Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dont Just Remember the March. Remember WHY We Marched

As you all well know today marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  50 years ago today, hundreds of thousands of people stood in solidarity in the nation's capital, demanding equal pay, equal rights, and equal opportunity.  On this day 50 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most important, relevant, graceful, and eloquent speeches in human history.  Today we honor his efforts, his works, and the efforts of those who risked everything to stand up for justice and equality.  That said, while we commemorate and celebrate this historic event, we should be mindful that in many ways we are no closer to Dr. King's dream and it could be argued that we have drifted further away from it.  In some ways we have forgotten the purpose of march and have failed to carry on the legacy of Dr. King. 

50 years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom we are still fighting for jobs.  The unemployment rate in the US is still a staggering 7.4 percent.  There is still a considerable wage gap between whites and POC.  We have watched corporate wages skyrocket while the minimum wage in this country has stagnated and many Americans are working 40 hour a week jobs while living in utter poverty.  The top 20 percent controls 80 percent of the nation's wealth.  Black people in particular have been hit hard.  Black people account for 25% of workers unemployed for 99 weeks or longer.  There are 2.6 million black people looking for work that can't find a job.  50 years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, those numbers are absolutely unacceptable.

50 years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom we are still fighting for freedom.  Minorities still do not receive equal justice under the law.  Police continue to murder young black men at an astonishing rate.  Blacks are still disproportionately incarcerated for the same crimes as whites.  We have seen innocent black children murdered and cold blood and watched their killers walk free.  Minorities are still subjected to the negative stereotypes that serve to relegate them to a permanent underclass.  We witnessed the Supreme Court basically eviscerate the civil rights Voting Act of 1965.  We still lack the opportunities that would allow us to succeed.  50 years after the March on Washington, this is absolutely unacceptable.

I am not going to be long winded here.  You are going to hear many speeches today.  You are going to hear many people speak about Dr. King, the march, and so forth.  I just want people to remember that while we commemorate this important day in our nation's history, we should conscious of the TRUE purpose of this march.  We should be fighting.  We should be protesting.  We should be ever vigilant.  Don't just remember the march.  Remember WHY we marched.  Remember what the march was about.  Remember what inspired the march.  Don't just hold hands and sing and chant "Free at Last" or "I have a Dream".  Remember what this was about.  Frederick Douglas once said "If there is no struggle, there is no progress". Remember that this is still a struggle, not a celebration.

Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
Check me out on FB
Email me

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Conservatives: Stop Comparing Chris Lane to Trayvon Martin

I am going to start this blog posting by sending my condolences and respect to the family and friends of Christopher Lane.

As you have probably heard by now, Australian baseball player Christopher Lane had his life tragically cut short when he was gunned down by three young men.  These young men who claimed they were bored and had nothing better to do randomly targeted Lane, followed him, and shot him in the back in an act of wanton cowardice.  Lane's death was a senseless killing and for the sake of his family I hope that his killers are punished and that Lane's family receives swift justice.

That said, I must say that I am extremely irritated(and mildly offended) that fringe Conservatives are using this young man's murder to race bait and to suggest that Lane's murder is comparable to the Trayvon Martin case.  Many of the usual suspects among the far right are actually trying to suggest that there is a double standard that exists when a young white man is killed in terms of empathy, interest, and media coverage.  Two of the three young men who killed Lane were black(one was white).  So in the minds of fringe pundits the outrage over this case should be the equivalent of the public outrage over the Martin case and the lack of said outrage is an example of bias.  Conservatives are essentially standing of the grave of Lane trying to convince people that no one cares if a white man is killed by black men.  Such disgusting race baiting would be laughable if it wasn't so offensive, not to mention false.

First there was Fox News, who erroneously(as always) reported that all three of the suspects were black.  Then there was Rush Limbaugh who called Lane's murder "Trayvon in reverse, only worse".  Similar sentiments came in the form of Glenn Beck, The Daily Caller, and The Drudge.  Now it should come as no surprise that Conservatives get their collective rocks off race baiting.  But for them to attempt to compare these two cases shows they are either desperate for attention or just plain stupid.  Or both.  So I am going to break down, in no particular order, the reasons why no one in their right mind should even ATTEMPT to compare these cases(as if I should even have to).

1.  Lane's killers are in custody.  They did not kill Lane, speak to the police, and then return home.  It did not take public protest for law enforcement to arrest and charge Lane's killers and it did not take them several weeks.  George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, spoke with police officers, and was home in time for Letterman.  What's more, it was well over a month before Zimmerman was charged with a crime at all.

