Free Meek Mill

Meek

Here we go again. Another young black man who finds himself the victim of what is an unquestionably corrupt criminal justice system in America.

Robert Rihmeek Williams, aka “Meek Mill” is a well known hip-hop artist who was recently sentenced to a 2 – 4 year prison sentence for a “probation violation” regarding a crime he allegedly committed ELEVEN years ago when he was the tender young age of nineteen. And what was this egregious violation that led the judge to come down upon Meek with such a heavy hand of justice you may wonder? He made the insanely inconceivable decision to “pop a wheelie” on a motorcycle. No really, that was it. Quick…grab the women and children and rush them inside! Lock your doors and throw away the key America, a mad man on a motorcycle is trying to have fun! What are we to do – what with such debauchery and hoodlum-like activity unbridled and running amuck on our streets?!

This is so obviously ridiculous. It is…within a nutshell…everything that is wrong about the prison industrial complex. And that complex is incidentally – an institution with a binary purpose that clearly defines its ultimate objective: 1) Make money 2) Enslave young black men. After all more black men are in prison today than were slaves during that period in America. But wait it gets worse. The probation officer and THE PROSECUTOR in Meek’s case informed the judge that he did not need to see ONE DAY – let alone two to four years in prison – and yet the judge ignored their advice and decided to exact this severe punishment upon him anyway. MEANWHILE – just last week – the parents of another unarmed black man who died at the hands of the police had to sit and watch a “not guilty verdict” handed down by a jury of their peers as justice once again leaped out the window of a another courtroom of supposed “law & order”. This was a reenactment of an all too familiar scene or a really bad movie for the families and friends of black men and women who cry tears of pain upon a loss of life and then again for a second time after witnessing the assailant walk away scot-free.

And, what about this opioid epidemic that is sweeping through white communities around the nation? The response of the current administration in the White House to stories like the one I just read the other day in which two white women were found passed out in the front seat of their car (Click here for story) with the infant baby of each respectively in the back seat…is empathy. We need to HELP White Americans not JAIL them apparently. Therefore Trump is suggesting programs of rehabilitation and assistance for those hooked on opioids which he calls a “Public Health Emergency” (a program that since he labeled it “Public” will cost upwards of a billion dollars out of the pockets of tax payers by the way – I thought his crowd hated socialism??). Meanwhile, if a black mom should be caught – AWAKE – with a nickel bag of marijuana – a much more benign drug – she is headed to jail. We don’t need to help her – she’s just a bad mother and a degenerate drug addict.

The double standard in this country is as evident as it is appalling. So when I say “Free Meek Mill” in the subject line above, I don’t just mean from prison (although somebody DEFINITELY needs to step in and let that negro out). I am actually referring to something I’d like to think is much more profound. What I am suggesting is the cultivation of a society in which he is truly free. A society in which such an egregious miscarriage of justice is unthinkable not just for some but for all. A society in which a black male cannot be killed by individuals who are sworn to protect him. And if he is – one in which that officer KNOWS justice will be swift and impartial. It is in THAT type of society that you TRULY free Meek Mill and all who share his pigmentation. Whereas in this society Meek Mill can be released from his physical incarceration TODAY, and yet he still will not be completely free. Because to be black in current day America is to live in bondage and to be subject to an unjust system economically – socially – and politically. God speed the day when that is no longer the case. Until then I guess no “popping wheelies” Black America. If you want to commit a crime – overdose on heroin with your kids in the car because that will elicit the sympathy of our Commander-in-Chief.

 


FREE MEEK MILL


 


 Oreos to go: Black Americans don’t get treatment via “Public Funds” they get locked up:


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

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Hidden Figures

Hidden 3

Not sure if you have seen the movie Hidden Figures which details the contributions of three women in particular

who were among those that contributed to NASA’s storied and by now iconic “race to the moon”. The film compellingly depicts the adversity that these ladies had to overcome primarily as women of color but also as women in general in the extremely racist and misogynistic era that was 1960s (and before) in America. However, what may have been lost on some is a much more profound and suggestive perspective that was for me the underlying meaning of the film’s title. Which is to say: one of the greatest and most unfortunate consequences of white supremacy’s legacy in America is the historical veiling of not just black contributions to the American story (for instance I had no idea about the ladies depicted in that film), but the distortion of the beauty and brilliance of black culture itself in America.

Black people in many ways both subtle and not so subtle – are indeed hidden figures. On the not so subtle side: Did you know for instance – that a black man by the name of George Crum created the potato chip? I didn’t either! Not until just recently, that is. I been eatin’ chips all my life and had no idea! How about the three signal traffic light (Garrett Morgan) or the “street letter” mailbox (Philip Dowing); you know the mailboxes various mail carriers have in place that you can walk up to on the street and throw a letter or package in to ship off to your desired destination. Or what about the name Mark Hannah – does that ring a bell? Yeah, it didn’t for me either. Mark co-founded Silicon Graphics and his computer programs were instrumental in the 3D effects of ground breaking films like Jurrassic Park and Aladdin which revolutionized the cinematic experience for audiences around the world. These are just a few of the creative and innovative geniuses counted among the ranks of black people in our nation – past and present.

Another facet of this discussion are those who fought for Civil Rights. Do you know the name Fannie Lou Hamer? A. Philip Randolph? How about Ida B. Wells? Are you familiar with the story of Emmitt Till and his mother MamieWhat do you know of the Reconstruction period and the role Frederick Douglass played in meeting with Charles Sumner – Thaddeus Stephens – and others -during the 1860s as they attempted to reconstruct the Union which the Confederate Army had torn apart? You know the name Martin Luther King, but have you heard of Andrew Young or Ralph Abernathy? This is the type of history that should be included in our history books in grade school, but has instead been hidden by those who do not want to allow for the debunking of myths that have been constructed about the inferiority of black people. Myths that have been dutifully inserted into the collective American psyche for centuries. The recollection of our nation’s past – the story of America is therefore decidedly one-sided.

Perhaps the most unfortunate piece to all of this – the more subtle aspect – is the misdiagnosis of black culture in general. On the one hand you have stereotypes that are meant to malign black people and paint us ALL into a dark corner or present us in an unflattering light. So that Americans – many whom have never spent any significant time in our presence – have bought into the depiction of black people as: unintelligent – lazy – criminal minded – uncivilized or unruly – and looking for a hand out. On the other hand Americans are more than happy to appropriate the undeniable genius of black people without giving credit where it is due: the style – the creativity – the intellectual offerings – the innovative ideas – the language (like the word “cool”. I know you don’t think a white dude came up with that word as his wife was doing a little square-dance sixty years ago(!): “Honey that is SO cool“!) – the music & dance – the ground-breaking inventions; all these things and more have been exploited for personal use or gain at every turn in American History by the dominate majority. A majority that says: “We don’t like you but we’ll take the parts of your culture we like and make it ours”.

