Charles Barkley and Black People Do Not Mix

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When I read that Charles Barkley was going to become the host of “The Race Card” on TNT, I knew it was a beautiful disaster in the waiting. I just knew the former “Round Mound of Rebound” was going to make some classically calamitous prime time programming. I knew there would be trouble because Charles Barkley is one of the present kings of respectability politics. You know the type: the typical black person of affluence that feels black people need to do what they are told and make white people comfortable in their denial of privilege, lack of equity, and overall racist trash. Once this announcement game though, I felt that backlash was going to be inevitable.

Right off the bat, Charles Barkley doesn’t plan on letting me down anytime soon.

charles-barkley-conroversey_800xAt a recent town hall meeting in Baltimore, Barkley and his crew for TNT was there filming. The show wanted to get some dialogue on a hot button topic: police and the African American community. What many had hoped for was a healthy dialogue that would present solutions to the problems. What was gained was an understanding that Barkley wasn’t there to calm the storm. In fact, Barkley was there to agitate the crowd and blame them for presence of the entire water cycle in the first place.

In short, this entire meeting was a finger pointing session to blame Black peoplefor their own plight that they didn’t even create.

And therefore, at this moment, I feel that Charles Barkley and black people should not comingle on topics of racial importance.

Charles Barkley Is a Racial Buffoon

Let us be honest about it all: Charles Barkley doesn’t give a damn about the plight of black people. If he did, he would do his research instead of chastising an audience that has been put through hell at the hands of the police:

Barkley criticized the audience, many of whom are community activists, saying he didn’t believe that any of them had expressed sympathy for the families of four police officers who were shot Sunday in separate incidents around the United States.

In one case, a San Antonio detective was killed while writing a ticket following a traffic stop.

“Did anybody say, ‘Man, I feel bad for their family’? ” asked Barkley. [1]

What type of ridiculousness is Barkley on? You don’t go to a city plagued by police corruption and challenge them on caring about the deaths of policemen. While those policemen lives do matter, a problem will arise when you blame a community for not caring about an outside situation that is both irrelevant to the conversation and condescending to their issues. Barkley only made effort to chastise the character of the community and not confront cop corruption.

And therein lies the other issue: he did not do his homework.

When a victim is historically victimized, one should never place blame on the victim. Yet, this is the running narrative of America that Barkley fed into. Instead of holding police responsible for their actions, he chose to wrangle black people about not being respectable enough. Additionally, he did not act as if he was aware of the present issues that has plagued the Baltimore community. Then again, he didn’t care because he wasn’t there for the right reasons. Charles Barkley was not there to help the victims in any form or fashion.

Charles Barkley Is There for The Ratings

As expected, Charles Barkley is the host of The Race Card to cause controversy and boost ratings. There is no contingency plan to improve race relations. There is no real chance of black people being heard. All this show is going to be is a call to action for black people to “get their act together and act like human beings”. But this is the same song and dance that has gotten us nowhere. I’m just glad that this will be a six-part series. That means Charles Barkley will be limited to just a few episodes to uphold a status quo that exacerbates all things negative about black people.

If people want Charles Barkley to not be called a coon, then he needs to stop doing coon shit.

Fidel Castro the Misunderstood Understood

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Fidel Castro has left this mortal plane at the age of 90. Many of us either rejoiced his death or shook our heads at the passing of a steadfast man of principle. To many (stateside), he was viewed as a tyrant. To many that are anti-imperialism, he was an inspiration. The problem is that there are very few that fall in between when it comes to Fidel.

fidel-castro-deadFidel Castro is practically the real-world Dr. Doom. Yes, he worked hard to do right by the people that were with him. However, anyone that went against him felt his wrath like none other. Just like Victor Von, Castro wanted adjunct loyalty. Nothing else was to be tolerated.

English: The Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Español: El líder cubano Fidel Castro. Italiano: Il leader cubano Fidel Castro Français : Le dirigeant cubain Fidel Castro. 日本語: キューバの最高指導者であるフィデル・カストロ Português: O líder cubano Fidel Castro. ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Cubas statsoverhode Fidel Castro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, many black people have a special adoration for the man that many white politicians find to be repulsive. And there are quite a few reasons why.

Fidel Castro was a Friend of Black People

Fidel Castro has, on numerous occasions, assisted with the resistance of black people against colonialism, imperialism, and blatant racism. And these occasions are quite profound in making it clear why so many US politicians loathed his existence.

  • Fidel Castro assisted the ANC with its fight against apartheid. I’m talking about making a base in Angola for the ANC, helping them, and helping bring about the freedom of Nelson Mandela.
  • Assata Shakur was provided asylum in Cuba after escaping prison in the U.S. Since she was convicted on questionable charges in the murder of a New Jersey state trooper, many black people felt that this was “justified”. For Castro, it was a vote of confidence and a chess move.
  • In recent history, Cuba supported the Venezuelan people against the U.S. sanctions put upon them. Although a lot of this was done by Raul Castro, Fidel still had his influence solidified.
  • In 1983, Castro sent troops to help Maurice Bishop of the New Jewel Movement in Grenada. The U.S. weren’t thrilled by Bishop or his movement toward socialism and Black power. So, the U.S. government wanted it overthrown. Castro, however, had other plans.
  • In 2000, Castro promised to provide free medical training to hundreds of low income black people. This was done through the assistance of the late Rev. Lucius Walker. Walker facilitated the program stateside.
  • Castro even tried to provide the victims of Hurricane Katrina with supplies. Too bad the U.S. government rejected the offer.

As menacing as Fidel Castro has appeared in the public eye, he just isn’t the devil that many have made him to be.

Why the U.S. Disliked Fidel Castro

With all the aforementioned situations, it is quite clear that Fidel Castro was a thorn in the side of U.S. exploitation. In so many cases, Castro either thwarted U.S. efforts to get what they want or came around to make them look bad. And most of his intentions were genuine. However, part of me feels that he took at least a slight amount of pride making buffoons out of a government that could never shut him down. In short, Fidel Castro enjoyed doing right by the downtrodden because it exposed his enemies.

Fidel Castro the Misunderstood

Fidel Castro was the simultaneous enemy of the U.S. government and friend of black people. Many want to make commentary about his Communist ways yet rarely shed light on the good he has done. And much of that is understood. However, Castro was a man of dignity and fortitude despite his harsh ways of handling detractors. And a lot of times, it is WHO he helped that mattered more than HOW he helped them.

Sometimes, history is written from a slant of prejudice and bias. Fidel Castro is proof of this.

Kanye West’s Issues Worsened by Fandom

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English: The words “Kanye West” in the theme of Kanye West’s “G.O.O.D. Friday” song series’ artwork. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

any apparent reason for it. He did, however, go on a rant about Beyonce, scientology, and whatever the hell else he yaps about (joking about scientology). Yet, the performance was only 30 or so minutes. He walked off the stage without a care in the world. In the end, the concert goers had to (momentarily) eat the fact that they paid hundreds of dollars for a half assed show.

Now? He is in an institution seeking the help he should have had many moons ago.

And this is part of the reason why I wish people would have gotten this man some help a long time ago.

Seriously.

kanye-west-fandom_640xWhy were people buying his damn records and merchandise and not making sure he was mentally on point? I’m so lost on the hero worship that follows people that are addled by the hardships of the world. Was it his wit? Was it his daring actions? Was it the inspiration malarkey that is followed by gratuitous verbal fuckery? I’m just trying to understand it.

Kanye West Is a Walking Reality Show

The more that I notice how much Kanye is mentioned, the more that I realize that he is being known for things other than his art. If he isn’t creating crazy tweets, then he is predicting his political career. If he isn’t on Ellen “inspiring” the world to find their Ultra Light Beam, he is on another rant. Over the past 4-5 years, it has been more about Kanye the personality than Kanye the artist. And that should have been a sure-fire sign that things were off.

Please don’t get anything that I am saying confused: I tend to enjoy his personality. The over-the-top behavior is a nice touch. But let us think about his artistic output as of late.

