I Never Knew Silence Could Be So Loud

Personally, I’ve given up trying to have meaningful conversations with any individual who can not demonstrate consideration, because it is unproductive. I’ve honestly tried and have observed the behavior, language and perceptions many exhibit towards others and issues or situations. How can you teach anyone who is not willing to first be a student?

This is the reason why I haven’t posted many political post, because I am expecting sincerity, consideration and some version of an intellectual conversation, regardless of the topic of the post. Some simply want to comment on politics only in a way that demonstrates an inconsideration or to be argumentative. I simply do not have the time or energy for those types of conversations. Their silence is louder than they realize.

Someone shared a link with me, which is the video featured of an issue that I’ve tried to get people to understand for awhile. I’ve decided to let people who want to be left behind, be left behind. I’m moving forward.

After listening to the brief story of Susan Grigsby’s brother (Steve); who died a painful death fighting for care as an uninsured American. Susan watched, horrified, as the GOP Presidential Candidates on CNN’s Tea Party Debate stood silent when the the audience cheered for the idea that we as a society should just let an uninsured man die. Now Susan wants an answer from each and every GOP candidate.

I honestly wish Susan luck, because I do not believe that she may get a real answer to her questions. But I’m sure she’ll receive plenty of rhetoric, denials, doubt, accusations, indirect responses, avoidance and inconsideration. Listen to what is said, but also listen closer to what they do not or will not say. That’s where you find their truth.

Some will choose their method of attack and avoidance to go after me or even the issue, but the question remains. I simply give up on expecting anything else, but Susan Grigsby is the one asking the question this time. I’m only providing a venue for her to share it.

The People Who Made America: The Most Arrested Rabbi in America

The People Who Made America:
The Most Arrested Rabbi in America

Continuing something I started in 2009, but extending it beyond its designed month, I would like to share another story that needs to be heard. Continuing my series, “The People Who Made America”, formally titled “Whites in Black History”, I ask you to join me in exploring the contributions and sacrifices made by Rabbi Israel Si Dresner.

Rabbi Dresner was dubbed “the most arrested Rabbi in America,” by some. The outspoken Rabbi participated in the June 13-16 Interfaith Freedom Ride from Washington, DC to Tallahassee, FL. The son of a Brooklyn delicatessen owner, he graduated from the University of Chicago in 1950 and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Theology.

After successfully completing the Freedom Ride to Tallahassee, the Interfaith Riders had planned to fly home. First, however, they decided to test whether or not the group would be served in the segregated airport restaurant. As a result 10 Freedom Riders, later known as the Tallahassee Ten, were arrested for unlawful assembly and taken to the city jail. They were convicted and sentenced later that same month; legal appeal of the airport arrests continued for years. Dresner returned along with 9 of the original riders to serve brief jail terms in August 1964 – and ate triumphantly in the same airport restaurant that had earlier refused them service.

Dresner continued his civil rights activism and advocacy throughout his career as a reform Jewish rabbi in northern New Jersey, participating in the 1962 Albany campaign to desegregate municipal facilities and in the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march. He retired in 1996.

I share this very brief story to continue making the point the series attempts to suggest and offer to all with a mind and heart open enough to receive its message. Do not be deceived by those who will have you believe that Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians and Arabs can not get along with Jews or vice versa. This is nonsense and simply a ploy to keep people apart with divisionary tactics based on fear.

Rabbi Dresner might have been dubbed the most arrested Rabbi in America, but understand the characterization. He was the most arrested, not the only arrested. So many stories are never told about the friendships, alliances and coalitions between our race and faith that offers great examples of more than what we are, but who we can be.

So I conclude by offering my appreciation towards Rabbi Dresner and his many contributions towards truth, freedom and equality. If it wasn’t for him and many others, I would likely face an overwhelmingly different audience and reception to my openness and motivations behind many of the things I write and say. I also want to show appreciation to my Jewish friends, because I know that we do not walk alone on this journey. Sometimes the static consciousness of many people may be burdensome when you seek truth, freedom and equality, but like Rabbi Dresner we must realize that we are not alone.

Rev.James Joseph Reeb: “More Than a Witness to Truth”

Whites in Black History Series:
Rev. James Joseph Reeb

 

Reverend James Reeb received his Masters of Divinity at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1953. He was one of others in that class who put truth to practice by adhering to the call of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Like many ministers fresh out of Seminary he sought the opportunity to serve and make a difference. Although I can only assume based off my own experiences with ministers, I’m sure the same would be true for Rev. Reeb as well.

 

Some of the issues experienced in many churches today can be attributed to ministers who want to serve, but true calling was not to be a minister. It is often a thankless, unappreciative and difficult position to purposely want to be in. When you are called to be a witness to truth there isn’t any amount of reluctance or even disobedience that will keep you away from it.

