Friday, July 02, 2021

Is America a Racist Country?

I never heard the term Critical Race Theory until about a month ago, when I became aware of the indoctrinated Cult of Con members whining about it on the anti-social media. So I decided to find out what manner of propaganda the Rightwing Rubes were being fed now.

Turns out it's really just a term for the study of institutional racism in the United States, a thing we ALL learned a little about in grade school (Civil War, Jim Crow). But also a subject the great depth of which I've learned much more about in recent years (the GI Bill, redlining, neighborhood covenants, etc.). Institutional racism in this country is undeniable, no matter what you call it and if that truth offends your lily-white sensibilities then suck it snowflake.

So is America a racist country? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding YES! But that doesn't make us exceptional, it makes us unexceptional, just like most all the other countries on the planet. Is there an exception? I can't think of one.

Look at what every single colonial power did to the indigenous peoples of their colonies. Look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians, what the Chinese are doing to the Uighurs, the Burmese to the Rohingya, the Turks to the Kurds and the Armenians, the Sunni to the Shia or vice versa in the Muslim world. War on Drugs & Incarceration Nation anyone? I could go on and on around the globe and back through history.

The fact is that among human societies everywhere, the dominant group with the power will marginalize any group within it's grasp. So, if it makes you feel any better, the shame of racism shouldn't be assigned to your country, it belongs to your species.

What DOES make America exceptional? It was founded not as a nation state (based on race), but as a notion state (based on ideas). And striving for that notion that all men are created equal makes America perhaps the best chance for achieving a diverse society within an inclusive and functioning representative democracy that is the human race's best hope for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Or we can continue to wallow in our exclusive racial/religious/you-name-it identities, continue to practice marginalization and destroy our Republic. It's up to you America.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Trump Leader of the Free World? Don't Make Me Cry!

Astonishingly, in the last week or so I have heard several commentators refer to Trump as "Leader of the Free World". This would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. But there is no leader of the free world anymore and there hasn't been one since Obama walked out of the White House and the America First Trumpladyte slithered in.

To be sure, George W. Bush did great harm to our standing in the eyes of our fellow democratic allies, but it was still redeemable and that's what they saw hopefully in president Obama's steady hand on the tiller. But now that the American People have shown that they're ignorant enough to elect an ignoramus like Trump once, they know that we're just foolish enough to do it again and even if Biden wins this election, the specter of another selfish Republicon winning will be in the forefront of their thoughts for a generation when it comes to establishing any long-term commitments to the international order in cooperation with the U.S.

And who has stepped into the breach and is playing Trump, Pompeo and the rest of the betrayers of our hard won leadership in the post WWII world? China. It's China that is shaping the international order of the 21st century, not the United States of America. And what is China's primary goal in these efforts? To make the world not only safe for dictators like Xi Jinping, but to make the case that one party dictatorship's like China's are better models of government than democracies like ours and those of our allies.

So don't be foolish enough to think of Trump as the leader of the free world. In fact, if we're collectively naive enough to let him foul the White House for another four years, not only will we never lead the free world again, we won't even be in it!

Please read this very informative article by the great foreign affairs writer Anne Applebaum:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/trump-who-withdrawal-china/616475/

Friday, October 23, 2020

Vos' Legislative Dictatorship

 


Robin Vos has betrayed our Republics, that of Wisconsin and of the United States of America and he must go. In 2011, he and his so-called Republican co-conspirators imposed a legislative dictatorship on the people of Wisconsin for a decade. Through grotesque gerrymandering, Vos has destroyed representative democracy in the Badgered State, inflicting one-party rule Vlad Lenin would have been proud of, that need not heed the will of We the People.

In both 2012 and 2018, the GOP retained a strong grip on both the state legislature and our congressional delegation despite losing the overall vote to Democrats. It’s estimated that in this tightly split purple state, Democrats would need to get at least 57% of our votes to have even a small chance of winning control. Gavel in and out Vos knows this and therefore, feels no need to act for our welfare or be responsive to the will of the electorate.

Founder John Adams said that the representative assembly “should be in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large”. If the founders had meant for the people to have a say in their representation only every ten years, they would have prescribed that elections be held only once a decade. Through his self-serving and power worshiping authoritarian actions, Vos has broken faith with the people of Wisconsin and the very foundation of our state, our country and our democracy and should be relegated to the trash bin of history. Vote Joel Jacobsen November 3rd!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Echoes of the Election of 1876?


I accept the reality of coincidence, but not of omens. And that's good because I just finished reading the historical novel 1876 by Gore Vidal. It was kind of a slog as the author spent the bulk of the book setting the real social, socialite and political landscape in our centennial year, at the dawn of the gilded age in New York and Washington DC through the daily activities of the fictional protagonists.
I'm glad I finished though, because unbeknownst to me the book culminated in the presidential "election" of 1876, where the totally power hungry and corrupt Grant Administration and his (already no longer Lincoln's) Republicon Party used deceit, falsified returns from swing states and dueling sets of electors to throw the outcome into Congress.
NY Gov. Samuel Tilden won both the popular vote and the electoral college and was the rightful winner. But Republicons in several states submitted alternate returns and then sent alternate sets of electors for the electoral college. An extra-constitutional commission including members of Congress and the Supreme court ultimately handed power to the loser of the election, OH Gov. Rutherfraud B. Hayes.
Totally not an omen, couldn't happen today as we still have two parties with honest actors, integrity, respect for our democratic norms and traditions and strongly committed to our Republic, majority rule and the peaceful transfer of civil power that has been the hallmark of our democracy since George Washington willing stepped down. Yeah, just a coincidence!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Open Letter to the Moronisphere

 


To all you morons out there running around willy nilly, putting yourselves and others at risk in the middle of a global pandemic and crying for getting things back to normal and re-opening the economy, Ain't Gonna Happen! Because you can't do it without us and we're not playin'.