So it is that to date we have indeed been hidden figures traveling through the dark night of white supremacy. Our brilliance shaded over like the undetected gleam of an unpolished 24 karat diamond. Ours is an epic story of which the “half has never been told”. HOWEVER, among ourselves, we revel in the beauty of a rich culture. Unlike some of our fellow citizens when we are at the church or at the club – when we see ourselves on tv or in films (like Hidden Figures) – when we absorb the modern day brilliance of black intellectuals like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson – when we hear a quote by Langston Hughes or W.E.B. Du Bois – when Frankie Beverly & Maze or A Tribe Called Quest comes on the radio and we say “that’s my jam!” – when we are in the backyard ‘BBQing’ THEM ribs with the SPECIAL sauce and cracking jokes – when we watch the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha or Omega Si Phi – OR – the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta stepping in unison – when we are rockin’ that clean outfit and you can’t tell us NOTHING – when we think and we lead and we strive and yes when we excel – in ALL of this and so much more we KNOW – we RECOGNIZE the beauty of Black America. And it is WELL past time the rest of country began to recognize it too. Recognize those hidden figures that have long been traveling in the dark and dreary night.


 Oreos to go: Katherine Johnson – one of the women depicted in the film Hidden Figures receives recognition that was long overdue:

 


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

The Aftermath (Part II)

Hurricane

On the heels of (Part I) posted on Monday I want to discuss Black America’s role as I see it @ the rebuilding

of our community as a whole in the Aftermath of the debilitating “natural disaster” that has unfolded here in America.

To begin with I want to reiterate that the steps outlined in part one MUST be seen as a prerequisite to what I want to share @ the part Black America has to play in this dilemma. In other words, we must finally reach the point of a universal agreement that there was indeed a natural disaster (destructive racism) that took place in this nation. Secondly, we must also agree that the perpetrators never took responsibility and therefore did not act accordingly. In fact, to the contrary, they denied having played any role in bringing about the tragic circumstances that ensued as a direct result of their very own actions and even worse were successful in intervening and preventing any attempts by those who were seeking assistance in rebuilding or being compensated for what had been taken or destroyed.

It is vitally important that we start from that place of truth as Americans of all races. It is not ok for America to continue to perpetuate the lies it has to-date about how we arrived where we are at present. Those lies affect this entire rehabilitation process and cloud the judgment of the public at large. This has allowed ignorance to prevail in a form that is counterproductive to progress and has for decades prevented the sorely needed dispensation of public policies – resources – and basic tenants of human decency across the board; leaving large pockets of Black America to sink into the quicksand of hopelessness and despair.

Having said all of the above – there is an immensely important facet to this scenario that sits squarely upon the lap of Black America. Which is to say that once we are able to hopefully reach the moment of truth when America ultimately recognizes and is therefore prepared to right her evident wrongs – Black America must be ready to take advantage – and right now… generally speaking…we are not.

You know one of the greatest travesties of all of this unfortunate history is not necessarily what it has done physically or economically to black people – though it has been truly destructive in each of those regards. But, it is the mental toll or the warped mentality that this has produced in our community (again I am speaking in generalities) that is the most harmful aspect in my opinion. The trauma – the lack – the impact upon our self-esteem (and much more) has collectively speaking led to a scenario in which far too many black people have turned away from education to crime – turned away from loving ties and brotherhood to violence and distrust. And, perhaps worst of all, we have turned away from hope to apathy and despair due to an environment that breeds a “dog-eat-dog” mentality.

All of this has happened in neighborhoods where our children have been left to walk among the broken glass – the felled trees – the twisted metal of the Aftermath of White Supremacy in America. This Aftermath has crippled the black community in ways which are simply indescribable and it has produced a myriad of unhealthy habits and backwards ways of thinking that now must be reversed. Our narrow perspective – our limited worldview has been brought to fruition within the confines of a small box constructed with the limited space of four enclosed walls that are suffocating and have left various communities feeling woefully claustrophobic. And to survive those dire circumstances far too many among us have hardened a carefully constructed shell around our individual persons and turned to detrimental vices as a coping mechanism to deal with the traumatic results of being left behind to fend for ourselves in the Aftermath.

This is precisely why we see so many shootings on the Westside of Chicago and in the “Pork n’ Beans” in Miami and in South Central Los Angeles – where even innocent children are not spared from the stray bullets of the guerrilla warfare known as gang violence. This is why in my own city two eighteen year-old black kids were recently arrested after going on an epic crime spree which included armed robbery and a carjacking of a lady with her kid in the car. This is why too many fathers are absent and domestic violence is a regular occurrence in our communities. Rather than making positive choices that can revolutionize our communities like pursuing an education – business ownership – pursuing political empowerment; we instead witness countless young souls filled with untold and untapped promise being lost to “the streets”. And so we must take a LONG look in the mirror as we attempt to proceed in the right direction.

If this truth is not addressed we will not be prepared, Black America, and therefore we cannot advance. Which means we need leadership in our own right that has in tote a game plan of preparation and revolution. We need a person(s) with a plan to redirect our attention – our focus – and to recalibrate our mentality so that we can in fact be ready to utilize and not squander the opportunities that are hopefully forthcoming (and so that we can also – even now – create our own opportunities to the extent possible). The truth we must understand is this: We can have all of the resources in the world…money…new public policies…free healthcare….you name it. BUT if our minds are not free we can NEVER be free either.

And for me that is the key to all of this on both sides of this equation…meaning black and white America. Both sides respectively must free their minds from the confining and destructive effects that White Supremacy has had on their way of thinking in order to deal with the Aftermath – pick up the pieces – and move forward in a positive direction in this unparalleled effort known as the American Experiment. NONE of us can truly be free until we have done that. In that sense, both sides have a critical role to play @ moving forward in the Aftermath. And it is the cooperation of each side respectively @ their role in all of this – that will allow the American Experiment to be successful. To that end, MLK was right when he offered the quote I leave you with now:

 

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…

This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

 


 Oreos to go: 

Aftermath Clean-up Effort:

Step 1) Remove the harmful effects of White Supremacy on rebuilding.

Step 2) Black America must be prepared to take advantage of that removal.


