Category Archives: Understanding

Tragic Tragedies

What happened in Las Vegas was a shocking tragedy; no one can deny it. The fear, the anger, the pain of injuries and the unnecessary loss of life; the struggle to understand and the need for empathy and unity are all part of what it means to be human.

Imagine if help had been delayed or denied those victims. Imagine if Mr. Trump would have tweeted negative things about those people while they were still struggling to survive.

Now, imagine not helping those people at all. What if they were called names and told their experience wasn’t real, didn’t happen? What if they were blamed as if they deserved it; as if no crime had been committed? Imagine if their desperate pleas for help were mocked, challenged and/or ignored. What if people said, those victims are not victims and calling attention to their own suffering is unpatriotic and disrespectful to the flag? What if Mr. Trump said, wealthy athletes who use their platform to help the suffering, are sons of bitches?

Can you imagine that? No. I don’t think you can. If you could imagine it, you would be able to empathize and experience it with the rest of us who are fighting supremacy.

Make no mistake, this is supremacy. That you have no trouble seeing the horror of a majority white tragedy but you argue, and categorize, and demean, and dismiss, the very real suffering of others.

For the rest of us, empathy is not that hard. We don’t have to be country music fans to cry with Las Vegas. To want answers. To want to stop it from happening again.

We don’t have to be Puerto Rican to want faster and better help for our Island siblings. Or, to be insulted by judgmental comments and tweets.

We don’t have to live in the inner city. We can be professional athletes and still want police brutality to stop.

We don’t attack other people’s pain. We can want better for everyone because we empathize.

But there is a dark side. Thanks to you, there’s a limit.

There now exists, some of us, who beyond sincere acknowledgment, can’t place too much focus on this latest shooting. It’s not desensitization. It’s self-preservation. White privilege didn’t care about Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Tamir Rice, and so many others. The not-privileged are learning to save their sympathy for the people and communities who suffer first harm and then injustice. Dylan Roof wasn’t labeled a terrorist (he wanted to start a race war). In fact, most white men aren’t given bad names no matter how heinous the crime. We don’t give a damn what you call Stephen Paddock (it wasn’t son of a bitch). You’ve shit on our hurts so many times, we are running out of energy for yours.

Your hearts are hard, we can’t trust you. Because you wanted to ban Muslims after the San Bernardino attack, your words of shock and outrage about Las Vegas, with no action attached, ring hollow in our ears. Your tears are suspect. Your empathy appears to have an on/off switch. Your concern is a matter of your comfort and self-benefit, and we must be leery of you and by extension, your causes.

You did that. To us. To yourself. To all of America. Deciding who has the right to pain. Who’s suffering is legitimate. Thinking that you own this country and you can decide what’s important to other people. The hate, the anger, the division that’s running rampant is because of your supremacy. Your lack of love for your fellow-man is palatable. This is the America you have created.

Oh, you don’t like it when people assign blame. That’s too bad. You earned it. You paraded it. You pushed it. You voted for it.

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Thank you, Mr. Trump

I for one, am happy Mr. Trump made his statement that NFL players should be fired for kneeling. He has, thankfully, eliminated all the games and put the responsibility for this diabolical mess exactly where it belongs. On the shoulders of his supporters.

There is no more arguing; no more debate. No more pretending the protest is about something other than what it is. Nor, pretending the backlash is anything other than racism.

Mr. Trump had more conviction in his criticism for football players peacefully protesting than he had for the white nationalists who have Heather Heyer’s blood on their hands.

Make no mistake, calling for the punishment of a group of people for not being subservient is hateful, inciteful and plain old racist. It not only speaks of his character, or lack there of, but of the character and moral fiber of his followers.

Nobody is surprised by Mr. Trump. He is what he is and he incites hate like always. But, the people who support his behavior; who are proud of the ugliness he spews, can no longer hide behind words like: Christian, patriot, humble, honest, fair, equal, unbiased, friend, love, peace, or unity. Thanks to Mr. Trump, the only words left for them to embrace are: White Supremacy.

