Tag Archives: intolerance

It’s 2020 and it just a matter of time before we defeat you

I have always identified myself as African-America. I embrace who I am and where I come from.  I proudly tell anyone who listens to me that despite being stripped of our culture, our language, our very identity and sold into slavery, despite Jim Crow, despite the KKK and other groups that hate us, despite the economic and social inequality thrust upon us and a host of other roadblocks African Americans are as responsible as any other people in the shaping of America into the country it is today.

Unfortunately like many African Americans I have been called a nigger, I have had the barrel of a police officer’s gun pointed directly at my face simply for throwing a football in the backyard of a friend who happened to live in an all-white neighborhood. Despite never being in trouble with the law and not really dressing like the mythical stereotypical “threating African American male” I’ve been stopped for driving while black, stopped and frisked for no apparent reason and seen white women cross the street at night when they have noticed me. Yet my story is a little more complicated than just the color of my skin.

Adopted it wasn’t until my late 30s did I discover I was basically half white. A DNA test courtesy of 23 and me confirmed that my DNA profile is mostly Nigerian, twenty seven percent, followed closely at twenty four percent Ashkenazi Jew.  So, for the KKK I’m basically the jackpot, you know lynch one get one free. In totality I’m Fifty four percent Sub-Saharan African and Forty-three percent European. Bottom line is that no matter who my DNA traces back to I’m always going to be who I am and anyone who knows me or meets me should judge me based on my character, not the color of my skin, what religion I practice, my sexual orientation, country of origin or a host of other factors we have invented to separate ourselves from one another.

In the very beginning of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes Charleston Heston’s character Colonel Taylor wonder if that throughout the thousands of galaxies, millions of stars, if there is only one, a speck of solar dust we call Earth that has been graced or cursed by human life. He wonders if man, the marvel of the universe still makes war against his brother and lets his neighbor’s children starve. At the end of the movie the Dr. Zaius informs Taylor that he has always know about man and that he must be a warlike animal who gives battles to everything around him, even himself.  Science fiction from over fifty years ago or reality from today? Because as we are get ready to usher in the third decade of he twenty first century we are still waging war against each other, still letting our neighbor’s children starve, and still looking to give battle to ourselves. The ending of Planet of the Apes doesn’t paint a bright future for humanity, YOU BLEW IT UP, and it does not take much to suspend belief very much to see our future playing out the same way.

In the last few years America has seen a rise in hate crimes as a percentage of Americans increasingly feel threatened by anyone who does not look, sound, live or worship the way they do. It has always been a simmering but now with an administration that tacitly endorses it, remember a group that walked the streets of Charlottesville chanting the Jew will never replace us was said to have good people, it seems ready to boil over.

Now is a crucial time we as a people must guard against our own prejudices and make no mistake no matter who we are we all have some prejudices dwelling with-in us. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided.  I have heard a few of my Jewish brother and sisters. dismissing Black Lives Matter with comments as if they don’t want to be targeted they shouldn’t commit crimes.  I have heard a few of my African brothers and sisters dismiss anti-Semitic violence as overblown angrily wondering why bigotry is seemingly only deemed a problem when it happens to the Jews and not when it happens to the African American community.  I have heard both groups go after one another over the nonsensical debate about what was worse holocaust or slavery.  I have witnessed African Americans and Latinos who loath each other as they fight over the limited resources afforded to them because of inherent social and economic inequality.  It is precisely these divides that play into the hand of those who preach racism and bigotry. Keep them divided and fighting among themselves they say it makes it easier for us to keep them down.

Yet despite all of this I truly believe as I have said many times in this blog as time goes by those who preach racism, bigotry, sexism, judge people based on their religion or are homophobic are a dying breed and we must not give them any life by falling into their trap of fighting among ourselves.

We are the voice of the many.

We see no difference in each other.

We judge each other for who we are and what we do.

We unite as one people.

We are America!

And we are gaining in strength everyday and it’s just a matter of time before we defeat you.

As long as There is Racism My Voice Will Never Be Silenced

So today someone ask me after reading one of my social media post about Tucker Carlson why am I so angry? We get it there are still people who do things that speak to either blatant or implied racism. Ignore them, let it go, don’t let them consume you they said. Well that may be easy for you I said but I can not mute my voice in the face of any type of racism. I will never allow my voice to become a whisper to their screams simply to make others feel comfortable when it comes to race. As my Jewish brother and sister say never forget and I will never forget that we were forcibly took from our home, stripped us of our culture and told we were not people but property.

I will never forget that sheets were donned, crosses burned and men rode through the night to strike terror into our hearts.

I will never forget our voices were silenced at the voting booths with violence and intimidation.

I will never forget we were turned away at the lunch counter, the doors to the school were locked, the dogs were set free and the hoses were turned on us.

I will never forget that one leader after another was assassinated for daring to ask we be treated as equals.

I will not go quietly into the night because my patriotism to a country I love and my people helped create as much as anyone else is questioned if I dare protest its continued racial inequality.