Kanye West and the Art He Produces Has Been Subpar

One of the biggest takeaways from Kanye’s mental issues is the loss of Kanye the hip hop artist. I’m going to keep things all the way “one hunnid”: he hasn’t made a dope album since My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy. Yeezus was, and still is at present moment, a highly artistic weed plate. It is mostly noise and foolishness thrown together for the sake of selling. The same can be said for Life of Pablo. There is one exception with his last album: it sounds better than Yeezus. But with improper mixdowns, shaky lyrics, and a strange direction that goes part trap music, part jazz café, and half gospel, it comes off as misguided.

Too much of his output was a frazzled mess. It seemed that his art reflected his mind.

Through it all, he did succeed at selling sneakers. And I can admit people have (slightly) bought into buying one of his raggedy t-shirts with the holes in them. Yet, even his fashion line hasn’t really made the mark he wanted it to make. Anyone that professes to investing millions into his own ideas and still hasn’t make that necessary mark just might be in trouble. Consequentially, not even Rocawear can save Kanye from the mess his situation turned into.

Kanye West Still Gets Love

It is one of the most amazing things to love someone. But, it is far worse to love someone and not see that they get help. We witnessed a man turn from a great artist to an object of media shame. Kanye West sadly fell into the realm of reality show star gone awry. Instead of actually promoting his mental health, many exacerbated his issues by giving him a thumbs up. Thus, I’m not surprised that he fucked thousands of people out of hundreds of dollars for a bullshit show.

People get what they pay for. So, why did you (we) all let Kanye West get to this point again?

White Voters Screwed Us, And We Must Empathize With Them?

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As if conservative white folks aren’t aggravating enough, here comes liberal whites and their pleas for thinking of the white working class.

Kali Holloway of Alternet via Raw Story vents about how people should feel empathy for the white working class, the section of America where most of its people don’t give a damn about black people’s plight:

The only surprise to come out of this election is how many, and how quickly, white people want us to empathize with the people who voted against our humanity, our right to exist in this place. Even before the election, the Washington Post actually had the audacity to berate us for not crying for the white working class. In the days since Trump won, the number of articles urging everybody to be cool to Trump’s America, to understand what they are facing, to hear their grievances, has added insult to injury. Bernie Sanders issued a statement saying Trump “tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media.” I read it at least three times and couldn’t find the words “white supremacy” anywhere in it.

I want to add another article to the mix.

This comes from the Advocate. The writer, Elizabeth Daley, doesn’t want us to blame white women for Trump’s ascension. Instead, we should blame internalized misogyny. While she has a point that it played a major role in the last election, that doesn’t negate the fact that many white women voted for a misogynist due to their unwavering allegiance to whiteness. And people of color, especially women of color, are sick of white women fucking things up and are told not to cast blame:

…While it might be tempting to blame white women for the outcome of this election, let’s not. Doing so reinforces the idea that women have to be twice as responsible as men, not just 10 percent more. Furthermore, the cultural impulse to blame women is tragically aligned with the impulse that we as women have to blame ourselves.

Except women aren’t the primary problem here. It’s white women’s whiteness that’s the issue.

White privilege means never to be demonized or pathologized for the bullshit you or your people do no matter how catastrophic it is. We are told to empathize, chill and feel sorry for them for they know not what they do. In short, never blame white people.

Incidently, another article from New Republic suggests not to blame working-class whites. It’s these college educated yuppies who partook in the fuckery. Now, even though it still blames a population of whites, it dares not blame white people as a whole the way society holds nonwhite groups liable for its problems.

donald-trump-election-nightNo. Instead, let’s blame and punish black people and their culture for all the crime in this country. Let’s blame and punish Latino immigrants for taking all of the jobs. Let’s blame and punish Asians for getting into great schools. And let’s blame and punish Muslims for all the terrorism they’ve caused. But please, please go easy on white people for EVERY LAST SCREW-UP THEY DID.

Like Comedian Samantha Bee said, “…Don’t try to distance yourself (white folks) from the bad apples and say, It’s not my fault, I didn’t vote for him, hashtag not all white people. Shush. If Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, so do we.”

Holloway continues:

Please miss me with all this nonsense. I’m not even going to get into how this is based on an easily refutable economic lie, especially since others have already spent precious time they’ll never get back breaking this down. But even if it was true—and I am well aware of what’s plaguing the white working class, from substance abuse to suicide to a loss of manufacturing jobs—I refuse to take part in the endless privileging of white pain above all others. (Martin Gilens, who has studied this stuff going way back, notes that when the media face of poverty is white, this country suddenly gets a lot more compassionate.) Latinos and African Americans remain worse off than the white working class—which is still the “largest demographic bloc in the workforce”—by pretty much every measurable outcome, from home ownership to life expectancy. Where are these appeals for us when we protest or riot against the systemic inequality we live with? Where are all the calls to recognize and understand our anger?

As some of you know, I’ve had trolls come here refuting the problems that black people are facing. They especially don’t believe that racism is a major issue. Lincoln freed us from slavery. We had the Civil Rights Act passed. We’re on welfare. It’s all good. We shouldn’t complain about anything.

But white people are still dominant in every institution in this country. The government. The corporations. The courts. The education system. The media. Everything. And, when members of their race suffer, the world must stop and feel while they shit all over the world.

Holloway quotes Audre Lorde:

Audre Lorde said (I wonder if that woman ever got sick of being right), “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves.” For a people who have shamed black folks for supposedly always wanting a hand out, for being a problem of the entitlement state, I have never seen people who so firmly believe they are owed something.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how privileged assholery operates. and I say, FUCK THAT EMPATHY BULLSHIT!

Why the flaming hell should we feel for them, consider their feelings and be civil to a population who’s legacy has been about the religion of white supremacy? Why should we be cool to a group of homo sapiens who would angrily plunge the nation – no, the world into ruins to make sure whiteness stays on top of everything? Why should we always be the better person to a group of people who don’t consider me a person?

I say it again. FUCK THAT! We’re tired of always being the better person. Thoughout history, the white race plundered, enslaved, raped and polluted the world to build their global empire of white supremacy, displaced, dehumanized and destroyed people and their lands to this day in order to keep it going and punished them for having the balls to fight back.

So, why can’t these bumbling, sociopathic, racist assholes be better people?

Lil Wayne Doesn’t Care About Black People

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In case you missed it, a video clip of rapper, Lil Wayne, doing a very recent Nightline interview with ABC News correspondent, Linsey Davis, has been making the rounds. The lead-in to the segment lists Wayne’s musical accomplishment as one of the most successful rappers of all time; even eclipsing Elvis Presley for more appearances on the Billboard 100 Chart. With that kind of cultural impact and platform in mind, Davis decided to pick what’s left of Lil Wayne’s brain, and ask him about social justice issues and his proximity to them.
Specifically, Nightline wanted to know his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. Furrowing his face in confusion, a seemingly disjointed Lil Wayne asked “What is it? What—what do you mean?”

When Linsey Davis (bless her heart) attempted to explain the movement and its reason for existing— (Oh, hi white supremacy, state violence, and systemic racism), Lil Wayne said he found the mere concept of Black lives mattering “weird.”

 

“It’s not a name or it’s not whatever, whatever. It’s somebody got shot by a policeman for a f*cked up reason.”

That statement isn’t even the most misguided part of Lil Wayne’s statement and seeming state of confusion. He further mumbled,

“I am a young, Black rich motherf*cker. If that don’t let you know that America understand Black mother f*ckers matter these days, I don’t know what it is,” He said, throwing up his hands.

“That [cameraman] white; he filmin’ me. I’m a nigga. I don’t know what you mean, man. Don’t come at me with that dumb [indecipherable bleeped expletive], ma’am,” continued; highly agitated.

“My life matter. Especially to my bitches.”

Unperturbed (and perhaps Lololing and smdh on the inside), Linsey Davis attempted to give space for Lil Wayne to redeem himself (like Oprah offered to Raven-Symoné that time), asking him if he felt any sense of connection to the systemic issues Black people have been besieged by.

