It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right, or Selective Outrage is Impotent

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. – Frederick Douglass

Just a few thoughts regarding the latest in protest and violence in America post what strongly appears to be unchecked police brutality.

I’ve had conversations with friends, African-American friends in particular who voice either in word, social media and otherwise their frustrations and disdain for looters and folk who are burning buildings in Baltimore.  They’ve praised the mother who went Ronda Rousey on her son for participating in the riots.  They say, “I hate what I’m seeing on TV!  This is NOT the answer!”

What occurred to me was the history of the world, the history of this country.  Change from those in power to benefit those with less has rarely happened without violence and physical struggle.  I think of the Arab Springs in Syria, Egypt and Morocco to name a few over the last several years.  People had decided that they had enough of their oppressive and corrupt governments.  I think of the history of the civil rights movement during segregation and Jim Crow.  Hell, I think of the Boston Tea Party!  That struggle is glorified in history books.  My response to my friends has simply been to ask them, “Well what IS the answer?  What should they do?  Call the police?  (The same police who have one of THE worst documented reports of police brutality?) Write the police commissioner? What should they do to make the difference? None could give me any answers.  I sure as hell don’t have any either.

I saw President Obama this morning demonizing the looters.  But he can ‘miss me’ with that until he also demonizes the police who crushed a man’s spine and voice box while in their custody for simply running away from them.  Freddie Gray wasn’t wanted for any crime.  The knife he had in his pocket was of legal.  His downfall seems to be that he didn’t possess NFL first round wide receiver speed to escape his killers.  The President isn’t the only using all of his vitriol against those in rebellion.  Mass media and the direction or misdirection of narrative shaping is solely focused on the fallout from Gray’s death instead of the original sin of Gray’s death.  The truth of the matter is, I am not willing to listen to anyone who is not nuanced enough to have a real discussion regarding the cause and effect of what’s going on in Baltimore, what happened in New York, Ferguson and Oakland to facilitate community unrest.  I mean, how many times does this have to happen before there is a recognition of human nature; that if you keep putting a boot on people’s necks they are going to rise up?   It’s easy to tell people, “Keep on taking this ass whooping and burying your friends and kin to police brutality.  Organize and wait for the next election.  Have a church services, pray and forgive corrupt cops and the institutions that protect them.”  Historically that is not going to be a unified or sustained response.  Again, just check the history of anywhere in the world!  It ain’t gonna happen!

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Furthermore, I am past the point of apologizing for the looters. Looting is something I have never done nor would I.  I was in Ferguson and it never crossed my mind.  It’s not my thing.  But why should I have to own the onus of those that do when my counterparts don’t own the burden of unarmed black boys and men being murdered by police?  Am I the only one (as an activist) that needs to make concessions here and take ownership?  If they want to isolate and tell me that all the facts aren’t in, then I will say the same thing.  Dammit we don’t know who burned down the buildings.  You got a name?  Have all the facts been gathered yet?  Has there been an investigation of who exactly started the fires?  What accelerant was used? At what point in each building was the fatal match thrown? …and by WHOM exactly?  Sound ridiculous?  I don’t know… Cause sure as hell we had Eric Garner’s death from start to finish on VIDEO and we saw how THAT turned out!  Mr. Scarface said it best, “Black men are being hunted!”

I have always been an ambassador of sorts.  I bridge gaps and intermediate many potentially explosive situations.  I’ve done it all my life.  It’s natural for me.  I love peace.  Thus I am a fan of Dr. King’s non-violent work.  Yet I have always understood the need for an armed movement like The Black Panthers too.  I don’t own a gun.  I don’t desire to own one.  But I do recognize that with non-violence it’s easy for the one oppressing you to get a little too comfortable believing no retribution is possible.  Having the thought that in the back of one’s mind that he can catch some hurt if he stepped to the wrong person or set of people is just smart negotiating.  In other words, Rosa Parks is going to sit on that bus, but Nat Turner may take a shovel to your dome!

Is that not how our own government deal with other countries?  It goes like this: “If you don’t act right, we may use economic sanctions. Or we may bomb the shit outta you!”

