“Didn’t Jesse Jackson say that when he looks behind him and he sees a group of young Black males walking behind him, he’s more scared than when he sees a group of White youths walking behind him. Does that make him a racist?”
Jackson had told CNN that back in the 1990s his family lived in a “drug-infested neighborhood,” where “a family member’s son was killed right in front of my house, killed right in front of my wife, a drug thing.”
Jackson said that he had been talking about “the young man” who killed his relative. “If he comes behind me, I would be afraid,” Jackson said.
“Now what Mr. Barr said is the opposite about what I meant about crime,” he said. “Those shot in Wisconsin, the killings in Ferguson and the killing in Atlanta, Breonna (Taylor) and George Floyd, all of those were police killings that had nothing to do with who was coming down the street.”
“I would love to have a conversation with William Barr,” Jackson added.
While there were some patriotic highlights of President Donald Trump’s speech this week at the Republican National Convention, I found more hypocrisy, factual errors and blatantly hostile rhetoric. Below is his entire speech, followed by what I feel were some of the most egregious comments amidst the verbiage.
“In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy. Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge. We are delivering life-saving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”
“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul; he is the destroyer of America’s jobs, and if given the chance he will be the destroyer of American greatness. For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses and told them he felt their pain. And then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands. Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”
“We have already built 300 miles of border wall, and we are adding 10 new miles every single week. The wall will soon be complete. And it is working beyond our wildest expectations.”
The alteration didn’t come from a moment of sudden spiritual enlightenment from team owner Dan Snyder who had said many years ago that a name change was out of the question; adding: “NEVER – you can use caps.”
But society is also changing. Despite the old guard claims that it’s “just a game”, American consciousness has seen that proverbial light in the darkness and gone towards it. NASCAR, for example, recently banned Confederate flags from its events; a move that has upset many White southerners. Again, the old guard is losing its grip on cultural relevance.
The word “redskin” is equivalent to slurs like nigger, gook, spic, fag, or politician. It’s seriously debasing and relegates the Western Hemisphere’s native peoples to a skin tone (which many don’t actually have) as well as to a sub-human category. In all fairness, some people of Native American ancestry don’t care either way. They don’t view the term as derogatory or racist. It’s just a word. Of course, it is! So is genocide.
Washington is now at a moniker crossroads. Obviously, they’ll keep the name Washington. But what to add to it? Some have suggested “Warriors” or “Red Tails”; the latter a reference to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II who went disregarded and underappreciated for decades.
I recommend the term “Monuments”. It’s a direct recognition of the Washington Monument, but it’s also a reference to the structure’s form and size. You know – a large, tall, long, hard, phallic-shaped emblem. Since football is such a macho sport, I feel it’s appropriate.
Regardless of whatever name Washington adopts, the time is way past due. And there’s simply no turning back. Time doesn’t stop and it doesn’t retract. It always moves forward. So should we all.
“Some folks are still trying to pretend that all of this mayhem will stop if we just let the Democrats have the White House. Well, we have the Democrats in power in Atlanta, in Chicago, in New York, in Baltimore and beyond and beyond. What’s happened?
“So, this thinking is foolish and naive. The Democrats have shown they’re utterly unwilling to restrain the hard left from seizing property and committing violence. And as for the culture wars, why would the radicals stop when they think they are winning?
“So, ignore the folks who say that it just gets better when we let the Democrats have more power.
“The only way this situation gets better is for Democrats to lose, and lose so often that they are forced to apologize for their relentless slandering of our nation’s history, and by extension, the majority of our citizens who still unapologetically love this country and still believe that it’s worth celebrating.”
White woman becomes hysterical after Black man says something to her. In decades past, that occasionally would have been a death sentence for the latter. Now, it’s almost news fodder. And with the advent of 21st century technology, it becomes a social media event.
According to Karlos Dillard, the woman cut him off on the road then flipped him the bird and called him “nigger” before following him with her car for four blocks. It was only after she saw he was recording her with his phone that she stopped.
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
– Joe Biden, former U.S. Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, in an interview on the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club”. Biden later apologized for the statement.
