The Hate That Hate Produced (Part Duex)

Dog Whistle Politics:  It means putting out a message that, like a high-pitched dog whistle, is only fully audible to those at whom it is directly aimed.  The intention is to make potential supporters sit up and take notice while avoiding offending those to whom the message will not appeal.” – The Economist 

History sure has a way of repeating itself… over and over again.  Especially in an area where honest dialogue never existed.  When it comes to race, America remains for the most part in a state of cowardly denial, is willingly senile, operating within a glass bubble, exposed, but unaware.  As the Trump train powers through American politics and discourse, I am most amused by the rock throwing/hand hiding of not only the other GOP candidates, but many of their supporters who ‘act as if ‘they are put off with The Donald and his rhetoric.  I’ve spent the last eight years attempting to dialogue with them as the Obama presidency continued to reveal the obvious underbelly of white racial rage.  But all I heard was that I was making something out of nothing.  That I was race baiting.  I understand that in many cases privilege is a helluva blinder.  Anytime privilege of any kind is threatened, it feels like discrimination to the preferred beneficiary.  This is true with not only race, but gender, sexuality, class and so forth.  The Obama presidential campaign in 2007 brought to bear the threatened privilege of White America’s fear of Black progress in a post slavery post Jim Crow nation.  As the rhetoric spewed in the months leading up to November the scene played out in both a Twainian and Shakespearean fashion.

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968, you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced bussing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” — Lee Atwater, Republican Party Strategist  1981

Reagan

This was how it was during the Reagan era.  From the day he announced his campaign on Sunday August 3, 1980  in Philadelphia, MS of all places, he looked to perfect the art of Dog Whistle Code Speech.  In case you didn’t know, Philadelphia, MS in Neshoba County, was the same town where three young civil rights workers; a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24 were murdered on June 21, 1964. The three young men were chased in their car, abducted, shot at close range, then buried in an earthen dam by the local Ku Klux Klan.  The very location indicated a message that Reagan was sending to his white conservative audience.  He chose a significant place where the empirical history of White Supremacy reigned.  In his speech he wasted no time in mentioning ‘welfare reform.  He continued to wax eager the virtues of ‘states rights.’  

I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there. – Ronald Reagan 1980

States Rights/Decoded = A reference dating back to the conflict of the Civil War between the Union and the Confederate.  The Confederate believed it was the rights of states to decide whether they wanted to own slaves and endorse slavery as an institution.  Southerners who preferred slavery, and subsequently Jim Crow and segregation laws believe the federal government overstepped it’s bounds in undermining what they feel were their ‘states rights.’

Welfare Reform/DecodedA term directed towards poor or middle class whites intended to focus them on poor minorities.  Its purpose is to describe said minorities as ‘takers,’ who are lazy, unmotivated and unproductive while draining the economy, thus making it harder on white people, who are in turn hard workers.  It says nothing of the statistics regarding the percentages of actual welfare recipients.  It only assumes minorities, specifically black folk are the takers.  It’s also limited to individuals, not taking into account any corporations or corporate executives who may benefit from government ‘subsidies.’ The difference in the words ‘subsidies’ vs ‘welfare’ directly determines the response of the hearer. 

Over the last 35 years or so, the dog-whistle style worked pretty well.  Nixon, Reagan, Bushes 1 & 2, and even Clinton benefited from using coded language to project a narrative.  But something happened when Barack Obama became a serious candidate for president.  Coded language slowly began to give way to a more bold and ballistic approach as White anger and fear that the person who would become the face and symbol of leadership in these United States of America could be a black male.

Billboard_Challenging_the_validity_of_Barack_Obama's_Birth_Certificate

One of the first series of racially motivated attacks was the so called ‘birther movement’s’ questioning of Obama’s status as a United States citizen.  Many Whites including now GOP front runner Donald Trump riled that Obama was born in Kenya, East Africa as opposed to Hawaii.  Trump went on to say that he had investigators in Hawaii that would prove conclusively that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii.  Hillary Clinton’s supporters jumped in as well questioning the origin of Obama’s citizenship.  In spite of there never being such evidence presented by Trump, so many White Americans latched on to the conspiracy theory, that it became a thing; so much of a thing that eventually the White House released a copy of the ‘long form’ certificate.  This would not satisfy those who were set on believing that since the day of his birth Barack Obama was raised from birth to infiltrate the White House, take White people’s guns and make America a Muslim state, overturn the constitution and replace it with Sharia Law.  That brings us to our next conspiracy theory; which is that Obama is not a Christian.

In spite of 2016 being the last year of the second term of the Obama presidency, 43% of Whites still believe that Obama is a Muslim. This despite all of the evidence that supports the opposite.  The Obama’s were members of Trinity United Church of Christ for years.  They were married there, and both of their children were baptized at Trinity as well.  Despite that fact that there is no way in hell in 2016 that Obama could possibly hide a Muslim connection, (past or present) this suspension of reality for these White naysayers are simply ways to ostracize Obama to a group that they despise and are afraid of.  They cannot embrace Obama’s Christian faith without embracing him as their spiritual brother.  To continue the lie that he is something other than a Christian, gives them a self deceiving legitimacy in not taking him seriously, rather dismissing every word from his mouth, his authority and even his presence.  No other president or presidential candidate has ever had his/her faith questioned.  Is Christianity even a question now among any of the candidates?

