Christianity, Civil Rights, Islam, Local/City, Opinion Editorial, Religion, State/Region, Tennessee, Terror/Fear

Love Thy Neighbor, Yeah Right?

I guess for some who claim to be Christian, Matthew 22:37-39 is one of those conditional commandments that only apply to other Christians and not to everyone.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

It has been my understanding that love thy neighbor applies to everyone, not just your Christian neighbor.

This is what I believe many of my fellow Christians continue to misrepresent Christ, because they often use God, Jesus and the Bible to either damn people to a living hell of torment while using God, Jesus or the Bible as a proxy for their discrimination, bigotry and intolerance towards others.

Jesus did not waste his time discerning ethnicity, culture or religious beliefs in his ministry. He loved everyone the same, even when they did not love or demonstrate that love to or for him. As I know there are some who will point out an instance of Matthew 15:23 as a counter argument, but I look at their motives in making this argument while ignoring the counter arguments to their counter argument. This is often where we both get side tracked and entangled in conversations based on individual biases and preferences. So we miss the point.

Why Do I Care About Muslims?

I take this point up not to agitate or to apologize to anyone. I take this point up, because underneath the surface of this debate is an unconscious undertone of religious bigotry at work against the Islamic Center.

Some may ask the question, “As a Christian, why do I or should I care about Muslims, Islam or a building?

I care because it is my understanding and belief as a Christian that I am to love my neighbor as I love myself. I care because I still have not found a logical or spiritual reason why I should discriminate against someone.

Unfortunately many who claims to practice Christianity as are those who claims to practice Islam has perverted the faith by distorting what is true. This is the case within any spiritual belief. There will always be some faction who may claim to be fundamentalist of the tradition, but fail to practice the fundamentals of the tradition. That is essential mutual respect of one another.

Why should I care?

I care because I know when you have had the opportunity to interact with many persons who practice Islam on an ongoing basis that interaction develops into a friendship and friendship into a kinship. That only occurs when both practice mutual respect towards each other. That’s why I care. Why don’t you should be the question?

Walk By Faith

What motivates me to speak as a Christian in defense of Muslims is first my adherence to my faith in where I sincerely strive to practice it in truth, not in perception of it or having truth. This puts another meaning to II Corinthians 5:7, because if you walk by faith and not by sight you are not concerned about being perceived to be right, true or spiritual, because it will be seen in your actions. What you defend, what you cherish, what you practice. In essence, whether you walk by faith or just concerned by being seen as walking by faith.

The Beloved Community?

Another reason why the opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfressboro attracted by attention is has nothing to do with the proxy of zoning issues that are waged, but the undertone of religious intolerance at work.

I’m not saying one side’s opinion is infallible and the other’s opinion is fallible, because both sides should be heard, but if this was a Christian organization seeking the same property in the same manner there may be similar zoning related questions or obstacles to be accounted for, but the public opposition would not be comparable if any at all. I’m sure some may not be honest enough to admit that probability, but this is why I harp on being considerate of others beyond your own understanding.

There’s a history of religious intolerance directed towards the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. January of this year the sign that read “Future Home of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro” was vandalized with the words, “Not Welcomed”. That’s a fine example of the “Love Thy Neighbor.”

So the sudden opposition demonstrated by some should not be a big surprise, nor should the claims of zoning or legalities should be considered without suspicion of bias.

Conclusion

If America is ever going to be true to its words, then we must adhere to those words we claim to cherish. We the people may be the beginning of the preamble of the constitution of the United States, but when that statement was first written and the document was complete, ‘We’ did not included ‘Me’. The same continues to be true each time we don’t consider others and fall into the comforts of only thinking about me.

Many people who say they love America only want to focus on the good of America. We cling to our guns and religion like a 2nd Amendment militias. If we are to celebrate our religious freedoms, then stop opposing the right to religious freedom. Just because someone doesn’t believe what you believe doesn’t give you the right to oppose them for wanting to lawfully and respectfully practice what they believe.

References & Inspirations
WSMV: Nashville – 18 January 2010 “Murfreesboro Islamic Center Sign Vandalized
Daily News Journal – 18 June 2010 “Mosque’s Approval Draws Residents’ Ire
Daily News Journal – 17 June 2010 “Mosque Faces Challenge
Daily News Journal – 17 June 2010 “Letter to Editor: Debate Needed on Islamic Center
Religious Tolerance “Thomas Jefferson’s 1777 Draft of a Bill for Religious Freedom
Religious Tolerance “An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia 1786
The Holy Bible (NIV) “Matthew 22” Specifically verses 23 until the end of the chapter
Islamic Center of Murfreesboro “Official Website

Human Rights First – “2008 Hate Crime Survey Results: Violence Against Muslims

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Media, Opinion Editorial, Race Relations, Relationships, Terror/Fear, War Crimes/Torture

Terror by Another Name

In February we witnessed two senseless, but high-profile acts of criminal violence that would have been labeled terrorism if the victimizer were an Arab Muslim with a foreign-sounding name.

