Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dear White Friends

It has been brought to my attention that some of my Caucasian friends don’t know if they are a racist or not!  I know just the idea of this post is probably making some of you gasp and the rest of you salivate knowing me as you do.  Well, this editorial will hope to enlighten you that “don’t know” and bring to light to the rest of you what you already know.  Let me be clear, this is not intended to shock or offend you, this is just to educate you, because you just don’t know.  Let me be clear, I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him..., (insert wink, only if you understand).  So here we go, “Dear White friends”…, 
Take this quiz to LEARN if you are a racist or not.  Don’t be afraid, and please feel free to share it with others who also don’t know who they are.
  You are a racist if:
1. You have Black friends, but they are the “good ones”.
2. You think “those Black guys who the police shot would be alive today if they had only complied with the cops orders”.
3. You don’t want all of those Mexicans in this country.
4. You don’t believe Obama was born in America.
5. You feel that racism ended in America when we elected a Black MAN as President.
6. (Bonus) you think racism got worse in America because of how Obama did everything for only Black people.
7. You think Black people need to “get over it” about slavery.
8. You think Trump was right for saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of the unrest at Charlottesville. 
9. “These Black people who had the police called on them may not have been doing anything wrong, but it is okay for the cops to be called because, well, you never know”.
10. You think “those Black guys in Starbucks should have just bought something”.
11. You see an mixed race couple and think it is “a shame”.
12. You think the Confederate flag and monuments are about heroes and to removes them is un-American.
13. You think Santa Claus IS White and should be portrayed and drawn that way.
14. You have a lot of good Black friends, but you would NEVER date one.
15. You think the NFL players should just shut up and stop kneeling for the flag because it is turning the protest into a racial issue that is dividing the country.
16. Your definition of “Make America Great Again” is to roll things back to when “all the good jobs went to all the right people”.
17. (In lieu of the Roseanne situation) You think ABC was unfair to fire Roseanne Barr based on just a tweet.
18. Now, this was just a quiz.  How did you do?  Do you think you could do better if this quiz was “more fair?”  (That was a trick quiz question)

Look, racism is a hard discussion in this country, and there are some sincere folks on all sides that want to make things better but harbor racist ideas themselves.  Heck, I myself feel some kinda way, based on some certain situations.  I ain’t proud of it, but I work hard at trying to be a better me, every single day.  But if you don’t want things to be better between all races in this country or you think that you and your “people” are better than “those people”, you will never live in a better America, you just want to live in your own version of it.  But as I said, it is a hard discussion, but it IS a discussion that we need to have if we are going to make things better.  Discussion is part of what makes America’s Democracy the envy of the world, we need to embrace that factor and stop retiring to our own silos and complaining about how bad things are.  Democracy was not created in America, it has just been defined here better than anywhere else.  But Democracy is not the exclusive property of some people; the Constitution was not meant for SOME of the People.  It is said that slavery is America’s “original sin”, but it is not.  The “original sin” of this nation was to steal land from, subjugate, and relocate the indigenous peoples of this land and to this day, keep them from achieving socio-economic equality here.  Racism does not mean you have feelings of superiority against just Black people.   It means you feel that regardless of who anyone else is or does or how they treat you, YOU always know that “they” should not have more than you and you will work to do whatever you can to keep perpetuating that belief.
Let me let you in on a little secret, we are ALL in this together, ain’t not a one of us getting out of it alive.  We might as well love, respect, and get along with each other because hating someone else just gives you a reason to make your life poorer for the few minutes you have left.
Oh, and as for scoring the test; how many do you have to “get right” to be a racist?  ONE!

As my good friend used to say: America is a tough town, you snooze you lose, you can’t get everything you want, sometimes you can’t get nuthin’, but you can ALWAYS get somethin’, whether you want it or not!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead the Way…,