“I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me. If you do, you crazy as sh*t,” he insisted. “You. Not the camera, you.” He said, jabbing his finger at Davis.

“Feeling connected to something that ain’t got nothin’ to do with you? If it ain’t got nothin’ to do with me, I ain’t connected to it,”  Wayne continued, before pulling out a red scarf to pledge his allegiance to a gang and referring to himself as a gang-banger, then storming out angrily on the interview–(Bummer. He was much more affable and forthcoming with Katie Couric.)

And just like that, conservative and alt-right Deplorables convened on Twitter, like raccoons on a trash heap, to virtually high-five their new Coon-Cricket Supreme.

But alas, despite lending lyrics to Solange Knowles’s very, very socially conscious album A Seat at The Table, on the song “Mad” and encouraging the audience to chant “Black Lives Matter!” at his Weezyana Fest this past August, Lil Wayne’s views on racism is par for the course. I mean, one can’t expect any particularly compelling commentary or food for thought from someone who champions colorism and upholds white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

lil-wayne-black-lives-matter_800xLil Wayne’s willfully (n)ignorant view of how racism functions and does impact his black ass life (contrary to what he believes), on anti-Blackness, on social justice, and on the institutional violence that precipitated the need for movements like Black Lives Matter, is shared by many Black celebrities, unfortunately; especially rappers and athletes, conservatives, and religious leaders who are ill-equipped to discuss the issues impacting the Black community but choose to anyway, and seem to relish adopting the tone-deafness of the white folks who sign their checks, validate their self-loathing, and have made them rich.

And nothing illustrates this more than the Black athletes who made it a point to publicly rebuke Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest and refusal to stand for the National Anthem, and those Black pastors who have opted to All Lives Matter their way through discussions instead of using their clout to address these issues with their congregation or work in-tandem with community activists.

Some Black folks seem to think that being let into the country club, moving into a posh neighborhood without incident, and being everyone’s favorite entertainer or athlete (if they stfu and don’t rock the proverbial boat), that racism suddenly ceases to exist (for them). They start believing in bullshit false equivalencies like “reverse racism” and “color-blindness” totally disregarding history or how power dynamics work.

Black rappers and athletes think shouting out their favorite racially ambiguous stripper in a song, having the biracial child of their dreams, or using their nouveau riches to accumulate white groupies cum WAGS, then spending millions of dollars on a gilded cage to be blissfully (n)ignorant in, somehow heals decades of institutional racism.
At this point, I think mass media only asks these folks about racism and Black Lives Matter because they know they’ll get a mealy-mouthed response that shills for white supremacy because, money.

I mean, what other reason could there be? Interviewing Black notables who can unpack this shit with nuance, who’d challenge the status quo and would rock ignoramuses to their core would require some folks (media included) to be accountable for their own biases. I mean, conservative media pundits are still trying get Beyoncé cancelled, to no avail. And all she did was release “Formation”, pay tribute to Black activists at Super Bowl 50, and show Black womanhood in its splendor with the release of Lemonade.

The Lil Waynes, the RZAs, the Jerry Rices, the Cam Newtons, et al. have shown no indication that they care or are willing to challenge the racism they’ve internalized or that they’re even aware of what’s going on outside of their own stupidity and sanctimoniousness. And that disconnect and brand of idiocy make media fap with glee.

On the other hand, perhaps Black journalists pick the brains of celebs, like Lil Wayne, about civil rights issues because they’re hoping to challenge them to think critically beyond the confines of the fame they’ve grown accustomed to and receive salient commentary from someone who may know what it’s like to come of age in a disenfranchised neighborhood, where the relationship with law enforcement and communities of color is tenuous.

Lil Wayne did offer a tepid apology following his bizarre comments, and blamed it on Linsey Davis questioning him about his propensity for calling women bitches and hoes and how it affects his daughter… Mmkay… That’s a whole other related can of worms—Hello, misogynoir.

Though we’ve grown to expect this kind of asininity from the cult of personality, and I get that some celebrities’ raison d’etre is to do what they love and get money without having to get political, it’s still somewhat jarring to hear pop-culture’s faves use their platforms precariously and awkwardly demonstrate how little they know about how anti-racism activism and systemic racism work; particularly since (for some Black entertainers) their money and fame doesn’t pluck them that far away from their prior struggles. Just ask Dr. Dre and Chris Brown.

Moise Morancy is a Black Superhero

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From first glance, it seems as if Moise Morancy was raised right. The humble and engaging hip hop artist/activist/actor is also a man on a mission. His mission? Well, his mission is enlightenment and love. Also, Morancy believes in defending the defenseless and saving those that need saving. In actually, Moise Morancy’s most notable quality is being an awesome human being.

And his awesomeness came into bloom recently on a bus ride.

In fact, Moise Morancy proved his superheroism by saving a young girl from the clutches of a sexual predator. And to show that this story is an actual reality, I will post an excerpt here:

“So I saw him creeping on the inside of her leg,” Morancy told PIX11. “I said if you touch her, you’re going to have a problem with me.”

Morancy, 21, says he yelled at the man to stop touching the 15-year-old girl’s leg.

At first, he says no one else on the bus helped him, but then, eventually, one passenger started videotaping the struggle. When police from the 112 precinct arrived, they put both the suspect and Morancy in handcuffs until, Morancy says, they figured out who was the perp and who was the hero. And that’s when a black sergeant in the NYPD thanked Morancy for getting involved and helping to arrest 36-year-old Pablo Levano, now charged with forcible touching.

“I forget his name, but I want to say ‘thank you’,” Morancy said. “He said ‘you’re a hero’ and shook my hand and said I was you 20 years ago and that touched me.”

Morancy, who says he has been racially profiled in the past, says this whole incident has left him feeling better about the NYPD. And now his video’s gone viral with more than 2.3 million views on Facebook alone.

“I had to do what I had to do for the girl,” Morancy said. “And I urge other men to step in to intervene when someone’s being sexually assaulted. It’s disgusting!”

Morancy said the female victim gave him a rose as a thank you and the sergeant said he was a rose from a concrete jungle. [1]

And this is how a man of humble beginnings became the unsuspecting superhero for a young female in distress. Instead of relaxing and letting a situation slide, he acted. Moise Morancy put himself at risk to come to the aid of the aid-less. And for that, he should be commended.

moises-morancy_800xRight now, though? I think a lot of men need to take note from Moise Morancy and step it up for our women.

Moise Morancy and Being a Man

Now, this isn’t a post to disparage men as a whole. Rather, this is a simple call to action. Too many times, women have been at the mercy of physical/spiritual/figurative predators while men have sat there idle. In too many cases, the men were the predators doing harm. What if we, as men, took the time to protect the women we surely have seen protect and raise us? What if we, as men, did our manly duties that we were put on this Earth to do?

And this is what makes Moise Morancy such an inspiring individual. He didn’t rest on his laurels and do nothing. He saw a problem and he did his best to solve it. He became more of a superhero than many of the protagonists that are seen in comic books. In short, Morancy became more of a man by actually being a man.

Moise Morancy is my Hero

Moise Morancy made me proud by doing what he was supposed to do. And no, this isn’t a reward for something that he should do anyway. Rather, it is acknowledgment for doing what many wouldn’t dare. And that is the thing that bothers me the most. Men, let us take the time to actually be the men we were genetically wired to be. Let us take the oath to protect our women from the societal predators that exist.

 

 

Josh Brown, Domestic Violence, & How the NY Giants are Trash

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Domestic violence is one of those issues that has always bothered me. I never understood the purpose of a man beating on a woman (ever). I really never understood the sanity behind a woman abusing a man. Still, it happens on a daily basis. As the days go by, there is a woman/man that is the victim of some type of domestic violence. As much as domestic violence never seemed plausible, it still persists in a society that frowns upon it.

Then again, a lot of that frowning is all for show. I am afraid it is all about appearances. Many people want to “act” like they are against domestic violence. With the same mouth they renounced the violence, these people (especially men) will turn around and support the perpetrators. I have seen this many times. Heck, I have had quite a few arguments about the situations with people (see my blog on Floyd Mayweather).