“It seems clear that [Attorney General William Barr] will do or enable anything to keep Trump in office. And Trump will do anything to stay there. Suspension of the election, negation of the results, declaration of martial law are not simply fanciful, alarmist or crazy things to throw out there or to contemplate. Members of Congress, governors and state legislators, leaders in civil society, lawyers, law enforcement figures and the military need to be thinking now about how they might respond.”
– Norm Orenstein, Chair of American Enterprise Institute of Public Policy Research
Donald Trump has joked recently that he might not leave office after a second term, as mandated by the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This particular amendment was ratified in response to the 12-year tenure of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The original authors of the Constitution had never intended for any elected Chief Executive to hold the position as if it were a divinely-inspired monarchy. They certainly didn’t anticipate Roosevelt, but they most likely designed the Constitution with concerns about scandalous characters like Trump. Our 45th Chief Executive made his claim about an extended presidency last month at a conference of the conservative Israeli-American Council in Hollywood, Florida. I’ve always found it oxymoronic – downright hypocritical, actually – that Trump bears such ardor for Israel and the Jewish people, while openly courting White supremacists. But that’s a different subject.
The thought of Trump holding just one term in the White House was frightening enough three years ago. That he could be elected to a second term is deeply unsettling. That he could somehow forcibly remain in the office even one day longer makes the bloodiest horror films look like Hallmark greeting card commercials.
Yet Trump is delusional enough to believe that’s a real possibility, and he has plenty of supporters who would be comfortable with such a scenario. Those of us who live in the real world understand this simply could not be allowed per that pesky 22nd Amendment. Still, even some constitutional experts have surmised Trump might make such an attempt. That would be reality TV at its worst! Richard Nixon quietly left the White House, following an impassioned farewell speech to his staff, in August of 1974. There were no guns blazing or hand grenades exploding. Nixon and his family weren’t spirited out of the White House through a tunnel to avoid angry mobs of detractors. The Nixons simply strolled onto the South Lawn, accompanied by newly-appointed President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, to Marine One. The helicopter made the loudest sound of anything. That’s how a peaceful transition of power occurs, even in the most dire and tense of situations.
With Trump, I can almost see him and his wife, Melania, scurrying through that tunnel in a setting reminiscent of Romania’s Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu. I honestly don’t believe it will ever come to that sanguineous of a climax. Yet, I wouldn’t put it past the infantile Trump to grip onto the door frame of the master bedroom.
But, while Trump’s behavior can’t be taken too lightly, another aspect of the current American experience that definitely shouldn’t be dismissed is the effect Trump’s presidency has had on his faithful minions and the sentiments that put someone like him into office. Decades of socially progressive behavior and legislation gave us Barack Obama and others like him; individuals who didn’t meet the traditional standard of those in position of power. In other words, Obama and others weren’t White males. Just a half century ago it was inconceivable that someone like Obama could ascend to the highest elected office in the land. It was unimaginable that Nancy Pelosi would be the one banging the gavel in the House of Representatives. Only a handful of visionaries thought it possible that Hilary Clinton could be a serious contender for the presidency, or that Pete Buttigieg could live openly gay AND serve in the U.S. military AND talk about having a “husband.” People born, say, since 1990 have no idea what a vastly different world it is today than in the few years before their time.
Now, it seems the nation has digressed with Donald Trump. Decades ago, Ronald Reagan aspired for America to return to a time before the 1960s messed up everything. That was a simpler time for him and others just like him. But it meant Blacks sat at the back of the bus; women sought nothing but marriage and motherhood; queers remained in the closet; and Native Americans languished as comical figures on TV screens. The 1960s may have messed up the world for the likes of Reagan and Nixon, but it opened up the universe for everyone else.
As I marched through my junior year in high school, I began receiving phone calls from a man with the local recruiting office of the U.S. Army. I believe I’d spoken to him at least twice, before my father happened to answer the phone one day; whereupon he politely told the man that I had plans for college and that he and my mother were determined to ensure I get there and graduated. Just a few years later I’d openly stated I had considered joining either the Navy or the Marines. And each time my father talked me out of it. In retrospect, I understand why.
As a naïve high school student in the late 1940s, my father had been convinced NOT to take a drafting course and instead go for something in the blue collar arena. “Most Spanish boys do this,” is how he quoted the female school counselor telling him. My father liked to draw and – much like his own father – had the desire and talent for an architectural profession. But he’d been talked out of it. Because that was what most “Spanish boys do”. College was for White guys. Trade school and the military were for everyone else.