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

The Aftermath (Part I)

Aftermath

Want to try and address a popular stance taken by far too many people OUTSIDE the black community.

There are many Americans who believe that regarding what is undeniably a vicious and profoundly ugly legacy of racism in this country: that that was THEN and this is NOW. What they are essentially saying is that one period of time has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Once a few laws were changed Black America was “good to go”. “Stop complaining”“My ancestors did that – not me”. “I can’t change what they did alright so pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and get an education”. This is not just “an opinion” held by some of America mind you – it is an indoctrinated culture that is almost as American as apple pie where many White Americans in particular are concerned. And what this ideology does is – it attempts to completely wash the hands of those in a place of privilege by using a “my bad, but what can you do?” escape route. It attempts to place the blame and the onus for the desperate and dire circumstances found in devastated communities squarely upon the shoulders of individuals who are experiencing the direct consequences of centuries of decimation enacted upon it at the hands of a nation that wants to simply walk away after delivering a “haymaker” straight to the face.

But the truth is that the consequences of all the chaos performed against black people did not magically disappear once the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was signed into law. In fact, that would be impossible, wouldn’t it? After all, it’s impossible to erase the destruction of 400 years over night. If one thinks about that logically – I mean to say with basic common sense – that truth would be evidently obvious or elementary in nature. This analogy will not do it justice – but I liken it to an F5 tornado that flattens a town or an earthquake measuring 10.0 on the Richter scale that disassembles an entire city. The federal government would not then say: “that sucks but hey the natural disaster is over now so pull yourself up by your boot straps you’re good to go”No. We are not good to go. We must actually deal with the AFTERMATH of what has transpired. People are devastated – destitute – homeless and hopeless. We cannot pretend that it’s just “all good”.

A specific and strategic response to what has transpired must be employed. Similar to the response from FEMA after a hurricane when they come into the area that has been hit and assess the damage and then report back to Washington. The federal government even puts boots on the ground to help those who are in need and provide services to those who are suffering. Congress – along with the President – as we have even seen in recent months – will then put together aid totaling in the billions of dollars based on the information relayed back to them from FEMA representatives; and this without much of a back and forth because “Americans are in need” (is the popular refrain). Why did ALL of this not happen for Black America when the destruction of our community was FAR more devastating than any hurricane could ever be? Why was there no assessment and no OFFICIAL plan of action to rehabilitate and rebuild what had been torn down on a scale never before witnessed by mankind? I guess I have to admit that those questions were rhetorical in nature because we all know the answer. The very same RACISM – the very same avarice and greed that caused the destruction in the first place – prevented America from sending a “FEMA” to help black Americans in the aftermath of what was undoubtedly the greatest “storm” of all time.

Instead of making amends – instead of displaying a contrite spirit for its many wrongs – White America found clever ways to avoid dealing with the aftermath of White Supremacy. It hid behind what were conveniently labeled “American” principles. It said to help the black community is tantamount to “socialism”. It said “All those black people want welfare”. “They don’t want to work hard like us, they’re lazy”. And then once some time had elapsed the majority began to insist it was not their problem: “That was my grandpa who did all that not me”?? Consequently the black community has been left empty handed and hung out to dry in an environment that to this day is discriminatory and told to fend for ourselves by the very same individuals who enjoy every conceivable privilege possible as they meanwhile refuse to concede the truth of all of the above.

I’ll leave you with this anecdote which I hope will help to bring this idea on home. Say an individual is charged with murder – convicted – and sentenced to life in prison at 19 years-old. And fifty-one years later – at the age of 70 years-old it is found that the prosecutor hid or destroyed…at the time of their conviction…evidence that this person was in fact innocent. I think it would be sufficed to say that this is undeniably an inexcusable and unspeakable crime against humanity. Fifty one years this man languished in jail while his youth was taken away from him – while he could not get married – have children – while he could not see the beach or climb a mountain – or just simply walk free in the street and embrace his family and friends. FIFTY ONE Christmas(s) went by while he sat in a jail cell. FIFTY ONE Thanksgivings and birthdays that he can NEVER get back.

What would you say is owed to this man upon the discovery of this evidence that was intentionally withheld? A WHOLE LOT right? Maybe the sincerest of apologies from the head of state? A hundred million dollars perhaps? Mental help for PTSD and a beach house in the Florida Keys? Words cannot even begin to express what he has lost nor what he deserves. And by the way: it does not matter if the prosecutor who convicted him is dead and gone that man deserves his just due from the NEW prosecutor – which still won’t be enough.

As tragic as that scenario is – it does not even BEGIN to compare to what has happened to black people in America. And it does not matter if the worst of what happened was in the past (though racism is still a problem so don’t get it twisted) and whether particular acts were performed by others who may have even passed away (like the prosecutor in the analogy above) – the just due needs to be forthcoming in the AFTERMATH of these tragic circumstances. It is one hell of an epic crime against humanity to be sure – that the recompense – the effort to rebuild and rehabilitate – to make right the egregious wrongs – ALL of this has PURPOSEFULLY been withheld in the very same America that many purport to be the greatest country on earth.

This truth about what has transpired in America is clear…the only outstanding question…as with the man wrongfully convicted in the story above: Which generation will be the one to finally accept the evidence and act accordingly?


 Oreos to go: In Part II this coming Thursday…I will be addressing Black America’s role in the Aftermath.


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

MJ is the Solution to Racism

Jordan

Michael Jordan is not only the greatest basketball player to ever live, but he is probably also the greatest athlete of all time.

Although I would not argue with those who might offer that Muhammad Ali would have something to say about that. No one could argue, however, against the fact that MJ has to at the VERY LEAST be a part of that conversation. To put it into as simple of terms as possible: Michael Jordan was a bad boy!

Dating back to the days when he took the NBA by storm in the 80s, Jordan was a force to be reckoned with. And we are talking from the moment he stepped onto the court his rookie year when he AUTOMATICALLY began electrifying audiences with gravity defying moves and cat-like quickness never before witnessed by basketball fans. Oh, and by the way, when the infamous tongue came out, whoever was guarding him KNEW they were in serious trouble! To this day Jordan apparel – especially items from his sneaker line – are a hot commodity. His brand is as monumental as it is universal. A fact which has transformed Jordan into a billionaire mogul of epic proportions.