 

Rev. Reeb was a compassionate man who served as a Presbyterian Chaplain in a hospital in Philadelphia before becoming an Assistant Pastor for a Unitarian Universalist Church in Washington D.C.

 

He worked helping people with low income in Boston before he found his way to Selma, Alabama during the late winter of 1965 to help in a voting rights campaign. He hadn’t been in the state for a day before people who believed they were patriots acting out of their own ignorance, fear and what they’ve been taught to believe as true, attacked Rev. Reeb while walked from a diner.

 

Rev. Reeb died March 11, 1965 resulting from that attack at the same age I am today writing this, 38. His attackers were all arrested and brought to trail where an all White jury set them free. Some believed that was justice, but maybe it’s just us who justice doesn’t see because this scenario repeated itself thousands of times in courtrooms throughout the U.S. The value of a person’s life often hinges on the life the person lead in the consciousness of those who is responsible for taking the life and those who are responsible for assuring redemption for the taking of life.

 

Rev. Reeb’s murder was untimely and unwarranted. Dr. King delivered his eulogy where he said that James Joseph Reeb was a witness to truth. Although I agree I would also say that he was more than a witness to truth, he was a follower, servant and advocate for truth. His only crime was that he dared to subscribe to what is true and live by it.

 

And if he should die, take his body, and cut it into little stars. He will make the face of Heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night.” – Shakespeare

 

Rev. James Reeb was more than a witness to truth, but a follower and servant of truth because he knew he could not just be concerned about justice for Blacks in the South. He lived in Roxbury, MA, at the time a Black community.

 

He was not concerned about the narrow-minded opinions of Whites and Blacks who would be suspicious of him and his family because of where he had chosen to live and what motivated him throughout his life. Truth was his livelihood and concern for others was the wages he freely paid.

 

There is so much that I can say and for us to learn about James Reeb, but as I conclude I must end this opportunity with these words of Dr. King spoke at the funeral of Rev. James Reeb.

 

“The world is aroused over the murder of James Reeb for he symbolizes the forces of good will in our nation. He demonstrated the conscience of the nation. He was an attorney for the defense of the innocent in the court of world opinion. He was a witness to the truth that men of different races and classes might live, eat and work together as brothers.

 

Again, we must ask the question: Why must good men die for doing good? O Jerusalem, why did you murder the prophets and persecute those who come to preach your salvation? So the Reverend James Reeb has something to say to all of us in his death.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

My final words are in regards to James Reeb, Dr. King and all of the people who served and was a witness to truth, both notable and those who has not been recognized. Thank you. I mean that sincerely. Thank you. I understand the importance of what you and so many others did. Regardless of race, regardless of religious preferences, regardless of gender and regardless of sexual preferences COUNTLESS… people were beaten, suffered economically and socially, struggled and even killed on my behalf so that I could one day be just one voice willing to speak/write with the completeness in recognition of history’s heroes.

 

Our fight is not over, but I know how important it is that I do all that I can do and encourage others to keep fighting for truth so that we can be a witness like Rev. James Joseph Reeb.

 

Thank You.

 

 

 

Motivation & Inspiration:

For those who may ask or wonder the reason for such a post I offer my reasons here. Two years ago on this blog I published a post titled “Whites in Black History”. I did it to emphasize the positive role White people people played in Black History. Often we will begin hearing the calls for the end of the celebration or governors, politicians and organizations interestingly choosing to celebrate Confederate History as if that is the whole of the history of White Americans. The list goes on for days with the reasons given by those who have not taken the time to consider their role in Black History. It is not just a history of a people, but all of us. This is the point.

 

So often in schools only one perspective of history is taught with a brief mentioning of a few others. This plays into the ignorance of a culture. We are so willing to take a line and run with it without considering the sentence or the paragraph. We can not continue to have such a narrow-minded view and perception of history if we are to consider ourselves moving forward.

 

My motives behind this is not to exclude the contributions of Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and many others who made significant contributions to the history of Black people in America. It is to highlight how rich the history truly is and sharing it with others. I have personally written and mentioned many people beyond the notable names of Dr. King or Malcolm X. Not to diminish their works and ultimate sacrifices, but as I’m sure they would and did say, there’s more to a people than what you see. All I’m doing is trying to help you see it for yourself.

 

Now there will be those who simply choose to ignore all of this and remain in the state of consciousness they are familiar with. Some will be more willing to settle for the “I’m OK, if You’re OK” position and see this effort and others made as just a nice tribute to history. I accept this reality and understand that I can not change the mind of everyone. Some people are just not unwilling, but that’s alright. It should not be a factor in what others may receive from this effort. So I submit this edition of my collection titled “Whites in Black History” regarding Rev. James J. Reeb.

