Thursday, June 21, 2018

Another Nazi Era?

I watched a Facebook debate with interest about whether it’s a reasonable comparison to say the current administration is akin to the Nazis. I think it is not. Yet.   I do believe this is how it starts. Exactly like this. When you can talk people into thinking other people’s children don’t deserve the same opportunity and protection as their own, I feel like you can talk them into pretty much any atrocity imaginable.  

I’m not even referring to the refugee children by that statement. I’m talking about the children of the first Americans who were killed, given diseases, kidnapped, forcibly indoctrinated, and relegated to reservations with plenty of poverty and little opportunity. I’m thinking about the children of slaves who were treated as pets at best, and as commodities at worst. I’m remembering the children who labored in sweatshops and mines during the industrial revolution, and the migrant children welcomed into border communities as cheap labor during the day and sent back at night. I’m referring to the black children of the Jim Crow era who were spit on, threatened, assaulted, or even killed for daring to use a public beach or attend a school that the whites wanted to keep for themselves. 

I’m talking about black and Hispanic children here in the North who were relegated to overpopulated, underserved communities through redlining, where it was impossible for their families to build financial security, where you couldn’t find a doctor’s office or a decent school but you could find plenty of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I’m  thinking of our  disparate educational system that gives wealthy children advantages low income children wouldn’t even dream of. I am talking about the children of Flint who STILL wait for clean water. Four. Years. Later. I’m drawing your attention to the children of Standing Rock who had their land stolen by profiteers with the help of our government. Again. I’m talking about the children of Puerto Rico who are still waiting for restoration of the most basic infrastructure, and the children here in the system waiting for families.  I’m pointing out we can’t even figure out how to keep mass murderers from shooting up our children at school. 

That’s how carelessly America treats OUR OWN children. Are we really that surprised at what’s going on right now with the refugee children?  I’m not. It’s the American way.   It is business as usual in this nation of ours where some lives matter and some don’t. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It’s Only Hair

Do me a favor?  Read this Facebook post:

When is the last time you heard about a white child’s hair being cut by a school official?  I’d love to hear about it. I don’t think I will hear any examples, though. Why is this a big deal?  It’s only hair, right? It will grow back, right?  

It’s a big deal, because it’s a perfect example of micro aggression and white entitlement. In 2018, it is still viewed as acceptable for a white person to intrude upon the bodily autonomy of a black person. How many Caucasian grade schoolers run around with their stringy bangs in their faces?  Hello, Justin Bieber?  Every little blond girl ever?  Can you imagine if a black principle did this to little Becky because she wouldn’t keep her barrettes in?  Whooo!!!  No way, would that be tolerated. Becky’s unruly bangs are viewed as just normal childhood. When a black child wears the same, it is viewed as defiance.  

Black children are constantly viewed as more disobedient than white children of the same age who do the same things. These poor babies are subjected to the consequences of white supremacy as early as preschool. I’m not making this up. Do some research. Then do something productive with the new knowledge. I don’t care what you do, but do SOMETHING, anything, to make this a more equitable society for all of our babies.  You could, for instance, review the school and post a comment on the website here:  

FYI:  from what I could find, the mother has been unsuccessful so far in her efforts to have the principle and the school held accountable. Big surprise, right?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Me Too

Me too. 

Now what?  It’s appalling how many times I’ve seen that phrase in the last couple of days. What’s going to happen?  What’s going to change?  I have my suspicions, and they aren’t optimistic. 

We have a culture in which abuses and injustices are eagerly rationalized by the huddled masses, all while we are willing coconspirators in preserving the myth of an equitable nation. We  “the form of [liberty] without the power thereof,” to paraphrase a biblical concept. We are so desperate to hang on to the illusion of freedom, that we ostracize anyone who tries to reveal the smoke and mirrors. 

We are compelled to give up our freedom of speech to worship a flag. We conspire against and vilify anyone who dares to kneel and say, “me too .”

We scream in outrage that a white nurse is manhandled by the police, then accept lame excuses when we see it happen to black men, women, and children. Dead men can’t say, “me too.”  

We insist we honor our military, but with $600 billion dollars, we can’t find any money to rescue them—broken, jobless, and homeless—from our streets, as if they are expendable.  After we’re done using them up, who is hearing “me too” from them?

