm talking about real discussion about these so called issues on so called legitimate news networks.  I'm talking about real discussions on popular blogs, and supposedly trusted news sources.  Just think about how often you've heard these and other bigoted and outrageous narratives perpetuated in media outlets all across the nation.  Once you do that, it should come as no surprise why Donald Trump leads the Republican field for POTUS.  I've said recently that Republicans and the media created Donald Trump.  But that's not entirely true.  They didn't so much create Trump as they wrote the blueprint and gave him the tools to usurp not only the Republican party but the Presidential race and the media narrative as well.

The majority of Donald Trump's supporters are, to be blunt, ignorant bigots.  They don't care he has zero qualifications to be POTUS.  They don't care that he's never served in the military or never served in public office.  They care nothing for his lack of understanding of foreign and domestic policy and his obvious ignorance as to how government works.  They don't care about any of that.  They LOVE Donald because he speaks directly to the fears and prejudices that have been played up to the extreme over the last few years.

They love it when he talks about deporting Mexicans and building walls.  They love it when he talks about banning Muslims.  They eat it up when he talks about traditional marriage and yells "All Lives Matter" at the top of his lungs.  They dine on that shit.  It's exactly what they want to hear.  He knows it too.  That's why he's impervious to gaffes.  That's why he rises no matter what he says.  Because he speaks to the worst elements of American society.  And they hear him and they rise.

Republicans are just angry that Trump is better at propaganda than they are.  They are angry that he's seized the captains chair.  They don't care about what he's saying to be honest.  They've been whispering that same shit for years.  Trump is just YELLING it.  He's embracing it.  He's not tip toeing about it.  That's what he's followers mean when they praise him for "telling it like it is".  They are tired of hiding.  They are tired of pretending.  Trump says all the things they want to say but are afraid to because they know better.  They want a leader who will allow them to be openly bigoted.

The naked truth about Donald Trump is that he is the embodiment of everything that's wrong with America.  The media can act like his rise is some strange phenomenon all they want.  The truth is, at the end of the day, they've been saying the same things and doing the same things for years.  They're just mad he's better at peddling racist, bigoted bullshit than they are.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Donald Trump and the Terminal Ignorance of His Supporters.

In June of last year I was convinced Donald Trump would be out of the race by now.  Trump is unqualified to be POTUS.  The establishment doesn't want him.  He has chronic foot in mouth disease.  He's offends just about everyone.  He has no political experience.  He has no military experience.  At times he behaves like a petulant child.  I was convinced he had about as much chance as Sponge Bob Squarepants.  How could such an utter buffoon possibly dominate the Republican field with so many high profile enemies, even within his own party?  Nah.  At the time I thought it simply wasn't possible

Then in late June I had a conversation with a wise brother I build with about politics and an African sister whose intellect I have great respect for.  They both cautioned me that I might be underestimating Trump and overestimating the American voter.  Some of the things they said resonated with me so I decided to do some math.  I examined the situation and hypothesized "What if Trump could actually tap into the gross ignorance that is infested in the minds of many American voters?"  I started looking at his campaign differently.  By July/August I was thinking "Oh no.  This is real.".  I felt like a character in a movie who realized everyone was in danger but only few were aware.  My brethren and my sister's fears were justified.  I started warning people but Trump was still a joke to many.  Like a bad storm, some people were waiting for it all to blow over.  But I knew then it wouldn't.  That the threat was real.  But I don't think ANYONE knew just how real.  In truth, it was worse than anyone possibly imagined.

Fast forward to today.  Trump is the clear front runner in the Republican race for the White House.  Despite losing Iowa, he's had strong showings in New Hampshire and South Carolina and had a dominant showing in Nevada.  He's spun his lack of political experience and the fact that's he's never governed ANYTHING into something positive.  Gaffs that would've ended campaigns four years ago seem to bolster his.  His supporters cheer every time he opens his mouth, no matter how outrageous the comments are.  His bigotry inspires his supporters, noted by the hooded KKK members holding signs after his win in Nevada.  These things would normally destroy a candidate but not only is Trump immune, he's turned these things into fuel.  Many people are wondering how this is possible.  Well, in truth, it's very simple.  So simple it's downright ugly.

Trump's supporters are ignorant, largely uneducated, bigoted, low information voters.  They know almost nothing about how government works and even less about the political process.  They are motivated by a burning hatred for Barack Obama and all things "liberal".  What's more, their ignorance is terminal.  They don't care what Trump says or what Trump does.  They are going to support him regardless.  Reasoning with Trump supporters is like trying to have a intellectual conversation with a mountain goat.  It's literally like talking to a wall.  They don't want to hear you.  They don't care what you think.  They don't care what you say.  Fuck you.  They are voting for Donald J. Trump.  Take THAT liberals!  They have no idea how Trump will supposedly make America great again and quite frankly they don't give a fuck. Not even Tea Party darlings like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson can stop Trump.  His supporters flock to him, almost begging him for a cup of Kool Aid.  They are voting for him.  Period.

Do not attempt to reason with a Trump supporter.  Do not engage them.  Their ignorance is terminal.  They love Donald Trump.  They will support Donald Trump.  No amount of speaking with them will convince them otherwise.  Trump IS the Republican voter.  It's who they want.  They don't care.  Don't fear Trump.  Fear the people who follow him.  THEY are the real problem.  They are the reason he is where he is.

In a way this is bigger than even he is and as I said it's far worse than anyone imagined.  Trump is exploiting the absolute worst aspects of this country.  And you know what?  It's working....