During the McCain/Palin campaign the racial overtones became more and more emboldened.  Palin spoke divisively accusing Obama not being an American, like the White crowds in her audience. She linked Obama with terrorists.  The crowd in turn shouted epitaphs such as, ‘terrorist, off with his head, and kill him!”   It got so ugly and threatening that even McCain himself tried to temper the racial rhetoric by defending Obama as a ‘decent person, a decent family man and a citizen,’ the crowd booed him.  McCain tried to reason with the crowd and get the focus on Obama’s views as opposed to his race.  “We want to fight, and I will fight,” McCain said. “But I will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments, and I will respect him. I don’t mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean to say you have to be respectful.”  McCain was booed again.  What, respect a black man who has the audacity to think he can be OUR president?

Once it became apparent that Obama did indeed win the election and was going to be sworn in.  The rage was real and lay bare expressed through cable news channels.  Critics like Rudy Giuliani became one of the go to guys for disparaging anything Obama.  No matter what the issue was or what The President said or did.  Echoing the voices of White rage the GOP took note to follow the script of de-legitimizing Obama.  The racial rhetoric was starting to become less coded.  The utter disdain utterly vicereal.  Here is a round robin list of just a few examples.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  2008

South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson“YOU LIE!”  * Shouted during the middle of Obama’s first State of the Union Address.  2009

Newt Gingrich“President Barack Obama deserves to be called, ‘the most successful food stamp president in American history,’ because “47 million Americans are on food stamps.”  2012 *The food stamp reference feeds into the notion that Reagan fed into during his election that black folk were the major recipients of government assistance were poor black people.  This made white people resentful of their own perceived lack of success.  The poor people are takers.  The takers are black.  This despite that fact that when Gingrich made this statement in 2010, only 8 percent received cash welfare, while 30 percent had earnings.  Nearly half of food-stamp beneficiaries are children under 18, and about 8 percent are elderly. About 34 percent of beneficiaries are white, 22 percent are black, 17 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian or Native American, and 20 percent “race unknown.”  Gingrich knew that his audience would interpret the myth of who welfare recipients are.  The face of welfare is a black face.

Finger

After initially saying she would not meet President Obama at the airport, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met The President with a never seen before confrontational finger to the face!

47 Republican senators committed treason against the United States by sending a letter to Iran intending to hinder Obama’s negotiations with Iran regarding a nuclear arms agreement.   2015

None of these extraordinary examples were credited to Obama’s color according to his White detractors.  Even the mantra of, ‘take our country back’ was said to be benignly focused on politics. Instead, any mention of race at all was turned on Obama’s head as being the racist.  Ben Stein called Obama, “The most racist president in American history.”  This despite the fact that previous presidents owned slaves, supported Jim Crow laws and had ties to the KKK.  Anytime Obama mentioned racial injustices such as the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin, and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman, he was accused of stirring up racial animus.  If he showed empathy to anything black, he was accused of favoring Blacks.  The irony is, that when Obama acknowledged the dog-whistle style of criticism himself, saying, they (Republicans) are trying to scare you because I don’t look like the other presidents on the dollar bill,” he was accused of playing the race card.  In other words, it was perfectly acceptable for whites to infer to Obama as the Food Stamp president.  They could say, “let’s take America back,” as if he stole it and hid the nation in a crack house somewhere.  They could freely claim all day long that race had absolutely nothing to do with their choice of words.  And yet for him to mention race at all in a fashion that didn’t denigrate black people made him a racist himself, and therefore a threat to White people.

Now we have come full circle.  The conundrum that the GOP face today is that those racial undertones and sub-tweets of rhetoric have come home to roost.  What Donald Trump says openly is what the GOP has established itself on in code that Atwater so eloquently spoke of.  Though Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and others have tried to separate themselves from the niggerization of Trump’s politics.  But they can’t escape the liable they are responsible for.  Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father is responsible for some of the most racially charged diatribes on record.  As Cruz ran for the Senate in 2012, he said, “We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. Back to Kenya.”  Ask Ted Cruz, or any other republican if his father’s statements have anything to do with race. Trump would not only acknowledge the obvious, he’s encouraging the white rage by asking his crowds to beat up black people at his rallys.  Law enforcement authorities are arresting the assaulted instead of the ones committing these assaults on national television.  Its to the point now, that as D.L. Hughley said, “If Trump says the N-Word, he going to be president tomorrow.”  Michael Eric Dyson noted that if LBJ’s motto was, ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ For the mainstream GOP the mantra has been for Obama, ‘The Buck Must Be Stopped.’

The GOP would like to make you believe this poisonous racial environment and Trump’s political success isn’t on them.  But it absolutely is.

Memo to those:

When you called Obama weak, while he is out here killing Bin Laden, as well as other key figures in Al Qaeda and ISIS.  You are ungratefully biting the hand that has kept you safe.

When you say that other nations don’t respect us.  What you are really saying is that YOU don’t respect the president.

When you say he is a con man, you are saying he doesn’t act like your stereotypical image of what a nigger is.  (And that he is smarter than you! For his accomplishments have surpassed yours by leaps and bounds)   Those who haven’t had ONE good word to say about this president, in 7 years is fooling no one but themselves.

The birth of Trump is merely the product from 7 years of racially ejaculatory motivated hate.  Quoting Michael Jackson is not appropriate.  The the kid is definitely your son!

 

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Sermon on The Mount, or Cee-Lo’s Revenge!

I do not plan on speaking much on this election.  I hope to say what I have to now and not much after this.  Truth is, regardless of who won we have great challenges in our nation and we have a lot of work to do.  No need to recite all the details regarding the economy, jobs, education, the military and so forth.

