Tag Archives: racism

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. 

Another Slip By Bill Maher

I enjoy The Bill Maher show great guest stimulating conversation but there was a time I stopped watching because It seemed  clear to me that 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. 

I eventually eased back into the show, because let’s be honest I liked it.  But there was Maher on Friday letting slip yet another racial comparison when he asked Rep. Will Hurd from Texas, a black republican congressman, why he’s a member of the Republican Party … especially since he came from the CIA.  Hurd replied, “I was in the CIA for almost a decade. I was the dude in the back alleys at 4 o’clock in the morning collecting intelligence on threats to the homeland,” … to which Maher commented, “That’s where they’d collect them, huh?” then added … “Wow, by the Popeyes chicken.”

It’s not the first time a comment has come from Maher that has made me think hmmmm that came out so naturally what other racist comments does he make when the cameras aren’t rolling?

As liberals we constantly call out those on the right for their use of inflammatory rhetoric we cannot simultaneously expect to give a pass to those we believe are on our side when they engage in similar tactics. 

As as I have said in the past words are very powerful and when spoken by someone with the celebrity of a Bill Maher that power is multiplied tenfold.

While I don’t believe Maher is a bigot I again am at a crossroad do I continue to watch his show? After all it is my belief that bigotry large and small and those that preach it must be ignored and Maher continued slips of the tongue causes me much pause.   

The Rise of Domestic Terrorism

White Supremacist group activity is on the rise and what is the President doing about it?

Trump planned to invite to Angel Families to his now postponed SOU and while these families have undoubtedly suffered as a voter of color I am left to wonder what about families like those of Timothy Caughman targeted and killed by James Harris Jackson in an attempt to start a race war.

During his tenure activity by White supremacists groups have jumped and they are “directly responsible” for the majority of extreme killings in America. What is Trump’s plan to protect American citizens of color against this domestic terrorism? Is he going to demand funding or combat these groups or he’ll shut down the government? Or does he not care about the ever increasing rise of white supremacist and by extension the safety of American citizens if their skin color is a shade of brown.

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