We often believe exactly what we want to believe, confusing ignorance with freedom and knowledge with subjugation. Yet the truth remains that blindly following someone or something because you want it to be true does not make it true, or as Mr. Spock so eloquently stated; Insufficient facts always invite danger.
Today is the beginning of Black History month, and for the second day in a row, several HBCUs we’re the target of bomb threats; now more than ever, with certain segments of our society seemingly determined to turn back the clock while simultaneously restricting the teaching of history, we must take every measure to learn about our heritage and be proud of not only how as a people we have overcome the barriers put in place to keep us down but be proud of the vast contributions African Americans have made to this country. Contributions that have made us an indelible part of its fabric.
The Trump Cult, the MAGA crowd, feared this 50 years ago, and they fear it even more today. The educated, well-informed person of color, it’s why they work so hard to make it so difficult for us to vote. It’s why they want to return America to what they believe were the good old days. Don’t let them – VOTE, contact your Senator and Congress Person, and push them to action. Get involved in your local politics, from the school board to the Mayor. 2020 was a glimpse at what we can accomplish; let’s keep it up.
In many of the open America protest, it is not unusual to see signs saying or paraphrasing the familiar refrain:
“Give me liberty or give me death.”
But what many in this country have forgotten is liberty is not something granted to us at birth. Nor is it something that is maintained without a willingness to acquire the knowledge required to see its leaders’ real character and use that knowledge to hold them to a standard of accountability that is high, if not higher than they would have themselves.
It is true that even when the people have a desire to inform and educate themselves on the issues that impact their daily lives, an individual of poor character thrust into a position of leadership who lacks integrity and accountability and whose vision is only the advancement of their selfish agenda can through lies and misinformation blind the masses to the truth and in the process withhold the very liberty they seek to maintain
Unfortunately, America today has allowed our country’s polarization along political lines to supersede the thirst for knowledge. It has become all too easy for many of America’s so-called “leaders” to manipulate the masses. To have them bend to their will, wrongly believing that these leaders act in their best interest.
The open America protest is one such example. Through a campaign of misinformation and lies, leadership at the highest levels many have been led to believe that the very measures implemented to protect them are an infringement on their liberty. They rally around the same leaders who perpetrate the misinformation to advance their own economic and political agendas.
The dangers of not acquiring the knowledge required to identify one’s leaders’ character is not a new concept. John Adams warned us of it in 1765 when he said.
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of nature to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in van, has given them understanding and a desire to know. Still, besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.
We should heed his words, for it would be foolhardy to believe the concept of America is forever. Lest we forget that the history of the world shows our country is but a baby. One that will never get the chance to fully mature unless we cast aside our differences, stop allowing the few to manipulate the many, and come to value knowledge needed to educate ourselves on those would-be leaders of questionable character.
Next time the GOP complains that Democrats are giving the store away with all these social programs think about this:
In 2017 oil companies like Shell and Exxon companies not hurting for cash was awarded $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in state-level incentives, for a total of $20.5 billion annually in corporate welfare.
Farm subsidies were designed to help the mom and pop farmers. Hmmm, not true, farm subsidies act like a regressive tax that helps high-income businesses, not poor rural farmers. Most of the money goes toward large agricultural businesses. Between 1995 and 2017, the top 10% of recipients received 77% of the $205.4 billion doled out. The top 1% received 26% of the payments. That averages out to $1.7 million per company. Fifty people on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans received farm subsidies. On the other hand, 62% of U.S. farms did not receive any subsidies.
In the mind of the GOP social programs designed to help the poor and needy in times of need equals. Pull your pants up and get a job you lazy American.
Corporate welfare to help the richest of the rich get richer on the guise that the money will trickle down, yet somehow it never does equals good. Let’s meet for cocktails aboard your yacht and talk about your next campaign contribution.
Hypocrites and snake oil salespeople who keep selling this illusion to poorest who continue to vote for them and keep them in office for some reason, possibly They are manipulated by the racial politics Trump plays. They believe the myth that only black and brown people benefit from these programs while simultaneously taking advantage of themselves.
We hate Obamacare they scream yet based on 2014 Census Bureau data, that echo other studies, a key demographic for the GOP, blue-collar whites have been among the principal beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act.
Stop all these Safety Net programs they yell but Donald Trump won about two-thirds of whites without a college degree—the most for any Republican since Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide—and they provided almost exactly half of his total votes. These voters represent only about one-third of the electorate yet it is the same Safety-net programs they decry that are particularly beneficial for adults without a college degree as studies show the vast majority of working-age adults lifted above the poverty line by government benefits and tax credits are people lacking a college degree.
If America is ever to move forward it must stop voting based on sound bites or what a quote unquote news network tells them and get become informed about the truth of the this country’s economics and how it benefits the rich at the expense of the masses.. Otherwise we will remain just pawns the rich move around the board.
They say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and what goes around comes around.
Ever wonder what kind of country we would be if we all played by Donald Trump’s rules of engagement and just made stuff up about him?
Not a very good one I suspect.