We, the immigrants, argue viciously about who else is welcome in these stolen lands without even thinking about consulting the native people.  Have they not been saying for hundreds of years, respect “me too?”

Are we not all saying the same thing?  Me too!  See me, too. Believe me, too. Value me, too. We must all work together to fully realize the America dream first envisioned by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If we ever want to see a great America, and bring to fruition the ideals of freedom and justice for ALL, each one must work to give others the exact same liberties that we, ourselves, yearn for. We have to do it together. Make no mistake; we are in a war, and we have a powerful battle cry.

I see you. 
I believe you. 
I value you. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Do you want clean water or poison?

It's really very simple.  Do you want clean water or not?

Unrestrained Capitalism = poisoned water (and unsafe working conditions, and child labor, and filthy air, and shall I go on?)

Democratic Socialism = regulations which help prevent companies from endangering their communities.

Any questions?  No?  So, is it ok if we use a little socialism to clean this mess up?  Maybe we could use a little socialism to get Flint some clean water, too, while we're at it?


What to know about toxic Wolverine dump sites and drinking water

Thursday, August 17, 2017

From Now On

After all is said and done, I wish to thank every single one of the alt-right, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, terrorists of Charlottesville and your supporters. No, really. I thank you. You have laid bare for all the world the foul, rotting, rancid, tumorous, excrement-filled, racist underbelly of America with such efficiency it is completely unnecessary anymore to debate whether it exists. Thank you for showing us the violent true selves of the Nazis masquerading as teachers, employers, politicians, financiers, students, bankers--white men from many walks of life. Never again will any decent, reasonable person have to waste breath proving that there are willing, people eagerly carrying on with the oppressive work of the Jim Crow era. From now on, it is entirely clear that anyone willing to argue the matter is either blind and deaf, stupid, insane, or evil. 

Thank you for demonstrating so clearly.  Yes, in America, white men can protect themselves in riot gear, make an armed advance on citizens and police officers, beat and kill human beings, and walk away, alive and without consequences. Thank you for leaving no doubt whatsoever, that in this great country, where Native Americans are set upon with violence for protecting their own land, and black citizens are killed in the street because police officers are afraid of the shape of their noses, white men can get away anything their evil minds can imagine. From now on, it is entirely clear that anyone willing to argue the matter is either blind and deaf, stupid, insane, or evil. 

Thank you for exposing, with absolute clarity how 62,979,879 betrayed voters are now drowning in the very swamp they wanted to destroy. Kudos on showing us with certainty the values of the unhinged, bigoted, racist, xenophobic fascist currently installed in the White House and where his allegiances lie. Again. There's little room for doubt where priorities lie for any man who more quickly disavowed critics of your crimes than, you the criminals. From now on, it is entirely clear that anyone willing to argue the matter is either blind and deaf, stupid, insane, or evil. 

Photo:  Katina Parker
Durham, NC residents attempting to confess
for the crime of removing Confederate monuments
Thank you for being poster children for cowardly white privilege and fragility. With a million essays, I could never have proven the case as eloquently as you have done. Never would I have dreamed it would be so easy to make mainstream America realize the ridiculousness of glorifying those traitorous losers of history who were willing to destroy a country in exchange for the privilege of keeping other human beings in bondage. Congratulations. Truly.  You have now accomplished what I feared impossible so thoroughly, discussion is no longer even necessary.  From now on, it is entirely clear that anyone willing to argue the matter is either blind and deaf, stupid, insane, or evil. Are you catching on yet?  There’s really only one right side to be on here.  One.  Right.  Side.  And you are not on it. 

See, here's the thing. The "alt-left, that far "left" group of people you fear and hate so much? Surprise!  We are the center. The middle. The bullseye.  The very heart of America. Here is where all the decent, truly patriotic Americans live. We outnumber you, and now we are awake. Thanks to you. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

I'm With Elie

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. 

~Elie Wiesel

There's an awful lot of people taking to social media with the "Can't we all just get along" frame of mind.  No.  No we can not.  No, I can not just wait and see what he's going to do and give him a chance.  He had a campaign to show me what he was about, and I'm not impressed.  I can not just embrace the ridiculousness that is passing for an incoming presidential administration.  Stop asking me to.  Stop implying it's the noisy people creating the problems.  We are the ones making sure all y'all don't start thinking this crap is normal.  Personally, I think Elie Wiesel is a damn good example, so I'm just going to stick with him.