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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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Two Terrible Truths About Eddie Long

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