Still, I don’t mind acknowledging that this election was different than any other I have been involved in. The first time Barack Obama was elected it was special.  It was unbelievable to me. I never thought I would see a person of color in the White House.  And for those thinking that’s all I’m about, you would be wrong.  In other words, I could have voted for a Colin Powell presidency, while Clarence Thomas’ supreme court appointment and Herman Cain’s candidacy can go kick rocks!  Most people who look like me can joyfully celebrate accomplishments by people of color from a historical perspective of where we’ve come from, but we are not hung up on color for the sake of color sake.  As the old folks used to say, “Everyone who’s my skin folk, ain’t necessarily my kin folk.”  I voted for The President the first time because I believed in his vision and what he stood for.  His skin color was a caveat, not even close to a deciding factor.

That being said it wasn’t hard at all to recognize and understand all of the racist vitriol surrounding the White House since Obama was elected four years ago.  From the beginning as surprised as I was that he was elected, for racist Caucasians, they were equally enraged.  Rush Limbaugh exclaimed, “I hope he fails!”  Joe Wilson went ballistic with his “You lie!” blast in a display of disrespect to the office never seen before.  Mitch McConnell let it be known that his #1 priority was making The President a one termer.

jan-brewer-points-finger-at-obama

John Boehner stood opposite whatever President Obama stood for, even if Obama changed to Boehner’s position.

The First Lady couldn’t even promote fighting childhood obesity without being attacked.

Jan Brewer put her finger in the face of The President as if she was ready to scrap!

I could go on.  But let me get to my points.  I’m exhausted.  The President, myself and a whole lot of black folks, progressives etc. have taken a lot of shit over the last four years.  We have heard it all.  Now it’s our turn.  Others can say what they need to, but I will speak for myself!  In my Cee Lo Green voice, I present “F#@! YOU” notices to the following:

Mitch McConnell: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Try working for the American people and not against the black guy for a change!

John Boehner: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Focus more on helping our nation and less on your tan!

Rush Limbaugh: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Looks like YOU failed! Send your Mexican nanny to the pharmacist for more drugs you fat assed blubbering dope fiend!

Todd Akin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Guess the women of Missouri “did that thing” to shut your ass down!

cat

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Yep I said it.  You have toured the nation perpetrating the fraud about a “Black Agenda” while you never asked Bush, Clinton or any other president to do the same. My president cares for all people… including black people.  It was insulting and ignorant that you tried to lay ever problem within the African-American community as his feet and expect him to focus on those and those alone.  You both are frauds!

Fox News: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Hey look at it this way, your ratings will remain steady with the racist who will tune in and hear you whine, lie and avoid the real issue which is that White male domination is blowing away with the wind.  Another generation and a half, and you may only have 7 viewers listeners using a CB radio!

Sara Palin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  How’s that for “shuckin’ and jiving?”

Business Owners who threatened their employees: That what foul what you did trying to intimidate your workers.  Quite desperate too!  None of Obama’s policies hurt your businesses especially.  You get every tax break in the world!  If you fail, its more likely because of your shotty business decisions. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

People who said Colin Powell voted for Obama because he was black:  Yea, how many of you voted for McCain and Romney because they were white?  Yea that’s what I thought…. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Republicans, those who tried to disenfranchise minority votersThem days are over!  We aren’t allowing you to get away with that any longer!  Get a clue!  You lost in every court, including the Supreme Court!  And the only people who were caught attempting to commit voter fraud were REPUBLICANS!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! 

Franklin and Billy Graham: (And all the other radical white and black evangelicals) You actually sold out your Christianity for racism.  I guess you can put Mormonism back on the cult list now!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Mitt Romney: Oh yea I ain’t forgot about you geechie!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!… sincerely the 47%!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 4:20 flight to catch to Denver.

FirstFam

Holla!

Catching Up With Charlie Bubba

**Parental Discretion Advised

Been a long time since I caught up with my old friend from the neighborhood.  For those not familiar, Charlie Bubba is an old timer from East St. Louis who was a friend of my father’s.   A street philosopher if you will, Bubba has a funny way of seeing politics, religion, and just life in general.  Normally I catch up to him say once a quarter.  But with my schedule it’s been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to get his opinions on the comings and goings of America and the world.

I saw Charlie at Lincoln Park over the weekend.  As usual he had his potions with him.   And I brought a little something myself.  He was glad to see me; and I him.  So after exchanging pleasantries, and toasting a sad goodbye to the two young children shot to death by their mother a few days ago, I pulled out my recorder to get the latest. 

Me:  CB.  What have you been vibing on lately?  What you wanna talk about?   Jobs, POTUS… 

CB: The president?  You mean Beohner’s Bitch?  Ha!  That’s what I call’em.  I swear I think he must have some compromising photos of Bama or something. Cause he is one compromising negro!  I mean got’damn.  He’s the POTUS!  How you gone let a mufucka tell YOU when to announce a fucking jobs bill?  Security?  Shit.  He’s the fuckin president.  You got secret service under the bed when he’s doing Michelle.  You control security.  You spose to be running the motherfucker!  You don’t let congress tell you what the fuck to do.  Now he put his self up against the NF fuckin L.  On opening fuckin night!  Dumb!  You think imma be lookin at his ass?  Imma tell you what I’m gonna do.  Imma be lit up at the spot with some Henney in one hand, and some ribs in another, seeing what kinda JOB the Packers gone do against Breese nem’.  Shit.  I’ll catch up in the morning.  He’s putting himself last so imma put him last. 