Having said all that I wonder if you have ever thought about the Jordan brand from the stand point of what it has to say about race in America? What’s interesting about the Jordan Brand is that its overwhelming success must mean that people of all races dating back to his playing days are enormous Jordan fans. The American public bought tickets to his games (home & away) – it has bought untold amounts of paraphernalia – middle-aged men have even attended the Michael Jordan Senior Flight School that cost upwards of fifteen thousand dollars a pop to spend three days with Mike. And you know what all of that proves to me? It proves that people can and will indeed put race aside when it is in their own perceived best interests or given the right circumstances.

This is a complicated idea that has actually been floating around in my mind for some time now. The idea…that is…that people who are otherwise racist according to thought – word – or deed – somehow manage to flip a switch when it comes to cheering for black athletes. A fact which makes those individuals a curious enigma in that they wouldn’t have their black neighbor down the street over for dinner – they will refer to black people as the N-Word when in private company (or maybe even to their face these days!) – they will teach their kids the same ugly mentality their parents taught them; but if they see the star running back of their favorite football team (a black player) walking down the street they would without hesitation run up to him with their children in tote to get an autograph!

The exceptional approach to black athletes on the part of bigoted Americans is one of those odd scenarios that is nonsensical and counter-intuitive – but at the same time is worth considering because I think it speaks volumes about what racism is and more importantly what it is not. For instance – if you think about it – the perplexing scenario spelled out above has to mean that on some level racism is an illusion. It is not all-together real or concrete – otherwise the white guy who supposedly can’t stand black people could not bring himself to run up to Michael Jordan when he sees him out in public. He is supposed to be a racist but newsflash: Michael Jordan is black!

I understand the idea that Jordan may appear super-human or become “colorless” in peoples’ eyes (if there really is such a thing) due to his tremendous abilities – but still they KNOW he’s black at the end of the day. And, if their racist principles and beliefs about “all black people” are REAL or have merit – then they would apply to MJ as well – no matter how sweet his jump shot was or how high he could jump back in the day. That is to say that either you ARE allergic to peanuts or you are not. And if you ARE allergic to peanuts and you eat ANY peanut you ARE going to the hospital. Whereas @ “racist beliefs”: the fact that people who supposedly believe in its tenants are able to suddenly embrace and even admire a man with brown skin means those aforementioned racist tenants cannot actually be valid either in theory or principle. It also means people who think that way do in fact have the ability to approach people of other races with respect – they just CHOOSE not to unless of course they’re famous or if there is any other exception or qualifier that suits their desires.

Which leads me to my second point which is that this scenario also proves that racist ideals – ideals that are TAUGHT – can be overcome. But, the key as I mentioned above is that the possessor of said racism must perceive that the need to do so is in their best interests. So the question then has to be: How do we create a society in which “the majority” decides that laying down its racist tendencies – which is clearly possible based on all of the above – is in fact in its best interests? And for me the answer begins with education by way of a critical assessment of the nuances of race: similar to this discussion we are engaged in as we speak.

I can almost guarantee that as you are reading these words it is causing your brain to process and consider a perspective that is at least thought provoking. And, as you and I are doing so, we’re challenging centuries-old theories of race that make no sense. Therefore light-bulbs begin to go off in rooms of thought that have been intentionally enveloped within the dark past of a country that has always been dominated by the tenants of White Supremacy. To-date there has been no pursuit of a public discourse on race from a diverse perspective. Instead, America has allowed for a one-sided perpetuation of myths that has guided us down trails that lead to absolutely nowhere.

So you see – though it sounds funny – Michael Jordan is the solution to racism. The Carolina Panthers are the solution to racism. The L.A. Lakers are the solution to racism. In other words, whatever that “thing” is that causes people to cheer for teams or revere players – no matter their race: that “thing” is bigger than whatever it is that has been able to divide Americans based on the color of our skin. By jumping up in down in the stands at the game or on the floor of our living room…for a player who does not share our same pigmentation…we prove that it is possible to root for one another. We prove that when we have a common cause before us – when there is an object of our affection that is of supreme importance in our eyes – those ideals – not whatever issues of race we have managed to concoct as a society – are what motivate our actions. If this were not the case after all, Michael Jordan would have had a REALLY hard time selling all those shoes.


 Oreos to go: I can almost guarantee you some of these people in this video harbor some suspect and/or racist ideas about Black America:


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Fake News

Newspaper

At the risk of stating the obvious I dare say: we live in strange times.

A time in which the truth is now open to interpretation and any particular subject of fact is now “up for debate”. To begin with – atop our society – sitting within the auspices of the highest office of our nation – we have an individual who is willing to make any statement that pops into his head irrespective of the truth in order to appease his inexorable ego. It is extremely odd to watch the leader of this nation try to substitute absolute truth with what White House counselor Kellyanne Conway coined “alternative facts” at the onset of the Trump presidency. And even stranger when the individuals who follow him KNOW that he looks foolish as he dispenses these imaginary tales – and at least to-date – still refuse to admit as much. Let me give you just a few examples.

If you recall…after photos and videos showed a relatively diminutive crowd at his inauguration he went on the record and said: “There were (according to his naked eye you understand) what looked like at least 1.5 million people there that day”. AND THEN he proceeded to have now terminated press-secretary Sean Spicer come out and say: “It was the largest crowd to EVER witness an inauguration both in person AND on TV” (SO BIZZARE 😂!!). Or how about after we ALL saw THE video tape of him on THE bus talking about female genitalia 😳? Trump subsequently addressed the now infamous controversy in the third person: “The lying media is saying Donald Trump doesn’t respect women…I can tell you, everybody knows Donald Trump respects women, ok folks. Nobody respects women more than me….FAKE NEWS”. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico – which he clearly dragged his feet on – he said verbatim: NOBODY could have done what I’ve done for Puerto Rico and with so little appreciation”.

The very audacity to openly offer what are all clearly egregious lies that presuppose the stupidity of his audience (oh that would be us by the way!) is a slap in the face. It undermines Trump’s integrity on just about everything. If he can’t tell the truth about that for which we have clear evidence – or even be able to speak the truth about subjects like “crowd size” which is inconsequential and trivial – how then can we trust him on the issues that actually matter like tax reform – healthcare – military engagements or the hot topic of today regarding the ongoing investigation into Russian ties to his campaign? The irony is that the guy who goes around screaming “Fake News” lies through his teeth on an almost daily basis without even blinking and consequently we have absolutely no idea when he is being truthful.