Finally let me bring this point home.  If something goes down at my house where I need help, I’m calling the police.  I have several friends who are police officers.  One is a high ranking member.  If I see one of those guys driving behind me, it wouldn’t phase me a bit.  As a matter of fact, I may try to flag them down and start a conversation.  Equally true, is that because of my own experiences with bad police, I am scared as hell when one gets behind me who I don’t know.  *Especially if he is white*  I’m on the road almost every day going to someone’s basketball gym, football field or baseball diamond.  Sometimes I am some very remote areas where there are rarely is any folk who look like me.  And the reality is this; On any given day I could be the next Freddie Gray, Mike Brown, Eric Garner or Oscar Grant.  That ain’t hyperbole.  That’s real!  Look, I was on a field last week working a baseball game.  I saw two cops approach and started watching the game. I hadn’t done anything wrong, yet I was scared.  I wondered if they were there for me.  At the time there was a baseball game and a track meet going on right next to the diamond.  I didn’t see any faces of color anywhere.  My tensions didn’t subside till the police vacated the property.  And it’s not as if I am afraid of any man in isolation. But I expect danger and conflict from police who I know mostly operate with impunity.  But this is my life.  And the fact of the matter is, if it IS me, if I am the next to be murdered by police many detractors will believe that I somehow provoked it or deserved it.  Yes some of my white friends will say, “Well, he is a fiery guy!  You ever see his Facebook page?  He must have went off or took a swing at them…went for his gun.”  And this is how they will live with the lie that they tell themselves in NOT getting involved or using their own voices to promote an end to this bullshit!   If I’m lucky, others will rally for me as I have rallied for them.  I shouldn’t have to live with this conflict of having a cognitive dissidence of respecting police and their duties and yet fearing the one in the badge that is supposed to represent service and protection from REAL criminals.

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So no I don’t pretend to know what black folk should do in reaction every time this happens to us.  But I do know that when white folk decide that enough is enough, things will change , and change in a hurry.  Folk like Baltimore Oriole’s COO John Angelos who said;

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

Jeering at protesters is low hanging fruit.  Going after bad police, digging into the policies of oppression, mass incarceration and the roots of class warfare and suffering is HONEST!  OWN THAT and then we can talk.  Otherwise… See you after the next police led murder and cover up in a city near you.

 

 

 

 

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CMac’s Top Ten A-Rod Lies as Told By Bud Selig Before October

ARod

In lieu of the latest allegations against Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) that he leaked the names of Ryan Braun, as well as a hand full of other names to the biogenesis clinic in Florida, it’s imminently transparent that Bud Selig, MLB, and the Yankees will stop at nothing to rid themselves of A Rod’s contract.  The latest leaked rumor is an attempt to turn the players and the players union against him.  It’s yet to be seen whether this will work or not.  But if it doesn’t, rest assured the stories will continue and get even juicer.  Here are my Top 10 predictions of what Selig will release to gangster A-Rod out of the league and some 80 million dollars in salary.

10. A-Rod kidnapped Hannah Anderson and took her to Idaho

9. A-Rod, not White Bulger committed those mafia crime in South Boston.

8. A-Rod caused global warming

7. A-Rod shot Trayvon Martin

6. It was A-Rod who took pics of Anthony Weiner’s junk

5. A-Rod causes sink holes in Florida

4. A-Rod is the founder and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood

3. A-Rod leaked secret government documents and hid in a Russian airport for a month before gaining temporary asylum.

2. It was A-Rod who fired Abel during the AOL conference call

1. A-Rod’s real name is Walter White, and he cooks meth for a living using the code name Heisenberg

I can’t wait!

Sports and Politics Intersect Retro Style

I was only an infant when Tommy Smith and John Carlos threw up the black fist in Mexico City; a young pup when Muhammad Ali refused to participate in the Vietnam War.  There was a time when many African-American sports figures and icons took to the streets and spoke out for social justice.  They were not afraid to lend their voices and their fame to give attention to important issues they cared about.  They were courageous enough to risk their careers if necessary to stand up for what they believed was right.

Unfortunately that was a long time ago.  Rarely do we see black superstar athletes stand up for anything having to do with more than their latest contract negotiations.  The money guys like Ali, Smith and Carlos made pales in comparison to the astronomical millions today’s athletes bank above their predecessors.