But the people who committed these acts of violence, however, were White. Isn’t it interesting that our political and certain members of the media never used the word “terrorism” in its discussions?

John Patrick Bedell, a 36-year-old man from California, walked up to two security guards outside the Pentagon Metro station in suburban Washington D.C. and started shooting. I guess he had a death wish, because you don’t come to the Pentagon with a gun-in-hand shooting and expect to live long. As expected he was shot and killed.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, (Note: not me or Liberals, President Obama or any other group some like to issue unfitting names towards) said Mr. Bedell appeared “to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent anti-government feelings” and also battled mental illness before his shooting rampage.

Now I’m not suggesting you have to be crazy to hold right-wing views, because I know some intelligent and level headed conservatives do exist. But this is what I’ve been warning you about for so long that some accused me of “using the race card” or the most ridiculous harboring “racial resentment”.

I’m just pointing out the unconscious racism, bias, prejudice or discrimination out to you so you can do something to correct it. My hand is extended, but you must psychologically unclench your fist in order to receive it.

But something else happen in February, because another anti-government extremist named Joseph Stack who happen to be White flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas that killing two people and injuring 13 others.

According to media reports, Mr. Stack had left behind a disjointed suicide letter in which he expressed his hatred of our American government and outlined grievances with the IRS, chillingly stating that “violence not only is the answer; it is the only answer.”

Now these attacks come at a time of an increasingly alarming growth in domestic extremist-group activism across the United States or should I say those who call themselves patriots.

A recently released law center report showed these so-called patriot groups were steeped in anti-government conspiracy theories and grew from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009. That’s a 244% increase that the Southern Poverty Law Center report judged to be an “astonishing” rise in the one-year period.

What is interesting is the timing. What significant socio-cultural psychological shift occurred in the U.S. in 2008 that would encourage this sort of activity?

I’ll let you ponder that one for a minute as I continue.

January 20, 2009 President Obama took the oath of office. Now according to the SPLC Report in addition to other reports from various organizations that monitor this sort of activity, the number of these groups that are domestic extremist paramilitary militias grew from 42 in 2008 to 127 in 2009.

But race has nothing to do with it. It’s the ploys of a liberal big government socialist take over.

Now imagine the response if this was committed by someone with a ‘funny-sounding name’ (which is also an insensitive phrase) or Heaven forbid they’re Black, Latino or Asian. The world as you know it would end.

Seriously, this is what I’ve tried to convey to you. It’s not just Democrats who get it, because there are some Republicans who has gave the same type of warning, but they’re cast as being too moderate for the party and essentially ran out of the party or demonized by the same media who fails to call it as it is.

I don’t mind the political discourse, but for far too long both sides have harbored such a distain for the other that discourse is virtually impossible and replaced with political talking points.

Others have chosen to simply call anyone who disagrees or even challenges their ideology with warnings of discrimination as being the racist. An absolutely ridiculous and telling statement of how uncomfortable and unprepared they truly are. You get defensive when you have no defense.

So you ask what proof I have for my accusations and social analysis.

Although I anticipate the response some individuals may choose in response to this, I doubt many if any will have the ethical courage to address the bigger issue of not only unconscious racism, but overt discrimination, political extremism, white privilege, religious bias in addition to areas of self-hatred and a support of unpatriotic activities and calling yourself patriots. You prove me right ever single time. Some are too ignorant of history, inconsiderate and culturally unaware to sincerely grasp what is really going on for the feeling of acceptance and a false sense of social maturity.

Because Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber), Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber), Eric Rudolph (1996 Olympic Park bomber in Atlanta), James von Brunn (Holocaust Museum Shooter), Joseph Stack (IRS Attacker), John Patrick Bedell (Pentagon shooter), and shall I not include so many other instances that dates back each year for decades, including certain hooded and steel booted organizations. Should I dare say that all were white men motivated by their respective ideologies that drove them to violent attacks? But surprisingly, the term “terrorism” has never seemed to have been applied to any of them. I wonder why.

How persuasive is hate + fear + ignorance + a lack of socialization? Apparently very for some. But I’m the racist because I have no fear of talking candidly about race. But I harbor racial resentment towards Whites, because I point out unconscious racism amongst Whites. But you fail to consider all of my arguments that counter those accusations.

