Wednesday, August 16, 2017
I told myself not to watch the recent segment between Anderson Cooper and Van Jones as they spoke about President Trump's deeply offensive and completely tone deaf press conference after the events in Charlottesville, VA. I went out of my way not to watch it as it aired. But today I watched it, against my better judgment. I found myself frustrated and somewhat angry(as I knew I would be). The thing is though, I was frustrated with Van Jones.
Let me explain. Donald Trump is a repugnant human being who is completely unfit to be POTUS. I've said this many times. We've known this for a long time. So his statements regarding what occurred in Charlottesville and his attempts to "blame all sides" for the violence that occurred and resulted in the death of a young woman came as no shock to me whatsoever. Trump is garbage. That's what garbage does. But during that segment with Anderson Cooper, as he spoke I found myself very frustrated with Van Jones. Specifically, I was frustrated with the tears. As I listened to him I was overwhelmed with the thought "What the fuck are you crying for?".
Please don't misunderstand me. Racism hurts. Being hated hurts. Being marginalized hurts. I understand that. I also don't believe Jones is less of a man or a human being for crying. There is nothing wrong with a man shedding tears when he is in pain. Sometimes we all must cry. That said, now is not the time for tears. White supremacists and Nazis have been emboldened and are aggressively seeking to push their agenda. They have the open support of a bigoted, narcissistic POTUS who they have rallied behind. We don't need tears right now. We need strength. We need courage. We need to find the will to resist these people.
We need brothers like Van Jones, who have the visibility and platform to be heard by many, to speak with conviction. To speak the truth to power. We have been shedding tears for centuries. Our tears have not moved our enemies one bit. Our tears have not melted the hearts of our oppressors at all. We have cried an ocean of tears and it hasn't changed the hearts who would crush us under the heel of their boots. We need this strength and conviction right now. We're going to have to lean on each other a lot in the coming days, months, and years. We must steel ourselves.
There will be a time for us to shed our tears. To release our emotion. To nurse our wounds and to deal with our hurt. To come together and let go. To hug each other and cry it out. But now is not that time. No disrespect to the Brother Van Jones. I simply believe now is not the time to be on television crying and acting shocked that Donald Trump is being who he has always shown himself to be. We will have our time to cry. Now is not it. Thank you for reading.
Friday, May 19, 2017
This message is for my brothers. As a Black man I think that it is important that every so often I remind my brothers of this message. It is one we need to hear and one we far too often forget. It is a simple message really. Yet as I age I'm learning that the simple messages are often the most profound.
Black men. We have a duty to love, honor, respect, and protect the Black woman and the Black family. We have a duty to our children. We have a duty to our communities. We have a duty to our sisters. It is an important obligation. It is one of the staples of being a Black man. We have an enormous responsibility. It is not always easy. In fact, it is often difficult. But as Black men we must rise to the occasion. Our sons are depending on us. Our daughters are depending on us. Our women are depending on us. Our communities are depending on us. We simply cannot let them down.
It is unfortunate that many of us are failing to uphold these important tenets. Love, honor, respect, and protect. Our women feel oppressed by many of us because far too many of us have mistreated them and not upheld the tenet of respect. They don't feel safe with us because we've collectively failed to protect them. In fact, many of our women live in abject fear of us and some of us have become predators in our own homes and communities. Many of our LGBTQ family see us as no different than the white oppressors we face as well. This is because we greet them with the same hatred, bigotry, and contempt that the white man greets us with. In this, we have forgotten the tenet of love. With this behavior we bring dishonor to the Black family. This cannot and must not continue.
Now this not an attack on my brothers. This is not meant to shame us or belittle us. Nor is this meant to make us the avatars for all things that ail the community. This is a simple call to action. As Black men we are hated. Despised. Maligned. Disrespected. Oppressed. I understand this. As with most brothers, I've lived this. But we cannot allow this truth, however terrible it may be, to be an excuse for why we continually fail our women and our families. We are Black men. We have a duty and an obligation. We must rise above it. Simply put, we must do better.
As I said above, this is a simple call to action. No one ever said being a Black man in America was easy. But my brothers we need to come correct. Because too much is riding on this. Our families need us. We need to stand by our sisters. Support them. Respect them. Love them. Honor them. We need to raise proud sons and daughters. We need to stop ostracizing our LGBTQ family and behaving like our European oppressors. We need to hold our brothers who are failing accountable. We need to decisively deal with those predatory brothers in our community.