2.  It is a foregone conclusion that Lane's killers will face swift justice.  There isn't anyone who believes that Lane's killers will walk and those three young men will easily spend the rest of their young lives behind bars(if they are lucky).  By contrast, George Zimmerman killed an unarmed innocent young man and walked free.  Zimmerman is not in prison and will not be punished.  Trayvon's family must deal with the reality that their son was killed in cold blood and the killer got away with it.

3. Lane will not be tried for his own murder.  No one will question Lane's character.  There will be no embarrassing social media pictures of Lane.  No one will call Lane a thug.  No one will suggest that Lane got what was coming to him or was looking for trouble.  Trayvon Martin on the other hand, despite having no criminal record, was depicted as a violent thug and was basically put on trial for his own killing.  Despite never having been convicted of a crime, Martin was characterized as a brazen criminal looking to burglarize homes with a bottle of tea and skittles.

4. There will be no talk of what Lane was wearing.  Do we even know what Lane had on when he was shot?  Most of us don't.  Because it's irrelevant.  Lane's choice of attire is a non factor in his killing.  Meanwhile Trayvon Martin achieved thug status by simply wearing a hoodie. 

I could go on forever.  In fact I could make the case that a double standard does indeed exist, but hardly in the way Conservatives suggest.  But instead I will humbly request that Conservatives stop making complete ass clowns of themselves.  I will request that the race baiting ceases.  I will request that they stop appealing to their ignorant, racist base with this foolishness.

Conservatives stop it.  Stop comparing Chris Lane to Trayvon Martin.  It's outrageous.  It's ridiculous.  And it's low...even for you.  Stop that shit.

Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
Check me out on FB
Email me

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tea Baggers, Birthers, and Hypocrisy

For this particular post I'm going to turn my attention to politics and speak on something I find absolutely fascinating. 

Rafael Edward Cruz.

Now some of you might be thinking "Who is that?" If you are then don't feel bad.  There is a reason that name may not sound familiar to you.  So what if I told you that the Tea Party supported a Hispanic who was not born in this country and who's father fought for Communist leader Fidel Castro?  While you are digesting that, imagine that many within the Tea Party want him to actually run for President even though he was not born here and has dual citizenship in Canada.  Sounds crazy right?  Well, as many of us all know, no one does crazy quite like the Tea Party.

Enter Senator "Ted" Cruz(TX), also known as Rafael Edward Cruz.

Senator Ted Cruz is a Tea Party fan favorite.  He is your classic Tea Bagger.  He hates Obamacare and, like many Tea Partiers, demonizes Obama at every given turn.  Like most freshman Tea baggers who were swept into office during the "shellacking" of 2010, Cruz is likes to rock the boat, stir the pot, but isn't very good at governing(at least in my humble opinion).  But he says all the things Tea Baggers love and never misses an opportunity to attack the POTUS, much to their delight.

Now, I normally wouldn't care all that much and I haven't really said anything up to this point.  But with some people actually talking about Cruz as a viable candidate for 2016 I've decided that the hypocrisy is just too much.  I now feel almost compelled to call it out.  So...that's just what I'm going to do.

How many times have you heard Barack Obama called a communist by a Tea Bagger?  More times than you can count right?  So if the Tea Party is so concerned about communism why would they endorse a man who's father fought on behalf of someone who could very much be considered the poster boy for communism(Fidel Castro)?  How many times have you heard from Tea Baggers that Obama is not an American citizen because he wasn't born in this country?  Yea I know.  Me too.  So why isn't the Tea Party questioning Cruz's citizenship?  How many times have you heard from Tea Partiers that Obama is ineligible to be POTUS because he was "born in Kenya"?  Well Cruz was born in Calgary Alberta, Canada.  Clearly that is not America soil.  So why would Tea Baggers even consider him for POTUS? 

Where is the outrage?!  Where is The Donald?!  Where is Fox News?!  The son of a communist has invaded the Senate and is trying to become POTUS!  A man who wasn't even born in this country! Where are the "Go Back to Canada" signs?!  Where are the "Commie go home" signs?  I thought the Tea Party was for AMERICA??  What happened to that shit? 

Now, in all seriousness, I don't really care where Sen. Cruz was born.  I'm not really interested in the history of his father or his family.  I don't support Sen. Cruz and I think his policies are archaic at best.  But I don't have any issues about his birthplace or his family's past.  I just wanted to point out how blatantly and unforgivably hypocritical the Tea Party is.  I just wanted to point out just how easily sheep are misled.  I wanted to point out how easily politics can corrupt one's thinking and influence people into believing pretty much anything.  I just wanted to point out just how blind people truly can be.