Our most successful and marketable black athletes too often stray as far away from civic issues as they can.  I will always remember Michael Jordan’s refusal to support a progressive African-American candidate Harvey Gantt for state senate in his native North Carolina.  Not because he agreed more with the politics of the infamously racist Helms, but because, “Republicans by sneakers too.”  Jordan was the symbol and poster child of the New Crossover Negro who believed it far more important to hawk product and filling his own coffers rather than possibly alienating potential buyers with moral controversy.   Tiger Woods has picked up the baton running that race with ease by denying all things black whether it be per his own heritage and identity as well as the women he chooses to marry and fool around with.  Woods is as vanilla as the ice cream in my freezer and as close to anti-black as one could be with deference to Justice Thomas.

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Whether it was the Rodney King beating, presidential races, supreme court decisions or 17 year old children with candy and a drink, sadly Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Arthur Ashe are not walking through these doors.

This is what makes the tweeted photo by LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates in support of justice for Trayvon Martin an eye opener for me.  The Heat players live in South Florida.  Perhaps they feel the intensity of emotions even deeper than the rest of the country.  Perhaps some of the players have had their own issues with being pulled over for DWB (Driving While Black) with even more emphasis because they drive the finest cars money can buy.  I don’t know.  But I respect James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for being a part of a symbolic show of solidarity to Trayvon’s family as well as every other young black male in the United States.  I respect them especially because they are the faces of their franchise and the league that so many Americas pays attention to.

Former NBA players Etan Thomas and Craig Hodges were no strangers to standing up for unpopular beliefs.  Hodges so much so that he was literally blackballed from the NBA after presenting former President Bush a list of social issues he thought The President should address when the Chicago Bulls visited The White House.  If Jordan makes that move, it carries more weight and no way is the biggest revenue generating player the league had ever seen pushed out the door.

So big ups to LeBron, Wade, Bosh and the rest of the Heat players.  You didn’t have to march like the old school.  But you did use the most powerful and significant tool given your generation which is social media.  And for me, that speaks volumes!

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Bishop Eddie Long-stroke, Predators, Perceptions, Church Folk & Hood Justice

 

Yea I know, in this country everyone by law is innocent until proven guilty.  But this isn’t a court of law.  So I will express some commentary of common sense.  

Let’s get this one thing straight off the top.  If you are one of those Christians who believe that Bishop Eddie Long is totally innocent and that all of these young men are lying as some sort of a set up to get paid, you are at best totally naïve, and at worst an idiot.   (Trust there will be plenty of both at New Birth tomorrow morning.)  When I heard the news that he was using his pastoral power and influence to coerce young men within his congregation into sex, the first thing I said was, “Let’s just wait and see.”  I didn’t want to jump to conclusions because I know folk do lie, and extortion is also a possibility.  But I quickly added, “If a third young man comes out of the woodworks, it’s a wrap!”  There may be some legal wrangling, but that doesn’t mean that the Bishop was guiltless of dirty deeds being done.  No sooner than I said that, I looked at my CNN app and ‘BAM’ there it was, accuser #3.  As I write this the number is up to 4.  It’s like some Tiger Woods shit now. 

Not only are the details of this scandal telling, the way the Bishop is handling it is as well.  First he cancelled a scheduled appearance on The Tom Joyner Morning Show Thursday morning.  Then he cancelled a scheduled news conference on Thursday afternoon.  His shield is heavily shined with the polish of high priced attorneys.  Now why is that?  Look, if I’m a rich guy who can afford the credentials he is paying for and innocent, they could not keep me from publically stating on Tom Joyner, a news conference or from the rooftops for that matter that I am innocent of coercing sex from young men under my pastoral charge.  Sure I would retain attorneys to represent me in the case.  I’m also countersuing on top of it.  I know the attorneys are claiming that it’s their call for Long to keep quiet till Sunday, but in the name of Miles Davis, ‘So What!’  If he was accused of robbing a bank, something he didn’t do, would he be merely releasing a statement and letting this stew?  At the very least an innocent man accused of such travesties would say something like, “I hired attorneys who will instruct me, however since I am innocent I have no problems saying to anyone that I did not have sexual or improper relations with these young men including buying gifts etc.”  What else would he say in court if that were the case?  This is just common sense.  This case is not a criminal one. All of this silence is unnecessary unless there is something to hide. 