Now, in the interest of fairness I must admit that although our President is certainly a historically fantastic conveyer of falsehoods and mis-information he is not the only guilty party in this epic saga that is unfolding before our eyes. The mainstream media – as it were – is entirely complicit in this scheme to mis-lead the American public and/or at the very least control the everyday narrative in order to achieve its own desired ends as well. That is to say that if the media has an agenda it wants to push @ any particular cause it fancies: that is precisely what it does. The media will choose said cause – personify it in the form of an endearing “character” – and then appeal to the bleeding hearts of its enraptured audience. This is particularly true in our current political climate where it has declared war in a reprisal against a President who began launching missiles in its direction from the word go; and a President who to its great dismay was successful in deploying dubious but effective methods of undermining their espoused integrity from day one.

So what we have then is a scenario in which we are witnessing – what is in fact an at least sometimes dishonest media (with an established agenda) that has been assaulted by an all too often dishonest President (the likes of which we have never seen). And this just so happens to be a President who also has the most frightful political agenda of my lifetime…one that is unfortunately built upon a racially discriminatory platform that should no doubt be labeled as white nationalism. This I am afraid is a recipe for disaster. When you have a narcissistic commander-in-chief who is also bigoted – stoking flames of hatred that not only embolden individuals who are white supremacists but that also fosters an environment conducive to that ideology – AND – meanwhile a mass media that essentially can do nothing to combat this alarming state of affairs as it itself has been exposed as a pawn in the hands of those who command it do their bidding…things are not going to go well in the intermediate future.

Noam Chomsky may have said it best: “Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.” (Please read that quote again). There is a sacrificial lamb that has been slaughtered on the altar of public opinion in the midst of this circus and its name is “the truth”. Truth – integrity – morality – NONE of that matters anymore – at least not to those in power. And to be frank, the reason they all get away with their “wicked schemes” is because we as an American public are collectively the “ignorant masses”. Like sheep being led to the slaughter – we blindly follow the pied piper as he plays his tantalizing tune. We sorely lack the ability to critically assess the issues at hand or the requisite fortitude to educate ourselves and to question the status quo. If Fox News or CNN said it – it must be true. Even worse if Donald Trump had said FIFTEEN million people were at his inauguration – I guarantee when the rest of us looked at his followers with an incredulous look on our faces they would have been like…”What”??

I’d say it’s time – wouldn’t you – to start seeking the truth in ALL these things? It is time for the ride to stop and for each of us to get off and start dealing with the reality that America is nowhere near a perfect union. To the contrary – though some like to pretend that America is a magical kingdom of freedom and justice…filled with edible red white & blue pixie dust – we have to-date forged a society in which many face the severe consequences of inequality. A fact which can only be rectified if we begin to accept the truth about our current state of affairs. Once the majority FINALLY comes to grips with that reality – then and only then can we elect qualified officials and hold those officials accountable and to an ethical standard that is beneficial to all Americans regardless of race or tax bracket. But, this can NEVER happen if America continues to accept the copious lies spoon fed directly into the mouths of the unsuspecting proletariat from the crooked tribunes of our nation.

 

Final thought: There is only ONE President of these United States. And, when he or the people who are followers of his try to equate his copious lies with that of ANYONE else it is a non sequitur or false equivalency.

For instance: whether or not Hillary Clinton spoke lies last year or used a private email server is irrelevant to Trump’s current job performance because she is not President. Donald J. Trump is and HE is the singular person whose lies are the most dangerous and relevant to our nation given the office he holds. He drives policies – he literally has the ability to start wars at the push of a button – and HE is the person accountable for the direction of our country as President. That is what he signed up for. He said HE was going to “drain the swamp”, so we must hold him accountable for HIS actions. The buck stops with him and him alone.

 


 Oreos to go: Remember this jewel?


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

I do not like that Sam, I am

Sam

I am Sam

I am Sam


Sam I am

That Sam-I-am


That Sam-I-am!


I do not like 
that Sam-I-am.

 

-Dr. Seuss (Green Eggs and Ham)


@ my post from yesterday on the harmful effects of what we might call subtle White Supremacy

…I wanted to follow up with a practical example that shows why and how it can be very dangerous. Not sure if you have seen former MLB great Sammy Sosa in recent years – and if you haven’t the before and after photo that can be found at bottom above my signature (or by clicking here) will no doubt shock you the way it shocked me. Sosa decided to have a procedure performed in recent years that would bleach or lighten his skin color. Much like the Dr. Seuss character referenced above Sammy (Sam) clearly decided “I do not like THE Sam I am”. To each his own but in my opinion this is a sad commentary on the often unaddressed intricacies of race in America. It really is an indictment of the systematic and psychological oppression that has been “weaponized” and aimed not only at Black America – but also at the culture of American society as a whole.

For me the dermatological transformation undertaken by Sammy is a clear indication that he looked into the mirror and could not come to terms with the man staring back at him. He had an apparent irreconcilable disagreement within – between the melanin the man in the mirror possessed and the ideal image to which he aspired. Speaking of the “Man in the Mirror” – the individual who crystalized that phrase or expression – “the King of Pop” himself (may he rest in peace) – embarked upon a similar journey as well many years ago by now. Michael Jackson decided to lighten his complexion as well as you’ll no doubt recall – and by the point of his untimely death had transmogrified into a shell of his former self.

Well, what is it that would cause these successful – talented – beloved figures to peer deep into the mirror of their souls and conclude that such drastic changes to their appearances were necessary?

You know I recently realized something about myself that I am almost ashamed to admit. But, in the interest of always seeking the truth about race in America I gotta’ keep it 100. I am proud to be black – just as others are proud to be Irish – Italian – Korean – Puerto Rican and so on. But notice the difference in the reference I made to my ethnicity and the other descriptors in that list. I said black: as in my skin color as opposed to African – because as a black man in America I am not necessarily tied to or “proud” of my African roots. I guess I am actually neutral you could say because it is not as if I am shunning or embarrassed about those roots either. But the question it seems to me is: WHY am I neutral? And after some serious self-reflection I think it’s because – as is the case with most black people in America – I have no identifiable history or connection to “home”, as it were. And, this is due to the fact that Africans who were kidnapped from their original continent – were separated from their families and dispersed at random after being literally auctioned to the highest bidder. And from that point to this – due to the institutional horrors that ensued – all lineages – traditions – and heritage was lost. So unlike an Italian who migrated on their own – or even Africans in modern day America who have migrated to this country of their own volition – it was nearly impossible for would be slaves to not only keep track of who and whose we were as time passed – but it was therefore also impossible for black people in America to necessarily maintain pride in our origins.