So the next time a Tea Partier looks at you and speaks of socialism, communism, or questions Obama's legitimacy as POTUS, just look at them, smile and say three words:

Rafael Edward Cruz.

*As I write this blog Senator Cruz has stated he will renounce his Canadian citizenship.  The story can be found in the link below*

Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
Check me out on FB
Email me @

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Brothers and Sisters: Stand Strong, Stand Together

I want to speak on something that concerns me greatly.

I am a staunch ally of my black sisters.  I will fight for them, speak up for them, and I will have their backs whenever they need me. I also fight for my brothers.  As a black men in America our experiences and the hell we have endured in this country are well documented.  Black men and women are engaged in what seems to be an eternal struggle in this country for equality and respect.. 

Through it all I also must acknowledge that brothers and sisters also struggle with our relationships with each other.  My sisters are frustrated with my brothers.  Many of my brothers are frustrated with my sisters.  I have seen sisters through their hands up in disgust and say that they are "through with black men".  I have heard brothers throw their hands up and say that they are "through with black women".  I am greatly concerned and very worried about this.

Brothers and sisters, we absolutely CANNOT give up on each other.  I know you are frustrated.  I know many of you are justifiably angry.  But when we give up on each other the end result is the fracturing of the black community.  When that happens we all lose.

I have said many times that black men and women are inextricably bound to each other.  That is because we are.  There is no path to liberation for the black man that does not include the black woman.  Likewise there is no path to liberation for the black woman that does not include the black man.  White supremacy in America and systemic racism will never be defeated if we as the black community don't learn how to love one another.  In truth, the fracturing of the black community is one of the goals of white supremacy and whenever we as sisters and brothers turn our backs to each other we become weaker.

In regards to my sisters, I feel your pain.  I absolutely do. I hear my sisters and I agree with what you are saying.  Without question we as brothers have dropped the ball and we have consistently failed to support strong black women. We are far too dismissive of the pain of black women.  In many ways, we are the authors of much of the pain they endure.  We as black men often perpetuate many of the stereotypes that have been thrust upon our women.   I have said this on many occasions and I have often taken my brothers to task for this.  I have called my fellow brothers to the carpet on more than one occasion.  That said, I also realize that I am only one man.  I speak often and I speak loudly but mine is but one voice in a sea of voices.  I understand that is a part of your frustration as well.  I understand that not enough of us are speaking out and standing up for you and you have every right to be angry.

That said, as angry as you may be, I am asking you to stand strong.  The few who stand against the ignorance of the many need you.  We do.  I know it is asking a lot.  But without you, we will never succeed.  Without you, the black community has no positive future.  Without you, we struggle in vain.  Without you, misogyny, patriarchy, white supremacy, and racism will claim victory. 

In regards to my brothers, as much as we've gone through we need to step it up.  We are men.  We need to stand strong as men.  We have a duty to our women.  Systemic racism has seen us lynched.  It has seen us murdered.  It has seeks to undermine, devalue, and demean us in every way possible.  We watch our sons killed.  We watch our fathers and forefathers disrespected.  We watch our families get broken down.  We endure a society that seeks to emasculate us at every given opportunity.  That said, as much as we struggle, we CANNOT FORGET ABOUT OUR WOMEN.

Our women are our future.  They resurrect us through our sons and daughters.  They give us the strength we need to fight on.  They give us a reason for living.  They are our essence.  They are the source of our strength.  WE WILL NOT WIN WITHOUT THEM. We need the black woman as much as she needs us.

Brothers and sisters, we as a people are in a lot of pain right now.  What's more, there are no easy answers and no simple solutions and I'm not even about to pretend that there are.  I only know one thing.  The fate of the black man is the fate of the black woman.  The fate of the black woman is the fate of the black man.  Somehow, some way we have to find a way to stand strong and stand together.  If we don't, our people have no future.  I welcome any input and criticism to this blog posting.

Follow me on Twitter@DocSinn
Check me out on FB
Email me

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Harriet Tubman Sex Tape: No Black Woman is Safe

I'm not really even sure how or where to begin, so I'm just going to write and let my thoughts guide me. 

