Tag Archives: racism

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.

They Questioned

The people in the store questioned if I should to be there.

My classmates questioned if I should be there.

My colleagues questioned if I should be there.

The authorities in my neighborhood questioned if I should be there.

They question without knowing who I am.

They question without really seeing me.

They question because of the color of my skin.

But know this

I make no apologies for the color of my skin.

I have no desire to prove my worth to them.

I will not fake who I am just to make them feel comfortable.

Let them keep questioning.

Let them keep wondering.

Let them do so as I keep soaring because as James Brown said I’m black and I’m proud.

STEP INTO THE GAP

On May 12, 1961 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. John Lewis, an African-American seminary student and Albert Bigelow a World War II veteran and white Freedom Rider were viciously attacked as they attempted to enter a whites-only waiting area. Two days later in Anniston Alabama a vicious mob of about 200 people bombed a Greyhound bus and brutally beat the Freedom Riders as they fled the burning bus. Later that day in Birmingham Alabama a Trailways bus carrying another group of Freedom Riders was meant with a similar fate These Freedom Riders were aware of the dangers they would encounter and over several months they were attacked repeatedly yet they persevered so that the racist practice of segregated bus terminals would come to end and in the fall of 1961 their perseverance bore fruit as the  Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations that prohibited the segregation of interstate transit.

THE FREEDOM RIDERS STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Liu Xiaobo was a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China who through nonviolent protests fought against communist one-party rule in China. For his efforts he was imprisoned in 1989 to 1991, 1995 to 1996, 1996 to 1999 and 2009 until his release in 2017 after he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died less than 3 weeks after his release. Despite his multiple imprisonments he continued to fight until his death for the betterment of the Chinese people.

LIU XIAOBO STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Razan Zaitouneh was a Syrian Human rights activist who was involved in the Syrian uprising. She acted as a lawyer for political prisoners, was one of the founders Human Rights Association in Syria and the Syrian Human Rights Information Link through which she reported about Syria human’s rights violations. Razan Zaitouneh worked tirelessly for years to bring light to Syria’s oppress regime despite the obvious dangers involved with doing so. On December 9 of 2013 she was kidnapped and has not been seen since, presumed to have been killed.

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Michael Todd has been getting bullied at his new school since the year began. He would wear the same clothes every day and students at MLK College Preparatory School would make fun of him for it. High school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett didn’t just go along with their class mates to be part of the crowd and on September 10, 2019 they surprised Michael with a bag full of bags full of shirts, shorts and shoes and apologized to him for previously laughing at him.

KRISTOPHER GRAHAM AND ANTWANN GARRETT STEPPED INTO THE GAP

Everyday countless number of individuals step into the gap. But sadly many in a position to do the most good lack the courage to step into the gap Last week at church my pastor preached to us from the book Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In Bible times, cities had walls around them to help defend them from attack. Broken parts of the wall created a physical gap in the city’s ability to protect itself from invading armies.  In this Bible verse, because there is a gap in the wall, God is looking for someone to step in and guard the broken, vulnerable territory.

Today God is still looking for us to step in and guard the broken and the vulnerable. Victims of violence, oppression, discrimination, bigotry.  Those who are denied fundamental human rights such as medical care, food and shelter and education. Yet when we turn our eyes to Washington D.C. we find there are far too many concerned with their own self, maintaining their power and reaping the benefits that come along with it than with stepping into the gap.  We see children, the Lord’s most innocent souls, gunned down in mass shootings yet no action has been taken to enact sensible gun control to protect them. We see mothers and fathers working two and three jobs, sixty and seventy hours a week yet still unable to earn enough money to put a roof over or adequately feed their families. Yet at every opportunity the very social programs designed to help them through these troubled times are slashed, and more and more money is appropriated to building weapons of war.  Racism is unbelievably on the rise again in this country but far too many in power either pretend it doesn’t exist and simply ignore it or worse tacitly give their approval, so they can appeal to a base of unenlightened individuals they believe will allow them to maintain their power. Education budgets are cut and college tuition soars while tax breaks for the wealthy are passed into law. Prescription drugs prices rocket, inflating the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies while the affordable care act remains under constant attack. The gap between the haves and have not continues to expand as CEOs take home millions and workers struggle to survive yet steadfast opposition to raising the minimum wage continues.

We are witnessing the abject failure of the very individuals we have tasked with stepping in the gap. However, it is never too late as a people to change things.  United each of our whispers becomes a mighty roar for change. We can demand that change takes place and we can start at the voting booth. We can educate ourselves on the issues and not let some 24-hour news network “opinion” show host skew our perception of reality. We can protest racism and social injustice and when those in power try to change the narrative and quiet us we can roar louder.  We can rise as one and let our voices be heard.  We can let them know that it is we not them who are the coalition of the many and if they won’t stand in the gap we surely will find someone who will!

We as a people ain’t going nowhere!

”Go back where you came from.”

“If you don’t love it leave it.”

Words of those who are the most unpatriotic among us.