First of all, let me start by saying, I dedicate THIS work to my beloved grandmother that I lost last July.  Her hand is always on my shoulder.
My Grandmother LOVED little babies, let me repeat, she LOVED little babies.  It didn’t matter if they were Black, Brown, Yellow, White, Green or Blue, she LOVED ALL babies.  (though I know for a FACT, she had an issue with people of ORANGE hue)
From her I learned that babies are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way.
In 2012, right before Christmas, a deranged young man with a gun walked into an elementary school and killed 20 babies, children between 6 and 7 years old.  This deeply disturbed her and deeply touched me.  There can be nothing more innocent in THIS world than a baby going to school to try and learn.  We as parents and those who are educators can’t be more thrown than to think about our children, our charges from God, to be massacred in their classrooms, where we sent them, to learn, and to be SAFE.  But this deranged young man stole innocence from this world on that day, and to double down on the insanity of that act, there are people in this country who refused to believe this event was real, and worse yet, there are those who personally profit from keeping you from feeling what my grandmother felt, what I felt, what I hope YOU felt, when those innocent souls violently transitioned from this life. As you sit there shaking your heads feeling the transactional pain from that memory, allow me to tell you at that very moment when the totality of that event was tallied, I doubted the existence of a God.  How could God allow something like that to happen?  Well I regained my Faith and know that not only is there a God, but there is a Heaven and in that kingdom my ancestors are there now (most of them) looking down on me and keeping me steadfast in my beliefs.  But if you believe in God, you should also believe in the Devil.  The Devil is just as real y’all.  He is real and though it may seem like it, he does not live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC.  That man is NOT the Devil, he is just a puppet of Satan.
In THIS country, Satan is not A person, he is the manifestation of all evil that is the American gun lobby, the NRA.  When in December of 2012 those minions of Satan stood fast and tried to tell you that that massacre didn’t happen and there was no need to try and make it harder for any deranged person or PERSONS to get their hands on weapons of mass murder and the ammo to make them deadly, they convinced ME, that this country, this land that I love, this "country Tis Of THEE", didn’t care about babies.
Babies who are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, was a song verse, not a way of truth in this country.
In February of THIS year, on Valentine’s Day, in Parkland, Florida, another deranged young man with a weapon of mass destruction, walked into the High School he once attended, and shot and killed his former classmates and teachers and once again, we were told, there is nothing that can be done.  Gun rights trump (marinate on that word) TRUMP…, the rights of babies to go to school and be safe.  I once again shook my head and said to myself, when is enough going to be enough?  Thank God my grandmother wasn’t around to once again fret over another of these tragedies.  Politicians pontificated, pundits bloviated, families lamented, the media salivated, and we all once again, prepared for the next tragedy to happen.  But guess what?
Children ARE OUR future, seems we DID teach them well and now they are leading the way!
How many of us, myself included, have seen things happen in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in the malls, and lamented, “these kids today, Geez, what will our future be like with THIS coming generation taking over.  You see, WE are the future OUR forbearers expected to make changes happen, and to some degree, we have done major things.  But we have also FAILED them because we did NOT prepare the next generation to make things better…., OR DIDN’T we??  The term “It Takes a Village” has fallen away as social media has made everyone LESS social.  Ready made meal restaurants have made family meal time less family oriented.  And we have all, to some degree, abdicated the responsibility to, “teach them well, and let them lead the way!  But human nature is at it’s core, NATURE, and as the man said in the movie Jurassic Park; “Nature will find a way”.
Social media and all of its evils, has been utilized by THIS group of babies to create a movement, a powerful movement that reached not only across this nation, but around the WORLD and called upon caring adults to join with them and show the minions of Satan and the fool in The White House, (who left town) that they will not die away quietly THIS TIME, they will not go quietly into that good night!  THESE babies, this group of children who were 10 and 11 years old when Sandy Hook happened, and some of them who were not yet BORN, stepped into the Light and yelled out from the podiums and platforms at marches and rallies, WE WILL BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU REFUSE TO MAKE YOURSELVES!  An estimated 800,000 people marched on Washington, DC.  Over 200 more rallies and marches were held all over this world on that day.  The streets of Boston looked as crowded as they do on any Patriot’s Day for the marathon.  The reality was, MILLIONS of voters and immediate future voters came out to support this very just cause.  Those numbers and this movement cannot be dismissed nor ignored.  I could not have been more proud, (until I found out that my own son was in DC for the march, refusing to be another tragedy of these times ) than to see on MOST networks that the world is now going to HAVE TO TAKE NOTICE.  My heart welled with pride and my resolve was strengthened because THESE BABIES, THESE offspring of our efforts, THIS representation of the future to come;


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sean Hannity and the War on Keurig