 

Thank you for your time and reading :)

Post Racial or Post Racist? (NC Racial Justice Act)

I have had many conversations with individuals who say they’re not racist whenever I write about the various issues that surround race. Often they say it as an attempt to deflect any responsibility or accountability. I’m OK if you’re OK, can’t we all get along type of ideology.

I write about the things I do with the passion I strive to put forth, because I want people understand that they have the ability to right the wrong and do better.

So this will begin a series of posts that I will ask periodically regarding race.

I want to ask those who believe that we’re in a post-racial society, not for there reasons why they believe that, because there is enough evidence to prove that notion is not realized. But why is it that so many people who are accused and convicted of crimes and later, usually after many years, discovered that they were innocent happens to be overwhelmingly Black men?

Seattle’s Goodwill?

Notice: To those who only want to argue for no logical or just for selfish reasons but to disagree, I suggest this to you. If you do not understand the intricacies of what is unconscious racism/discrimination, then don’t make yourself look ignorant by making an uninformed comment. This is for people who know what they’re talking about, not zealots of any form in matters of discrimination, racism, intolerance and bias. If you read what I’ve said and watch the video clips you will find that I hold all in this video that was in close proximity of this incident accountable, regardless of their race, gender or occupation.

Issue:
The lack of comprehension and adherence to the intricacies of unconscious racism also referred to as unconscious discrimination. Also, the lack of adherence to the trappings of racial profiling and guilty by association.

Incident:
Seattle, WA Police Detective Shandy Cobane did what so many have and will do when racism is not adequately addressed. See Video Below

Now Detective Cobane is not the only police officer at fault, because the female officer is just as guilty for participating by kicking him, when he wasn’t making any threatening gestures. In addition to the officer that I’m assuming was Black for not saying anything to his fellow officers, both Det. Cobane for his words and actions and the female officer for unprovoked aggression against the man. The female officer should have recognized what she was doing, but if this other officer was Black, I know he knows that what Detective Cobane said and did was unnecessary.

This goes to prove previous repeated arguments I’ve made that explains why racism isn’t racist, because anyone can be one. Also why the privileged routinely do not realize its privilege until it’s challenged or questioned. But this is not entirely the best venue for a cultural awareness course, but I would suggest one or just read up on the subject.

Reaction:

Around one minute into the video above, Mr. Roberto Maestas; a Seattle Police Chief Search Committee Member says what most Latinos, Blacks and many others members of present day ethic minority groups would say. “Profoundly disqusted, but not profoundly surprised.” What is typically missed is the agreement of those who would have agreed with the follow-up question the reporter asked. “Why aren’t you surprised?” That right there is the problem and what divides us. That is what goes unexplained.

Solution:

I agree with the actions of the Seattle Police Department to remove the officer, but believe they should also make the other two officers mentioned and others not seen in the video that was close enough to have controlled their fellow officer’s actions. They may not have said anything, but silence, inaction and voyeurism can be just as deadly as violence.

Det. Cobane may be wrong, but what everyone should consider is that he’s actually taking responsibility for his actions. This is an indicator that he is redeemable and more importantly, teachable.

When I ask people to consider others beyond themselves, I extend it to everyone. This includes the perpetrator and the victim.

So even if Detective Cobane was deliberately being racist, this is the time and optimal opportunity to redeem him. We can not be more willing to accuse and not forgive. What is challenging is figuring out how best to help people understand what they don’t understand. Racism, discrimination and intolerance can be understood and fixed. We must be willing to sincerely consider others first beyond the knowledge of our own experiences and circumstances.

To overcome racism and you must first have a keen understanding of racism in all of its guises. Don’t be so quick to call someone a racist until you know what it truly is, because it’s not always as it appears.

References & Inspirations
National Turk – May 10, 2010 “Seattle Police Officer Apologizes for Racism& Kick to Innocent Victim

The Time is Now

Why is it that Republicans do not want to talk about immigration?

Could it be that it exposes  who they essentially have become or welcomed into their ranks?

When you observe their position on this issue you must ask the question of how long will we sit silently with a voyueristic mentality on immigration reform?

Yes, Democrats shouldn’t be comfortable either. The time is now and this is why Democrats, Moderate Republicans & Independents should speak up more than ever in solidarity with our immigrant friends who seek citizenship and those Americans immediately descended from immigrant parents.

There is a problem with illegal immigration in the country, but why is it always an issue with Republicans & their subsidiaries when the immigrant is Spanish or African decent? I’m sure you can find some European Illegal Immigrants, but where’s the outrage then?

Isn’t this what America is? A nation of immigrants. Or are we so captivated by who we are that we have forgotten what we are?

I’m not a Joe Scarborough fan at all. I’m generally suspicious of him, but this former Republican Congressman is one of the few who you push away from the GOP. He makes a valid point and so do his guests.