Me: I heard they may move the speech up a bit time wise.  But speaking of Michelle.  Do you think she speaks her mind or shares her opinion on these things?  What do you think she thinks?

 CB:  Imma tell you what she thinking.  She’s thinking do she want to keep the drapes she’s got in Chicago when she moves back in 2012.  She’s thinking about what school she wants to send her daughters to.  That’s what she’s thinking.

 Me:  So who’s going to challenge?

 CB: Shit I don’t know.  Anybody with a back bone for starters!  In this country nowadays.  It’s who ever talks the most shit no matter how ignorant.  I guess Mitt or that Ken Doll country preacher lookin dude. 

 Me: Rick Perry?

 CB: Yea that mother fucker.  He’s a scary son of a bitch too.  Just on the gay thing a while ago he was like New York can do its own thing.  States rights shit.  Then after the fact, signs the marriage act.  He don’t know whether he wants to be a preacher or a politician.  Hell I guess they both the same right?  And what the fuck he talkin about he would do the fed chairman in Texas?  After he supported him?  He ain’t shit.

 Me: What about Palin?  Is she getting in or not?

 CB: Palin… oh that bitch is fine ain’t she?  I’d tap that Alaskan ass.  (laughs hysterically)  But she ain’t givin it up is she?  She is the ultimate dick tease.  Ridin buses every other month talkin shit.  ‘Imma run… maybe… maybe not.  Imma suck ya dick, no I ain’t.  Imma let you get it…. SIKE!’  Attention whore!  She should thank McCain every day for putting her on the squad.  I’d like to see her and Bachmann in a debate though.  Bet Bachmann would bitch slap her silly ass.

 Me:  But Palin knows bows and arrows.

 CB: Touché mother fucker!  (laughing) The point is that irregardless, they should do a reality TV where all them fuckers are in the house like The Bachelor or something.  You know some Survivor type shit.  Let America vote.

 Me:  (laughing)  I feel you on that.  Then throw Gadhafi  in the mix too!

 CB: Oh hell yea!  Is he the emperor with no clothes or what?  Talkin about, “I’m in charge.  Ya’ll keep on fighting.  I know they ran me out the crib.  Took all my guns, swam in my pool and stole my goat skin silk sheets and shit.  But I will not be denied.”   That dude been in the palace too fucking long.  That’s probably how Castro would act.

 After a few more sips and laughs I asked Charlie Bubba what else had his ear in the news besides the obvious.  He thought for a second and then his eyes brightened. 

 CB: Oh yea!  White chicks gone missing.  I ain’t even going there on how they report when blonde women goes missing vs. Blacks or Mexicans.  Fuck that.  What I wonder is when they show all these news reports about who dunnit, why and all that shit.  They never have a mother fucker on there saying, “Hey stupid bitches – stop meeting mother fuckers on the computer box and leaving the country with them!  Niggas is crazy.  You might get killed! I mean what these gals think gonna happen to them?  In these days and times?  Got-damn where they get their decision makin skills from?  They give the sob stories, but never talk about the dumb ass decisions in the first place.  That’s what they need to be talkin about.  Do a whole special report on it!  Have Soladad or Coop do a special on it.  They can call it, “Dumb bitches meet a man in public a few times, meet his friends, parents and shit then leave for Aruba.”  How about that?

 Me:  That’s kinda hard Bubba.  But I get your point.

Soon after that it was time for me to go.  Charlie Bubba’s getting old and not looking as good these days.  Physically, life has taken its toll.  But his mind is still sharp and his opinions haven’t waned a bit.  I wished him well and told him to stay up.  His last words…

CB: Flyers got that ass spanked in Georgia last week.  (East St. Louis Football Team) (Coach) Sunkett is dumb.  He shakes hands with the other coaches when he wins but walks off the field when he loses.  What he may not realize is that if any school ask the conference for tapes, they get them.  Cause everybody hates him for embarrassing these White schools.  Period.  They got that whip though again though.  Hope the kids be eligible so the state won’t fuck them over again.  Imma check them out tonight.  Playin some school from Kansas.  We’ll see.  If it ain’t one thing it’s another.

ME: Later C-Bubba

CB: C-Mac my dude!

 

The Ali Shuffle, The Ropodope:, Or Random Thoughts of The Week of The President

I’m just wondering what it’s been like to be the Commander-in-Chief over the past week. 

Obviously it takes a special person to be president of these United States.  I’m reminded of Seth Meyers’ comments at the White House Correspondence dinner the other night when he talked about how Michelle Obama looks even better today than she did during inauguration; while the president was looking a bit aged.  Said Meyers’ to The President, ‘If your hair gets any whiter the Tea Party is going to endorse it!”

With crazy gas prices, Gaddafi Gate, two wars, budget deficits and ‘birther’ bashing led by ‘The Donald’, President Obama has definitely been taking some lately.  But like Sugar Ray Leonard in Leonard/Hearns 1, and Jordan in the 4th quarter of a pivotal playoff game, Obama put some work in that dazzled supporters and critics alike!  He proved once again that in the world of politics, sometimes it only takes a little to turn shit into sugar.  Just a few days revised this President’s potential legacy from pre-lame duck to WFT just happened.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Thursday April 29, 2011:

Obama releases long form birth certificate:

Though I was initially conflicted by this decision, I can’t help but believe that the ends justify the means.  While most Americans understood that the birther movement was a ridiculous play on race, and that Donald Trump was behaving like an idiot, some gullible yet well meaning citizens may have started to believe it was an issue.  The rules of basic propaganda are that if one repeats a lie long enough many will take it for truth.  The media gave coverage as if it were possibly legitimate.  And so as to not allow it to continue to be a distraction the administration put it to rest – thus shutting the mouths of birthers for good.  Now the question of citizenship and conspiracy of his mother in 1961 (I know it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it) are permanently put to rest.