Just lay your misconceptions aside for a moment if you can. If I or any other Black, Latino, Arab or Asian harbor any level of animosity towards Whites how could I or they function in American society?

If you just shadowed a non-white person for a month, you’ll discover many of them fluidly interact with Whites without issue. Yes, there are racist among these groups too, but I speak of the majority. In fact I would say the majority of Whites don’t harbor any animosity towards other groups. But the problem is the silence.

Who is willing to speak up? Who is willing to say what must be said? Who is willing?

Oh let me stop before I get started.

So I will conclude by asking you this question. Why does terrorist not apply to other white extremists?

Note: This is where those who may try to comment in opposition will absolutely avoid the question and seek to find areas where they can discredit or cause confusion.


Work Cited & Additional References

Iftikhar, Arsalan (March 10, 2010). “Extremist of any color can commit terrorism” from CNN International Edition: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/09/iftikhar.white.terrorism/index.html?hpt=C2

Hanna, Jason (June 11, 2009). “Hate groups riled up, researchers say” from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/06/11/hate.groups/index.html#cnnSTCText

Chen, Stephanie (February 26, 2009). “Growing hate groups blame Obama, economy” from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/02/26/hate.groups.report/index.html#cnnSTCText

Preston, Mark (January 16, 2009). “White supremacist watched in lead up to Obama administration” from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/16/obama.white.supremacists/index.html#cnnSTCText

Adams, Jonathan (March 10, 2010). “Jihad Jane and 7 others held in plot to kill Swedish cartoonist” from The Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2010/0310/Jihad-Jane-and-7-others-held-in-plot-to-kill-Swedish-cartoonist

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Media, Opinion Editorial, Politics, Relationships, Terror/Fear

Fear Itself

There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.” – FDR

The alternative to the hypocritical ideology of the politicized Justice Department of the previous Presidential Administration is what you are seeing now. Republicans, Conservatives who fail to think before you speak and analyze just take a moment to place yourself in the terrorist and defense attorney’s shoes and think about this. Stop listening to the FEAR News Channel for a moment and consider the real outcome in terms of the justice system that you claim to love.

If you honestly believe in the constitution and the justice system, allow it to work. Where’s your so-called patriotism?

When you think about it, what this Justice Department is doing is almost ensuring a guilty verdict by having it in a city mostly affected by the act of terrorism. How impartial of a jury are you going to get in New York City towards a terrorist?

So if you’re the prosecutor this is where you want it to be.

The media terrorist are the ones who are promoting fear to an already culturally scared, religiously bias and politically disgruntled group of people who only want to have someone to be mad at or something to fear. Each one of you can be upset with me on this post and say whatever hateful thing you can think of or mimic from some talk show host. It doesn’t affect me, because I already know who I am and I’m just trying to give you a different perspective that is not tainted with fear.

If I was the terrorist, I would want to go somewhere less hostile towards me than New York City or Washington DC area. But the Justice Department strategy is to follow the rule of law and in this case get a conviction. How do you raise the odds of a conviction? You go to where the jury selection pool is in your favor.

You don’t have to like it, but this is on point. Mark my words. Any terrorist who stands trail in NYC will get convicted. What’s the punishment for the crime of terrorism?

The war, fear and hate mongers can answer this one… DEATH.

Where is your faith in what you say you believe in REPUBLICANS?

Where is your faith in what you say you believe in DEMOCRATS?

If you claim to love this country, love it enough to have faith in its systems of justice. There are many many many issues where crimes have gone unpunished, from someone as powerful as a former Vice-President to the gang banger on the street or even the unsuspecting crime from the kid from an upper middle-class home in your city.

The arc of the moral universe is blind, but it bends towards justice.” – MLK

I can offer quite a few quotes on fear for those who fear. What amazes me is those who fear often claim to be Christian. Which is astonishing, because of what the Bible says about fear.

I’ve stopped listening to the promoters of fear a long time ago, because they are often more motivated out of fear, misconceptions, unawareness and hate than they are anything else. You don’t have to like what I have to say, but wait to see who is right on this one. I bet those who disagree with me will not have the courage to reconsider their ways afterwards.

Why? Because of Fear Itself.

 

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God Hates What?

According to Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948 – March 1963 of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. King wrote that the Christian church was “the greatest preserver of the status quo” and, thereby, “one of the chief exponents of racial bigotry.” He concluded that “the church, in its present state, is not the hope of the world. I believe that nothing has so persistently and effectively blocked the way of salvation as the church.”

Now if YouTube, FOX News or certain talk radio programs were around while Dr. King was living you would have certain people who would be calling him a racist. Heaven forbid let there be someone in the church who was running for a political office, because then his/her connection to Dr. King would have been used as a political diversion to gather votes. But I will go into detail another day, because I use this as jumping off point to discuss an incident with what I call so-called Christians.