Finally, Republicans and friends. Do you realize the growing list of groups you continue to tell go away?  If you want to believe that it’s never about race then why is the GOP so overwhelmingly White? Yes, you have some Blacks and a few others, but what you don’t understand even about that is what is destroying the party. Democrats will continue to beat you over the head with this billy club until you do something about it in your positions and policy. To site an instance of diversity does not prove that you are diverse. Diversity is proven over time and by what you advocate.

Making the Case for School Segregation

Alright, I have an interesting question for all who are brave enough to answer this challenging question. Given the sexual harassment gay/lesbian teenagers face in addition to all of the other pressures of high school and being a teenager.

Here’s my question.

Is school segregation a viable alternative to harassment, meaning having a high …school for one group and another for another group?

Now for some this question goes against everything that came about during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s & 60’s beginning with Brown v Board of Education in Topeka, KS, to James Meredith at Ole Miss, the Little Rock Nine, desegregation in Chicago and Boston and so on.

For me to ask such a question is difficult, because I have benefited from the victories and gains achieved in all of the mentioned cases. I’ve read, listen and try to obtain all I can about this time period, because if it wasn’t for these events I may not be where I am today freely writing about segregation.

When I first entered school back in the mid-70’s all of this was still new, but have gone on long enough for people to be use to seeing a Black face in a sea of White ones. With the harassment I was subjected to although it wasn’t no where near as harsh as what so many others endured, I wondered if it would have made a difference if I had went to an all Black school or a boys school or even a school designated for heterosexual boys.

My intentions are not to criticize this article or the high school. I understand the purpose of it, although it challenges my understanding of the benefits of school desegregation. Share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions after reading this article about Homo High.

PS: I don’t like that name. Just as bad as Nigger Academy, Cracker College, Hispanic High, Asian Prep or Redskin Institute. Just doesn’t sound right.

References & Inspirations

Los Angeles Times – 02/01/10 “A Harassment-Free School Opens in L.A.

Just Give It Up

I simply can’t believe this one. Seriously, have we come so far that Senators don’t care whatever it is, if one side is for it they’re automatically against it? Read what it has to say, before you say Yea or Nay. It’s that easy.

Rape in any form is violent, to prevent the victim from sueing the attacker if they work for the same company shouldn’t matter. Rape is rape.

Jon Stewart lays this one out in comedic form, but makes valid points. This shouldn’t be a political partisan issue. There’s not a reason to even be partisan on this one. Republicans are raped, just as Democrats. If we consider healthcare insurance companies we’re all having to just give it up whether we want to or not.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-14-2009/rape-nuts

I’ll make this one easy. If you are against abortions, against rape and against violence and you live in the state of where one of the Senators who voted Nay were elected, then I ask you to ask your Senator why? Believe me I have.

  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Bond (R-MO)
  • Sam Brownback (R-KS)
  • Jim Bunning (R-KY)
  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Coburn (R-OK)
  • Cochran (R-MS)
  • Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • John Ensign (R-NV) Should you really be voting against this John?
  • Enzi (R-WY)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Gregg (R-NH)
  • Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Isakson (R-GA)
  • Johanns (R-NE)
  • John Kyle (R-AZ)
  • John McCain (R-AZ) I’m honestly surprise that even you would vote this way.
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Risch (R-ID)
  • Roberts (R-KS)
  • Sessions (R-AL)
  • Shelby (R-AL)
  • Thune (R-SD)
  • David Vitter (R-LA)
  • Wicker (R-MS)

And The 2009 Nobel Price for Peace Goes To…

***I WANTED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO BREAK-AWAY FROM OUR CONVERSATION ON UNCONSCIOUS & SYSTEMIC RACISM TO OFFER MY CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2009 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER***

I wish they aired this like the Grammy’s or some award show. I would have loved to see the expressions on the faces of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin, FOX News, Americans for Prosperity and all of the Birthers, Deathers and Townhall Protesters/Healthcare Insurance Industry Supporters when the 2009 Nobel Price for Peace was awarded to President Barack Obama.

I absolutely love it. I’m sure there will be those who are upset, but these are the same who will ignore the conversation we’ve been having for the past week and a half. There’s nothing anyone can say or do to make them happy. They are often content with discontent, so let them dwell in their own juices, I’m celebrating peace.

So as some Republicans’ blood boil and are green with envy who will now seek to discredit peace in addition to the Nobel Prize Committee and any thing this President seeks to achieve I suggest you look at the motives of their outrage. There’s no need to attack or respond to their negativity with negativity, because a smile is more brutal than any word could offer.

I guess the old saying still proves true, the best revenge is success.