For all of those who say, ‘voting for Trump doesn’t make me a racist.’ Maybe not. However, supporting racism does, in fact, make you a racist. Mr. Trump put it on blast: he supports and encourages racism. If your leader is a supremacist and you follow his lead… well, you know the old sayings: You can tell a man by the company he keeps; If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas; If it looks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a racist whose racism is totally exposed.

For those who say, ‘Trump was God’s choice.’ You may be right. If it is God’s will to bring your hypocrisy to the surface and reveal how deeply you fear and hate, then yes, it worked, rather well. We see you clearly, and we know behind your self-righteous facade, you are damaged and damaging to others.

For those who are silent. Your silence is cowardice. Frankenstein tried to run from his monster too. Pretending you have no accountability, increases your accountability.

It doesn’t matter which category is yours, the choice is the same, you either deal with the truth or, you continue to embrace your legacy of hate. As long as you realize, the rest of us aren’t gong to cooperate with your extremely limited world view. (You know, the one in which everyone lives according to your plan and for your purpose.) Just as we see you, you get to see us for who we truly are: Real Americans who don’t give a damn about fitting your image.

Tantrum all you want. It won’t stop us. We will stand. We will kneel. We will fight. We will love. We will win.

 

Those Precious Statues

Saw a meme asking how removing the Confederate Statues was going to improve my life. Idk. Addressing lies and obtaining justice feels like a positive step to me.

After all that talk about us needing to forget slavery and move on, you’re losing your shit over relocating some statues. (Seriously, when was the last time you posted a picture of the family standing beside the Statehouse with the capture: ‘Thanks to this sculpture of Justice Taney, we know the Dred Scott ruling was wrong.’?) You don’t want to own your hate, but you want to keep your warm-fuzzy supremacy mementos on display in case we forget who you are.

Not to worry. We will never forget who you are. Quite frankly, suggesting that moving Confederate statues is erasing and/or sanitizing history is as insulting as it is unintelligent.

Because of your proclivity to erase and sanitize history; I can’t tell you which African Country I come from. Jesus is supposed to be European. America was ‘discovered’ and founded on Christian principles. Slavery happened so long ago it’s no longer anybody’s fault. The Civil Rights Movement cured everything. Cultural appropriation isn’t real. And, white-privilege doesn’t exist.

We don’t need to go any further than the Dakota Pipeline to know your true feelings when it comes to preserving heritage and history. Add that to your attempts to ignore and/or justify the present and you have the answer to the question, ‘What is going on in our society?’

Those statues are a subliminal message for people of color.

‘Here is a person whom we honor for his outstanding efforts to crush your entire race. May it be a reminder, there will always be people who want to belittle and hurt you and your children, because our race is better than your race. If you ever attempt to succeed beyond our permission, our race will rise up in the spirit of this leader, and our vengeance will be upon you.’

You’re not fighting to preserve the truth; the truth isn’t going anywhere. You’re fighting to keep your version of history on display regardless of it being a lie. You are fighting to preserve supremacy, and, you are losing.

That’s what’s going on.

It’s having your power stripped away that’s making you uncomfortable. White supremacy isn’t as scary as it once was. Black people aren’t staying in their place like they used to. Those symbols and subliminal messages aren’t getting through anymore.

You don’t know what to do with that. You’ve always been the dominant race. Taking away your dominion is taking away a part of your identity. That’s a problem for you, I get it. But you were never supposed to have that dominance, to begin with.

I don’t know how you are going to solve it — figuring out who you are, now. What I do know is, in spite of your fear, in spite of your confusion, in spite of your anger; regardless of who you are or who you will eventually become, we are not going back to your good ole days.

We’re not going to pretend white-washing equals truth.

We’re not going to accept that the problem is us. You act. We react.