And then, we have Josh Brown.

Josh Brown – NFL Wife Abuser Supreme

If you didn’t know by now, Josh Brown is an admitted domestic abuser. This is a man that admitted to beating the living shit out of his ex-wife. This is a man that had run ins with his ex-wife at the past Pro Bowl. This is the man that the NFL had to make sure that his ex was in separate rooms away from him. This is the man that heavily admitted to his team that he has a problem with beating women.

josh-brown-domestic-violence_800xThis is the man that was still resigned by the team for $4 million dollars despite his domestic violence history.

Yeah, you read this right: after all of this, they still resigned this man.

NFL: The Merry Band of Misogynists

This situation should bother me less because I should be used to it. Greg Hardyhas his issues with domestic violence. Ray Rice couldn’t escape his isolation from the league right after he was caught hitting his wife like she was some man on the street looking for an ass whooping. And there are numerous others that beat their women like Mike Tyson used to beat up opponents. Still, I refuse to get used to a man beating on his woman for any reason outside of self-defense.

And even self-defense won’t make me stop giving the side eye.

So, for all of this to actually occur and there has been barely a blink of an eye makes me realize that the NY Giants, and the NFL as well, are full of shit organizations. Especially the NY Giants.

One would think that the organization would actually be a lot smarter than this. The league has it where these type of actions deserve a six game suspension. That would have been the smarter recourse anyway. Even if Josh Brown would have went into arbitration and fought, at least they would have looked like they went by the book with the situation. Even better, not resigning this man would have been a better course of action. The NY Giants could have saved face by just being smart enough to go by the rule book.

Yet, here we are.

What does it say as an organization that you practically turn a blind eye to a domestic violence situation of this magnitude? Worst than anything, the NFL (and the NY Giants) tried to sweep this under the rug. Yet, many people check under rugs for dirt. And when they see this dirt, they see the abject laziness and carelessness that exists. They see these organizations for what they are: companies that care about their financial bottom line more than they care about being classy.

Josh Brown Should Be Suspended Indefinitely

Just like Ray Rice, Josh Brown shouldn’t even be in the league. Still, we have to consider who we are talking about here. We are talking about the NFL. We all know that the NFL is big on PR and small on meaningful action. So, none of this should surprise me. However, it still bothers me that the league hasn’t smartened up.

Oh, and fuck the NY Giants and fuck Victor Cruz for saying he supports Josh Brown.

An Open Letter To White People Supporting Donald Trump

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If you are still with me after reading the title, I imagine that perhaps a sense of anger and indignation has begun to build within you as you anticipate being berated as a bigot or misogynist or some other negative label, but I assure you that is not the case. I only want to put all differences aside and speak to you as one human being and American to another

To be perfectly honest, I have been incredulously skeptical of what from my point of view seems to be the certain zealotry of Donald Trump’s supporters from the very beginning of his presidential campaign. But, that being said, I understood. I really do.

From conversations I have overheard and participated in, within various random spaces and forums, both public and private, I have gained the sense that for quite a while now, many of you, my white fellow Americans, have begun to feel as if your opportunities to participate in the American Dream and its concomitant promise of wealth and prosperity have lessened to the extent of seemingly practical extinction.

But I too share your concerns, along with a bevy of other race-related anxieties that most Americans refuse to even acknowledge.

Nevertheless, on the other hand, all of Trump’s major proposed means of making America great again—building a wall, deporting all undocumented immigrants, barring anyone of the Muslim faith from entering the country, policing the inner city with an iron fist—smacks of a claim of victimization. In other words, it seems he has built his platform on the notion that all the issues threatening our well-being, financial and otherwise, arise out of the presence of a nefarious foreign element in our midst that must be dealt with severely and with prejudice and expelled if we are ever to feel safe again and rise to our greatest potential.

However, I would assert that the issues people like you and me face, and the proposed solutions to those issues you continue to embrace, issue forth from the same source and are one and the same. And I have a historical parallel that will help prove this assertion.

During the later years of the 1800’s, poor black and white farmers and farm workers faced a similar plight. They were little more than de facto indentured servants to obscenely rich landowners and commodity brokers. They worked long and hard with little financial reward or gain or opportunity transcends their situation, and more often than not, found themselves living under the most wretched of conditions and inextricably locked in a cycle of abject, crushing poverty.

Furthermore, in the South, the population was socially separated practically as much by class as by race. Poor southern whites, like their black counterparts, were almost wholly shut out of the political process as well as some public spheres and institutions.

Two enlightened, intrepid groups of blacks and whites, The Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union (CFNACU) on the one hand and The National Farmers’ Alliance (NFA) on the other, sensed the affinity of the two groups and recognized that the two groups were being deliberately kept apart to their own financial detriment and to the gain of the rich landowners and commodity brokers. And soon the two groups began to work together as political allies bound one to the other by economic ties and a common destiny.

Allow me to take a moment so that I might make the necessary extrapolations and give a more in-depth explanation of the significance of this moment. For a brief moment in this nation’s history, poor blacks and poor whites recognized in one another a common circumstance and destiny and pulled together in a spirit of solidarity to improve their lot in life. And for a brief moment, the movement began to gain momentum in earnest. For a brief moment, the voiceless and the powerless set their perceived differences aside and began to gain a voice, a common voice, and with this common voice began to exert a newfound measure of power.

But then, with their backs against the wall, the rich landowners and commodity brokers pulled the leaders of the white group, the NFA, aside. They promised them that if they would just stop the foolishness and end the coalition with the black farmers through cooperating with the CFNACU, not only would they pay them a few extra cents, they promised to also—and this was the deal clincher—recognize them as white people. If I remember correctly, the exact phrase used was “the full exercise of the white man’s prerogative.”

Whiteness was used as a commodity to be traded. And the farmers were only too eager to cash in despite it being against their best interest.

So, the coalition was irretrievably broken, and things returned to normal. Hope for progress was all but lost. And most importantly, the whites returned to the cycle of perpetual, abject, crushing poverty. Their lives did not improve one iota. But at least they now got to participate in whiteness with all the prerogatives thereof, a luxury, though, ironically they still could not afford.

donald-trump-white-supporters_800xThis seems to me to be the situation in which we currently find ourselves. Modern versions of the Southern landowners and commodity brokers, contemptuous and disdainful of all but those of their own particular and exclusive economic class, continue to divide Americans into groups and play them one against the other as they look on in gleeful merriment, while growing ever richer and even more avaricious.

And over the course of Trump’s campaign, as the most intricate details of his artifice have been gradually revealed, it has become crystal clear that Donald Trump is this particular and exclusive class’ most duplicitous and rapacious representative.

There is nothing of substance to his promise to “Make America Great Again”. He will do nothing to improve your life. He will do nothing to improve the lives of your children. He will do nothing to improve your access to the American Dream.

All he has to offer is whiteness, “the full exercise of the white man’s prerogative.” But as long as his particular and exclusive class continues to control the levers of power, you won’t be able to take that whiteness to the bank.

So, in conclusion, amidst the celebratory atmosphere of a Trump campaign rally, I discern a definite and distinct contradiction in a raucous crowd of people loudly proclaiming blandishments of ersatz pride in their collective greatness and invincibility while simultaneously pledging absolute and unconditional obeisance and fealty to the very personification of the conditions of their misfortune, who stands before them with an almost godlike presence, promising to end the pitiful circumstance of their victimization once and for all.

However, well-meaning white people with good sense, you can either be proud, or you can be pitiful, but you cannot be both.

Which shall it be?

Van Jones Asks, “What if Donald Trump was Black?”

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In the wake of the release of video wherein Donald Trump brags about sexually assaulting women, noted political commentator, Van Jones, took to Facebook to discuss the issue. Jones did so in the context of race. Jones’ commentary is a perfect illustration of White Privilege and the pervasive nature of racism in its systemic application. In the video, Jones says Trump is the real “super-predator.”