I will not go quietly into the night as they attempt even to this day to hold us down, strip away our dignity, our pride and our self-worth.

So I told him no I am not mad I simply am one of many of all races, colors, religions, creeds, genders and ethnicities who refuse to be silenced. A group that is rising up now together as one. A group determine to ensure America marches forward and not back even if there are those that believe that was when America was great.

The Alt-Right’s sins against the Lord.

One of the great aspects of American society is the right to free speech. No matter how hateful and divisive it is.  No matter how vile you may take the message to be it is the right of every individual or group to freely voice their opinion.

This weekend exactly one year after Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, many of the same white-nationalist, paramilitary, and other right-wing groups are planning once again to come together once again — this time, in Washington, D.C.

In many ways it is a good thing that these groups are permitted to use their first amendment right  to hold these rallies as it sheds light on the vile, dangerous and disgusting message of division and hate they preach. A spotlight for the rest of America to witness and be repulsed by, hopefully forcing them to admit there is a cancer in America that needs to be removed.  Discussions about about race and social inequalities can not be swept under the rug any longer but must be confronted head on if we are ever going to move forward as a nation.

These rallies also shines a light on the sins of those individuals who preach hate. The majority of them who call themselves Christians but deny the undeniable, we are all one created in the image of our Lord.

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

They presuppose that they are greater than the Lord they claim to worship.  That they have the right to determine which of the Lord’s children are worthy and which are not. A direct rejection of the Lord’s commandment to us. As is written in John  13:34:

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another

The Lord created each of us in His image  He loves each of us unconditionally  He does not play favorites based on the color of our skin or our religious beliefs.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:26-29

Since the beginning it has been the Lord’s desire for us to live together in peace an unity.

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalms 133:1

And He warned us to avoid those who would speak differently!

17. Now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. – Romans 16:17-18

So this weekend let us stand at a distance watch and expose to the world those with malice in their hearts, sinners against the Lord.

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. – Ephesians 5:11

But as with all things with the Lord reject their beliefs but be prepared to forgive those among them who repent their sins and ask for help in finding their way back onto pthe path of spirituality.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. – Galatians 6:1 

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Do not be cowered into silence

The lust for power, greed and corruption has been an intrinsic characteristic of human behavior since seemingly the beginning of our existence and while the majority of us make a conscious decision not to embrace these traits there have always been those among us who do.  Therefore it is logical to say that no single individual should be considered above reproach simply because of the group to which they belong.

As citizens it is our moral responsibility to foster an atmosphere that strengthen the capacity of society at large. To point out corruption where it exist and to build transparent and accountable systems of governance so as to ensure that the vulnerable are not take advantage of. This is especially true when the corruption is committed by those who are in power. One would imagine in a society as enlighten as we imagine ourselves to be that this is would be an easy task, but alas it is not.  As these individuals in power persuade the masses that to they are on their side.  That anyone who doesn’t look or think like them is a threat to them and only they can protect them. They use their affiliation with you to persuade you any attack against them  is an attack on you as group. They have a aura of charisma about them that they are able to manipulate some in the media to spreading their message of prejudice and fears to the average citizen so that confronted with evidence of their corruption many who follow them will dismiss the evidence on the grounds that it is an attack on and suggests an implausible degree of corruption with a individual they have been conditioned to respect.

It is fair to question the motive of the individuals who promote this narrative. It is apparent when one examines their talking points more closely that they are not concerned with the good of society but rather simply in increasing their power, wealth and promoting their own agenda. History has shown us that their strategy of divide and conquer has proven to be effective. As President Lyndon Johnson once said

 “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

As citizens of America and humanity as a whole we must not allow their noise to cower us into silence. We must remain vigilant and continue to point out with the loudest voice possible corruption at every turn and our demand for justice. For if we do not we doom society as a whole for as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote:

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations

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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.

Once Again We Mourn

Too many times we have mourned the senseless killing of people for nothing more than racial intolerance.

There are those who will tell you racism is dead. There are those who will denounce you if you point out racism in this country. But today we mourn the loss of nine innocent souls taken from us far too early simply because of the color of their skin.

There are those who profit from promoting the dialogue of division rather than one of unity. One can only wonder what truths their souls will offer them today when they look in the mirror. Because today nine innocent souls were taken from us far too early simply because of the color of their skin.

There is no mistaking the fact that as a country we are in a better place today than were yesterday and we are marching forward toward tomorrow more and more united as a people. Bonded by our humanity, together as one, all races and all colors. As we march forward slowly we are casting aside those who look to divide us but our progress would be for naught if we did not understand that we are still a long way from the promised land, that there is still much work to do. We must remain vigilant, we must not be afraid to speak up in the face of injustice and discrimination. We must continue to call out and point fingers at those who seek to divide humanity. Because as today points out evil still lives among us.

Nine lives taken too soon-my prayers go out to their families and friends.