We’re not going to call it anything but what it is. Supremacy and your desire to keep it.

Rather than irrelevant temper tantrums over false narratives and powerless symbols, you may want to invest in learning actual history, engaging in real dialogue, and I don’t know. Maybe, just stop.

You have an opportunity to address your history of hate and do better. If you waste it, your failure won’t get whitewashed. No one is going to throw up a statue to your lost cause.

The Question of Kaepernick

If given the choice, would you choose right or wrong? Moral or immoral? Love or hate?

Let’s find out.

Do you think Colin Kaepernick has a right to earn his living, or do you think he should be punished for expressing his beliefs?

Let’s be clear. It’s not about whether Kap can play football. It is an insult to everyone’s intelligence (including yours) to pretend the blowback for teams so much as entertaining the thought of signing him has anything whatsoever to do with his ability throw a pass.

It’s not about whether you like him as a person or you disagree with his stance (However, If you believe racism, inequality, and police brutality are things to be proud of, you are a special kind of you.)

It’s not about his socks. There are people wearing white sheets and hoods. There are people with Nazi swastika tattoos. There are enough Confederate flags and offensive tee-shirts to go around. You can purchase those socks from Itsy, Amazon, and Nike. Did you stop buying from those companies because they were disrespectful?

If the Ravens or any other team is concerned with fan reaction to Mr. Kaepernick playing, it is, I believe, because the organization already knows what the right thing is. What they don’t know is if they are brave enough to do it. They don’t know if integrity or opinion will make them the most money and what will bring the largest ridicule.

The reasons for not wanting Colin Kaepernick are a basketful of opinions: He disrespected the flag; he dishonored Vets; he diss’d America; he’s not worthy; he can’t play; he sucks; whatever, whatever… opinion.

The reasons for supporting him are facts: He stood up for marginalized people. He brought national attention to an age old problem. He put his time/energy/money where his mouth is. He has been treated worse than players who have actually committed crimes, created chaos, and/or do not play as well… facts.

If you think negative opinions matter more than positive facts, then, you are the reason, people like Colin Kaepernick— people who favor integrity —have to disrupt your game to get your attention. Otherwise, the suffering you inflict would continue to go unchallenged.

Stepping away from the intentional blindness and all the usual diversions— Colin Kaepernick didn’t break the law. He didn’t even break a rule. And, he spoke the truth:

Supremacy and Privilege have caused a lot of damage. It needs to stop. Period.

Denying the truth is choosing to be wrong.

Doing nothing to address the problem is choosing immorality.

Punishing Kaepernick for speaking is choosing hate.

Guess what? Regardless of who you are or all of the great deeds you do; if you knowingly and willingly choose to be wrong, immoral and hateful, you are on the side of privileged supremacy. Your empathy is deficient. Your integrity is absent. Your understanding is insufficient.

You may as well own it because nobody is fooled by your doublespeak.

It behooves me to point out: you also lack the ability to scare us, stop us, or make the truth go away.

I’ve heard a lot of denial on the topic of privilege and supremacy. I also know there are a lot of football fans.

Unless Kaepernick gets to play, this football season isn’t about touchdowns. It isn’t about cheering for your team. It isn’t about the Anthem. It isn’t about socks. This season is about supporting supremacy or supporting truth.

God & Trump

Is Mr. Trump in office because God wanted him there? Hmmm…Let me think….                          For me, personally, that would mean:

God is okay with supremacy and racist agendas

God needed to cheat to get a particular SCJ pick

God doesn’t care about character

God is okay with lies

God is okay with abuse of power

God is okay with manipulation

God is okay with dehumanizing people

God is a conservative

God doesn’t choose all presidents, just the Republican ones.

God puts politics above Christianity

God forgot to mention his choice to the Pope

God forgot the 2nd Fatima secret (whether Russia has been appropriately consecrated or is spreading errors) is still in dispute

God contradicts the Bible

If that’s true, God might be a hypocrite, he apparently picks sides and suddenly New England’s Super Bowl win makes sense (It was rather miraculous).