That disconnect is a key component to the black identity in modern day America in my opinion. Because cultural pride – especially in the face of racism – which is obviously the underlying story of U.S. History – makes one not only comfortable in their own skin (I am but some are not) but also fiercely loyal to and proud of their ancestors and “people” as a whole. But, I’ll even take it a step further. America as an institution currently celebrates by default “white” skin in all its facets. Cartoon characters (Cinderella and Snow White) – skin care commercials and products – history books utilized in public schools – elections of Presidents – heroes and/or superheroes in films (Superman and Batman) and in real life (Firemen and Policemen) – all of these things and more cater to the idea of white beauty and excellence via the depictions propped up by various mediums. Our brains (speaking of people of ALL races in America) are inculcated from day one – even if we do not realize it – with the idea that “white is right”. Conversely, many of the images associated with black skin are the exact opposite. Danger – criminality – ruggedness – dim-wittedness – “ghetto” – laziness – these are the depictions of black people that are often portrayed via various mediums and in various forms – including parents passing that suspect ideology about black people down to their kids and grandkids. The result is not just a white public that views Black America as “less than” but a general public – INCLUDING many black people ourselves – that views blackness in a negative light in more ways than one – even if sub-consciously.

The result is that White Supremacy automatically seeps into all facets of society. It barges its way through like bull in a china shop – whether we like it or not. What doctor should I go to (white doctors are trusted). Who should I elect to office (white candidates are trusted). Who should be hired or get the promotion (whites employees are noticed). Who should make the NFL cheerleading squad (blonde hair/blue eyes is ideal). This way of thinking is simply the norm. And Sammy Sosa like the rest of us exists in a society saturated with this image of white beauty and excellence that comes with the territory by default. In the context of THAT society he was left wondering…Who am I and who do I want Sammy Sosa to be? And apparently as he gazed at his countenance in the mirror – he decided that he did not like what he saw. Sammy of course did not necessarily have that conversation – verbatim – in the the manner I did above – but let there be no doubt: the derivatives of all of the above was in his mind whether he realized it or not as it is in all of ours (regardless of race), by design I might add. And the proof of the answer he found to the question he asked himself is in the pudding. Vanilla pudding that is.

 


Oreos to go: Recent photos of Sammy Sosa below. The one where he is clad in pink went viral on Twitter a few months back:


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

The Super Friendly White Supremacist

Family

 

What do the words White Supremacy mean to you?

I ask because there appears to be a tendency among Americans to automatically think of a white dude with a shaved head – a tattoo of a Swastika on his neck – and combat boots laced all the way up to his knee caps! Or it could be that those words – for some – conjure up images of Adolf Hitler and the infamous salute he and his followers displayed during the tyrannous reign of the 3rd Reich. Still others automatically think of the Klu Klux Klan donning white hoods and the kind of vitriolic rhetoric that they and others like them employ when describing their hatred of black people or Jewish people or pretty much ANYONE who does not have white skin and a European lineage.

All of this is without question part of what is defined as White Supremacy. However, the descriptions above happen to be examples of White Supremacy in its most overt and ugly form and do not nearly encompass the full scope or breadth of that philosophy. Yes, we all know that there are individuals who are unapologetically and willfully racist, but White Supremacy has many other faces that are rarely discussed in our country.

What I want to talk about today is a form of White Supremacy that many might not recognize – and one that in many ways is more dangerous than the version that the card carrying member of your local Klu Klux Klan chapter displays. And the reason it’s more dangerous is because a lot of Americans accept this version of White Supremacy as being ok and have no idea they are doing so or that they adhere to its principles. These are individuals who are completely comfortable living in a society that they do not realize is dominated by a system that disenfranchises people of color and even worse they have been programmed to deny that this could even begin to be a possibility whenever they are confronted with such a notion.

 

White Supremacy is defined by merriam-webster as follows:

 

white su·prem·a·cy

noun

noun: white supremacy; plural noun: white supremacies

  1. the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society.

 

In case you hadn’t noticed…this defines America down to the last syllable. Although most people don’t say it outright: We live in a country that is now and has always been dominated by White America largely based on the idea of superiority. That domination was achieved not by random happenstance or by means of good old-fashioned hard work as some would argue. Nor as a result of what is a beloved economic ideal of many Americans: “Capitalism”. It was achieved rather – by extremely violent means beginning with the displacement of Native Americans and then the ushering in of African slaves who worked for free under vicious circumstances for centuries. It is precisely that extended period which laid the foundation for what is to-date White Supremacy in America.

Since that time White America (generally speaking) has fought every attempt at race-related progress tooth and nail and succeeded at maintaining its position of privilege and power. In the meanwhile it also systematically built NEW structures of discrimination upon that aforementioned foundation referenced in bold letters at the end of the last paragraph. Therefore as America entered into the modern era – from the mid-1980s up until this very moment – we lived and STILL live in a society that was and is dominated by an idea of the superiority of one and the inferiority of the other. And despite this undeniable truth – the current day “White-generation” attempts to assert that the past is in the past and that we are all now magically on equal footing. And that is important to understand: Because the KEY to the continued perpetuation of White Supremacy is that this state of denial is the mentality of the majority of White Americans.

It is also important to note that most of the individuals included in said majority are not what you might call a “textbook racist”. To the contrary they are the super friendly people that you see walking down the street everyday – as in your college educated neighbors with the two kids and the German Shepard. They are the barista at your local Starbucks. They are members of the church right down the street from your house who set up a lemonade stand every summer. They are your co-worker who picks up your tab at lunch because they really are just that nice.

But, the issue is that despite the fact that they do all of these things with a smile – and that they have good hearts – they harbor some pretty alarming stereotypes about people of color. Not only that but they readily – even if unknowingly – enjoy the benefits of all the aforementioned history that set the stage for dominance on the part of White America as they meanwhile point a finger of judgment at people of other races who generally speaking have been severely handicapped by that very same history. And because they have never had the opportunity or need to critically assess today’s subject matter outside of the popular but incomplete narrative put forth by those who dominate America – the question they honestly wonder about people of color is: “Why can’t you get ahead in the greatest country in the world”?

While we clearly cannot change what has already taken place in this country – we CAN change what will take place moving forward. We CAN confront the questionable ideology and discrimination that has been normalized dating back to the beginning of this American Experiment.

To do so we first need a universal recognition of all of the above on the part of the majority of White Americans…it needs to become common knowledge. And that will require uninhibited discussions between informed and open minds on the stage of powerful platforms (and you can forward this blog on to your friends too!). Next, we will need a plan of action to address the current discrepancies that exist @ everything from police interactions – education – hiring practices – the allocation of resources to address social maladies and an innovative approach to many other social issues as well. Finally, and most importantly, we need effective leadership from the top (POTUS) on down. We need individuals in place who have a vision that is based on reality (not denial) and that has in mind ONLY the common good of the public-at-large. Without that type of leadership we cannot progress towards a true democracy. A democracy in which the best interests of the many and not the few is the primary focus of those in power.