Words of those who would rather see a country divided against itself than united for the common good of all. 

Words of those who don’t care if America ever truly lives up to the ideas on which it was founded on.

Words of those who hate.

Words of those who look to profit from humanity’s natural fear of the unknown. 

Words of those who look to tap into, for personal gain, the innate prejudices that we all harbor with-in just waiting for someone to unleash it. 

But they are only words.  

We as a people must rebuke these words.

We as a people must come together through our actions to shout down those words.

We as a people must form a coalition of the righteous to defeat the hatred of those words. 

We as a people must shout for all to hear:

Your words mean nothing!

Because I am here!

Because this is my country as much as yours!

Because I love my country and as such I will continue to fight for the values it was founded on!

Because we as a people ain’t going nowhere!

We Are The Coalition Of The Righteous

GOP politicians are lining up to defend Trump’s racist tweets some going as far as too call them patriotic and informing us that we should just move on from this and get back to the business of governing. 

REALLY? Just move on from it? So now You’re going to tell US what is racist and what isn’t. Is this the same logic you used when you told us Slavery wasn’t racist, segregation wasn’t fine as long as it was separate but “equal”, red lining wasn’t racist. the shooting of unarmed black men of color were justified. 

No we can not simply move on from it.

Now more than ever we have a difficult time ahead of us. But we must shed our fear of it.

Why?

Because we are not here because of the path that lies before us but because of the path that lies behind us. Four hundred years we have endured slavery, racism, sexism, homophobia and the denial of basic human rights and with each step forward we take, with each of our achievement we accomplish it produces fear among those among who still preach hate, who look to divide, do not believe in the brotherhood of all but would rather hold onto the old ways of subjugation and bondage.

But we are rising up now, together as one, race, color, religion, creed, gender and national origin .  We are a coalition of the righteous and we are gathering momentum each and every day. We are going to create a world where color, gender, religious belief and country of origin doesn’t matter. A world without conflicts and killings. A world without borders and boundaries. A world united not divided, ruled by love not hate. A world where anything is possible.

Today we send a message to those who still cling to the past, those who still preach hatred, those who still wish to divide this great nation not on the content of our character but on the the color of our skin. Today we take OUR country back from the racist and bigoted. Today we tremble these amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties from sea to shining sea. Today we remember, this is America where we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and all women regardless of color are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.

Today we make them remember we are still here

GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM? REALLY

GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM

African-Americans have long heard those words of hatred spewed in their direction by racist and bigoted individuals but they are not alone

Italian American immigrants heard it

Irish American immigrants heard it

Polish American immigrants heard it

German American immigrants heard it

Japanese American immigrants heard it

Mexican American immigrants heard it

Immigrants from various Caribbean Islands heard it

Catholics heard it

Jews heard it

Muslims heard it

And many others have heard it

Ellis Island officially opened this week in 1892, and would subsequently process more than 20 million immigrants from around the world, all seeking a better life in America.  Just as our Founding Fathers intended.  Millions of immigrants would travel to America, leaving the only home they ever knew behind. Many times leaving family and loved ones and in some cases risking their lives to experience this new nation and idea. To be a part of a society birthed in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all citizens are created equal, theoretically if not literally. For the Founders, immigration was a mutually beneficial process.  The goal of which was to create a “melting pot,” in which immigrants successfully assimilate and become representative of our national identity, while also proudly retaining key aspects of their ethnic past.  We are all Americans, but in this country we are free to honor the many traditions and customs unique to our ancestral homelands.  It is without question what has made America great. 

This Sunday a President who ran on the slogan of make America great again, but seems to believe that means dividing Americans more than any President ever has and turning his back on diversity, tweeted that a group of four minority congresswomen feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “go back” to the countries they came from rather than “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how to run the government. Predictably his base ate it up.  Commenting that President Trump is the greatest ever because he’s not afraid to tell it like it is. This group of Trump supporters, the lowest common denominator, haven’t a clue as to what makes this country unique and special among the countries of the rest of the world. America’s greatness has always been rooted in its embrace, sometimes kicking and screaming, of diversity.  As Speaker Pelosi bluntly said recently Ms. Pelosi may have offered the bluntest take on Mr. Trump’s comments when she said his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” “has always been about making America white again.”

The silence of so many Republicans on Trump’s blatant racism, sexism and bigotry dating back to the 1970’s when his real estate company was sued by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination to his administration’s systematic attempt to dismantle much of the gains made as a result of the civil rights and women’s movement is unacceptable at best and morally corrupt at worst. Their silence reminds me of a scene from the movie Star Trek Nemesis, it’s true if you look for it Star Trek always has the answers, when a Romulan commander says: Are you truly prepared to have your hands drenched in blood? He’s not planning to defeat Earth. He’s planning its annihilation. …And his sins will mark us and our children for generations. Trump is not planning to defeat the dreams of our founding fathers as it relates to immigration he’s planning its annihilation. And his sins will mark the Republican Party for generations.