Years of struggle – working twice as hard for half as much – and assertive civil rights action had led America to the early 1980s, when I graduated from high school. And didn’t have to join the military. In the spring of 1983, I was sitting in a government class at a local community college, when the instructor asked, “What do we owe minorities in this country?”
Seated in the row in front of me was a young man who had graduated with me from the same high school. I knew his name, but I didn’t know him personally. Without missing a beat, he muttered, “Nothing.”
Only the few of us nearby heard him. He was White, as was most everyone else seated on either side of him. From my vantage point directly behind him, he looked angry; as if he’d been robbed of something that was rightfully his.
I finally spoke up and informed the class that “this country” owes the same thing to minorities that it does to everyone else: equality and fairness; “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as prescribed in the Declaration of Independence. I added, “Nothing more, nothing less.”
That one young man and the others nearby nodded their collective heads and looked at me, as if I’d said something unbelievably profound – which, to them, it may have been.
That level of total fairness and freedom hasn’t been easy. But nothing so monumental as dramatic cultural changes are. The Civil War, for example, ended more than 150 years ago. Yet, some people in the Deep South of the United States still can’t let that go. They still insist it was a war over states’ rights, not slavery. They’ve been fighting that conflict all these years and they still haven’t won!
That’s a little of what Donald Trump’s presidency is all about: a bunch of old-guard folks wanting to maintain things as they were way back when. And it’s just not going to work for them any longer. The old White Republicans dominating the U.S. Senate disrespected Barack Obama as much as they could without making it too glaringly obvious. They did everything they could to undermine his presidency and essentially failed at every step. If anything, they only hurt the country and their reputations.
Social and political conservatives can’t return to an America of the 1940s and 50s any more than liberals can return to an America of the 1990s. Memories are forever, but time marches onward. It always has and it always will. Trump’s presidency may be the final battle cry of the angry White male.
“At this point I call the women’s marches ‘parades,’ with white women doing arts and crafts the night before. This is an event for them. It wasn’t until white women were personally affected that they came out in the millions. All of a sudden they knew how to organize. Women of color have been marching a long time.”
– Rachel Cargle, author and activist who has criticized feminist movements around the world as exclusive of non-White women.
I keep having to look at the slew of calendars I have scattered throughout the house – the National Geographic, ASPCA, military veterans and one displaying houses I get every year from my real estate friend. They all assure me of the same thing: it’s 2019 – not 1919. Or 1969. Or even 1999. Nope! It’s 2019, my friends. We’re at the end of the second decade of the 21st century. Oh wait! Yes. I had to check again: 2019 – the two and the zero being the key factors here.
I have to do this because of the recent series of tirades Donald Trump has lavished upon certain members of Congress. Would somebody get the damn phone away from him?!
As if anyone should be surprised, our Dear Leader hasn’t quieted down verbal attacks against non-Whites who dare to speak their minds against him. Via his Twitter feed while safely ensconced in the White House, he created quite a stir recently, when he assailed four alphamore U.S. congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Denouncing them as “The Squad”, he became enraged, after they criticized him for his response to the growing migrant crisis along the southern border – among other issues.
Ocasio-Cortez had already
identified herself as a socialist when she won New York’s 14th Congressional
District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs – both of which
have large non-White populations. In fact,
I think non-Hispanic Whites are so scarce in the Bronx they might qualify for
endangered species status.
Trump didn’t hold anything back when he assailed the four congresswomen (an attribute his devotees love) that, if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can “go back” to the “broken and crime-infested” countries “from which they came”. For the record, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were all born and raised here in the United States; thus making them, well, natural-born Americans. Omar emigrated to the U.S. with her family as a child; the clan fleeing their Somali homeland, as it sunk further into political and social chaos. But she is now an American citizen. Omar has been openly critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, which garners the usual cries of anti-Semitism from all sides. But a statement about the 09/11 terrorist attacks as “some people did something” makes me think suspiciously of her. Yet, one has to look at that verbiage within the context of her entire speech. To her credit, she’s also said: “I do not blame every single white person when we have a white man who massacres children at a school, or moviegoers in a movie theatre. And I think this really horrendous narrative that says, as a Muslim, I’m supposed to explain, apologize, for the actions of someone who’s also terrorizing me, is absurd.”