It's not easy, no. In many ways being a Black man is the most challenging thing you'll ever do. But you, I, we....we owe it to ourselves and our community. Love. Honor. Respect. Protect. Don't ever forget these tenets my brothers. They are the foundation which our community is built on.
Thanks for reading.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017
I've often heard folks ask the question "Why do Americans vote against their own interest?". On the surface it seems like a legitimate question. American voters tend to consistently vote against their own well being. They seem almost eager to shoot themselves in the foot and employ politicians who couldn't care less about their needs. Even when it's obvious that the policies and positions many politicians hold are detrimental to them, by and large American voters still eagerly and often aggressively support those who basically care nothing for them.
Now the prevailing mindset is that many American voters are simply ignorant. I admit there is some truth to that statement. Many Americans are clueless as to how government works. Few take the time to examine the platforms and history of the candidates they support. Few research. Many simply vote down party lines. They subscribe to partisan rhetoric and nonsense and eagerly carry water for their party of choice. So it's easy to see how people arrive at solely at ignorance.
Lately though I've been thinking. I have a additional theory. One that leads me to a very uncomfortable truth. I submit that many Americans AREN'T voting against their own interest. That many of them are aware of exactly what they are doing. That many of them go in with eyes wide open when they place certain individuals into positions of power. It doesn't make sense until you consider one simple truth: That many Americans are completely invested in systemic white supremacy and that is where their interests lie.
Think about it for a moment. It's often why many Americans vote the way they do. It's why they gleefully vote for individuals who wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire. Many Americans seem more than willing(almost eager) to suffer if it means marginalized people will suffer more. It's why despite struggling they'll vote for politicians who consistently rob the poor and give to the rich. It's why they vote for politicians who wipe their asses with the Constitution and consistently violate their rights. They'll gladly give up every right they possess if it means marginalized people remain subjugated. As long as they have someone to look down on they can feel good about themselves. They are voting for systemic white supremacy...and they know it.
They aren't voting for equal opportunity. They aren't voting for clean air or water. They aren't voting for education. They aren't voting to keep our streets safe. They are voting for systemic white supremacy. It's why they'll support a politician who cuts funding for public assistance but supports using tax dollars for a border wall. It's why on one hand they'll claim they support religious freedom and in the next breath support a ban on Muslims. It's why they claim to resist government tyranny but applaud (or look for excuses) when agents of the state kill innocent Black civilians. They are voting for the bigotry that exists in their hearts, made manifest in government.
Lyndon Johnson said that "if you can convince the cheapest white man that he's better than the best Black man he wont notice you picking his pocket. In fact, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you". It was true then, it's true now. Many Americans aren't voting against their interests. They know what they want and they are willing to suffer to get it. Sisters and brothers, that should disturb every last one of us. Thanks for reading
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Monday, May 1, 2017
We often encourage people to follow their dreams. To pursue their passions. We tell those who we have love for to believe in themselves. We encourage our children to dream big. We tell them they can do whatever their heart desires. We push them to follow their dreams wherever those dreams might take them. We tell them that if they work hard and never give up their dreams most definitely can come true.
Unfortunately we live in a society that can rob you of you passion. A society that can crush your will. A society than can (and often will) hamper and arrest your ability to succeed. Whether it's negativity from hateful individuals or adversities that seem insurmountable, we live in a world that will choke the life from your dreams. Ours is a society of dream killers. It is a sad truth. One such dream killer though is one that we often don't talk about. This killer in particular is largely one of our own creation. That killer is the relentless pursuit of wealth and fame
Here is what I mean. When we think of fulfilling our dreams we almost always think in terms of money and fame. We define our success by how much we gain financially . It almost instantly sets us up for frustration and failure. If we aren't rich and famous or on our way to being rich and famous then it's difficult for us to see success. Rich and famous is almost always the end game. Because we funnel our dreams through what capitalism deems as success we often find ourselves distraught, angry, and frustrated. Especially when the pursuit of our dreams doesn't instantly translate into wealth and notoriety.
What's sad is that even when we demonstrate brilliance and mastery we still often don't feel fulfilled or successful. No matter how proficient we are at what we do, how dedicated we are to our dreams, or how knowledgeable and skilled we become. It's why gifted individuals often feel like failures no matter how good they are at what they set out to accomplish. A singer could bring down the heavens with her majestic voice. An artist could create a masterpiece with his brush or pencil. A writer could stir the souls of everyone who reads their work. But if they aren't rich the prevailing mindset is that they aren't successful. Because of this many of them give up.