His line was a play on the controversial use of the racialized term “super-predator” used by Hilary Clinton in 1995. Jones’ use of the term in referring to Trump was powerful. Back then, the term was used by Clinton and others to help push a new Crime Bill. While Clinton’s use of the term was never race-specific, it’s widely perceived as a racist reference to young black men, by many. It is with this context in mind that Jones’ remarks were apropos.

Van Jones made extremely salient points in arguing that things would be different if Donald Trump was indeed black. Which is a point with which I agree. Hell, back in 2008, right-wingers wouldn’t allow Barack Obama to continue to attend Rev. Jeremiah’s church when a video of Obama’s minister chastising American policy surfaced. Yet, today, many of the same people are continuing to embrace Donald Trump after implicating himself of criminally sexual behavior. Can you imagine Obama being allowed to be president if he was DTrump?

Watch the video below:

For many, Trump’s comments were seen as locker-room talk and nothing more. Listen, it’s not about Trump’s words. It’s not about the word “pussy.” It’s about Trump’s admission of a criminally sexual act. Period! If you ignore this and reduce his remarks to just simple boyish locker-room banter. If you do, then you’re every bit of an enabler. Which is highly problematic in itself.

van-jones-800x430Yes, it’s like you’re saying, “Hey, Donald! Here’s my daughter. Please, come grab her pussy.” Not that you have to have a daughter, a wife, or female relatives to understand this. As a human being with a semblance of moral values – if only a little bit – this shouldn’t be something that needs to be explained, at all.

One has to wonder if Donald Trump would see one of his rich black friends (yes, I’m looking at you, Mike Tyson) bragging about grabbing Ivanka’s “pussy” without invitation, as locker-room banter? Well, he does consider her a “piece of ass.” So, I imagine that he wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I doubt he would. In fact, I’m sure he wouldn’t. He’d blame it on hip hop. He’d blame it on Barack Obama. Trump would most definitely attribute it to typical “nigger” behavior. You know, because, everyone knows that black men are savages. He would say that black men are hypersexual beasts who can’t control themselves. And like the Central Park Five, he’d be calling for the death penalty.

He’d be so pissed that he’d find a way to propose sending black people back to Africa, as a result of it. And, of course, when confronted with the fact that he once defended Mike Tyson against rape allegations. We could expect Trump to lie and say that he did not. This is what Trump would do if the shoe was on the other foot, racially. Also, I imagine the conversations would be different. Within media circles, they would be focused on Trump’s admission as a criminal act.

Am I wrong?

Donald Trump Still Thinks the Central Park Five is Guilty

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Yusef Salaam, one of the members of the wrongfully convicted Central Park Five wants an apology from Donald Trump. Of course, this will never happen. Trump has never apologized for anything; and, he isn’t going to start now. I mean, why would he do something like that and blemish his record of good judgment. Besides, Trump is a man who has publicly stated that he’s not into asking God for forgiveness. Can we expect him to ever apologize?

So yeah, good luck with that apology thingy.

In a statement to CNN, Trump said that “they admitted they were guilty.” “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same,” he added.

To Trump, the evidence against the Central Park Five was overwhelming.

I assume that this is what motivated Trump to spend a reported $85,000 to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times and three other newspapers.

In the ad, Trump called for the employment of the death penalty against the falsely accused young teenagers. According to Trump’s ad, the Central Park Five were part of a larger problem of “bands of wild criminals roam our neighborhoods, dispensing their own vicious brand of twisted hatred on whomever they encounter.” In 1989, Trump’s ad further inflamed New York City’s racial tension and was a cause celebre.

“I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence,” Trump’s ad continued.

Here’s the thing: DNA evidence cleared then of any wrongdoing. In fact, the actual perpetrator of the crime came forward and confessed to the rape of the Central Park jogger. And, it was his DNA that matched that of the victim.

But of course, Trump is allergic to this thing called facts.

donald-trump_central-park-five_800xInterestingly enough, though, Trump also said that the city of New York settling a $41 million lawsuit with the members of the Central Park Five isn’t an admission of their innocence. In an op-ed in the New York Daily News, Trump described the 2014 lawsuit settlement as the “heist of the century.”

Trump added, “Settling doesn’t mean innocence, but it indicates incompetence on several levels.”  Yeah, because it’s all about being guilty until proven innocent, even if there’s sufficient scientific evidence that proves otherwise. And this from the same guy who said that him settling a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the federal government isn’t an admission of guilt on his part.

There’s Never A Racial Double Standard

Double standard? Nope. Wealthy white men and what they say is the standard. If they say you’re a criminal, you’re a criminal. If they say you’re a rapist, you’re a rapist. Like Trump, if you unknowingly admit to using your fame to sexually assault women – you know, by grabbing them by the pussy – it’s locker-room banter. Yes, there’s nothing criminal here at all. Incidentally, this explains all the rape accusations against Trump. If anything, this exhibits an extreme flaw of judgment, basic human decency, and character.

Come to thnk about it, this is the reason there are many like the Central Park Five, who fall victim to the bias within a racially inequitable criminal justice system. Meanwhile, Trump wants to be president of the United States. To help him get there, he wants people of color – black folks in particular – to vote for him, because as he put it, we have nothing to lose.

I’ve written about the Central Park Five before. But, I never thought they would be mentioned in this election cycle. As narcissism and the undisciplined need for attention would have it, here we are. Donald Trump had to open his mouth once again. He couldn’t ignore taking the bait offered up by CNN. Instead, Trump’s comments, once again, proves that he’s an enemy of fact-driven discourse. Because, in the face of truth, his racist beliefs won’t allow an ounce of contrition. Nor will his level of moral bankruptcy allow him to admit that he was wrong.

 

Nate Parker, Blind Support and How His Scandal Hurts Black America

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The buzz about The Birth of a Nation, the movie about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion and actor Nate Parker’s project has been active for almost a year since news first broke out about it. People have anticipated a film about a revolt against slavery that was named after another much earlier film that depicted the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. The first movie was released in 1915 was popular among white movie goers showcasing racist stereotypes of African Americans. Despite that, it is still considered an important piece of film history to this day.

But just like the original film, it’s modern incarnation is not without controversy, especially surrounding the producer. Several weeks before its release, past sexual assault allegations have surfaced. Parker, along with his friend and co-author Jean McGianni Celestin while students at Penn State, went to trial for rape accusations, but was ultimately acquitted two years later. Sadly, in 2012 Parker’s accuser committed suicide. And despite news of her death reached Parker, he generally doesn’t seem fazed enough to apologize.

nate-parker-birth-of-a-nationThe resurfacing of Parker’s rape accusations has become a side-story whenever Birth of a Nation is discussed, usually praised. Movie fans and critics alike contend that it’s a must see film. For Black Americans, it’s a changing of the norm. There are no white saviors to step in and save black folks and even though it’s another film based on slavery, the slaves rise up against oppression. Why not see it?

Even though Parker’s moral character has come into questioning since news surfaced about his allegations from the past and his current reactions toward them, not all black people are on board with the movie hype. Some expressed anger towards his indifference and victimhood, disappointed that one of their brightest stars is sounding more and more like an unfeeling douche bag unwilling to do anything to tackle the issue responsibly.

But like anyone else, there are black people who blindly support such people, because their art and talents are more prominent than their misdeeds and crimes. Men like Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, Robert Downy, Jr., Charlie Sheen, former-President Bill Clinton and Presidential-hopeful Donald Trump are still beloved, adored and praised among many people. Their great accomplishments have largely overshadowed their most heinous sins.

Black people are like anyone else. Some of us still show support for icons through thick and thin. We still love Bill Cosby, Mike Tyson, Afrikaa Bambataa, R. Kelly, Chris Brown and even O.J. Simpson. (Well, maybe not quite O.J. Simpson.) Part of that is due to the history, past and contemporary, of racial hoaxes which resulted in the lynching of scores of black men in the South. It’s made many of us suspicious of accusations of violence against black men, especially if the victim and accuser is white. Nate Parker’s victim was reportedly a white female. News about his rape accusation surfaced weeks before the release of the movie. So, many black folks theorize a racist conspiracy against a famous black man who produced an anti-slavery film to bring him down.