 Oreos to go: PLEASE watch the short video below. Just ONE example of how White Supremacy operates in the modern era:


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Ride Along: Driving While Black

Patrol Car

For those who are not intimately familiar with this subject matter either because it does not mirror your own experience

based on your particular race or background or because you have never been given a first-hand account by someone you know – I want to try and convey the “black experience” regarding police interactions through my own eyes while understanding that there are many who experience much more hostile environments than I do on a daily basis.

Though I must admit that there is no way to completely describe or fully depict what it is like to face discrimination or to experience the consequences of a society that has been immersed in White Supremacy – I still want to try and paint a picture with words that will at least provide an abstract illustration of that truth as far as is possible in this format. To do that I am going to share with you a real life scenario I personally experienced involving the police. In fact, I am actually inviting you to ride along with me and a good friend of mine in his car as we are pulled over for the crime of “Driving While Black” (DWB) in America.

It wasn’t long ago relatively speaking – within the last year or so actually – that my friend and I decided to meet up with some other friends of ours one evening to catch a game at a sports bar. I met my friend at his house to ride with him to the location that had been agreed upon by all the members of our party. So try to picture the scene if you will as you ride along with us in the back seat of his car. We are driving to the bar – windows down – laid back – and at perfect ease. Music is playing in the background as we talk and joke about this or that – catching up on the latest and greatest – you know like all friends do. We mention the match-up between the two teams we are about to watch go to battle on the court and make our respective predictions as to which players will “ball out” and which team will come out on top. After no more than five to ten minutes into the car ride we stop at a red light at the intersection of two busy streets. The light turns green and as it does I glance to my left and notice a patrol car heading in the other direction. Oddly enough – I think to myself – the officer who is driving locks on to us with his eyes.

The reason I notice this incidentally – is because for a young black male there is basically an unwritten rule that says: when you see a police officer you MUST become alert – aware – and make sure that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT do anything that might appear suspicious or draw attention.

Almost in one fell swoop I notice (and you do too from your position behind me in the car) that as this officer locked onto us he was almost simultaneously making a U-TURN in the middle of oncoming traffic to get behind us and begin to follow. I immediately tense up and tell my friend: “Dude, that cop just turned around and got behind you…be cool – don’t speed”. Suddenly, almost as soon as the words are out of my mouth – my friend panics and switches lanes abruptly – hoping that the cop will go on by I guess. Bad idea.

“YO, why did you do that” (I said with some bewilderment in my voice)?! But before I can utter even one more syllable I observe in my side mirror that the cop slows and gets behind us again as he turns on the infamous siren with the red and blue flashing lights; a turn of events I feared from the moment I noted this officer’s presence. The blood rushes quickly now – sending a sensation over my skin (and yours too as you look on – feeling the palpable tension). What was previously a little tightness on my part now morphs into a full fledge adrenaline rush and a distinct concern comes over me. We are NOT criminals – we have committed NO offense – but we ARE black males in the south. Black males being pulled over at night by a white cop for no good reason and we know it. We also know that this type of scenario does not always end well.

To make matters worse – believe it or not – my friend now makes his SECOND “mistake”. Instead of simply pulling over on the street – you know the well-traveled street that we are already on where passers-by can see us – he decides instead to pull off into the parking lot of a closed business where we cannot be seen by anyone except the officer who found it necessary to stop us. Again I instinctively question him without hesitation: “Why did you pull into this area instead of stopping back there on the street”?! He fumbles over his words a bit as he tries to answer. I realize now he is so nervous that he did not think it through and the reason I questioned him aggressively is that I am nervous too. Before the officer steps out of his car I say…”Alright man…no sudden movements”. “Just be respectful because we are on our own here”.

And you – you are sitting quietly in the back – just as nervous as we are as the officer makes his approach.

After checking BOTH of our IDs – mine and my friend’s (why did he need to check mine as a passenger I wonder to myself?) – he begins asking us questions like: “Where you headed”? “Why did you switch lanes”? “Do you live around here”“What do you do fellas do for work”? All of this as he flashes a light into the car both at us and as he looks around the vehicle. We give short and direct answers to questions that don’t make sense and that are none of his business – but we are too smart to protest in this precarious situation. And after a few tense minutes he thankfully decides to let us be on our way – citing no reason that he pulled us over – as obviously no law had been broken.

The rest of this car ride is much different than before. The excitement we had at the beginning has now been poured out onto the pavement where we were pulled over and has been replaced with a sobering discussion about what just transpired. We are – my friend and I – keenly aware of what just took place (DWB) and so are you dear reader – as the third pair of eyes in the back seat. In fact, that is exactly why we allowed you to come along – so that you might bare witness – so that you might get a mere glimpse of what it means to be black in America. And to think that my friend and I are the lucky ones huh? That experience – while it sucks and is just one story of many I could share – is a cake walk compared to the tragic circumstances suffered by many other black people living in and experiencing much more hostile situations than yours truly ever has; some who have been sent to an early grave.

To be Black in current day America means that you are subject at any given moment to random acts of discrimination – inequality or possible violence. It means you CANNOT afford to make “mistakes” as my friend did in the story I shared above (which are of course not really mistakes – they are actions that are normal – like reaching for your wallet when asked for ID – but that we avoid in certain situations in order to hopefully avoid horrific outcomes) less you find yourself in jeopardy. And to be clear: this inequitable treatment goes well beyond police interactions (since of course the tenants of White Supremacy are not confined within the boundaries of law enforcement). Politics – business – public schools – you name it: we face discrimination in ALL facets of our society.

As proof – all ANYONE has to do is to talk to your black neighbor – your black co-worker or student – your black friend or teammate and I assure you that they will be able to take you on a ride along the same way I did today and recount story after story of their experience as a black person living in America. But make sure you buckle up first though – because it is without question going to be one hell of a ride.

 


 Oreos to go: 


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Before the “After Barack” (Part II)

Barack

If you did not read Part I of this topic posted on Monday – go back and do that now!

In part one I utilized the disparities between Barack Obama and Donald Trump as a backdrop and began my exploration of what I think is an interesting question: Which political party is better suited @ the best interests of Black Americans? And I ended that post by alluding to the fact that the principles of White Supremacy – which engulf BOTH parties – are mainly perpetuated by those privileged few that are in possession of almost all of the resources in America. And to that point it’s worth noting that the main objective of those at the top (the elite class) is to maintain a rift that has long since been created between people of color and everyday White Americans (in the modern day that means whites individually making less than $250k annually – which is pretty much EVERY white citizen).