Yesterday I had the great misfortune of watching one of the most offensive videos I have ever seen in my entire life.  The video, presented as a comedy, was of Harriet Tubman using a "sex tape" of her and her master to frame him into helping her with the Underground Railroad.  I am dead serious.  Now the very CONCEPT of such a skit is enough to make me ill so you can imagine how I felt watching it.  Such disrespect, racism, and mockery is easily enough to have people marching in the street, screaming in outrage.  But that is not happening.  Instead, people are largely silent aside from many strong black women and women of color.  The worst part, the publisher and producer of the video is a black man.  Not just any black man either.  A black man who has spoken out against racial injustice and prejudice.  A black man who has spoken out about discrimination.  One of the last Black Men you might expect to cosign this racist, misogynistic piece of trash.  That man is Russell Simmons.

Russell Simmons debuted this offensive tripe on his new Youtube network All Def Digital.  It was presented as an original comedy starring DeStorm Power, Shanna Malcolm and Jason Horton.  It depicts Harriet Tubman seducing her master while another slave films the acts in a closet.  It is trash.  It is garbarge.  It is offensive.  It is grotesquely misogynistic.  It makes a mockery of one of the most beloved and respected Black Icons in history.  I literally gaped in awe of how anyone thought such an abhorrent video was such a good idea.  At that moment, the sad reality hit me like a runaway freight train.  A horrible truth in the black community that none of us want to accept struck me.  After all these years, we as black men still have not learned how to love, how to respect, and how to honor the black woman.  Even so called conscious brothers will find humor in the disrespect, degradation, and humiliation of the black woman.  As a proud black man with a loving wife and two daughters, I find such disrespect, degradation, and humiliation intolerable.

Yesterday a lot of brothers got bent out shape about the hashtag #Blackpowerisforblackmen that was trending on Twitter.  Some of the rebukes were a bit scathing and some of it was tough to read.  That said, a wise man knows when it's time to listen.  So I did just that.  I read and I listened.  I thought about how the comments made me feel.  I thought about what inspired the sisters to speak out as they did.  I stilled my mind and my feelings and I listened.  Now, as I think about this outrageous video, the message is crystal clear.  Brothers this is exactly what my Sisters are talking about.  If you think sisters were exaggerating, you need to watch that video again.  If you think this was just a bad attempt at comedy, you are part of the problem.  If you found it funny, please do the world a favor and find a really high bridge and leap for all you are worth.

"But...but Doc!  He didn't mean anything by it.  He even apologized and took it down"

Oh really?  Think about this.  A few weeks ago Russell was going all in on Don Lemon for his mischaracterization of black men.  I submit that as angry as I was at Lemon, I am furious at Simmons.  Russell manage to touch every base here.  Misogyny?  Check.  Disrespect of the black woman?  Check.  Making a mockery of slavery?  Check.  Degrading a true black heroine and an icon of our people?  Check.  As ignorant as Lemon's comments were they are nothing compared to this outrageous video.  But Simmons isn't garnering anywhere near the type of heat that Lemon did.  Why?  Because the disrespect was aimed at black women.  Because we still have it in our collective minds that it is OK to shame, degrade, and disrespect the black woman, even if that black woman is one of the greatest Black Icons in our people's history.  Even a so called conscious brother like Simmons, who took issue with Lemon's comment about sagging pants, thinks jokes about rape, slavery, and the degradation of the black female are funny.  Brothers we should be absolutely ashamed right now.

Even in his apology Simmons hints at his true feelings.  "I thought it was politically correct.  Silly me." he says.  Let's just pretend he means it and he is not being slightly sarcastic. What is correct about a "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" in your mind Rush?  What's funny about that?  What's funny about the thousands of black women who were forcibly raped during slavery?  What's correct about your depiction of your own people in that video?  What in your mind told you this was OK?

This is just another reminder my brothers.  This is why our sisters are frustrated.  This is why our sisters feel unloved.  This is why they feel disrespected.  We are failing the hell out of them.  It's almost a given that they are going to be persecuted by racists and ignorant brothers.  But when it comes from the so called best, brightest, most conscious and most successful among us, who can our sisters turn to?  I submit that right now no black woman is safe.  Even our greatest black women can be instantly devalued.  Again, this is utterly shameful.

To my brother Russell Simmons:  I have always had a great respect for your accomplishments.  But you are so far out of line it is fucking ridiculous.  Your weak, milksop apology doesn't even begin to fix the damage you've done here.  You've got a lot of work to do to repair what you've wrought.  Get at it.  Because every time you speak about racism, inequality, or injustice I'm going to think about this video. 

To my black women:  We as brothers are fucking up left and right.  Without question.  But some of us are trying to get it right.  Keep speaking out.  One love.

Follow me on Twitter@DocSinn
Check me out on FB
Email me