But there’s another depressing side to this. Nate Parker was a rising icon among the black community. We saw him an innovator or revolutionary of sorts. Black people see the successes and failures of individual black people as successes and failures of the entire race. When some of us hear of Parker’s rape accusation, we felt disappointed. And his attitude towards it when being interviewed is rubbing salt into the wound. Watching a famous black leader of any kind fall slowly but surely is upsetting and even embarrassing. We fought so hard to smash racial stereotypes about us only to have someone, a famous someone, become that stereotype. And we fear that that individual will make things hard for the rest of us.

Nate Parker is becoming the stereotype we want to erase. His accusation of raping a white woman is bad enough. His responses to it are even worse. Will it be enough to affect the film’s status as a powerhouse or his reputation as a budding producer? Probably. Nevertheless, the culture of toxic masculinity must be addressed. If not, men will continue to get away with murder – in some cases literally – and more women will suffer for the sake of male power.

Luke Cage and Solange Made Black Friday

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2016 has been the year of realized blackness. Sit ins are rampant at sports games all across the country. As much as people don’t like Black Lives Matter, they have made sure that we “matter” on some level. More and more people are becoming “awakened” to the world around us. It is time to take note of how the tide has turned. Black people are realizing that it will take our own efforts to change our own reality.

And then September 30th, 2016 happened.

This date just may go down in history as one of THE blackest days of the year. And we have two people to thank: Luke Cage and Solange Knowles.

Luke Cage Pours Black Coffee All Over Netflix

If the Black Panther was the black hero people wanted then Luke Cage is the hero black people needed.

You see, Luke Cage is the man that many males desire to be. He is heavily flawed but works hard to do/be better. His aura unintentionally oozes sex appeal that women want to drink coffee with him (follow me, now). He wears a hoodie to represent the black struggle against all violence thrust upon black bodies while being bullet proof like the black souls that many try to feast on. In short, Luke Cage is the motherfuckin’ man.

In fact, he is so much of the motherfuckin’ man that Netflix had server problems during the Saturday following the unofficial Black Friday that his show ushered in.

luke-cageYes, you read that right: Luke Cage crashed the server.

And he should have. With the help of Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Isaac Hayes III, the music remained highly lush, instrumental, and funky. Intellectually, the show makes references to black authorship and hints at short stories (Lather and Nothing Else). Even further, the characters are dynamic enough to relinquish ourselves of the black tropes that Hollywood always seeks to shove into black cinema.  It seems to be that Luke Cage won because blackness refused to lose.

Solange is Black And Will Snatch her Seat

Solange has typically been the antithesis of her sister Beyoncé. Rather than follow the steps into pop success, she always veered off the beaten path. This has led her into making collaborations that were much respected but not as commercially viable (if you will). Still, Solange has always did whatever made her happy and never held her tongue (or in Jay-Z’s case, her fists) back for anyone. Therefore, it came as no surprise that Solange would come with an album that would spark black pride with extreme bluntness in the message.

 

Yet, A Seat At The Table isn’t some simple album of pro-black proportions. Rather, it is the epitome of the complexity given to the existence of melanated people. When tracks like “Crane In The Sky”, “Weary”, and “Don’t Touch My Hair” plays through the speakers, any person with an ounce of soul can connect to her words and emotions. This isn’t some album to pique the shallow interests of people to make them dance. This album was created for the healing of the greater being. This album is both protest song and healing cry wrapped up in beautiful production.

solange_800xAnd all of this works because Solange, inherently, doesn’t give a fuck. She doesn’t give a fuck about popularity. She damn sure doesn’t give a fuck about offending anyone. The woman had Master P all over her interludes. Obviously, she isn’t giving a fuck about trends and other useless shit if Master P is all over her album talking. This is where Beyoncé can’t drift into. Solange can become that major artist that goes against the grain with a middle finger in the sky; she always had it held up high in the first place.

Luke Cage and Solange Won Black Friday

With Solange being number one on iTunes and white people being salty about the “lack of diversity” in Luke Cage, I must say that blackness won. These are the moments that black people live for. These are the times in which we feel that we are just one more step closer to liberation. We realize that, through entertainment, we have the goods. Now, we just need to follow the leads of Luke Cage and Solange by acting out our master plans. The power of blackness cannot be denied. And if they say so, then you know they lied.

Angela Davis is Voting for Hillary Clinton

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Angela Davis is a renowned scholar, black activist, and former political prisoner beloved by many. For years, Davis has been critical of government’s role in the oppression of people of color. More broadly, she has been a champion of human right, freedom, justice, and equality for all people.

Speaking at the “Black Matters: The Futures of Black Scholarship and Activism” conference at the University of Texas at Austin, Davis raised more than a few eyebrows. On the subject of democracy, as it relates to people of color, Davis said that she is not so “narcissistic” to say that she would not vote for Hillary Clinton. Which, for some, is a position they refuse to accept.

“I have serious problems with the other candidate, but I am not so narcissistic to say I cannot bring myself to vote for her,” Davis said. To make her position quite clear, Davis added, “I am going to the polls next month and I am voting against Donald Trump.”

Of course what Davis said last week quickly became a sore spot for members of Team Blackitty Black Black. That would be, the consortium of black and brown people who see themselves as revolutionaries. These are people who, for the most part, are so far left-of-center politically, that they seem out of touch with reality. They idolize and worship figures like Angela Davis as they remain staunch in their idealism. Their politics is the “it’s either all or nothing” approach. Which, naturally often leaves them perpetually disappointed, because, as rational people all know, the world doesn’t work that way. It would be nice if it did, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t.

So yes, these are people who would rather sit out the elections, or even vote for a third party candidate who has less than a snow ball’s chance in hell of being president. They call it a protest vote. However, I see their action as just another form of child-like petulance. Like the bratty kids in the grocery store, they’re happy to throw themselves on the floor and kick and scream because mommy dearest didn’t buy them what they wanted.

Plainly speaking, they just don’t get it. Like Angela Davis implied, such an attitude is indeed narcissistic. It is especially so because it’s not about them and their puritanical view of how the world should be. It’s about what the would look like if Donald Trump becomes the president of the United States. 

angela-davis-hillary-clinton_800xAngela Davis  has previously stated that she’s not in the habit of endorsing political candidates. In fact, earlier this year, she made it clear that Barack Obama, was the first presidential candidate she has voted for. And in her talk last week, she drove home the point that, in this election, the stakes are too high by saying: “Too much energy went into the struggle for voting rights not to go to the polls.” But no, none of this means anything to some.

I can’t imagine a white person in need of a heart transplant being opposed to having the procedure done because the doctor is a person of color. But then again, there are people of color opposed to voting for Hillary Clinton. So, I guess it makes sense in an “I’m an idiot,” sorta way.

And no, I’m not talking about the ones happy to be voting for Donald Trump. No no no, not those fools! I’m talking about the other idiots who fail to see that not voting – or voting third party – because, Hillary is the devil, is indeed a vote for Donald Trump. This is a notion that they’ll reject.

In doing so, they’ll chalk it up to political fearmongering. But like I said earlier, these are people on the fringes of ideological political thought. For me, their commitment to political nihilism is dangerous. Yes, just as dangerous as some of Trump’s most ardent supporters on the far-right.

Seriously, What’s Wrong With Some People?

If Angela Davis can publicly state that she’s voting for Hillary Clinton, what’s wrong with you pseudo-revolutionary stupid asses? Seriously, what’s wrong with you? Where’s your common sense? Still voting third party? It Kinda sucks when your hero lets you down, and I get it. But don’t worry, you, your feelings and ego will be just fine. Yes, you and your holier-than-thou attitude and quest to be the smartest kid in class will live on.