The Obamas visit Tuscaloosa:

Unlike the previous presidential initial reaction to Katrina, Obama got to Alabama pretty quickly after one of the most devastating tornados in our nation’s history.  The Midwest has experienced tornados, storms and lots of flooding.  Unfortunately this is not new to us.  But what has happened in The South last week is on another level.  When I saw the footage of the tornado that hit Alabama, it seemed as if it were actually alive as it reeked what seemed like intentional angry destruction.  It’s expected that federal dollars will be given to aid with the rebuilding of these devastated communities.  But having The President’s presence there so quickly was encouraging to many.  He showed himself to be in touch with the suffering of his citizens.

April 30, 2011: Obama roast Trump at Correspondence Dinner:

I can’t get over the timing of this event.  ‘The Donald’ was brashly on television trying to perpetrate a fraud with this certificate thing.  He even threw in some racial basketball and affirmative action shots to boot to question the president’s intelligence.  Unfortunately on a typical day, the president can’t just respond to some reality TV hack whose major decisions have to do with evaluating the job performances of Little John, Hulk Hogan and Gary Busey.  But on this once yearly occasion the president is free to get off on anyone he chooses, and still remain presidential.  And as long as it’s funny it rocks.  The fact that Trump was arrogant enough to show up and get some of that in person was classic.  The President straight got in him unapologetically.  And the truthfulness of his remarks made it even more hilarious.  I thought of Sergeant Waters’ comment on “A Soldier’s Story” to Peterson after Peterson smarted off at him in the barracks.  “Peterson!  I ain’t forgot cha boy.  I’m going outside and wait for you geechie!  And when you come out, I’m gonna whoop yo Black White Southern Ass.  Let the whole company watch too!  You need to learn respect for these stripes!”  Needless to say, Obama beat that ass … in front of the whole company of the same people Trump previously spouted off in front of, the press.

 

On top of that he got it from Seth Meyers too!

May 1, 2011: Obama leads military in killing Bin Laden from the Situation Room of The White House while pre-empting Trump’s show:

Is this karma at the utmost or what?  And while I doubt that it was purposely timed to cut The Donald’s balls in the ratings department, I do know it to be ironic at least.  Even with all of the information and misinformation coming to the forefront regarding details of the actual mission, one thing is for sure;  The administration was able to keep this operation completely under wraps with no leaks whatsoever as to what was going on.

And to think that in the final days of the mission the president in addition to doing all of the things mentioned earlier, also had time to stop in to film an episode with Oprah as her last guest of her 25th and final season.  So for all the smack The Donald and his birther friends talked during the last few weeks/months, the way Americans see it now,  the president was indeed doing more than playing basketball.

As was it just me or did anybody else noticed how he just  sashayed down the walkway of the podium with the swagger straight from Chicago’s South Side to announce Bin Laden’s death?

The only thing left for Obama was to quote Shaquille O’Neal:  “Hey Kobe  Donald, tell me how my ass taste!”

Finally as we hear from the right some of the cowardly remarks trying to give much of the credit to former President Bush:  While this is certainly no middle finger towards the former president, I do have to say is this.  The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.  Aaron Rodgers was the MVP.  You can try to give it to Brett Favre if you want to but that dog just won’t hunt.   Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove; none of them dudes have been in on the action for years now.  And while they were hopelessly looking in caves, Obama and his leadership team caught Bin Laden sleeping in a luxury compound. 

Since 9-11 this most notorious terrorist could have been named Osama Bin Missing.  And politics aside, The Obama administration didn’t have to roll with Mission Accomplished, or fake stories like Jessica Lynch or that criminal fakery that happened with Pat Tillman to rally Americans.  With no intent to deceive the American people the results now speak for themselves.  The president had his hands on this entire operation for the last several months.  And if he were wrong it would surely have cemented his legacy as a massive failure.  As it stands now, he will forever go down in history as the president that took out the mastermind of the worst terrorist event in the history of our nation.  Game, set match!

‘Why I Refuse To Join A Church (Part 2)

Go to church but they tease us, with a picture of a blue-eyed Jesus!  –  Ice Cube

Well, sort of.  I don’t take these lyrics from Ice Cube’s rant from his classical African-American community critique “Us” as an issue of merely color; but rather ideology.

I tried to make this point in the last church I belonged to.  Our services were tailored in a fashion that allowed us to ask questions or make comments during the sermon.  As you can imagine, that made for some memorable experiences, both for the good and not so good.  At the time George W. Bush was campaigning for a  second term in the White House.  There was a heavy religious fervor regarding that election too.  Both Catholic and Protestant organizations were galvanized similarly (if not more) than they were in 2000.

My comment during the service was that I found the election season offered at least two different Jesuses.  Immediately when I said it there were cat calls from the other members.  “Oh no, there is only ONE Jesus.”  I think they thought I was being literal.  And I found it hard to explain, as I was cut off continuously.  My point was that while most Christian churches share the same basic bible for scripture references, Jesus’ points of emphasis and agenda seemed to go down racial, class, social and political divides.

I recall visiting a prominent church in South St. Louis when the subject of the election came up.  The pastor of the church said, “I’m not going to tell you who to vote for.  But I will say that I’m not voting for someone who is for killing babies.”