So Sean Hannity and the Right Wing Nut Jobs have fallen out with Keurig?  Seems that Keurig has chosen to remove all advertising from his show based on that sham of an interview he did with Judge Roy Moore over these accusations that he is a serial child molester.  So now Sean's viewers are upset and smashing their trappings of excess, these $200.00 coffee brewers.  (I do love the convenience of them myself).  Kinda reminds me of how advertisers got a touch of common sense over Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.  There SHOULD be consequences for the deeds and actions of people like this.  Subway moved quickly to disassociate themselves from Jared after the ACCUSATIONS were made.  Penn State moved swiftly once things were brought to light (though did nothing when there were just rumors and whispers about Sandusky), Jello, Coke, NBC, all moved harshly and with the quickness to disassociate themselves from Bill Cosby and the man has YET to be "convicted" of anything.  If these accusations had in anyway shape or form been leveled at ANYONE whom Obama endorsed, supported, or even been himself accused, the Right Wing media would have eviscerated that person and would claim to have proof that this was indeed TRUE, facts be damned.

I am so tired, Jesus knows I am tired, of calling Bull Shit on Hannity and the rest of his ilk who find it so very easy to tell a lie to defame anyone  they don't like, but when CLEAR evidence is brought up about someone THEY support, they NEED, they find a way to blame and shame the victim and justify what happened on some ridiculous level.  AYFKM that the women "should not have waited so long to speak out"?!?!?  Didn't hear a single one of them offer that narrative about Bill Cosby's accusers.  No one is screaming that Aly Raisman should have spoken up sooner. No one is condemning the boys who fell victim to Gerry Sandusky.  How many people worldwide are saying the priests that the Catholic Church moved and protected for DECADES can't be held accountable by the now MEN who finally found the courage to pronounce they were molested as children.  This man is a disgrace and even if by some slim margin he really IS innocent, he should do the right thing and step away so that he can "fight these accusations with all he can".  You know, like John Edwards did....................,

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Insanity of it All

NiteLifer meets Jason Johnson
You know what fellow students, I am down here in N’awlinsfor the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention and it has been an eye opening and educational experience.  I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned quite a bit.
One thing I learned, sadly, is that despite being in Office for 200+ days, the Trump administration still can’t get even the easiest of lay ups right!  I attended a panel discussion last night on the troubling trend of police involved murders of innocent Black men.  On the initial panel was, and the focus was on, the mother of Philando Castile and the aunt of Alton Sterling.  Moderated by Ed Gordon, the emotional stories of these women of courage was brought home and made real by the stories these women detailed to the gathered audience of journalists from around the country.  Young or older, new to reporting or seasoned veterans of this craft, all were mesmerized by the reality of what happened to the two young men whose lives were taken so unnecessarily at the hands of people who had a badge and chose to take a life as the initial course of action.  Philando Castile’s mother was particularly engaging as she pointed out that the officer who shot her son, AFTER being informed by Castile that he had a permit to own and carry his gun, did so several times while an unarmed woman and child were in the car.  A collective chill went through all our spines when we grasped the gravity of that deadly encounter as well as the aftermath that happened following the murder that was captured on camera and broadcast live via social media by Castile’s girlfriend.  Then we all listened in horror as Alton Sterling’s aunt told us how the police department came to her sister’s house and let her watch the full unedited video of the murder of Mr. Sterling and how since then the protests and demonstrations have resulted in further injustices by other police departments here in the “great state of Louisiana”.  And this is important to note because following these heart wrenching firsthand accounts of  how easily loved ones were taken from their families by the police, the follow up panel was joined by the invited whirlwind of foolishness that is Omarosa (whatever her last name is these days).
Make no mistake, the room was filled and abuzz because we were also there to see what Miss Omarosa was there to say in defense of the administration she works for. To be clear her job is really just to give her Massa, President Donald J Trump, some cover to say his cabinet and administration is diverse.  Ed Gordon started the initial panel by explaining that he has attended other events where Omarosa was on the dais to take the slings and arrows for her employer.  He commended her beforehand for her bravery and cautioned the crowd not to fall victim to the urge to act out.  When “Miss Thang” arrived she did so to little fanfare and to be honest, she initially seemed ready to participate.  However, that quickly, no, immediately changed after she recounted her story of losing her father and brother to street violence and tried to frame HER story as in some way akin to what not only the two ladies had been through and are still dealing with.  The crowd turned and turned on her verbally when she tried to hijack the panel and commiserate along with them. 
Protesting Omarosa's shenanigans
When Gordon calmed the crowd and told her he would not allow things to turn into a mess, the reality TV celebrity that she is, came out.  It was a total train wreck after that.  Acting every bit the petulant child that her Massa Trump is when he does not get HIS way, Omarosa stood up and confronted Gordon face to face to attempt a power play move on the stage.  I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the other panelist on stage.  The night before I had met with Dr.Jason Johnson to ask what his plan was to confront her and he assured me that he himself would not be drawn into a staged show with her so that others could “watch monkeys fling shit at each other”.  I admired his resolve at that moment but know that while things were unfolding in front of all of us in that ballroom, he could not have been anything but disappointed.  I was uncomfortable with the way Ed Gordon allowed her to pivot from the what he was trying to get her to speak on which was, “what is your role in this administration and how can you, or are you even trying to, work some kind of influence with President Trump to do SOMETHING, to deal with this national crisis”.  Again she pivoted and tried to turn the discussion back towards herself and her own story.  She became so irate that she sat down and pulled out her (probably unsecured) smartphone to replay what Gordon had asked her to show that she wasn’t “here for this”.
Look, others have and will report on and detail how all of that 15 minutes of madness went down, but what I would like us to keep focused on is, what those two women and others like them have to say about how their families have been torn apart by the disturbing trend of cops getting away with murdering Black men and women without repercussions.  But what strikes me most is that Omarosa could easily have said to the gathering, “the administration is working hard to make changes in how we engage law enforcement practices across the country and will continue to facilitate changes.  Despite the ill fated attempt to make light of a serious issue by the President recently, we are seriously committed to ensuring that all American citizens are treated fairly and equitably by law enforcement”.  But as is the administration’s collective way of doing things, she didn’t even attempt to apologize, engage with or work with those who were there to try and help understand what our country has become.  At some point someone needs to remind her and her boss/ Massa, Dear Leader, “Bitch you work FOR us, you are now an employee of the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America!”
Today we learned of the crazy events that took place on the campus of the University of Virginia.  What has been the response from President Donald J Trump?  A tweet!  A tweet that said, “we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for.  Let’s come together as one!”  Later in remarks made about the violence that resulted in one death, Trump said, “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, many sides.”
Let THAT sink in on you for a little while, then take the totality of both events for what they are.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Orange Menace