Nevermind the fact that I’m laughing as I watch the collective puritanical souls of my lefty friends curl into a ball and die inside because Angela Davis is voting for Hillary Clinton. At the end of thy day, being on the wrong side of history sucks. If you don’t believe me, just ask any one of those Confederate flag worshiping clowns who cling to that “the south shall rise again!” garbage.

Hopefully, you’re not one of those people disappointed by what Angela Davis said. If so, after Hillary Clinton wins this election, maybe you and your baby tears can go hang out with the aforementioned confederate-flag-worshipers and bitch about it. Like them, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

Look, Angela Davis is here for a lot of great things. What she isn’t here for, however, is to babysit your narcissistically fragile ego, and your fuck shit. Donald Trump must be stopped at all cost. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. But then again, perhaps advancing the cause that is freedom, justice, and equality would be best served strategically with a white supremacist who lacks any regard for black bodies in the White House, yes?

Listen to Angela Davis below:

Trump’s Brand of Xenophobia Is An American Cycle That Must Be Broken

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Billionaire Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s biggest sale to the electorate isn’t that he’s a brilliant businessman (though some people seem to think that starting with big money and ending up with big money makes him one), but rather that he’s a “tell it like it is” straight shooter who “says what everyone is thinking”. While I must disagree with every orientation to reason I can muster that Trump is telling anything resembling “like it is” he may, in fact, be saying what many Americans are thinking.

I have to be upfront here, I believe that America is an idea and an ideal of progress in progress. We move towards meeting our ideal as a society the way individual people move towards personal goals. The journey we take in meeting our ideal selves is turbulent and hard; often times we have to fight the creature of bad, comfortable habit and work to build new routines. We win some struggles and lose others.

In the case of becoming a society where “All Men Are Created Equal”, the road has been long, winding, and poorly paved. As we trudge along, forcing ourselves to become an equitable and cosmopolitan society we’ve predictably experienced horrible overt relapse, usually in the face of a fresh wave of immigration or the threat of a changing status quo.

That horrible relapse has a dangerously sharp spearhead in the Donald Trump presidential candidacy. The only logical reason I can supply for Trump’s traction is that his support comes from a three generally different quarters:

  1. Republicans who are supporting their party candidate regardless of their objections/who believe that business acumen is political acumen
  2. People who have objections to Trump but are unwilling to vote for Hillary Clinton
  3. White folks scared that their majority rule and privilege (regardless of their ability or willingness to identify it) is coming to an end and actually believe the crazy, inconsistent, and/or racist things that Trump says.

Of these three, the last one is the group that I’d like to discuss, but first I’ll address the others. The first group is part of a deep-seated problem in American politics. This line of thinking has led us away from compromise and discourse into a win/lose mentality that has been the foundation of plummeting Congressional approval ratings. The second are simply people whom I disagree with–I understand their trepidations about Hillary Clinton but, constrained to a mindset where the choice is between two rather than many, I simply cannot sign on to the choice. (That said, people must always explore their options because there are more than two choices.)

Tdonald-trump-xenophobia_800xhe third group is the frightened, losing the privileged class. This privilege isn’t material but is cultural. It is the kind of privilege that doesn’t necessarily feed you, pay you, or get you out of jail but rather is the kind that assumes you as the default. The assumption of white normalcy is slowly becoming an anachronism. With growing non-white populations, American whiteness is on the verge of becoming the largest minority in a multicultural secular nation. The irony should not be lost that being the largest minority is exactly how Mr. Trump received the Republican nomination and is exactly the predicament his base fears demographically and that this major minority in the party is rallying the hardest against being “downgraded” to that status nationally.

In the midst of Black Americans declaring, rightfully, that their lives matter and are not disposable, Latin Americans working hard to secure a life in our country, and Muslim Americans fighting against the stigma of terrorism to live peacefully, Donald Trump is trumping hard on the preposterous notions of being a “law and order” candidate, touting to build a wall blocking off Mexico to stop “Mexican” illegal immigration (even if the majority of illegal migrations are not, in fact, committed by Mexicans), and of course banning legal migration of approximately one-third of the population of the world as a sane route to national security.

This man’s rise to political prominence–even his trajectory at political legitimacy–is part of a historical cycle of Americans rallying against change. During Reconstruction, the South produced the Ku Klux Klan to keep freemen in line. In the past 40 years (at least), there has been the talk of raising barriers along our Southern border to keep Spanish-speaking brown people away. During World War II, we rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in internment camps “until we knew what was going on” as Trump might say.

We have a history of passing laws that contradict our very nature and the very language of our Founding Documents. Laws such as the Johnson-Reed Act which placed quotas on immigration in order to preserve racial demographics ratios for the nation which were decades old, rulings such as Dredd Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson which solidified the notion of slaves as property and the inherent inequality of “Separate but Equal,” as well as public referendum California Proposition 187 which empowered civilians to identify otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants to the authorities for deportation have shown the nation’s collective willingness to suspend the idea that “All Men Are Created Equal” when the subtext of “White Men Are More Equal Than Others” was in jeopardy.

We also have a history of citizens banding together to keep others down because of their backgrounds–or their perceived backgrounds, almost always in the preservation of our American lifestyle operationalized as a status quo of default whiteness. In each of these, we would do well to remember a time we failed our ideals to preserve the majority demographic of the most current social construct of white dominant privilege. We would do well to remember arguments that the Jewish Bolsheviks would be the undoing of America. We would do well to remember the American adaptation of “NINA” (No Irish Need Apply) signs in store windows. We would do well to remember the mass lynching of eleven Italians in New Orleans. We would do well to remember Jim Crow. We would do well to remember McCarthyism.

Some of these drawbacks have been briefer than others. The blight of Klan remains a political force to be reckoned with in our country. Prop 187 died in legal battles in 1999, only 5 years after it had passed. Many lives are still affected by time spent in Japanese Internment Camps. Scott and Plessy are both moot ruling in the current legal climate which recognizes that all humans are humans and are owed individual rights and equal, equitable treatment (at least in train cars).

The results of our progress are messy and incomplete; the road toward our ideal is still unpaved and uphill. The path ahead leading into the election is forked and frightening. The path that follows a Trump Presidency curves back on our progress. It returns us to a point in our journey that should be beyond the horizon of our hindsight but is instead frighteningly close. The loop of the cycle of progress followed by xenophobic, racist, and prejudiced lash back framed as the preservation of our American lifestyle is as short or as long as we will it to be.

We must break the cycle of regression and press forward on that hard, turbulent road to humanity and equity. We must press forward, yes at the ballot box, but also in our dining rooms, in our classrooms, in our offices, in our houses of worship, in our words, in our actions, and in our streets. This is not about 4 years or 8 years–its about 240 years behind us and the future ahead of us. It’s bigger than any one office or administration. This isn’t about putting bodies in offices or assess in chairs.

If the shrinking majority can demand regression by popular outcry, those  hanging on the fringes of that majority, or far beyond its grasp, can demand progress just the same. It’s about the preservation and development of our progress. It’s about demanding our country be our country. We are everybody and every body. We are the people, created equal, each of us. And sooner or later, we are going to have to start acting like a “we”.

 

[Originally posted at Polite On Society]

Donald Trump Keeps Raping My Intelligence

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.When Donald Trump said that he is the “least racist” person in a scripted interview with a Detroit pastor whose church he visited in an attempt to win over black voters, the implication is that there are varying degrees of racism.

I’m sorry, but I have to break it to you: It’s either you’re racist, or you’re not. Yes, there are no varying degrees of racism. No, racism isn’t like milk. There’s no Whole Racism, 2% Racist, or Skim Racism. There’s just racism.

But to hear Trump tell it, comparatively, his level of racism can be measured by the actual strands of real hair on his head. And see that’s the problem. Like the dead rat that covers his head, we – black people – are able to see right through Trump’s most transparent version of bullshit.

“The President of the United States has to be a cheerleader. You have to bring the black, the white, different income groups together … There’s tremendous division right now and a lot of it has to do with the fact that in the inner cities, there are no jobs,” Trump said during a scripted pre-recorded interview with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Trump added: “I say it proudly, you have record-setting crime, poverty that is horrible, bad education in inner cities. Everything is bad. What do you have to lose? I’ll fix it.” Trump continued, “That’s actually a statement of hope. You can go to war-torn countries like Afghanistan and it’s safer than being in some of our cities.” Wow! Afghanistan? Hyperbole much, Mr. Trump?