Now please don't misunderstand me. I'm not at all saying we shouldn't pursue financial success or that financial success is not important. Not in the least. We should all look to feather our nests and strive to improve our economic situation. There is also nothing wrong with using your skills and gifts to enrich your life. Also I want to point out that EVERYONE DESERVES COMPENSATION FOR THEIR WORK(caps for emphasis). I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about that. Get your bread up. There is nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with pursuing that. I simply want people to understand that you are not a failure because you aren't rich or famous. These things do not define you.
In the end what I'm saying is don't let the pursuit of fame or wealth kill your dreams. Because it can and it will if you let it. We all want to be recognized and we all want to live well. That said, you are no less the person you are because you aren't famous or fabulously wealthy. You are no less gifted or talented. Don't funnel the fulfillment of your dreams through fame and finance. That my friends, is a short road to unhappiness. Thanks for reading.
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Monday, April 24, 2017
The first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency is pretty much what we all expected from him. Of course when I say "we" I mean those with common sense who have not buried their heads in the sand and committed themselves to defending Trump no matter what. I mean those who are willing to objectively look at his presidency. It's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that Trump's first 100 days has been a clowned filled circus. No one should be surprised of course. I mean we knew going in that Trump was ill equipped to be POTUS. Still, it's worth noting for those that continue to pretend that we aren't seeing what we are seeing that Trump's presidency is the abject train wreck we all knew it would be.
Trump's first 100 days has been nothing but failure and foolishness. His only significant accomplishment(if you can call it that) is using the "mother of all bombs" to blow up some tunnels in Afghanistan. I mean we can talk about the fact that his approval rating is abysmal. We can talk about the fact that he is currently under investigation by the FBI. We can talk about how the courts blocked his bigoted and unconstitutional travel bans not once but twice. Or we can talk about the fact that even with the GOP holding the house and the senate Trump was unable to rally enough support to dismantle and repeal the ACA. This after conservatives spent the better part of the last decade demonizing it and making it's repeal their signature platform.
Even Trump is aware of how bad his first days in office have been. He recently tweeted that the 100 day milestone was ridiculous and that no matter what he accomplished the media would attack him. Now as we all know Trump has a very tenuous relationship with the truth and will quickly take to Twitter to protect his fragile image. He clearly is aware that his first 100 days has been disastrous and that folks would rightfully be calling him to the carpet. Too bad he doesn't care enough to get his act together.
Here what's really sad(and a bit pathetic) about all this. Despite all of this, his diehard supporters DON'T CARE. They don't care that Trump is a pathological liar who seems completely clueless on how to govern. They don't care that Trump has been one embarrassing failure after the next. They don't care how the US looks on the world stage. They don't care that his cabinet is a dysfunctional mess. They don't care about any of that. As I said in another piece Trump's followers would happily follow him into hell, gleefully wearing gasoline underwear.
The first 100 days of any presidency is supposed set the pace, tone, and standard for the remainder of the term. If that's true, we're in for some serious shit over the next three and half years. Donald Trump is a joke absent a punchline. His presidency is an embarrassment. His first 100 days have been rife with failure, foolishness, and general fuckery.
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Friday, March 17, 2017
I'm going to be very brief in this post. Brief, but very much to the point. I want to address a specific group of people. I want them to read these words and absorb them. I want them to feel every word that is written here. Every. Single. Word.
Dear Disgruntled and Frightened Trump Voters,
I know some of you are afraid right now. I know some of you are concerned. I know that some of you are regretting your decision to vote for Donald Trump. Well, as a Black man living in America let me say unequivocally and unapologetically...fuck you. That's right. Fuck you. I have absolutely no sympathy for you. You deserve to be afraid. You deserve to be frightened. You deserve to be ashamed. You deserve all the hell that is coming your way and make no mistake about it, hell is coming.
You see I know what you thought. You thought that you were Team Trump. You thought he was looking out for you. You thought he would limit his shenanigans to Muslims, Mexicans, and Black people. You were tired of hearing about how Black Lives Mattered. You were tired of Mexicans "stealing your jobs". You were tired of having to respect the beliefs of others. You were tired of all of it. This is America. This is YOUR country. You thought Trump was in your corner. That he would put YOU first. You thought he'd put those Blacks and those Mexicans and those Muslims and those women and those gays and all the other people who were threatening YOUR way of life in their place.