Congratulations President Obama. Keep promoting peace in the midst of unpeaceful times and those who continues to demonstrate their support against peace and civility I the towns, halls, minds and airways throughout this country and the world.

I guess the post I offered during the campaign last year that said “No weapon formed against me…” was truer more than I realized.

That’s what I’m talking about, A Call To Action. What will your action be and what does it truly represent?

:)

Do Something Before It’s Too Late

One of the most scariest images is an ideologically confused, unsocialized person with a gun in one hand and the Bible and Constitution in the other. What is more scary are the people who enables them.

For weeks I’ve been writing about race, rage, religion and the right. Some has attributed all of this to one bloggers obsession with race and republicans. And your assumption would be wrong. Many people who are silent on these issues are so because they either sees the truth in what has been illustrated and/or they’re simply uncomfortable speaking with authority about any of these subjects.

As I’ve illustrated last week is that it’s not always about race, it’s not always republicans, but it is about race and the role republicans are playing in the rage against this President. Many choose not to accept the reality of that truth, but what other logical conclusion can you draw if it isn’t about race? Politics is just the proxy, not the problem.

I give up on the realistic relevance of the Republican Party these days. It doesn’t want anyone who will question its authority. It doesn’t want anyone who will demand discussion. It doesn’t want anyone who is progressive, moderate, Black, Latino, Muslim, Young or even female. If you’re White, Male and Southern you’re welcomed. As a southerner I know that’s not a fair assessment, but many polls are trending in that direction when it comes to the GOP. It’s trending higher to those groups. The Democratic Party is not infallible, but at least I’m welcomed.

The fringes of society, whether it is the Birthers, the Deathers, the outrageous 2nd Amendment folks and the Racists they are not ruining the GOP, they have ruined the GOP. Who’s talking about bringing guns, Hitler, Nazis and the socialists. It’s not all Republicans, but it is a Republican problem and an American issue.

I’m surprised about the silence of those Republicans who has previous criticized me on various issues. What is worse is the timid tendencies of Democrats confronting them. It’s not all Republicans, it’s not all Democrats, but when will we finally have a Conservative who will talk down the paranoia of Republicans to Republicans? When will we finally have Democrats speak critically towards the timidness of the Democrats to Democrats?

I have restrained myself from saying this for many months, but I simply give up any possibility of having a reasonable conversation with most Republicans on many of these issues. I will continue to push Democrats to speak up, but their time is coming too if they don’t start doing what needs to be done.

Comment, criticize if you please. I give up. Let the M.F. Burn. (Reference to a previous post)

If what happened in November of 1963, February of 1965 or April of 1968 happens in today I will be sad, but I would feel sorry for those who helped caused it, because the blood would be on their hands. The outrage of the right could not match the rage that would come from the left and in the unexpected corners of society. I don’t want any of this to happen and urge people to do something more than nod in agreement or disagreement, do something before something happens. Before it’s too late.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy – (Teddy)

Mr. Kennedy worked on his remarks before a Patients Bill of Rights rally at the Capitol in 2001. Born to one of the wealthiest American families, Mr. Kennedy often spoke for the downtrodden in his public life.  Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Mr. Kennedy worked on his remarks before a Patient's Bill of Rights rally at the Capitol in 2001. Born to one of the wealthiest American families, Mr. Kennedy often spoke for the downtrodden in his public life. Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

It was he who said that “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” So it remains true that I must say something in remembrance of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in this time of mourning for his family, friends, constituents and those who have been inspired by him throughout his long public career.

Born in 1932 to one of the most wealthiest and influential families in America, Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke for “the least of these” and a true advocate for the poor and downtrodden.

Just as Strom Thurmond and Ronald Reagan are revered among republicans for their adherence to conservative values, so is Ted Kennedy for his observance to liberal principles while often crossing the partisan and ideological divide to help enact important legislation across a broad spectrum of social policy. Although he was a leading spokesman for liberal issues and a favorite target of conservative fund-raising appeals and paper political patriots, he had the ability to find Republican allies to get bills passed; a miracle all of its own.

Sen. Kennedy leaves a strong and positive legacy on legislation concerning civil rights, health care, education, voting rights and labor. More than just a senator from Massachusetts, he was a presence of his own. Through the triumphs and tragedies that have found its way to Ted Kennedy few will be able to say with honesty that Sen. Kennedy wasn’t a true “lion”.

So as we will hear some Republicans and Conservatives continue their attacks on Sen. Kennedy during this time I ask that you not participate. It is these who will be left behind. “We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe all of us will live on the future we make.” – Ted Kennedy

As Democrats now have more reason to pass legitimate reform for healthcare as Sen. Kennedy would have it, I admire Sen. Kennedy for going out like a lion.

Thank you and may you rest in peace Sen. Ted Kennedy.