For 8 years the Right Wing nut jobs told us President Obama was a sleeper cell foreign spy because of the color of his skin, 
His insistence on trying to work within the Constitution, 
Work with Congress 
Give their dumb asses universal healthcare.  
He also;
Passed the $787 billion America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur economic growth during the Great Recession
Ordered for the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden
Ended the war in Iraq
Saved the U.S. auto industry
Improved school nutrition with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
Expanded embryonic stem cell research leading to groundbreaking work in areas including spinal injury treatment and cancer
So they elected this orange man that's;
  •  Married to an Eastern European nude "model"
  • Has gone to war with the mainstream media
  • Skirted the Constitution
  • Bullied our long time allies
  • Taken credit for things he hasn't done
  • Created fake stories to distract the public from his machinations and failings
  • Crippled our national intelligence community by firing the acting chief of the Department of Justice
  • Fired the FBI Director, removed key members of Congress by giving them jobs in his administration they weren't qualified for
  • Given away military secrets to a foreign leader
  • Offered a budget that will give tax breaks to the rich while giving no relief to the lower income supporters
  • REFUSED to show his OWN tax returns
  • Signed an executive order to take away that healthcare they didn't want but now depend on
  • Tried to obstruct justice on an investigation into his campaign
  • Openly entertained and showed support for the greatest adversary we've ever by inviting Russian agents into the Oval Office and giving them national security secrets which compromised a long standing ally's (Israel) covert operations. 
 Now, WHICH one seems like a foreign spy?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Where Are Those Reagan Republicans?