So before we proceed I am going to let you in on a little secret that flips this discussion on its head: The majority of White Americans who vote for the policies of the GOP are shooting themselves directly in their own foot.

Why on earth – for instance – would anyone want to support tax reform that provides tax breaks and other distinct privileges for the wealthy while their relatively meager pay is slashed to pieces? Why would they be in bed with a party who openly condones tax cuts for the same individuals who caused the collapse of the so called “Big Banks” back in 2007: which the American tax payer had to foot the bill for with a 700 BILLION dollar bailout? I’ll tell you why: because White Americans have from day one been convinced by those who W.E.B. Du Bois calls the Planters and the Northern Capitalists – the Super Rich that is – that their best interests align with those individuals who are billionaires and not with other Americans who are living in the same exact predicament they are experiencing. AND…it goes deeper still. I’ll give you one guess as to the primary tool the elite utilize in order to convince White Americans that this is the case and to maintain the separation of themselves from the “common man” (the majority of Americans) below them on the economic totem pole. That’s right….RACE.

You ever noticed that it is popular in America to tell black people that we are no better off by voting for Democrats than Republicans (Donald Trump for instance famously asked black people “What do you have to lose”?), but it is not popular to tell White Americans who do not have a million dollars in their bank account that they are no better off by voting for Republican candidates? And that is because the elite are in control of that narrative. A narrative used by them to distract White Americans away from their own well-being and instead zero-in on stereotypes like these: “They’re taking your jobs”. “They’re all lazy”. “They’re rapist and murderers”. “They’re taking over YOUR country” They want to take your guns”. “They all want welfare”. These are the stereotypes that have been perpetuated all the way back to when the South was defeated in the Civil War and has therefore created such hatred – vitriol – and disdain on the part of White America for people of color and black people in particular – that they are more focused on those falsehoods and racist tendencies than they are on their own self-interests.

While White Americans are focused on immigrants crossing the border and the movements of ISIS – the CEOs of companies like Goldman Sachs where many White Americans are chained to a desk pushing paper – or – the OWNERS of the manufacturing plants where they slave away every day on an assembly line…are hoarding all the spoils of the products and services they produce; and meanwhile trying their best not to pay for that “pre-existing condition” contracted in the coal mine where their family member has worked for twenty years.

Adam Smith in his masterpiece entitled Wealth of Nations put it like this:

What are the common wages of labor, depends everywhere upon the contract made between two parties, those whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible.

Many White Americans don’t focus nearly enough (or at all) upon these truths when they consider their circumstances or cast their vote because they are obsessed with this supposed “idea of what America is”an idea that is based largely upon what are centuries old racist tendencies handed to them directly from the very same men who only cut for them a minuscule sliver of the significant pie that is the opulent wealth of America. Thus a Donald Trump comes along and can EASILY tap into old unchecked dogmas that have been dutifully injected into the very DNA – the bone marrow of white society from day one. And as a result he got himself elected even in so late a date as the year 2017 based upon a platform of overt racism.

This was particularly easy to do coming on the heels of the first Black President who wasn’t hated for his policies nearly so much as he was hated by many for the color of his skin. After witnessing the election of Obama a lot of white people were angry – and wanted – as their “saviour” Trump said: To make America Great Again! But what they do not understand is that their idea of making America great does not mean the super-rich finally sharing the wealth – wealth which the elite have always refused to those who labor to produce it. Instead most White Americans while being exploited are STILL smiling because Trump is “taking America back from the Kenyan Born Muslim, Obama, and all the foreigners he’s lettin’ in”!

W.E.B. Du Bois who I mentioned earlier also wrote the following in the same work regarding the South during attempts at reconstruction:

“Here comes the penalty which a land pays when it stifles free speech and free discussions and turns itself over entirely to propaganda. It does not make any difference if at the time the things advocated are absolutely right, the nation, nevertheless becomes morally emasculated and mentally hogtied, and cannot evolve that healthy difference of opinion which leads to the discovery of truth under changing conditions”.

Sound familiar? That is exactly what Donald Trump has been attempting to do since before he took office. Stifle free speech (They’re disrespecting the flag!) and stifle free discussions (FAKE NEWS!!) while meanwhile peddling his own peculiar form of propaganda via Twitter. And many of his followers refuse to acknowledge this TRUTH because they are “mentally hogtied” by a culture of denial that has been forged in the fires of white supremacy for damn near five hundred years. So the truth is that the joke is not just on black people who think the Democratic Party wants to help them – it is on white people who think the Republican Party wants to help them as well. This is in large part, incidentally, why I registered as an Independent and am a HUGE proponent of a formation of a legitimate 3rd Party.

If we were not divided by race – if we were to tear down the wall (sound familiar) of White Supremacy that stands between ourselves and a coalition – we could LITERALLY change the entire system. And those who are in power know it. They are scared to death of that coalition which would mean they would have to pay better wages – provide better and more affordable healthcare – create more hospitable and safer work place environments – fork up the dough for a better educated society which would lift the working wage. And the money to do so would come out of their pockets and threatens institutions of greed and avarice that have been intact since 1492.

My challenge to my white brothers and sisters is to open your eyes. See this for what it is. Don’t hate the player (get it…NFL…you see what I did there?) HATE the game! Donald Trump does not care about YOU either. Unless you are running a Fortune 500 Company (that is). He DOES care about perpetuating racial stereotypes to secure the votes of White Americans – which creates division along lines of race and maintains the economic interests of the “one percent” who are hoarding 90% of our nation’s wealth. LISTEN: the mission of the elite is so entirely clear: DIVIDE and CONQUER in order to maintain their wealth and power. And up until this very moment that is EXACTLY what they’ve done. They are playing the American public like a fiddle and I am sick and tired of their whack lyrics and played out songs.

 


 Oreos to go: A final quote from Du Bois:

“The chief obstacle in this rich realm (the United States), endowed with every natural resource and with abilities of a hundred different people – the chief and only obstacle to the coming of that kingdom of economic equality which is the only logical end of work…is the determination of the white world to keep the black world poor and themselves rich.

A clear vision of a world without INORDINATE individual wealth, of capital without profit and of income based on work alone, is the path out, not only for America but for all men. Across this path stands the South (White Supremacy) with a flaming sword.


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos.