Tag Archives: discrimination

Ignorance breeds Hate

Racism, misogyny, homophobia are not inherent traits of the human DNA they spring forth from a foundation of ignorance. It is in the best interest of the powerful to ensure that the masses remain ignorant, fighting each for their piece of the crumbs the powerful leave behind. It is not until the masses come to the fairly obvious conclusion, that despite our differences we all part of one collective, humanity will we know peace and move forward as a people in a positive fashion.

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They Don’t Really Care About Us

January 21,2009 an Barack Obama an African American took the oath of President of the United States of America and many declared the end of racism. But after watching that man, despite his grace and dignity, attacked for eight years straight. After watching that man have to prove he was an American. After watching the man who led the charge to discredit his citizenship ride a way of hate and division to the White House in 2016 and his appointment of Jeff Sessions who immediately took up the task of rolling back gains made in the battle for racial equality. After seeing case after case of police brutality go unpunished. After seeing people march through Charlottesville chanting racial epithets it’s clear racism was never over. It was simply simmering underground waiting for the right person and the right time to show itself again. Don’t misunderstand as a country we have made strides and we are clearly in a better place now but we still have a long road ahead of us and there can be no doubt that there is a segment of the population, many who wield power, that really don’t care about us.

I am the victim of police brutality, now
I’m tired of bein’ the victim of hate
You’re rapin’ me of my pride
Oh, for God’s sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy…
Set me free

Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, the Cleveland, Ohio, police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, were not charged.
Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer who held Eric Garner in a chokehold before his death in 2014, was not charged.

Some things in life they just don’t wanna see
But if Martin Luther was livin’
He wouldn’t let this be

Sept. 22, 2017 Trump called on all NFL owners to “fire” all protesting players . The president also referred to the protesting players as “sons of bitches.”

October 31, 2017 Papa John’s CEO and founder slammed the NFL, blaming the league’s “poor leadership” on the pizza chain’s sales slump. “We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation

Beat me, hate me
You can never break me

1967 – World champion boxer Muhammad Ali used his worldwide star power to take a stand against the Vietnam War by refusing to enlist in the military.

1968 – After winning gold in the 200-meter sprint at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Tommie Smith raised his fist in the air alongside his teammate and bronze medalist, John Carlos. As Smith explained to ABC Sports announcer Howard Cosell, “My raised right hand stood for the power in black America. Carlos’ raised left hand stood for the unity of black America. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.”

2014 – NBA teams broke dress code rules to protest police brutality, wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups. The shirts referenced the last words of Eric Garner before he died at the hands of a police officer in Staten Island.

Beat me, bash me
You can never trash me
Hit me, kick me
You can never get me

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 3 1963- Fire hoses and police dogs were used here today to disperse Negro students protesting racial segregation.

Selma, Ala., March 7 1965 – Alabama state troopers and volunteer officers of the Dallas County sheriff’s office tore through a column of Negro demonstrators with tear gas, nightsticks and whips here today to enforce Gov. George C. Wallace’s order against a protest march from Selma to Montgomery. At least 17 Negroes were hospitalized with injuries and about 40 more were given emergency treatment for minor injuries and tear gas effects.

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of bein’ the victim of shame

When these are the institutions that govern us, when black life is disposable, when black bodies are guilty before and after being proven innocent, when there is no recourse for injustice or even a belief that injustice has been done, when these institutions actively work to push inequality, we are dealing with something much more dangerous than a personal beef with blackness. – Mychal Denzel Smith the New York Times-bestselling author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching

The 2016 election was also marked by low turnout, with tens of millions of eligible voters choosing not to participate at all. Yet there has been relatively little discussion about the millions of people who were eligible to vote but could not do so because they faced an array of newly-enacted barriers to the ballot box.  Their systematic disenfranchisement was intentional and politically motivated. In the years leading up to 2016, Republican governors and state legislatures implemented new laws restricting when, where, and how people could vote — laws that disproportionately harmed students, the poor, and people of color. In several instances, lawmakers pushing such policies said explicitly that their goal was suppression of voters who favor the Democratic Party.

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

While most of the examples in this post were of African Americans all people of color suffer from the effects of racism and discrimination   While those in the LGBT community also deal with discrimination every day.  It’s November, election season, if you’re not registered go out and get registered.  Protest and calls for equality are nice but only when our voices are heard at the voting booths can we really make a difference to those who really don’t care about us

Lyrics in italics from Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Really Care About Us

We as a country will forever be divided…Until

Another shooting. Another unarmed person of color killed. Another night of unrest. The racial divide continues to grow. Yet here’s what the dimwits who dismiss the protests taking place in the NFL and other places as nonsense and disrespectful or who say to those who do protest if you don’t love this flag get out, still don’t get. It’s not about respect for America it’s about demanding America live up to what it is suppose to be, what it was founded on. In theory if not practice in 1776.

I’m a 50 year old African American who:

Loves both humanity as a whole and America as my country.

Who respects and is grateful to the police and the job they do everyday to keep me and those around me safe.

Who has never been in any kind of trouble with the law.

Yet anytime I see a police car in my rear view mirror there is a sense of anxiety that comes over me as a person of color because at that moment I don’t know who’s in that car and what their intentions may be. That’s a feeling if you are not a person of color you nor your children will ever have to deal with and if you’re not a person of color is something you should be grateful for because the reality is it’s something people of color and their children always have to deal with.

Simply put:

Until we stop telling people to turn a blind eye, chant USA, wrap yourself in the flag and assume that 100% of the police shootings in America are justified.

Until we understand that it’s the principle this country was founded on, we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, not the flag itself that is what is worth defending and worth dying for.

Until we understands there is a problem with race in this country that isn’t going to get better by ignoring it but rather by having an open and honest discussion that leads to real solutions.

Until we stop pushing the false narrative that by calling for justice and the removal of the few rotten eggs that smear the reputation of the hundred of thousands of men and women of all ethnicities in blue who put their lives on the line to keep us safe is not an attack on the police but rather on those racist individual who simply put on but do not deserve to wear the uniform.

Until we start to do these things we as a country will forever be divided.

We are all victims

There is a reason they work so hard to change the narrative.

There is a reason they look to marginalize those who shed light on injustice.

There is a reason they look to divide our society along lines of race, religion, gender, economic status and sexual orientation.

There is a reason they disparage those who educate our youth.

There is a reason they mock intelligence and make higher education unaffordable to the masses.

It is to ensure their way of life.

It is to ensure that we never band together as one but continue to fight each other over the crumbs they toss us.

It is to ensure we are never quite educated enough to understand the game they are playing on us.

It is to ensure we remain victims.

For if we ever stood up as one educated people and said no more to racism, bigotry, misogyny and economic inequality, we would cease to be a victim and become a threat to their way of life.

Why I no longer watch Bill Maher

Bigotry – Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

Last night I was in a debate with my friends regarding my decision to no longer watch the Bill Maher show because of his bigotry toward religion in general and Islam specifically.  It seems clear to me that when it comes to Maher there can be no denying that his comments regarding Islam are at best the stereotypical misrepresentations of a group of people who number over 1.5 billion worldwide by an ill informed individual and at worst the crazy ranting of a bigot.  But is Bill Maher really a bigot? Hmmm let’s save that one for a little later. Getting back to my friends, a rather liberal group as am I, they could not fathom my decision.  After all Maher is:

A liberal like us – Yes he “appears” to be on most issues

He has used his platform on HBO to point out many of the wrongs and outright hypocrisy of those on the right – Yes he does, no doubt about that

He an atheist he detest all religion not just Islam – True, not relevant but true

Many of his guests don’t agree with him on this issue – Also true

But does any of that matter when it comes to my decision to no longer watch his show – No not really

Why? Glad you asked

Let’s take a look at the case of Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky who defied a federal court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses, on the grounds that it was against her religious beliefs.  Liberals as a whole were outraged by her actions.  But other than her bigotry toward the gay and lesbian community, and let’s be clear it is outright bigotry, what do most people know about Kim Davis.  What are her views on civil rights, abortion, stem cell research, unions, income inequality, gun control? Heck what is her favorite NFL team? We really don’t know, yes we can infer from her stand on same sex marriage what her stance may be on other issues but at the end of the day we really don’t know for sure.  Now what if we found out that she was on the same side of each of those issues as we were? What if the only issue that Kim Davis and us disagreed on was same sex marriage? Would we watch a television show hosted by her or would we be so morally repulsed by her stance on that one issue that we would tune her out.  What if Kim Davis went on the air each week and passionately defended the issues that we hold dear to our heart and had on great guest who do the same would we be willing to look past her bigotry as it relates to the gay and lesbian community?  What if 95% of her show was dedicated to defending those issues but during the other 5% she threw in her belief that same sex marriage was a sin against god would we tune in? I would venture to guess the answer is probably not.

Now there are those who would say the difference is that Bill Maher is simply expressing his freedom of speech while Kim Davis is actively discriminating against a group of individuals and if I am to be fair that is true.  But I would argue that while Maher is not actively discriminating against anyone with his rants against Islam his celebrity and his weekly HBO platform causes just as much or more damage than Kim Davis could ever have hoped to cause. Let’s take one of Maher’s more recent comments about Islam

“What we’ve said all along, and have been called bigots for it, is when there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”

Leaving aside the obvious, that those words could have easily been uttered by Bull Conner as he blocked the entry of young African American children into a school house, those words in and of themselves are damaging because they are words that undoubtedly will be used by others to discriminate against and commit violence toward worshippers of Islam. As liberals we constantly call out those on the right for their use of inflammatory rhetoric we cannot simultaneously expect a pass when we engage in similar tactics. Words are very powerful and when spoken by someone with the celebrity of a Bill Maher that power is multiplied tenfold. Simply articulated all forms of bigotry, are ultimately self-defeating on a number of levels. Talented people who have much to contribute to our society are not given a chance because of irrational considerations.  In America studies have shown over and over that when African Americans and Latinos are defined as lazy, incompetent, unintelligent, culturally deficient and lacking leadership skills, they will be relegated to a secondary status in society and not given the opportunity to advance, resulting in consequences which are real thereby justifying the original definition of their situation. The loss resulting from this unused potential is not just what could have been created or invented but also sows the seeds of discontent, social instability and unrest.  The use of bigoted rhetoric to paint an entire group of individuals as terrorist because of their religious beliefs has made it far easier for politicians in America to justify waging a war in the Middle East with little to no regard for the collateral damage it has caused. According to an academic study published in 2013 nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.  Ask yourself would we still be fighting this war if that was a half a million Christians? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html

So back to my original question is Bill Maher a bigot? Undoubtedly yes when it comes to this topic.

Does he stand for much of what I believe in? Without question he does.

Will I continue to watch his show? No because it is my belief that bigotry large and small and those that preach it must be ignored.  After all there plenty of places to go for this kind of entertainment/news/satire- Trevor Noah keep the Daily Show great.