“Well, there you go again….,”

Remember that little ditty?  That was Ronald Reagan’s famous line from the Presidential debate against Jimmy Carter.  That line was the “go to” for all mimics and comics when they were doing their Reagan impersonations; don’t believe me?  Go check YouTube and other websites.  But the real takeaway is, that was Reagan’s way of calling bullshit on Carter.  He later used it whenever he gave a press conference and someone in the media, (usually Sam Donaldson) tried to call him on some news worthy story of the day/ week.  Whenever he said it, and even when it was used by others to mock him, Republicans LOVED it!  It was like a juice box for a 5 year old to them. But this question actually brings me to my point, where are those are those Reagan Republicans today?  Back in the 80’s, no matter what the story, the issue, the plan, Reagan had supporters who believed in him and his ideals.  The one ideal of Reagan, the one that “made him” for even those moderate Democrats who disagreed with him on all other issues, was his insistence that Russia (Soviet Union) was “the evil empire” and needed to be blocked and countered at every turn.  Those less informed and shallow in their understanding of world issues, will still, to this day, credit Reagan with causing the downfall of the Soviet Union and winning the Cold War.  But perception is the basis for all reality, or at least it used to be, and that narrative is what Republicans have stood on for decades now.  People like George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Peggy Noonan, Karl Rove and others cut their teeth at the Temple of Reagan.  Those guys and others would have never stood by and let anyone, let alone a “Republican” and especially a Republican President, stand in the White House and praise Russia!  Where is the righteous indignation, that feigned outrage that they, (and others) had when Barack Obama “had the nerve” to put his feet up on the Oval Office desk while he actually WORKED on things to make America great, as opposed to just making grandiose photo-ops when he’s signing more ceremonial executive orders like Trump does.
Being a Reagan Republican became a cottage industry where fortunes were made but “true” patriotism was never questioned.  I have gone on record as saying the most troubling aspect of this Trump Presidency is his refusal to accept and explain truth before the American people.  Ronald Regan never needed to exaggerate the size of his Inaugural audience.  He didn’t need to; he didn’t WANT to, that wasn’t important to him, but it is important to Trump.  Ronald Reagan, despite what Obama haters want to have you believe, didn’t shy away from talking to people he disagreed with; enemies or allies.  Ronald Reagan cozied up to “our European cousins” as he called them, he didn’t try to publicly embarrass them.  Ronald Reagan went to Europe and praised and supported NATO, he understood that the very best defense America had in keeping Russia and the Soviet Union at bay in Europe was NATO.  The lessons of World War II were not lost on him, because whether you agreed with him or not, Ronald Reagan understood that a united Europe was a deterrent to Russia from expanding westward.  For the life of me, I don’t understand why those Reagan Republicans that were banner men for him and those principles aren’t speaking up against the things that Trump is doing today.  Every 4 years, since 1992, Republican Presidential candidates flock to the Reagan Library and pay homage and swear undying fealty to the teachings that flowed from the jaws of “the great man”.  Yet despite that, all those same Reagan Republican candidates and aficionados have seen and heard from Trump’s tweets and mouth since the 2016 general election is contrary to everything Reagan stood for.  The Trump administration after less than 150 days more resembles the Nixon White House during the Watergate cover-up or that Reagan White House during the Iran Contra cover-up.  The scramble to cover lies and fabricate new narratives for obvious flubs is clearly embarrassing, yet none of those Reagan Republicans are calling shenanigans.  Just the most innocuous mistakes, like a typo during a late night tweet, have to be spun into some murder mystery plot just in order to keep the fa├žade of infallibility alive of this man.  Why?!?!  What is this obsession to be better than anyone he’s followed?  Obama, Dubya Bush, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and of course Reagan, all admitted at some point in time that they made a mistake in a policy or even misspoke; it is really OK.
Now, to be fair, men like John McCain, David Frum, and Lindsay Graham have started to finally raise an eyebrow about all of this confusion and ask serious questions about serious concerns about Trump’s refusal to at least posture towards Russia and Putin.  But where are the Pat Buchanan’s, the Newt Gringrich’s?  Where are all of the people who proudly called Reagan “The Cold Warrior” and stood at his side when he declared “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” when he went to West Germany to support our NATO allies?  Why is it so hard, or is it that they all sold their souls to this man so that they could get control of the Supreme Court, to call out Trump on this debacle?  How is it those Reagan Republicans are now blind to things like firing of the Director of the FBI in an obvious clumsy attempt to deter an investigation? 

Look, I never supported Ronald Reagan; I never voted for Ronald Reagan; I never LIKED Ronald Reagan.  But I knew Ronald Reagan and I respected Ronald Reagan; trust me, Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan and unlike Ronald Reagan, he has no moral compass and cares nothing for those people that voted for him.  This however is the administration that those woolen covered eyed voters wanted.  As my mother is fond of saying, “you ordered shit, you eat shit”.  I hope it tastes good as you drink it with a glass of Russian vodka.