Tag Archives: vote

Thank you, Amy Cooper.

20 Oct

Dear Amy, thank you for being your racist authentic self, for you have helped to be an ugly reminder of why white people need to sustain some heavy lifting towards equity and antiracism work. Amy, your actions clearly displayed how white supremacy works and sustains itself in the United States, and how it has worked this way for over four hundred years.

Amy Cooper deliberately called the police to report a lie about a black man–a lie she knew would garner her the support of the police to uphold white supremacy. Amy knows how racism works and how the system of racism works in the United States. Consequently, what is revealed by Ms. Cooper’s actions is the very ugly truth of what it means to be black in the US. Sadly, Ms. Cooper’s behavior has only been encouraged and modeled by, what I hope is the, Last Confederate President. Trump has praised Nazis, displayed horrific homophobia, and modeled unacceptable racism! While this cruelty/sociopathy plays well with his base, it is no longer selling in a country that knows it can do better and is tired of be divided by the Great Man Baby!

On a side note, forgive me readers for my extended absence and thank you for the cards and texts of support. I’m afraid the cancer has spread again and alas, we are running out of options. As I face my mortality and reflect upon who I am and what my character says about me, I am compelled to try to keep up with the blog again. Given the last month, my motivation can at times override my pain. I want to leave the world better than how I found it.

It is imperative that everyone understand the definition of racism, Defining Racism in the United States: A Starting Point. Yes, that means that there is no such thing as reverse racism. Understanding the definition allows us all to change the system and reflect on Micro level, Mezzo level, and Macro level racism. I hope it also underscores why we have to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Notice, it does not say only black lives matter. While I agree that all lives matter, I want to call attention to the fact that black lives are being intentionally impacted disproportionately by murder, as are native lives. For me, it is like “all buildings matter” while one of the buildings is on fire, but we only devote resources to the building NOT on fire.

I am so grateful for all of the protests throughout the country, especially all of the action being taken during the pandemic, COVID 19, although it is particularly disconcerting to live in Portland and be attacked by the Federal government because we hold different views from Trump. I only hope we can sustain this energy until we change the systems that reinforce racism and white supremacy. This is especially tragic when we have a complete void of leadership of how to navigate a pandemic, but rather we witness a petulant liar — don’t forget to drink your daily dose of bleach boys and girls. I must confess that when I learned that Trump has COVID, I did send my thoughts and prayers to the COVID Virus.

As Sweet Honey in the Rock says in Ella’s Song: “Until the killing of black men, black mother’s sons, is as important as the killing of white men, white mother’s sons.”

Finally, for this post, please register to vote and demand a mail in ballot, as Trump did.

P.S. Thank you readers for being so patient with me. Sadly, I still have cancer and it is worse than just a year ago, but I remain hopeful and I remain in a place of gratitude! With great love, Michael.

The Supreme Court Upholds Voter Suppression in Texas

20 Oct
Sad Legacy!

Sad Legacy!

Sadly, not many of us were surprised by the exceedingly conservative high court’s decision to uphold voter suppression laws in Texas.  The Roberts’ court continues to leave a legacy that works against civil rights, just in time to negatively impact the 2014 mid-term election. I would like to talk about how these voter ID laws negatively impact targeted/marginalized populations. Not that most of the high court is interested in how we continue to oppress targeted populations, but I hope we will at least start to have more conversations around what we all need to do to expand civil rights rather than curb them. Texas’ voter ID laws intentionally create barriers for the following communities to vote: people in poverty, people of color experiencing poverty, people with disabilities, senior citizens, transgender people, and all of the intersections of these populations. In addition to the horrible impact of this action, it flies in the face of judicial tradition. Typically, appeals courts — including the Supreme Court — act to do the least harm while the laws in question work their way through the system. Allowing the law to stand while it is under appeal aggressively disenfranchises Texas voters during the important November mid-terms. Even if the law is struck down in the long run, that damage will have been done, almost certainly to the benefit of Republican candidates. Suspending the suspect law until a final decision is made would be more typical, sensible, and just. Of course those words can rarely be applied to Scalia, Alito, Roberts, or Thomas. If only we could get more voices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s. Justice Ginsburg composed the dissent and eloquently highlighted the damage of this verdict:

…may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5 percent of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification…A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic. Racial discrimination in elections in Texas is no mere historical artifact.

Both Justice Kagan and Justice Sotomayor joined Justice Ginsburg’s dissent. I want to believe there is hope that this court’s majority will soon gain a better understanding of their jobs and of civil rights.

Oh, Mitt! You Wacky Racist, Misogynist, Elitist…

19 Sep
Courtesy of About.com

Looks like November will bring the tears of this clown.

Poor old, dear old, sad old Mitt. After a dismal party convention, the selection of a venal mini-Me as a running mate, a vicious and fact-free attack on the President’s response to a crisis, and a bumbling and alienating visit to our nation’s closest allies, it seemed like his campaign had sunk as far as it could. Surprise! Mitt had some more awful up his sleeves. Big thanks to my friends James Queale and Jennifer Carey and a host of other readers who are paying attention for helping me wade through the muck to compose this post.