On the other hand…

There are a few things in the Bible that might explain it:

There’s the part where Israel desired a king, and as stupid an idea as that was, he let them have one. (1 Samuel: 8-10)

There’s the time when his people demanded meat instead of the manna he gave them, so he gagged them on Quail and a plague. (Numbers 11)

There was the time when he said his people didn’t listen to his voice so he gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts. (Psalm 81: 11-13)

There is that part about blinding their eyes and deadened their hearts so they can’t see or understand—or turn and be healed. (John 12: 40)

Do you see my dilemma?

There is, for me, another way to understand it. It has to do with that funny commandment: Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.

Don’t lie, Don’t murder, Don’t commit adultery, Don’t say Goddamit…really? Word choice is up there with murder? (Wouldn’t asking God to bless things be the same type of vanity?)

As a writer, I can tell you language is liquid. It moves, it changes, it adjusts. Dumb used to mean, couldn’t speak; nice meant silly; and awful meant full of awe. I doubt, one of God’s Laws, written however many thousands of years ago, for the benefit of the whole world, was based on twentieth-century grammar and/or American Fundamentalism. But, that’s just me.

Instead, I believe, don’t take the Lord’s name in vain means, don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. Don’t attach God’s name to your manipulations. Just because you thus saith the Lord, doesn’t mean the Lord thus saith it.

If God wants everything that you want and nothing you don’t want, that’s probably more than a coincidence. It might have something to do with you whipping God’s name out like an interest-free credit card.

If you justify your actions by evoking God, that’s not authority. Self-justification isn’t a God-thing.

If you are imposing on other people’s free-will, God isn’t in it. That’s not something he does.

So now, how will I ever figure out if Mr. Trump’s presidency is because God wanted him there?How indeed?

I know. I’ll put it to a Biblical test. Two tests. Three tests.

Test #1 The good fruit test

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:18)

Test #2 The Peace of God test

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:7-9

Test #3 The Profit test:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36

When I answer those questions, I can honestly say, I don’t believe Mr. Trump is in office because of a God-smack-down for anyone who isn’t a white conservative.

So, what do I believe?

Let me share…

I believe, America is at war with itself to define what it means to be an American.

The Trump Administration represents the ideals of an America whose core values are shaped by a history of supremacy, bigotry, racism, and privilege. These individuals cling to their beliefs and fight to retain the Status quo, so they pray determinedly and happily for this leader who hurts.

Those who oppose this presidency fight for an America that represents all Americans and loves all people. They wish to heal the past, change the present, and perhaps brighten the future. They pray for truth and justice for the benefit of all—not just some. If God does choose sides, I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be theirs.

Us vs. You

Is your hate worth the confusing hell you have created? Surely, you realize, wrapping it in a web of politics doesn’t change what it is.

You feared a forged birth certificate. We fear a rigged election.

You feared a Muslim leader and Isis taking over the country. We fear a bigoted leader and racism taking over the country.

You feared the idea of Socialism. We fear the actuality of supremacy.

You feared not getting a SCJ pick. We feared you stealing a SCJ pick.

You feared paying for a health system. We fear a health system aimed at retaliation and punishment.

You fear black and brown people. We fear walls and bans causing more harm than good.

You feared your guns would be taken. We fear our freedom and/or our lives will be taken.

Your fears are hate-based and unfounded. Our fears are unavoidable and real.

You

You have spent the better part of a decade reacting and retaliating against a black man earning the presidency. Contrary to the lie, it had nothing to do with him being a liberal and everything to do with the spirit of supremacy.

Your history is to ignore the truth because truth equals accountability. It is clear, to us, you prefer dominance to accountability. You support walls and bans for the same reason you work to criminalize black people. Control.

Note** If you don’t think the Wall and the Muslim Ban (not banning all the Muslims doesn’t make it a not-Muslim-ban) are acts of superiority, put it to the test. How do you feel about the following statement:

In order to make America great, we have to think of the health and safety of its citizens. We have to think in terms of what’s best for the whole country and not just any one group. We have to fix or eliminate the threat to Americans — white people. History has shown there is no greater threat to America than white people. White people have been terrorizing their fellow Americans for…well, since the beginning. It’s time to put an end to unchecked white-terrorism. (If the phrase ‘white-terrorism’ sounds foreign or made you cringe, you might be a…) We need a Caucasian Registry and a temporary ban on all white men. Some of them are bad (can’t call them Hombres—they’re not that cool). Some white people believe in Sharia-Christianity and are keen to punish anyone who doesn’t practice accordingly. Extreme vetting of white people is necessary for the safety and well-being of every American who doesn’t sunbathe.

Did the idea of a Caucasian Registry leave you underwhelmed? Do you disagree with blaming  the entire race for what Dylan Roof did? If you’re not comfortable applying the same rules and judgments to white people you wish to impose on others, congratulations, supremacy is your thing.

You dislike our heroes like Colin Kapernick and Shuan King — they expose your hypocrisy. But, your criticizing voices go dead when injustice is proven. You have nothing to say about Jordan Edwards or the re-segregation of Alabama schools.

Sometimes you cover your desire for superiority with pretend-neutrality. Ignoring the conversation is siding with supremacy. It doesn’t matter how many pictures you post of dinner, your puppy or the beach; it doesn’t matter if you say you love everybody and wish people would stop talking about unpleasant things. There is no middle ground between supremacy and equality.

Not to worry. Your feigned indifference doesn’t bother us any more than your open disdain. Make no mistake, we like the pictures of your puppy, but we know you hate us. We have come to love that you hate us. Nothing displays our greatness better than your hatred.

Us

1- We are white people who believe in ‘justice’ not ‘just us.’ We don’t use whiteness as a weapon or a shield. We, and our ancestors have been fighting ascendancy the whole time. We fought against slavery. We were a part of the Underground Railroad. We marched with Dr. King and faced down the Klan. We voted for a black president. We film police brutality. We wore hoodies for Trayvon. We stood with Standing Rock.

We understand when we aren’t trusted by POC because we look like their abusers and we have benefitted from their abuse. That’s why we listen; that’s why we learn. We, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, William Lloyd Garrision, Viola Liuzzo, Anne McCarty Braden, Tim Wise, Matthew Cooke and others, use our privilege to advance equality. We often stand in opposition to the core beliefs of the majority of our own race. We love our race. We love it enough to hold it to accountability.

2- We are minorities of all brands — Indigenous, Immigrant, etc…every hyphenated and/or marginalized American. Anyone who has been targeted for not adhering to the white definition of acceptable. We will not allow supremacists to pit us against one another. We don’t care who has been beat-up the most; we care about protecting the weak and healing wounds. We don’t hate whom we are told to hate; not ourselves, not others.

We love our neighbors and we fight one another’s battles. We have been formed in the melting pot, we stand united because we are true Americans.

3-We are the reigning champs —Black people who aren’t fooled. Black people who laugh at your disdain. Black people who mock your contempt. Black people who rise no matter what. We know what this is; what it has always been. Supremacy has no credibility, no authority, and no weaponry that works against our minds.

Judgements, threats, lies and manipulations have no affect on us. What’s going to happen? Will we get beaten? Thrown in jail? Killed? Nothing that hasn’t already happened a million times over. Nothing that hasn’t already happened this week. You’ve been doing this for four hundred years, and still, we are not intimidated; we’re not scared; we won’t be stopped.

We side-eye your bullshit.

That line about being a good person; just doing God’s will— side-eye. Good people don’t call supremacy God’s will.

The idea, that supporting a racist agenda doesn’t make a person racist — side-eye. Supporting racist agendas is the quintessential element of racist identity.