References & Inspirations
The White House – 08/26/09 “One of the Most Accomplished Americans Ever to Serve our Democracy
New York Times – 08/26/09 “Edward Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Dies
USA Today – 08/26/09 “Ted Kennedy: A lifetime of public service
The Boston Globe – 08/26/09 “Gov. Deval Patrick Supports Kennedy Request for Change in Succession Rules

How Long Will It Take

I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal– Associated Press, 06/07/09 – Scott Roeder

After I read this statement by the murderer of Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder I was reminded of the question asked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in 1965. How long will it take?

Scott Roeder walked into a church with a gun and without any regards towards the LIFE of the children he and many others proclaim to value, without any respect for a place of worship, without any concern towards the implications of the hypocrisy. He acts as what he accused his victim of being, a murderer.

So as I patiently await a response from those who were so upset and outraged over some of my previous posts regarding abortion and the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debates, I’m amazed by their silence. You were so quick and sure of yourself when you attacked me from my position of considering the positions of those we disagree with, I’m just wondering where you are on this one.

Would you rather engage your guns and religious hypocrisy instead of engaging in an honest and respectable conversation?

I’ve said all I have to say on the subject when I wrote, “The Pro-Truth Agenda” and “Promote Life, Not Death”. I seriously doubt those who generally disagree with most of the things written on this blog will even get the point I’m making in these two posts, but it’s alright. Someone has to disagreeable I guess, why not you. That’s fair.

What isn’t fair is the reconciliation many who do tend to disagree are wrestling with in terms of the trend of radical extremist who commit these crimes in the name of life and sometimes Christ. I think it should be a debate, because there’s not much too truly reconcile when you strive to consider the experiences of others before concluding they are evil or wrong. Fortunately that’s not for me to reconcile. Just like those who somehow can find a way to support torture will continue to support the hypocrisy of those who promote life while advocating death to those who believe you have a choice.

You can disagree with me, curse at me or even refuse to acknowledge me, that’s your choice (no pun intended). I just am amazed at the silence. Silence truly is betrayal. The disconnect between both Pro-Life supporters and Pro-Choice supporters can not be solved until BOTH begin to CONSIDER EACH OTHER. Nothing I can say or do will change the minds of anyone who chooses to remain silent, upset or disconnected towards those they disagree with. I don’t know how anyone can disagree with that.

So I’m finished with my discussion on the subject of abortion. I believe I have clearly stated my position on multiple occasions. I would personally pay for the day to arrive that what divides us will be no more. That day will arrive, and when it does how will you be paying?

*You must visit the 3rd reference below KFOR NewsChannel 4 – Oklahoma City, simply amazing.*

References & Inspirations
TI&S – 05/03/09 “The Pro-Truth Agenda
TI&S – 06/03/09 “Promote Life, Not Death
KFOR: Oklahoma City – 05/31/09 “Anti-Abortion Protesters Show Up at Tiller Vigil to faceoff with supporters
Yahoo News/Associated Press – 06/07/09 “Suspect in Abortion Doctor Death Warns of Violence
National Organization of Women – 1998 “Doctor Murdered as Anti-Abortion Violence & Terrorism Continue

الرئيس أوباما يخاطب العالم الإسلامي من القاهرة A New Beginning

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For those who know me or have followed this blog for awhile it would be fair to assume that I absolutely LOOOOVVVE the context of this speech given by President Barack Obama. This is why I like President Obama despite what those who oppose him and/or publicly & privately want him or his policies to fail think, believe or say. It’s difficult to dispute the principle of truths he’s saying in this speech.

Words along can not meet the needs of the people, action. This is what I’ve been talking about day after day, forgiveness, reconciliation, consideration, tolerance; a new beginning.  We can not become so captive to the pass or to a position or ideology that we can’t preserve a future of peace. We can not continue to be bound by hate, fear and intolerance in any form.

I will hold off for now, because I’m ready to go on this one. If this was delivered in a Pentecostal church I would be the one shouting “PREACH”. This is what I’m talking about. Well I will let you digest this 55 minute speech. Be sure that I have more to say about this soon.

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We Think Just Like Everybody Else

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Manny Miranda, the chairman of the Third Branch Conference and the author of a letter that has asked Senate Republicans to consider a “Democratic filibuster” against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, just spoke at the Heritage Foundation luncheon for conservative bloggers.

Hispanic polls, Hispanic surveys, indicate that Hispanics think just like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else. When I was on the leader’s staff, someone called me once and asked me: ‘What’s Senator Frist’s Hispanic agenda?’ I said, ‘low taxes, better education, more jobs … what are you talking about?’ And that’s how Hispanics are. This is an opportunity to educate them on all of our issues and they will resonate in the way that they resonate with everyone else.– Manny Miranda

OH REALLY. And you wonder why… You know what’s the use. Simply Amazing.

Now I would personally like to hear Republicans, especially Black Republicans thoughts about this one.

You tell my Latino and Hispanic friends, “We like you. You’re not like those African-Americans over there” Oh we’re not meaning you Michael Steele, Juan Williams, Secretary Rice, Gen. Powell and the list of other accomplished or notable Black Republicans.

Where are the people who are so quick to tell me that the Republican Party is the party of Emancipation, the party of Lincoln? Where’s the emancipation of rhetoric?

Now before you get on your spill how the Democrats have done this or that, I want to give you the opportunity to explain this statement by your fellow Republican.

For months I’ve consistently warned people against this type of thinking over and over and over again, but I’m the crazy one and don’t know what I’m talking about? I have something against the GOP, but I would love to hear how you answer for this type of language. What I have against the GOP is the same that I have against the DNC and any other organization or individual who adopts this sort of ideology.

Listen to what he’s saying. “Hispanics think like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans.” So how would you know how Black people think if your only experience with Blacks is the few that work near you or you see when you’re out? That’s right; one of your best friends is Black. I forgot that’s excuses it.

Next point, “We’re not like African-Americans.” What the Hell is that suppose to mean? Better question, what does that statement say about the person who said it? Once again, this is just another example of someone with limited social experience with Blacks. Seriously, if you stop looking down at people and start looking at people as equal, just maybe you’ll recognize that not all Black people think alike. I would love to have a conversation with him. But why not have a conversation with the few Black Republicans left. This really makes them feel welcomed and proud to be a Republican.

As a Democrat who is Black I am confident and secure enough with who I am and what I believe to clearly understand and recognize that there are some very intelligent people who can school you on the eclectic culture that is labeled Black or African-American and be Republican at the same time. I personally admire Joseph Watkins, J.C. Watts and Colin Powell to name a few notables. Get out of your segregated way of thinking. Then you wouldn’t make DUMB ASS COMMENTS like this.

What the Hell am I suppose to think?

This is the problem I keep hammering away at, despite the negative criticism, confusion and reluctance of honesty some have towards open discussion on the issue of race relations. You have further alienation of a party who already has a serious problem recruiting anyone who isn’t a White Male. Keep talking like this and see what happens to the credibility of your arguments to recruit any minority.

White Men or people are not the problem; it’s the thinking as if White men or people in general are the standard upon which we all should be measured upon. It’s the false sense of security of believing one is superior or inferior. The world is made up of more people than one race. You, me, we are just another part of the collective value of man. The days of acting, assuming and accepting White Men as the standard of measurement for the world is over.

While I’m at it I should just go there and say it.

Black people quit accepting and/or subscribing to any suggestion that you’re less than anyone else. You are just as valuable as anyone else. Start acting like it. When we see racism or discrimination we tend to address it. We must all be diligent in continuing this when we see it in our own community, family, and friends or even within ourselves. This means stop discriminating and blaming White people or anyone else for our own mistakes, failures or problems. Not all of the obstructions that prevent us from success as rapidly as someone else is caused by someone else. We can do, because it’s been done. I know it isn’t always fair or equal, but look at how far we’ve come. There’s not excuse to turn around now. We just can’t give up.

To my Hispanic and Latino family, you are a vital part of this community as anyone else. The obstacles you’re facing today are the same Blacks faced and in some cases still do. We walk this journey together. When some seek to divide us by their rhetoric and political posturing the reality is that we are essentially in the same boat. We’ve been friends & neighbors for decades upon decades and the community continues to made tremendous contributions to our society. It’s going to take you, me and many others to break the psychological chains ignorance, hate and discrimination that continue to bind so many people in terms of race today. But it can be done.

To my Gay and Lesbian friends, keep on. I understand your frustration. The fight for equality didn’t end on a Memphis motel balcony in 1968, but only intensified. Continue to fight for what’s right, fair, equal and just. Through propositions, resolutions and conversation with those who choose to embrace discrimination and/or refuse to reconcile the religion of love against the religions of man, I just urge you to keep on.

Equality is not going to be reached if we continue to segregate ourselves. Segregation even in terms of sexual preference. How can we live in a land half slave and half free. Slave as in terms of a mentality that binds us to an ideology, culture or religion of discrimination.
I can go back to the Lincoln-Douglass Debates for context to this problem we continue to have and take it all the way to another speech made by a politician in Philadelphia during March 2008. How else can you say it? How long will we hear people like Mr. Miranda make such statements?

The same Republican Party that Mr. Lincoln was apart of is not the same party it has morphed into today. The Democratic Party of Lincoln’s day was loosely what we see elements of today in the GOP. The GOP is not inherently evil or exclusionist, but they have lost their way in terms of being racially inclusive or tolerant. What happen?