I can see where the first steps are leading however.  Bishop Long is going to speak where his bread is buttered and where he has tens of thousands of devoted supporters in the element in which he is most comfortable.  The church will set the atmosphere.  There will be the usual singing, praising and worshipping of God as is custom.  Except this won’t be so usual; Emotion will be at a fever pitch as those in the congregation not looking for a car wreck will feel a special mission to cry out to God (literally with tears) in this service to save their bishop.  They believe he is under Satan’s attack!  And with their faith Jesus will deliver their prophet of God from the ‘hands of the enemy’.   Finally the Bishop will emerge and offer his doding followers some spiritual psycho-babble about Satan, deceived young men who betrayed are being used by Satan to attack the church as a whole, and the victory that will be delivered by God Almighty.  He already released a statement saying that …”we will arise.”  I didn’t think ‘we’ his congregation were accused of what he is accused of.  But he is rallying the troops, making them feel as if they are also the object of Satan’s attack.

Trust me when I tell you; I know how these things work.  I was in these circles of theology for many years in the same type of churches.  I know how they think and the rhetoric that they function on.  In mainstream power-based Christianity pastors are placed on pedestals that would make kings blush.  And when they are not careful, their pride allows for dastardly words and acts. 

I remember belonging to a church where the pastor told us that any extra money we received that was a blessing outside of normal income didn’t belong to us but to him God.  There was a new building project the church was working on, and he wanted to walk into it debt free with the money from the congregation.  He even went on to say that we should get the equity out of our homes by taking out second or third mortgages because it was God’s money we were holding on to.  Most of us were smart and said, “This nigga must be crazy!”  But the point is that he felt that freedom because of the power of influence he had as pastor.  (He also called himself Bishop by the way.)  I also remember a time when he preached over and over again about having the faith to give an entire pay check to the church to show that God is our provider.  Unfortunately, I did fall for that one once.  I didn’t go under.  I am a fiscal conservative so I wasn’t foolish enough to give the church bill or food money.  The point is, within that environment hearing that message over and over again I thought it something to aspire to. 

This is the problem with big time baller preachers: 

On one hand they say to put your trust, faith and belief in Jesus.  He is the only way.  But within that next breath they imply that the way to really get in there with God is to listen to God’s man.  (Himself of course)  After all, this person is so much closer to God than average member is, and that he is especially ‘anointed for such a time as this.’  Therefore, people believe that their spiritual elevation is directly connected to the one preaching to them every Sunday.  Look at him:  He has the nice clothes, the bling, the Benz etc., and everybody wants to be around him.  A seeking parishioner who wants to please God thinks to himself, “He must be the man especially appointed by God.”  Once folk buy into that, it’s like stealing candy from a flock of babies.  As John Milton famously said, “Vanity, it’s definitely my favorite sin.”  When the deity factor is in place, or that feeling that one’s basic purpose and eternal state is at play, they are being capable of doing anything for the cause.  See suicide bombers for instance.  But I digress; Back to spiritual daddy Long-stroke. 

What is bothersome to me within this story is the way the accusers describe the set up.  Bishop offers to be a spiritual daddy to these young men who are without significant male mentors.  He takes an interest in them.  He does things for them like taking them on trips, buying gifts they can’t afford.  The latest accuser even said ‘daddy’ told him not to become involved with any females.  Then he puts the moves on them. 

Sad to say the timing of this was ironic for me.  I just finished a book written by actor Todd Bridges, “Killing Willis, from Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted.”  In it he described how the exact same thing happened to him from an advisor who helped to manage his career.  This guy was doing nice things for Todd in his career, earned his trust and eventually made his move on a pre-teen.  As he did these nice things for Bridges earning his trust, he made a point to tell Todd how he was doing so much for him and how Todd’s own parents wouldn’t even do what he (Ronald) would.  Ronald told Todd not to be interested in girls as a man could make him feel just as good if not better.  

Killing Willis

From Chapter 5 of “Killing Willis” 

One day, Ronald was driving me home from an autograph signing at a record store in the San Fernando Valley.  He had a big Cadillac with one of those long bench seats.  We were sitting side by side kind of close to each other.  He pulled the car over on a quiet side street without any traffic and looked at me with that intense look I was starting to recognize from past conversations.   

“I’m telling you, it can be the same with boys as it is with girls,” he said…. If you try it you’ll like it.” 

“I don’t know,” I said looking out the window… I’d recently turned twelve, and I wasn’t even sure it was possible for me to feel good in the way he described.   

“Believe me, you’ll like the feeling,” he said.  It feels better than anything else in the world.”   

I have to admit I was curious.  And obviously I really liked Ronald and wanted to make him happy.  Even more than that, I didn’t want to disappoint him.  He had done so much for me.  I didn’t want him to go away, like he said he might.  Then the autograph signings and special appearances would go away.  He wouldn’t be there to ride bikes and play football, or tell me he was proud of me.