Trump’s blatant lies about President Obama are well documented here are just a few that he states WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL:
In 2011 Trump said “somebody” told him Obama might be hiding his birth certificate because it might identify him as a Muslim. Not that this is a bad thing even if it were true but that’s a discussion for another day
In 2014 Trump tweeted “Obama sent weapons to ISIS through Benghazi yet holding up shipments to Israel”
In 2015 Trump said “they actually think Obama hates Israel. I think he does”
The clear implication in all of this was that Trump was attempting to portraying Obama as anti-Semitic WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL
So if we as a country dropped to his level and played in the gutter using Trump’s own rules of engagement would it be wrong to say WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL:
That Trump is German and “somebody” told me he is a believer in Hitler’s master race theory
That Trump is secretly arming white militias around America
That Trump has secretly told white nationalist to prepare for a coming race war and that when it’s over America will be cleansed of it’s black and brown problem and America will be great again.
I’m just wondering because Trump has, with the help of Fox News, been given carte blanche to say whatever he wants about whoever he wants WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL to verify the validity of his statements and smears on a person’s career and character and yet many in his base take his statements to be true. So why can’t we do the same to him? Oh yeah that really wouldn’t be American now would it?
The truth still counts for something and we should all reject statements made WITH NO EVIDENCE AT ALL
I went to Cardinal Spellman high school in the Bronx. In addition to being the alma matter of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, among other things, it had a forensics team that competed nationwide. In my senior year, I was proud to say I was President of that forensics team. For four years, I competed on the forensics team’s cross-ex debate team. To this day, I credited my experience on that team as being a significant part of the development of who I am today. The rules of cross-ex debate were simple enough if you were on the affirmative side of a debate, you needed to show:
Significance of both the problem and that the benefit must be substantial enough to merit changing state or national policies affecting millions of peoples, Inherency of the the problems cited must be inextricably connected to elements of the status quo that are relatively enduring or are unique to the status quo or cannot be eliminated without reform to the status quo.
The plan includes a concrete description of actions that will be taken to solve the problems cited in enough detail that the negative can understand and, potentially, criticize them. And finally
Solvency – present claims and ground to prove the plan’s benefits and that it solves the problems cited.
If you were on the negative side of the debate, you could win by proving through evidence that just one of the above was not true.
This I learned as a teenager. Sadly in today’s highest chamber of debate, Congress, none of this is practiced. Instead, the debates have devolved into I want; you can’t have, battle based not on facts and evidence and, most importantly, what’s right for the country but rather particular interest and if you have a (D) or an (R) after your name. Adults elected by the populous acting more like children and having temper tantrums when they can’t get their way.
I’m thankful for the life lessons debate taught me; I just wished most of Congress would share in those lessons.
How was it that Donald Trump, when all the exit polls showed otherwise, was able to capture the Presidency of the United States?
How is it that Donald Trump, when polls show he has one of the lowest approval ratings of all time, able to keep GOP politicians from revolting against him? Why is it that Donald Trump has made such little effort to expand “his base” and seemingly is unconcerned about it? I’m here to tell you it’s because of America’s dirty little secret. You see, when we watch one of the many “campaign rallies” Trump held before the election and amazingly continues to hold after, at taxpayer cost, we see what many liberals characterize as his base. Low income, poorly educated white males and females. Liberals see a stereotypical person they likely refer to as Billy Bob with a smirk and his wife sporting Make America Great Again hats, spewing hatred and fear against people of color. It’s why Trump continually uses the wall and cherry-picks acts of violence and other criminal activities by immigrants in his speeches.
Why he throws out lines like shithole countries, liberals summarize Billy Bob is so poorly educated that he easily fooled by Trump because Trump appeals to their greatest fear. That they are losing a grip on “their” country, but what Trump and the GOP know is a number of well educated, highly compensated, extremely polished individuals who deep down harbor the very same fears. They are Trump’s shadow base. They have friends who are people of color. They’re children play with your children. They are registered Democrats, and they never say they like Donald Trump. Their social media is likely littered with posts you’ve liked denouncing Trump. But when they get behind that voting curtain and are all alone, they’re pulling the lever for Trump. Why? Because way more than “Billy Bob,” this was their country.
White men of power had a long uninterrupted run of success in this country. They were the majority, ran all the big corporations, and controlled the country’s politics. But then census data projected the US would become ‘minority white’ in 2045. More and more people of color began showing up in the executive lunchroom and on the country club golf courses. Then the unthinkable happened Barack Obama won the Presidency. Not only did he win, but he and his family were also looked at with the highest level of respect around the globe. It wasn’t so much about Obama’s politics. However, it would be naive to dismiss that completely; it looked at a well educated, articulate man of color stand in front of the world as America’s leader. Sure there had been plenty well educated, articulate men and women of color in the spotlight before Obama, but none had ever been President. Obama represented a glimpse into the future of this country. For some, that was a frightening future now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the vast majority of white people are arming themselves and storing canned goods to prepare for the coming brown people apocalypse. I’m more hopeful than ever that this country is headed in the right direction, if ever so slowly, concerning race relations. But there are still a few dinosaurs out there who hide in plain sight, fearful of the future. They’re America’s dirty little secret. They’re Trump’s shadow base, and it would be best not to underestimate them again in 2020.