Now Trump has gone after Congressman Elijah Cummings who represents Maryland’s 7th District, which includes Baltimore. Describing the majority-Black area as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live”, he drew widespread condemnation from Democrats and independents. I don’t know what incited that particular discourse, but it’s obvious Trump likes to play the proverbial race card when things get rough in the political arena, which is something like, oh…100% of the time. And I’ve found that, if you go for the jugular by mentioning race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality, you’ve essentially lost the debate. You’ve run out of legitimate things to say; you’ve exhausted your gallery of facts and logical points, but you want to keep arguing because you just absolutely have to have the last word.
As I’ve stated before, not everything wrong with America is the fault of White males. But again, I have to look at one of my calendars. Seriously?! We’re still dealing with this shit in 2019?! I heard that “go back” crap when I was in high school! It was a similar comment from a fellow student that propelled me into my first and only fight in high school – towards the end of my senior year. During my alphamore year a substitute teacher said my last name is un-Christian. I took that up with the school principal before I told my parents about it. I was concerned my proud father would go to the school and want to kick some old White ass.
I heard a little less racist language while in college. Key words – “a little less”. Occasionally, some idiot would throw a “you
people” in my face, and I was just as quick to slur right back at them. By the 1990s, ironically, the people slinging
racist vitriol at me the most were Black or other Hispanics.
So, how is it that this kind of talk has worked its way
back into the mainstream? Retro may be
cool in some nightclub situations, such as retro-70s. (I try to ignore “Retro 90s” nights!) But it’s not necessarily cool with a spoken
language. Never mind that Trump’s “go
back” comment might be illegal in a workplace setting. I’m still perplexed that we’ve gone from No-Drama-Obama
to Czar Trump in a virtual blink of our collective eyes.
But, after 200 or so years of civil rights progress, it seems we’ve now started rolling backwards. To we Trump detractors, this is not news. Trump had pumped fuel into the “Birther” movement: the band of morons who questioned the birthright of President Obama. He never acknowledged he’d been wrong when he said his “researchers” had learned some odd things about Obama. Yet, he sat in the Oval Office next to Obama and called him a great man. Amazing how brave some people get when they’re behind a phone or a computer, isn’t it? It’s so different in person.
Thinking back to my high school tenure doesn’t bring back
many good memories. I was so shy and
introverted I often fell prey to bullies.
So I try NOT to think about that period.
It was so long ago anyway. Yet,
that “go back” shit slammed into my conscious harder than seeing a Windows 3
My mother used to recount the
number of times people had called her “half-breed” because her father was German-American
and her mother was Mexican. My father
told me of the day an older White woman at the printing shop where he worked
said she saw “a bunch of Mexicans” working on a lawn and thought of him. He responded by saying something like, “Well,
I saw a herd of cows in a field on my way to work and thought of you.”
A friend of mine once asked how is
it that, in such a large city as Dallas, our fathers happened to know each
“All those old Mexicans knew each
other!” I replied. “They were all crammed
into the same neighborhoods and went to the same schools. They had to stick together. It was a matter of survival.”
She’s only a few years younger
than me, and my answer seemed to surprise her.
But she understood what I was saying.
In high school – and to some
extent, even in college – I often felt isolated because I was one of the few Hispanic
kids. But I was as much American as I was
then and still am now. Some of my Spanish
ancestors were here in Texas long before the Mayflower pilgrims; my Indian ancestors
long before them. So I always pulled
that from the depths of my mind whenever some fool threw a “go back” at me.
I suspect Donald Trump’s presidency is the final battle cry of the “Angry White Male” – the withering group of individuals who still feel they should run everything and should be allowed to say what they want. But, as a mostly White male myself, I know Trump gives all White men a bad name. I’ll never criticize people who voted for him in 2016. They had that right, and it’s not up to anyone else to decide what their selection should be. I definitely disagree with a recent essay by Pastor John Pavlovitz about Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment three years ago.
But still…“go back”? I’m hearing that again? From the president of the United States? Pardon me just a moment. Yes…still 2019. Time just won’t stop or roll backwards, no
matter how much we beg.