That the election and this presidency is about anything other than reestablishing predominance — bullshit. Immoral, nonsensical, bullshit. Frame it in any manner palatable — pro-life; against Hillary Clinton; make America great; whatever— whether you know it or not; intended it or not, it’s still ingrained supremacy-bullshit.

That you, who are against us, can be trusted. Bullshit.

Unlike your hostility toward us, we don’t dislike you (we don’t care enough to dislike you). We pity the low place you’ve chosen. We’re not putting up with you, and we will fight against you, but we don’t dislike you. We don’t have to. Supremacy is a double edge sword that does far more damage to the person welding it than the one receiving. Your animosity locks you out. Your rancor saps your joy and makes you afraid. Your enmity keeps you down. Your hate is why you live in the confusing hell you’ve created.

Judge Not…but they do, anyway.

The Pro-life march happened yesterday. People came from all over to march in DC. They did it, to show solidarity in their fight. They did it to bring attention to their cause. They did it because they want change. They did it because they are Christian. And, the biggest thing to come out of it, for me, personally; was seeing the pharisaism and hypocrisy some of them put on display.

Pharisee – a member of a religious sect, distinguished by strict observance of traditional law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.

Hypocrisy – the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

Yup. That would be them.

I’ve got no issue with their cause. I have attended pro-life marches in the past, myself. I just understand it a little differently. I’m pro-life. Pro-all life, not just one segment. And, I do not think  God wants me to force my beliefs on others (He doesn’t violate free-will, why should I?). What can I say? I failed Basic Pharisaism. In fact, I failed all of my Religious-Control classes.

But they didn’t. These are your experts and teachers. Watch and learn.

Let’s start with the hypocrisy…such hypocrisy.

While they were planning their yearly march, I watched them mock and judge everyone else for doing the same thing. Is Colin Kapernick any less peaceful? Is his issue not pro-life enough? Why is kneeling on a sideline an unpatriotic display, but walking down the street the will of God? Meryl Streep should keep her mouth shut and not use her platform, but Pastor I-am-God should yell through a mega-phone using his. What were those election protesters called? Oh. Right. Snowflakes. Justifiable Black anger is thug-life. And, the Indigenous People’s fight for their sacred land is nonsensical.

Apparently, in America, only Pro-life Christians can have an issue worth fighting for. The rest of us need to meet with their approval first. Rest assured, we won’t get it because nothing else matters once you’re born.

What about that Pharisaism?

Those self-righteous, religious individuals laid out a smorgasbord of judgment and hate for the Women’s March. You know, those people who marched down the same streets as the pro-lifers. And a lot of other streets. In a lot of other places. All. Over. The. World.

The Woman’s March covered a vast array of concerns, but true to style, certain Holier-than-Thous, disregarded every positive aspect about it, in favor of negative judgment. People who were, by choice, not a part of the movement; not a part of the march, decided, on behalf of more than three million people, what the Women’s March was about, and decided, it was wrong.

If that isn’t a lovely pile of pretentious bullshit?

After concluding the largest demonstration in the world was about nothing more than wanting abortions, hating God and trying to be men, they benevolently, used their pro-life march as an opportunity to pray for the Women’s Marcher’s souls; a thing anybody can do at home, by themselves, while they are praying for their own. (But then, who would see it and know how gracious and god-like they are?)

Do you know why they made a show of that? I mean other than Matthew 6:5

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

It wasn’t because Madonna and Ashley Judd said bad words any more than it was about Colin Kapernick disrespecting the troops.

Just like every other protest, pro-life is an issue some people want to fight for. But it is tragic when some people use unborn babies as their banner and justification for hate. Clearly, control is their actual game. Retaliation -whether it’s a backhanded comment, a cry of unpatriotic kneeling, or a public prayer against strangers- is what they do to people they can’t control.

They call it God and then wonder why nobody believes them.