The Democrats are a little better, but as we can reference a year ago, far from perfect. We too need to work with much more diligence to involve more people of color into the inner workings and decision making. We may have successfully won the argument today, but there’s always tomorrow.

What many do not understand about Blacks, Hispanics, Lesbians, Asians, Whites and Muslims are their similarities.

We may have different life experiences, but I can guarantee that we have something in common. Open yourself to diversity. Open your mind to the inclusive ways of thinking. Consider others not like yourself and their life experiences, before judging them by your standards. Most importantly, we must stop defeating ourselves. I’m just asking you to take the opportunity to know someone better and honestly. You are not superior and nor am I or the next person reading this inferior. You may be surprised with the prejudice you didn’t realize you held and recognize the value of diverse experiences.

Now I’ve grown accustom to always having someone misunderstanding this simple message. So I break it down to an easy sentence for those few. “Understand, respect, consider and appreciation people.”

“We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else” Amazing. Let’s try considering everybody.

References & Inspirations
The Washington Independent – 06/02/2009 “In Court Fight, Hispanics, Unlike Blacks, Think Like Everybody Else
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates – 1858 “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 02/04/1968 “The Drum Major Instinct
John Howard Griffin – 1959 “Black Like Me
ABC News – 2001 “A Latina Judge’s Voice

Empathy Is Not Sympathy

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No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  - John Donne “For Whom the Bell Tolls

As cool it would be if it was true, I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I would like to believe that we would be in a better place in terms of human conditions if I ruled the world. Unfortunately this is just a fascination of my utopian dream to making the world what I believe it ought to be; Heaven.

Although this dream may not become a reality in my life time I can at least try. You can’t take it for granted or rely on the fact that you’ve never been told any differently that people will change. One can change the world if there’s one willing to try.

I’m still amazed by how so many of us have become comfortable with the lack of empathy we demonstrate towards each other. Perhaps it’s due to the busy lives we employ. Maybe it’s due to a lack of socialization or understanding. Maybe you just don’t want any trouble, so you just go along to get along. Whatever the case may be, there comes a time where your silence becomes betrayal.

When some are more eager to protest against a proposition in California than rally to end discrimination and homophobia then there’s a problem. When Christians are more concern with preventing Same-Sex Marriage than divorce, then there’s a problem.

When a woman who graduates 2nd in her class at an Ivy-League school while overcoming economic, social and medical issues is intelligence is questioned and whether she is suitable for a position because of her life experiences, then something is wrong.

When your words are taken out of context, chopped and screwed to blend into a malicious and hateful mix promoted by culturally unaware, socially uninformed exclusionists for political purposes, then something is wrong.

The law of the life is not logic, but experience. Experience that’s been tested by obstacles and barriers, hardship and misfortune. The insistence of persistence is what ultimately overcomes those barriers. It is these experiences that allow a person to consider others and be able to relate to them on a personal level despite our apparent differences and/or opposing interests?

What is your standard?

We are here because of the aspirations, works and sacrifices of someone else. The dream that one day we can live with love, respect and concern for each other in what Dr. Martin Luther King called the Beloved Community is being foreclosed on by the unethical practices of propagandist who only seek to profit off of fear and hate.

Far too often have we found ourselves bound by the narrow confines of foolish perceptions? Whether trapped by boundless liberalism or arrested by static conservatism the results are the same; progressive stagnation.

To become what you ought to be you need to consider others. The standard for which you judge others you judge yourself, but more harshly. When you continue to put up borders in your life, the community becomes less beloved and more despised. The standard of your arguments are no longer freedom or emancipation, but obstruction and restriction.

When you reach the point that you can recognize life as just an ordinary person, blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Perhaps you will understand what empathy means. Empathy does not mean adjusting the circumstances in such a way that the “little guy/minority” wins, but to place yourself in their position. Become the little guy, experience life as he or she experiences it, before casting judgment that is tainted with bias observations and experiences.

Take the time to become friends with someone different than you. Strive to sincerely learn about someone who is not like you. Example: I’m a Black Male, so I would want to try to befriend and learn more about someone who is not Black or a male. (I can personally say with confidence that I only have one friend who is a Black male, the rest are women of various races including Black.)

You are not an island, entire of yourself. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Any man’s death whether it be physical, moral or spiritual diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. Empathy is what I believe John Donne is saying in my 21st Century remix of a 17th Century poem. There are no them, but only us. We should not build fences or walls, but bridges. We are the community and to make it beloved, we have to learn how to love it and each other.

References & Inspirations
John Donne – 1624 “Devotions upon emergent occasions and several steps in my sickness – Meditation XVII
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 12/18/1963 “Social Justice (Speech at Western Michigan University)
Christian Century – 04/03/1974 “Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr.”