For an economy to grow you need everyone participating to the extent of their abilities. There's a ton of us here, watching your antics, shaking our heads in disgust at your foolhardy selfishness and doing our best to keep ourselves and our circles safe, by limiting potential exposure to the virus and you idiots to extent possible and practical. We're not living in fear, we just refuse to be stupid and selfish.

And you know what? We're keeping our powder dry. We're not going out and spending our money at bars and restaurants or travel or vacations, etc. and we're not going to as long as you chuckleheads keep this nonsense going. Furthermore, the more you morons keep fueling the surge in cases, the more people will see the wisdom of our ways and folly of yours and join us in our prudence, further lowering participation in the economy and extending the downturn.

Here in the once great Republic of Wisconsin, we've become the nation's premier virus breeding zone thanks to you cretins and your so-called "leaders. The Badgered State is now ruled by a Gerrymandered Republicon Legislative Dictatorship that needn't and doesn't give two shits about the will of the people or even our very lives. The Gavel-In-Gavel-Out Authoritarians have taken zero action in the months of this pandemic to stem the tied of spread. They have stymied any prudent actions by the reasonable Governor  and the Department of Health Services to protect the people of the Badgered State, not by taking action themselves, which they could do, but by using their weaselly lawyers & Robed Judicial Hactivists on their Extreme Court. And these sniveling little cowards, afraid to be seen doing the right thing, have been encouraging you idiots to run out and save their economy, while they are in hiding!

But you don't have to keep playing stupid for this futile and deadly losing cause. This pandemic and the economic disaster it's ushered in with the help of the Trumpublicons will not end until there is a vaccine that is effective and administered widely enough to bring the spread under control. The economy will not recover until then and there is no reason for there to be tens of thousands of excess deaths in the meantime because of your antics. Because, like I said, you can't do it without us and we ain't playin'!



Thursday, October 08, 2020

Black Lives Matter - Not about your Ancestors, but the Here & Now!



I keep seeing the "I/my ancestors didn't own any slaves and you can’t fix history" argument in response to Black Lives Matter, so I feel like I have to say something because I find it to be a completely bogus and disingenuous line of reasoning.

First of all, while history is important for sure BLM is about what’s happening and keeps happening right now. This sort of “reasoning” also seeks to ignore many of the reasons for the problem of racial injustice we still face today and to falsely absolve people of their responsibility to be part of the solution. It's really not just about what you or I or our families did or didn't do. That's a self-centered perspective.

It IS about what OUR government legally sanctioned in the past, what's still tolerated now and the ongoing problems that persists today because of that history and because of current on-going conditions.

The end of slavery was in 1865, 155 years ago and was followed by the LEGAL Jim Crow era of disenfranchisement, segregation and lynching that sort of, but not really, ended in the 1960s with the civil rights and voting rights act, which was just gutted by the so-called conservative Judicial Hacktivists on the U.S. Extreme Court.

Racism is still alive and well in the brains of too many Americans and the effects of that and 400 years of oppression still strongly impact the lives of every black American alive today through the wealth gap, the achievement/opportunity gap and in the fact that they have to repeatedly have "The Talk" with their children, especially their boys about how to be very careful in public to avoid being abused or killed by police. Which just keeps happening anyway. It's an outrage!

One metric I heard several years ago and which is probably worse now after the great Recession and Covid 19, both of which disproportionately impacted minorities, is the net worth of American women. The average net worth of a white woman is over $40K. For Hispanic women, it's $1 and for black women it's ZERO. That's no accident, that is the result of government policy, OUR government. Through red lining, black were relegated to certain neighborhoods, largely in old parts of inner cities. Because they could not get home equity loans, they had great difficulty upgrading and maintaining their houses, which fell into disrepair and lost value. Covenants went with houses forbidding white owners to sell to blacks. How's that for Freedom? You couldn't sell the house You OWNED to who you wanted to and they couldn’t buy it! Blacks were excluded from social Security when it first came out.

A lot of black soldiers served overseas to defeat fascism in WWII (only to see it rise today at home). And did they get the benefits of the GI Bill? NOPE! While their white fellow veterans got the benefits to go to college and buy houses in suburbs, building inter-generational wealth and the middle class, black Vets weren't eligible. So instead of building equity and taking upwardly mobile jobs, they paid rent to build landlord wealth and took low skill dead end jobs.

One could literally go on and on with examples like this. History isn't past, we live with it every day. The gist is that our government and our society did these things, the adverse effects are on-going and as citizens of a Republic (so far) we are ALL responsible for resolving these injustices. So whatever your ancestors did or didn’t do, you don’t need to feel guilty or absolved. It wouldn’t do a bit of good anyway. What you should do that WILL do good is to stop making excuses, know the history, see the current conditions that have resulted with clear eyes and take responsibility as a citizen of our republic and demand the change that’s need once and for all, so that we can stop this endless cycle of inequality and injustice.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

My Dear White Friends

Rosewood Massacre

My dear white friends, yes violence and destruction are egregious, counter-productive and wasteful crimes, no matter who perpetrates them. But if you don't understand why they happen, not just here, not just now, but across the world and throughout history, then you need to get a better grasp on human nature.

And if you think that you would behave differently under the same circumstances with the tables turned, then you need to stop patting yourself on the back and get a better grip on reality.

Furthermore, if you believe that these events are the result of the characteristics of a particular group of humans and not the result of the conditions that they have been subjected to by other humans for 400 years and counting, then you're being extremely foolhardy and exhibiting the flawed "reasoning" of racial prejudice. Then you're part of problem, sowing the very seeds from which this destruction springs.


Tulsa Massacre