Ronald put his hand on my crotch.  I squeezed my legs together and looked at him, still unsure.  He smiled at me like he had so many times before.  But he looked different to me now. 

“You trust me, right?” he asked 

“Yea,” I said.  I did trust him.  But I felt weird and a little scared too. 

“I want to show you that a man’s mouth can feel just the same as a woman, “he said.  “There’s no difference.”  … “Pull your pants down.”  

I didn’t want to lose everything he had given me.  And so I did.  He put his mouth on me.  I got hard.  I didn’t know where to look or how to feel.  I squirmed against the back of the seat.  He kept on going, getting into it.  I hoped it would be over fast.  Then it happened.  I came.   

…. “You okay?” he asked, rubbing my thigh.

“I guess,” I whispered, still not wanting to look at him.  

…As we pulled up in front of my house,… Ronald put his hand on my shoulder before I could climb out of the car.  “Remember, Todd, this is our secret, right?”

…“You’ve got another autograph signing in Agoura Hills next weekend.  … I already told your mom that I can take you.  We’ll have fun, right?” 

Does any of this sound familiar in the Long allegations?  It does to me! 

I remember when I was about the same age visiting with a friend of my father’s.  My dad had a date and left me over this guy’s house who was a preacher himself.  He name is Clifford but he called himself “Prophet.”  He was weird too in that he had fish bowls with water and money in them instead of fish. He had incents and candles all over his apartment.   I even remember him smacking the butts of his teenage daughters in front of me and saying, “Look at her Chris, she has a nice fat ass doesn’t she?”  I thought this was off to say the least though I was just a kid.  Still I knew him since I was a little boy and respected him as an adult friend of my father whom I respected. 

We were sitting on his couch watching the game show, “Family Feud.”  Richard Dawson the original host was still hosting at the time.  This was around 1979.  Those of you who remember the show will recall that the pervert Dawson made it his business to kiss all of the women contestants.  I joked with Prophet about the one episode where the host leaned over and almost kissed a man.  Prophet’s response to me was, “What’s wrong with that?”   I said something to the effect of, “That’s a man kissing another man.  That’s what’s wrong with it.”  I was 12.   I didn’t know anything about homosexuality nor was heterosexuality an experience of mine though I knew I liked girls.  

Prophet didn’t stop there however.  He continued, “A man can make you feel just as good as a woman.  Have you ever heard of anal sex?”  

It’s not like it is now.  I didn’t know what an anal was; let alone anal sex.  But he described it fully to me.  Afterwards, he put his arm around me, chuckled a bit and said, “You’re going to be alright son.” 

After that I was not only embarrassed but extremely creeped out by this predatory nasty ass child molester.  I made my way to the front door and took my behind outside to walk the apartment complex till my father pulled into the driveway.  I told my dad what happened and told him to never take me there again.  

In reading Bridges book I can see how his life was totally messed up by his experiences with Ronald the child molester.  And I am thankful that I was not counted among those taken advantage of sexually by such a menacing figure.  But you see my point by now I hope. 

In the eyes of the law, time will tell.  But conventional wisdom tells us that all of these dudes aren’t just making these things up about Bishop Long-stroke.  The evangelical church experience tells us that the atmosphere where leaders use position and power for their own lust is pervasive.  And from what I hear from the accuser’s own attorneys about phone records, gifts, and single hotel rooms around the world it’s going to be ugly.  And while I realize that these young men are older than 12, the pastoral office makes it just as significant.  

Let me be clear.  I never liked or disliked Bishop Eddie Long.  I never understood his apparent need to draw attention to his flesh by wearing tight shirts and suits while in the pulpit.  I thought the attention should be on the Word of God when it’s being presented, not the biceps and triceps of a preacher appearing to be on HGH.  All that aside, I wrote about this situation because it honestly hurt me.  It hurt me that a man with such power and position within the black community and in the nation for that matter, would take advantage of young men who are impressionable with regards not only to life, but to a charismatic and powerful figure that appears to take an interest in them.  

I could care less if Eddie Long is a homosexual.  Though that would say something about the message he preaches against it.  Still, that’s between him, his wife and his congregation.  What is bothersome to me is him taking advantage of young and tender men under his spiritual charge who were obviously vulnerable.  A predator who uses God and spirituality as a means to bag prey is the worst kind of predator in my view. 