I thought to myself, “Wow, I can understand Jesus being bent about abortion, but he’s not bent about torture or bombings of civilian communities?  What about all of the other injustices and crimes against humanity out there perpetrated by men for political or ideological reasons?  Is that ultimately what this election is about?”  I’ll get back to that.

Later I attended a different church for a men’s breakfast.  As usual when the subject of men come up at such an event it’s natural for the meaning of manhood and how it’s manifested in society to be brought up.  Some of the speakers made a point of making sure that homosexuality and manhood had nothing in common.  In doing so words and phrases to describe gays or being gay were slung around.  They consisted of standards such as ‘sweet’ ‘sissies’ and ‘punks’ to name a few.  Then there was the usual reference to Adam and Steve.

While all of these black macho evangelical males “amen’d” and approved of this name calling, I raised my hand and asked a question:

(Paraphrasing)

“I hear all of this name and cat calling regarding the homosexual community.  And while I respect the fact that your brand of faith entitles you the right to have your own opinion that homosexuality is a sin, do you honestly believe that Jesus would endorse the name calling that some of you are using such as ‘sissy,’ ‘punk’ or even ‘fags?’ “ 

At that point the pastor was silent.  To speak boldly like this against the precepts of leadership in a powerful black church is not something grinned upon.  But one of the elders jumped in quickly to the rescue.  With anger he burst from his seat and started spouting off scriptures in Leviticus and how homosexuality was a sin and that God didn’t like it and neither should any Christian.  He was practically foaming at the mouth from the front of the sanctuary as he looked towards my way in the back.

I reiterated:

“I’m not discussing the validity or non validation of homosexuality as a sin.  What I am asking… is that if there were homosexuals in this congregation, (and chances are there one or more among this group of men) if I were a homosexual who was struggling with my sexual identity vs. what I believe my faith allows, would your words as well as your spiritual disposition attract me to you as a source of help, or would I be repulsed, insulted or put off by your tone?  Would Jesus address a person who happens to be a homosexual with the names you choose along with your mocking tone?”  

DEAD SILENCE in the congregation.  I think some thought a fight was about to ensue.

The elder grew more angry, then shouted something else before the pastor got up and addressed my question… sort of.

“I understand what you are saying brother.  And perhaps you are right that we can do better with the name calling.  But let me be clear, homosexuality is a sin.  Now let’s move on.” 

This, among other things at that time, drew me to the conclusion that as far as the evangelical community was concerned, all God/Jesus really cared about were what I called the ‘Big 3’  Abortion, Homosexuality, and Stem Cell Research- all of which He was against.

That’s right.  Let it be known henceforth that these are the bullet points on Jesus’ hit list.  But was it really? 

The question of Jesus and the identification of his agenda have been going on thousands of years, right?  In the scriptures he seemed to identify it himself:

Matthew 16:13-15

13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is?

   14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.

   15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am?

   16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

In my estimation, this question is still the most divisive among Christian believers.  Who Jesus is- a direct result of what he endorses- stands for, evangelizes, and lives by.  As Christians (followers or Disciples of Christ) by very definition that agenda should translate into their own.  And this is where confusion and division has obviously settled in.

Let’s take it step by step.  While these are not absolute, I think we can agree that these are generally the focus, missions, and nature of Jesus, depending on the demographics and world view of the worshipper. 

During slavery a certain segment of the population believed that Jesus endorsed the enslavement of Africans which included selling, beating, raping and murdering people that Jesus/God created.  During this same period the slaves (often taught Christianity either from Catholics in Africa or Protestant enslaver in America) believed that Jesus would deliver them from their oppression. 

Similarly, during the Jim Crow and civil rights eras, The KKK (who defined themselves a Christian organization) believed as they do today that Jesus choose them to be superior, while other nationalities are inferior. Many churches, both black and white, believed that Jesus created, loves and values all men equally. 

These days we face many of the same challenges.  Some upwardly mobile church dogma believe that Jesus favors the wealthy while others believe Jesus is concerned for the poor.  

Let me give you a biblical example and how it may play out today:

John 6:5-14

5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

   6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

   7Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

   8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,

   9There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

   10And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

   11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

   12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

  13Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

   14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

 Newt Gingrich

If something like this were to happen, one side of the Christian agenda would report it this way:

Boy donates food, Jesus takes the little and performs a miracle to serve thousands.  The people rejoice.

Another Christian agenda would report it this way:

Unemployed multitude threaten to mug little righteous boy who has food.  Jesus the self-appointed welfare socialist takes the food away from the one who had in order to spread the wealth.  Claims of a miracle go unsubstantiated, but Newt Gingrich says that Jesus should face prosecution for robbery.  Sara Palin said Jesus is an illegal alien- “just look at his name”- (Pronounced Hey-Seuss) and bad for American values.  Finally, Rush Limbaugh called him “The Magic Hebrew.” 

Ok (chuckle) I’m having a little fun with this.  But you get my point.  This conversation has political ramifications, but in this context it’s not political at all. 

I have attended many of these churches during my lifetime so I speak with experience.

The evidence shows that our depiction of Jesus, given his world view, is something either given to us by others or something we decide upon ourselves- based on our own background- sociopolitical, socioeconomic and dogmatic vantage point.  Christians decide which Jesus to follow based on what they are comfortable with.  That’s right.  Believe it or not, Christians have pretty much picked their own Jesus to worship and follow based on their own accepted set of criteria.