Now, I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I have the sneaky suspicion that the streets of Detroit hardly resembles war-torn Afghanistan. No, not especially with the falling rates of crime in urban communities over the years. Sadly, this fact escapes the mind of the average Trump acolyte.

To them, everyone who happens to be black in America lives in an urban dystopian hellscape riddled with gun violence, drugs, and death. Why? Because this is what it means to be black in America. Yes, to be black in America is to have several children out-of-wedlock by the time you’re seven-years-old. And, of course, this is the way it is in the black community writ large. Quite naturally, it is this way because the Democrats have failed its most loyal sheep. Have no fear, however, all it takes is the black vote and the sprinkling of magic dust by Orange Hitler. Orange Hitler can fix anything.

donald-trump-black-surrogates_800xWe may never see Trump’s tax returns, but as a black person, it’s easy to see that Donald Trump is trolling us. When he asks black voters “What do you have to lose?” by voting for him. Images of a welcoming slave ship captain off the coast of West Africa should come to mind.

Everything he says is a lie and done with the sole intent to appeal to the color-aroused. That would be, the millions of white folks who see black people as a threat. These are the very people who find every way to justify the questionable deaths of black people at the hands of the police. Which, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense as to why Trump would declare himself the “law and order” candidate as he did a couple of months ago. It’s the very reason he has advocated putting more police officers in the black community. It’s also the reason why he’s advocating a national stop-and-frisk program, the likes of which has been deemed unconstitutional.

So, again, why would he do something like this? Well, it damn sure isn’t about protecting black people – he doesn’t care. It’s about projecting himself as the slave master with enough force to keep African-Americans in check. Because in the minds of many of his supporters, the reason black folks are out of control is because the current president has been an enabler of violence. Nevermind the fact that the Republican Party has been the roadblock to common sense gun laws and every attempt to legislatively keep guns off the streets in urban communities. Yes, facts aren’t important.

This is why Trump’s attempted so-called black outreach has been frustratingly laughable for most of us black folks. What he has done in recent weeks exhibits the pervasiveness of racism. Why? Because after a year-long crusade of normalizing white supremacy for mere political expediency, Trump believes that he can simply roll up in a black church, and all is forgiven.

What do you have to lose?

As white privilege would have it, Trump believes it’s as simple as swaying while black parishioners sang. Because, apparently,  that’s all it takes for Black Jesus to wash the sin of racism away. Which in turn will bring him black votes? Yes, just like that, we’re supposed to forget the fact that as a businessman, Trump was once sued by the federal government for refusing to rent apartments to black people in New York City.

We’re also supposed to believe him when he says that Hillary Clinton is a “bigot,” but ignore that he once told a former executive of his business, John O’Donnell, that he didn’t want black accountants counting money at his Trump Plaza and Trump Castle casinos. O’Donnell quoted Trump in a memoir.

“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza — black guys counting my money!” O’Donnell’s book quoted Trump. “I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else. . . . Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

Trump needs better black surrogates

In the event that you’re still skeptical, in the interview with that Detroit pastor, Trump also said that we should ask Don King whether he (Trump) is racist or not. Yes, Don King. Right, that Don King. Yep, the boxing promoter.

Uh-huh, the one who hasn’t combed his hair in 45 years. Yep, the same one who’d sell his own mother into slavery for a dollar. Yes, that Don King. The fast-talking “Only in America,” shuckin’ ‘n jivin’, Negro.

The problem with asking Don King to say anything positive about Donald Trump on issues of race – aside from the stated obvious – is that black folks have intentionally lost that fools phone number a long time ago.

Yep, I think it was somewhere around the time when he greeted Mike Tyson upon being released from an Indiana prison with an “As-salaam Alaykum,” right before Tyson ditched him for stealing his money. To be blunt: Collectively, black folks haven’t fucked with o King in a long time.

Don King isn’t exactly a pillar of the black community. And, he’s definitely not the guy anyone trying to make inroads with the black community should use as their Negro Whisperer. But then again, with the assortment of racially ambiguous black surrogates Trump has assembled – from Omarosa to the blue-contact-wearing fake pastor that nobody knows, Mark Burns – what else can we expect from the Trump campaign? No wonder he’s polling at 1% with would-be black voters like he has. Seriously, when you consider the violence at his campaign rallies, it’s hard to imagine him having that much support.

Donald Trump is who he is: Believe me!

It’s easy to say, “Well RiPPa, Trump deserves some credit for reaching out to black voters.” However, to do so would be like giving the Ku Klux Klan a NAACP Image Award for attempting to be more inclusive and diverse by passing out flyers in the black community.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the way my mind is set up, Trump asking black people to vote for him sounds just like that. And I’m sorry, but after spending the last eight years basking in the afterglow of post-racialness with Barack Obama as president, I’d be damned if I made the ghosts of dead slaves and every person lynched cry more tears of sorrow than they and their families have. Why? Because what little dignity and political capital we have ever built, will be lost by voting for Donald J. Trump.

There’s nothing racist about being a Birther?

Remember, this is the same man who pushed the Birther lie that Barack Obama was not an American citizen. For five years – even after Obama released his birth certificate – in an attempt to delegitimize his presidency, Trump continued to perpetuate the lie. So, when Donald Trump said that he was the one who put an end to the Birther conspiracy a few weeks ago, I was outraged. Upon hearing it, I felt like I was awakened from sleep to find some random dude’s balls resting on my face.

If my intelligence was an actual body part like my face, I would’ve filed sexual assault charges. Yes, my intelligence felt sexually violated by Trump’s version of events. And no, I’m not into having the wrinkled scrotum of some dude on my face. Not that having a guy’s balls on your face is a bad thing if that’s your thing. However, for me, it’s just not my thing.

Nope, not if I didn’t ask said dude to do just that. Again, I’m not into balls on my face, but the least Trump could’ve done was ask first. And even if it’s your thing, I’d like to think that you too would be pissed if said scrotum owner didn’t ask your permission first. I realize that this may sound a bit graphic to some, but this is exactly what it felt like hearing Trump declare his Birtherism a public service during last week’s Presidential debate. To hear him tell it, it was as though he did everyone a favor by getting Obama to produce a birth certificate (like we were really curious?). And, of course, he was the only one able to do this. Because Hillary Clinton started the racist Birther lie. And, well, I guess with her being a girl, she couldn’t finish it.

Guess what? It’s all a lie!

Trump is a pathological liar

So yeah, I’m mad at Donald Trump for raping my intelligence; and, I’m obviously not happy about it. In fact, I’m pissed. Highly pissed. So pissed that I’m dedicated to making sure that everyone that I know votes for Hillary Clinton on November 8th, 2016. Why? Because, politics aside, I got a lot to lose. Besides, it’s not like Trump has explained to black voters what we have to gain by voting for him, or how he’s going to do anything.

donald_trump-debate_800xIt’s often said that when America catches a cold, the black community comes down with pneumonia. At a time when black folks are attempting to claw ourselves out of the hole after the Great Recession of 2007, the last thing we need is Donald Trump as president. According to Moody’s Analytics – you know, the people who America goes to when they check their credit? – Trump’s economic policies will force the country into recession. It would be a recession that’s sure to increase unemployment. Which in turn means,

It would be a recession that’s sure to increase unemployment. Which in turn means, instead of pneumonia, black folks in America would surely be coming down with HIV/AIDS. Yes, every single one of us would; and yes, economically speaking, it would be that serious. So serious that it would almost be like our only hope would be to once again pick cotton for free.

I may not know more about ISIS than the generals do like Trump claims he does. However, I’m black, and what I do know, is that none of his proposals – be they economic, or otherwise – will have a positive impact on people who look like me. Now, if you care, think about that and vote wisely, my people.

 

 

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