Now you are slowly coming to the realization that you got played by a greedy, orange, power grabbing con man. You're looking at his healthcare plan and going "WTF?". You're looking at his budget and going "WTF?". You're looking at his behavior and going "WTF?". This isn't how it was supposed to go. You're a white patriotic America. Trump was supposed to put you first. He was supposed to make America great again. He was supposed to reign in all those marginalized people. But not you. He wasn't supposed to take food out of YOUR mouth. He wasn't supposed to suppress YOUR rights. He wasn't supposed to take money out of YOUR pocket.
That's where you are right now. You were fine when it was just me and mine getting shafted. But now that you are learning that Team Trump consists solely of the rich and you are NOT in the club you want to express regret. You want to express remorse. You want to express shame. No. I'm not with that. I'm not feeling at. Fuck you.
You gave that narcissistic jackass the keys to the country. Live with it. Take your medicine. You will suffer along with the rest of us and you will get no sympathy. Because it was you that put this man in power. It was you that put hate ahead of common sense. It was you that put white supremacy ahead of your own interests. So deal with it. Suck it up snowflake.
In the words of the great Malcolm X your chickens are already coming home to roost...and it doesn't make me sad for you in the least.
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Monday, February 6, 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
*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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Thursday, January 19, 2017
I wanted to wait a few days before I spoke on this(for a number of reasons). I believe now to be the right time for me to express my feelings. As you may well know Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, passed away on January 15th, 2017. Long was a well known and charismatic speaker whose church boasted over 20K members. Eddie Long was also known for aggressively denouncing homosexuality. From the pulpit, he consistently bashed the LGBT community and lead the now infamous march against same sex marriage. As you also may well know in 2010 Long was accused of using his influence and power to pressure several young men into sexual relationships with him. They filed a lawsuit against Long and he and the church reached an out of court settlement with the young men. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed. Eddie Long's passing and the reactions to his passing in my view has once again exposed two very terrible truths not only about him, but about the church in general. Two terrible truths that much be unpacked, discussed, and acknowledged.
1. The Hypocrisy of the Church. Eddie Long publicly bashed, berated, and condemned the LGBT community on a regular basis. Now some would argue that he was speaking from scripture. I'm not going to argue with that. However it must be noted that Long did not receive the same condemnation from the church that he and they leveled onto the LGBT community. When it was clear that Long had indeed groomed and sexually assaulted these young men the church shifted their talking points to forgiveness. Scriptures that were used to condemn were replaced with scriptures speaking against judgment and scriptures speaking of love and forgiveness. This deep and terrible hypocrisy is beyond shameful. It does a terrible disservice to the church and to Long's victims. You cannot condemn the LGBT community and then wrap your arms around and extend love to a hypocritical child molester. It is a terrible, horrible look and speaks ill of the church like you wouldn't believe.
2. There is an "Eddie Long" in Every Major Church in the Country. Eddie Long was a despicable human being. There is no other way to put it. He used his power, influence, stature, and wealth to groom and condition young men and then use them for sex. Its disturbing, its heinous, and its outrageous. What's even more disturbing in my view is the fact that there is an "Eddie Long" in just about every church in the country(if not the world). We all know it to be true, even those who refuse to admit it. The church is a breeding ground for sexual predators and every knows this. In fact, those who refuse to speak about it or admit it are the ones enabling men like Eddie Long. Our children pay with devastating trauma for that silence. We reward these "Eddie Longs" with the bodies of our kids. It's a horrible, vicious cycle that absolutely must come to an end. There is an Eddie Long hiding in plain sight in every church in America. Yours too. You just don't want to admit it.
What's more, that's exactly what the Eddie Long in your church is counting on. This needed to be said. Long was a sexual predator. We do not owe him grief or reverence. The fact that he was a minister should not shield him from the truth. In fact, BECAUSE he was a minister we should be furious at his behavior. Many people will tell you to respect the dead or not to judge. I'm not one of those people. I'm not about to sanitize the actions of a child molester. We should not only examine the terrible behavior of Long, but of Christians who are now engaging in an almost repugnant display of hypocrisy. Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn On FB https://www.facebook.com/officialdocsinn