Mother Jones magazine just released a full-length video of a speech that Romney gave at a private fundraiser. Cutting loose in a more off-the-cuff style while surrounded by wealthy Republicans — a safe audience for Mitt — the candidate accidentally gave the best GOP standup performance since Clint Eastwood lost an argument to a chair.

The Internet has mostly been abuzz over Romney’s simultaneous insult and dismissal of the mythical 47%:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Two big problems, there, Mitt. (Okay, more, but let’s focus on two.) First, most of the supposed non-taxpayers DO pay into Social Security and Medicare — I guess that would end if you were President, so let’s give you a pass there — or are retirees who paid their fair share for DECADES. The “non-payer” myth is a dogwhistle to your cronies and more than ironic for a candidate who won’t bother to tell us what HE has paid. Second, your assertion that you “don’t need” that 47% because they’ll never support you is more than a little ironic. The top states for “non-payer” rates as defined by Romney include bright-red MS, AL, GA, ID, TX, AK, SC… The states with the lowest “freeloader”  rate include bright blue MA, CT, MD, WA… Irony much, Mitt?

Sadly, that damning assertion is really only the tip of the crapberg floating in Mitt’s sea of bile. Managing to go racist, birther, and uber-patriot all in one blow, he bemoans his performance with the Latino population, saying of his father, “Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” You’d have a better shot of winning if you weren’t a self-important ass with complete disdain for most of America, Mitt. He doubles down on this language later with the even more charm-free statement, “If the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting bloc has in the past, than we’re in trouble as a party, and I think, as a nation.”

Here are a few other choice moments for those of you who don’t have the stomach for the whole performance:

  • On foreign labor, Bain-style capitalism, and China policy: “When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. […] and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can’t believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in.”
  • Regarding his expert on ladyparts and women’s issues, his wife Ann: “”We’re using Ann sparingly right now because we don’t want people to get sick of her.” (NOTE TO MITT: You might try that strategy with yourself…)
  • On his ability to deal with Mideast politics, he asserts that the Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish,” and then asserts that his strategy as President would be to “kick the ball down the field.”
  • On President Obama’s success with the international community: “The president’s foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in part by a perception he has that his magnetism, and his charm, and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like Putin and Chavez and Ahmadinejad and that they’ll find that we’re such wonderful people that they’ll go on with us, and they’ll stop doing bad things.” (Clearly being charming and persuasive is pretty alien to Mitt.)

The content is shocking enough on its own. What is particularly disturbing is the context. All the rest of lies, gaffes, stumbles, slights, slurs, and idiocies we’ve heard from Romney have been public, planned events. This event was a $50,000 per plate fundraiser of like-minded folks. Romney is revealing a clear, candid (for him) portrait of how he really thinks — and what he thinks of America.  Wow!  This is a portrait of a true Racist!

MLK Holiday: When We Pretend Not to be a Racist Nation

16 Jan

The Civil Rights Movement Continues

Of course, I’m glad that we have a National holiday honoring civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  What disturbs me is how far we have yet to go in the civil rights movement.  I hear people talking now about the March on the Mall in Washington, yet they don’t know the March was organized by the openly gay Bayard Rustin.  Hearing so many people purporting to have been present during King’s I Have a Dream Speech, also leaves me a bit bothered. We like to pretend that we are not a Nation continuing to struggle with racism.  Yet we have no further to look than the current Tea Party who gave birth to the racist Birther Movement. We have no further to look than the white hetero power structure that places racists like Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich as presidential candidates.  It also breaks my heart that I have to underscore the unconscionable move on behalf of the GOP: this year, 34 Republican state legislatures introduced bills designed to turn voters away from the polls who cannot produce specific types of state issued ID. If all of these bills pass, roughly 21 million voters will lose their right to vote. And, it’s no coincidence that most of those voters are minorities, students, and elderly voters who vote Democrat.

I did not ever get the chance to meet Dr. King and I was a small child when he was assassinated.  I did, however, get the chance  to meet Coretta Scott King twice–two moments that will stay with and inspire me for the rest of my life. I remember driving to work listening to NPR on January 30th, 2006.  They just announced that Coretta Scott King had passed away.  I could barely drive, I was crying so hard.  What a loss for all of us who work for ensuring civil rights for ALL.  We still have so far to come to create true equality for our African-American brothers and sisters.  We also still have huge obstacles to overcome before we have full civil rights for the LGBT community.  On a holiday when we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, I would also like to remember Coretta Scott King.  Coretta showed great courage and her consistent indomitable spirit as she spoke for marriage equality:

I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people…We have a lot of work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say ‘common struggle,’ because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry & discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.

As with the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the loss of Coretta Scott King, I think we are all looking for a strong leader and voice of reason that will continue to fight for equal rights for ALL.  I do believe each of us can be that change–each of us can be the collective change needed if we band together and show solidarity in the face of bigotry. For those of you that follow this blog, you knew I had to include a song from Sweet Honey in the Rock.

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