For those living in inner cities, their Jesus cares about the poor; thought not exclusively.  For many living in upper class neighborhoods, Jesus wants you to have riches.   Many ministers I know believe and teach directly that the level that God shows his favor and blessings upon you, and the very proof of your own level of faith is a direct result of the believer’s financial status.

 Rev Ike

Some Christians promote charity and believe that government should help with social causes.  Other Christians are for cutting any and everything having to do with helping those less fortunate.  It’s happening in this country in a big way right now.  I’m not making a judgment one way or the other but more asking why is it that so-called liberal Christians believe one thing while conservative Christians believe something else entirely – while reading the same bible?

I’ve heard it said that it’s up to moderate Muslims to speak out against radical Muslims who are for violent and other unrighteous acts done in their name.  While I agree with that I rarely see Christians doing the same. 

When have you heard of moderate Christians speaking out against Pastor Steve Anderson and Rev. Wiley Drake  for praying that President Obama dies?  Have you ever been up late and night and seen those ministry programs where they offer to sell you God’s blessing for $500-$1000?

So why not just join a church that chooses a Jesus I am comfortable with?

On the one hand, that sounds kind of attractive, right?  But on the other, I’m not so sure about that.  My own personal evangelical bent lends me to believe that God, by virture of being the creator of the universe (which includes my very existence), has the authority to demand without question first and foremost that he be in charge.  If that is the case I certainly don’t need to align myself with a church that simply makes me comfortable.  Furthermore, I can’t fathom believing in a gospel that is not transferable to any and all communities in the world.   I can’t believe a message in College Park, Georgia that could not be preached in the slums of Calcutta, India just because the economic opportunities are not the same.

The bottom line in my view is that Jesus (as we know him) has been bastardized and transformed into a political football, tossed to and fro by whoever wields his name.  He’s been labeled like soup, and packaged for consumption like a Happy Meal or an Ipad too often for the purposes of manipulation, domination, or deceit.  That’s not to say all churches, ministers, or parishioners, liberal or conservative, are all bad or good.   But what is the difference in that or any other religious group that have segments that do good work?   The point for me is that following God as I want to know him is so profoundly vital to my own spiritual growth and well-being, dogmatic preferences and spiritual limitations cancel my mere desire to belong in such a  group.

Read Why I Refuse To Join A Church Part 1 here.



Catching Up on Random Rants, Part 1

You know sometimes my life is so busy, (well most of the time) I have quite a few things that I would like to burn on that I don’t get the chance to.  Most of the time it’s because I am a writer.  Instead of wanting to give a quick headline with a photo, I’m more inclined to giving a more detailed take on something.  If I don’t have time to write in detail, usually I just let it go even if I really wanted to delve in.  Well so many things are piling up I just decided to do an overall quick hit thing with topics that have caught my eye.  I’m sure I will miss some things that I thought blog worthy, but let’s just see how much I can eeek out.

CELEBRATING A LANDMARK DJ

Let me give a shout out to my man Casey Kasem who founded America’s Top 40 over syndicated radio some decades ago.  He recently retired and it made me think of my Top 40 memories with Casey. 

The program used to come on my local radion station ‘WRBR’ in South Bend, Indiana when I lived there on Saturday mornings.  I hate to date myself but I remember Casey playing, “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain and Tennille.  What I got into the most was the personality of the host (Casey) and how he would wove stories about the artist or people like me who loved the music and how it effected us.  This was told most illustrated with his Long Distance Dedication portion of the program.  This is where Casey would read someones letter about some couple who were in love, had hundreds if not thousands of miles between them, and no matter what the problem was, if Casey would play a particular song that would make it alright.  When Casey got through reading the letter, you almost wanted to cry sometimes.   One of the songs that got a lot of Long Distance Dedication play was Samantha Sang’s Emotion. 

This one hit wonder was released during the hey day of “The Bee Gees.”  The brothers wrote, produced and sang back up on the song and as a result it sounded just like one of their own.  The song is still a classic if you ask me.  That thing was number 1 for a while!  Anyway, like many Americans I looked forward to Casey Kasem’s voice on my radio every weekend.  It was just as much of a ritual for me as going to school or church.  He was a great DJ. 

Enjoy the remaing years!

STANDING UP FOR W!

After years of praising George W. Bush as a man of resolve, former vice president Richard B. Cheney now hints at a less flattering opinion of him.

I never thought I would see the day that I had to get the back of George W Bush.  But I am a principled man.  My beefs with Bush were never unwarranted nor unjust.  I only need two words to sum it up; Iraq and Katrina.  That being said I find his bumbling vice president to be even more hideous in his back stabbing of the president.  Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.  I mean just step back for a moment and take that in.  “Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.”  I mean what kind of shit is that?  This gansgter of secrecy and deceit is writing a freaking book?  Oh yea I’m sure it’s going to be forthcoming,  right?  Right!  And I saw Osama Bin Laden at McDonald’s trying out the new Angus Burger.  Get a load of what this guy let fly out of his mouth recently concerning the president, his boss.  According to a story on the washingtonpost.com,

“In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney’s reply. “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming. It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

What is really scary in this statement, “He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming.”  This confirms what many of us knew from the beginning.  Cheney was running the White House.  Bush was a miserable follower who allowed himself to be strong-armed into Cheney’s Mussolini like policies that put the nation at risk.  Later in his second term, Bush manned up some and did some things differently.  Perhaps he reflected or whatever.  It ain’t like Bush was going run again.  No since in trying to win public points.  Perhaps it was just that, reflection.