I wonder how many more will come out of the closet.  I wonder how many won’t. 

As a friend of mine and I discussed, in our experience as God fearing brothers, God always gives us plenty of chances to quit our most heinous sins before He ‘outs’ us publically.  So what this tells me is that this has been an ongoing dilemma.  

And just like David when he killed Uriah and took his wife in the Old Testament, the cover up is often worse than the crime itself.  Because, in this case by lawyering up and denying it all, he abuses them twice. 

I do know this.  Church folk better wake up and stop putting all of their power in these ministers as if they are the way to God.  A real minister of the gospel will never allow so much attention and glory to go in his/her direction!

See various articles from the Atlanta Journal Constitution regarding Eddie Long-stroke.

Message to the Tea Party.. What you mad?

I didn’t write this but received it in an email.  A perfect letter to the so called Tea Party!

They sould call themselves the NazTea Party!

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, now you get mad!

You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed..
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq .
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when, using reconciliation; a trillion dollars of our tax dollars  were redirected to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage which cost over 20 percent more for basically the same services that Medicare provides.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark.

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans… oh hell no.

BUT YOU ARE 100% MAD BECAUSE WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT.

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

 

Leave It To The State Of Mississippi To Cancel A Prom Over This!

This 2009 photo released by Constance McMillen's family via The ACLU of

BB&G Comment:

It’s one thing for the administration not like it; I mean you have to really work to actually state in a rule who a student can or cannot bring to a prom.  That’s #1 and there is enough meat here to heartily criticize the powers that be.  But in addition its another to ruin the prom for every other deserving student who’ve earned this high school ritual!

Miss. school prom off after lesbian’s date request

By SHELIA BYRD, Associated Press Writer Shelia Byrd, Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. – A northern Mississippi school district will not be hosting a high school prom this spring after a lesbian student sought to attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

The Itawamba County school district’s board decided Wednesday to drop the prom because of what it called recent distractions but without specifically mentioning the girl’s request, which was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The student, 18-year-old high school senior Constance McMillen, said the cancellation was retaliation for her efforts to bring her girlfriend, also a student, to the April 2 dance.

“A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this, so in a way it’s really retaliation,” McMillen told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson. Calls to McMillen by The Associated Press late Wednesday went unanswered.

School policy requires that senior prom dates be of the opposite sex. The ACLU of Mississippi had given the district until Wednesday to change that policy, arguing that banning same-sex prom dates violated McMillen’s constitutional rights.

Instead, the school board met and issued a statement announcing it wouldn’t host the event at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.”

The statement didn’t mention McMillen or the ACLU. When asked by The Associated Press if McMillen’s demand led to the cancellation, school board attorney Michele Floyd said she could only reference the statement.

“It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors,” district officials said in the statement. “However, at this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students.”

Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said the district was trying to avoid the issue.

“But that doesn’t take away their legal obligations to treat all the students fairly,” Bennett said. “On Constance’s behalf, this is unfair to her. All she’s trying to do is assert her rights.”

Itawamba County is a rural area of about 23,000 people in north Mississippi near the Alabama state line. It borders Pontotoc County, Miss., where more than a decade ago school officials were sued in federal court over their practice of student-led intercom prayer and Bible classes.

Anna Watson, a 17-year-old junior at the high school, was looking forward to the prom, especially since the town’s only hotspot is the bowling alley, she said.

“I am a little bummed out about it. I guess it’s a decision that had to be made. Either way someone was going to get disappointed — either Constance was or we were,” Watson said. “I don’t agree with homosexuality, but I can’t change what another person thinks or does.”

Other students are on McMillen’s side.

McKenzie Chaney, 16, said she wasn’t planning to attend the prom, but “it’s kind of ridiculous that they can’t let her wear the tuxedo and it all be over with.”

A Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a date to the prom, and one requirement was that the person must be of the opposite sex.

The ACLU said McMillen approached school officials shortly before the memo went out because she knew same-sex dates had been banned in the past. The ACLU said district officials told McMillen she and her girlfriend wouldn’t be allowed to arrive together, that she would not be allowed to wear a tuxedo, and that she and her girlfriend might be asked to leave if their presence made any other students “uncomfortable.”

McMillen said she feared she would be thrown out of the prom because “we do live in the Bible Belt.”