Regardless Cheney in addition to being one of the most significant GANGSTERS of American crime history in that he made so much money on American misery ala Iraq and Katrina within his company Haliburton, tortured many around the world, lied and pontificated from on high a panic that some American still believe in.  If that were not enough in the words of boxing promoter Don King he is also “a practitioner of rat-finkism!  He throws W under the bus!  A man who put him on in the first place.  I honestly don’t think I have ever witnessed a more arrogant self obsessed narcissistic person in my life!  And to think, the Republican Party is wondering why it has to resort to disrupting town hall meetings to try to find a voice in America.  It’s ridiculous. 

WHY DOES AMERICA CARE WHAT SARAH PALIN SAYS?

Palin by kps186media.

Speaking of “death panel lady” herself; why is she still on the news?  Think about it.  Before John McCain picked her to be his running mate, how many people outside of Alaska knew who she was?  Once she got on the campaign trail, what did she do or say of significance?  Since she lost the campaign, what has she said or done of significance?  I’m talking about stuff that would make her relevant and worth listening to within a leadership perspective since she wants to be a national player.  Even the job she had she quit!  I don’t think I am oversimplifying at all here.  Is the party so poor now with choices and ideas, that the standard is Sara Palin?  I would think hard core conservatives would think she was some Affirmative Action case at best.  Every time she opens her mouth its a disaster in that either she says something stupid or you don’t understand what the hell she just said.  If Michelle Obama talked like her, she and the president would be the laughing stock of the nation.  For me, it goes back to racism.  For all the stuff white folks say about excellence, qualifications or the lack thereof when it comes to black folks, Sara Palin is the ultimate trump card when it comes to what these same racist whites are willing to accept. 

vick-dungy-reid.jpg

Speaking of racism – that’s all I can think of when it comes to many of the reactions I see regarding Michael Vick.  Let me explain.  Vick’s transgressions have been well chronicled.  So there is no need to break them down further.  But this is a nation that talks out of both sides of their mouth. 

How many times do people say, “Do the crime, do the time?”  – Vick did the crime and the time.

How many times do you hear people acknowledge that we live in forgiving nation of second chances?  – And yet so many believe Vick should not play in the NFL. 

When someone says he deserves a second chance.  I’ve heard many say “I’m not saying he can’t have a job.  I just don’t think it should be in the NFL.  What does it say to the kids?” .. and all that dumb stuff.  What they are really saying is, “That nigger shouldn’t make millions in the NFL while I struggle to make my mortgage.”  So they want the man to be punished the rest of his life or live a life free of getting paid to do something that the average Joe can’t do.  That’s just good ole fashioned haterism! 

 

Then I see these people on TV with their signs.  “Hide Your Beagle, Vick’s An Eagle.”   I laughed at it myself.  Cause obviously they thought it was funny!  I saw one lady with a sign who posed for the camera while smiling.  Is this a joke to her?  Obviously it ain’t that serious except that Michael Vick when he was on top was a dark skinned black man who made a ton of money and carried himself with a lot of swagger.  Some whites in America hated that.  I live in a town where our defensive end killed a woman in a drunk driving incident, then drove drunk again.  He’s black as well, but he’s low key,  humble, and is on his way to a hall of fame career.  These fans in Philly are hypocrites.  They pick and choose.  I used to hear it said all the time, “It’s not about the crime, it’s about those who stand accused of the crime.”  Yea we are a forgiving nation alright.  Just depends on who needs the forgiving. 

The same folks who want Vick, a convicted felon to get a regular job have no problem with a convicted Rush Limbaugh making over 100 million a year to spout hate on the radio.

And best of all.. this is a Christian nation right?  These same people who preach the bible and can forgive David for impregnating the wife of one of his top soldiers Uriah and then killing him to try to cover it up and can’t forgive a man for his own sins against animals.   Uhhhh Ok… Amen.

And what is up with Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie.  I can understand the man being an animal lover.  I share that same love as I had dogs as pets most of my childhood life.  I can understand him not wanting to be burned by Vick off the field.  But he obviously thinks he can help him on the field or else he wouldn’t have signed him.  But the statement he made, “I needed to see a lot of self-hatred in order to approve this.” 

Say again?  You want the man to be repentant of his criminal actions or to hate himself?  Do you hate yourself for your sins Jeffrey?  Whatever.  If Michael Vick scores touchdowns and helps the Eagles get deep into the playoffs this year or next, Philly fan will be riding Vicks d*%#. 

That’s all I got for now… be back later with takes on Pitino and LeBron. 

Blago on Blow? I think so!

Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he considered selecting Oprah Winfrey to fill Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

What in the H – E – double hockey sticks is up with this cat?  Has he flown over the cuckoo’s nest or what? 

The Illinois governor has an impeachment trial going on.  And since he thinks it’s unfair he decided to leave the state for a host of interviews.  So far he’s laying out such gems such as he considered Oprah Winfrey for the senate seat he allegedly tried to sell.  I mean in one sense that makes sense considering she makes enough money to meet any price he may have asked – but SERIOUSLY!    Oprah? 

Not to be outdone by himself, he also compared himself to Mandela, MLK, and Gandhi.  WTF? 

Man I think this dude is doing Shrooms, LSD or something! 

He obviously does not live on this planet.  He lives in planet Blago.  A world only he understands.

I’m not sure what is more stupid – his words or the fact that some book publisher is considering whether to give Sara Palin an $11 million advance for a boring ass book about her life that she will in no way tell the truth about anyway.