Today many Christians today appear to want a play-doh Jesus; a Jesus that they can mold and conform into whatever they want him to be to fit their chosen ideology. We’re more content with making Jesus acceptable to us instead of making ourselves acceptable to him.

Dr. King also said that “it’s appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.

So how much have things changed?

I can go down the line with countless references and examples of racism, discrimination, hypocrisy, bigotry, intolerance and discrimination in ALL CHURCHES. Yes, that is including yours and mine, regardless of how righteous you pretend to be. If we were comfortable in our beliefs we would be confront the church, instead many of us choose to conform to it as it continues to conform to the world it’s in.

Before I continue allow me to add that I can only speak to the Christian church. But I submit that the same level of racism, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance is found in other religious organizations too.

Now there will be those who will immediately be offended and get defensive towards such an aggressive line of accusations aimed at the church. The Church itself is not the problem, nor is Christ. It’s those within the church and proclaim to be followers of Christ where the problem lives. I’m not questioning Christ, but those who say they follow Christ and discriminate against their fellow man or woman.

Why is the church so segregated?

Even in theology its segregated. One believing they are they are the only way and all others will go to Hell. Well if that is true, why don’t you invite that church to your church or visit them. How can you say that I’m going to Hell if you won’t talk to me or if I don’t agree with you. Who’s to say that we both aren’t going to Hell because we refuse to fellowship with one another?

I already know I’m going to hear something from this one, but someone has to address the division in the church, the division in our minds. So often many people just go to church without realizing that they are the church.

There are so many examples to choose from I had a difficult time selecting a few to illustrate the point, but the folks at Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas provided me with a good starting point with their latest righteous indignation that they call a protest.

What are we teaching our kids?

OK, before I begin I must ask “What in Hell are these people teaching their kids?” I’m not cussing, because Hell is the only place I can think of that could persuade a so-called church to use children as sympathetic instruments for promoting hate filled propaganda.

After reading this article, one that I strongly recommend you to take a peak at, I have no apologies or apprehensions about standing with my Jewish friends both known and unknown against this type of hateful propaganda promoted by the Westboro Baptist Church and those who agree with their philosophy.

I agree with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum’s response because the voice of hate, regardless of how illogical it is, is still a voice. If we are to be true to who we are as people of faith and/or goodwill despite our beliefs and non-beliefs we should consider the voices of hate. Consider and address it with caution, concern, hope, love and truth. As Rabbi Kleinbaum said, “I personally believe it’s a mistake just to ignore them. We have to stand up to evil now, and we have to do so in a way that’s creative and focused and non-violent.”

This is so true and one of the reasons why I’m writing these series of posts, because it must be addressed. Far too often the church has spoken timid or is virtually silent on issues it needs to speak aggressively upon. As I’ve previously mentioned, I can only speak for the Christian church, but can assume that others can relate to what I’m saying. Many Christians are content with sitting and waiting for Jesus to return, while doing nothing in terms of the gospel.

Many people are simply more content with life as it is instead of how it can, should and will be. The truth is that many Christians, yes Black and White, Republican and Democrats hide behind the Cross and seek cover for our bigotry in scriptures instead of doing what we are called to do and be. Many will get upset when someone points out what it is that they are doing as if the intentions are to condemn. Condemnation is what you may want to do, but is not the point of my criticism of some Christians. Perhaps we should start calling them Play-Doh Christians, because they have conformed to what’s popular or satisfies their selfish, bigoted and prejudice means.

As long as fear is tolerated, faith in contaminated. The fear that is supported by this one church in Topeka, Kansas is only one location of hundreds if not even more of the prevailing opinion that has been conditioned into the church. If no one is willing to counter the built in bias, bigotry and intolerance that has found comfort with many Christians, then why call yourself a church or Christian.

References & Inspirations
The Jewish Daily Forward – 10/06/09 “How To Handle Hate
San Diego News Network – 10/06/09 “Westboro Baptist Chruch plans San Diego Protests at 29 Locations
Professor James C. Klagge  “The Most Segregated Hour in America


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Christianity, Opinion Editorial, Politics, Race Relations, Religion, Terror/Fear

The Gopsel of Hate

Just when you begin to gain hope that race, politics and religion can some how find reconciliation as illustrated in my previous post you have someone who will always work to keep things how they are, divided. If you pay attention you will see someone who will exemplify this truthfulness of this fact.

What’s the image you initially see in your head when you hear of someone speaking death for President Obama? I don’t even have to say it, but what if I said that it was a minister who was saying it, what’s your view of that person in your head now?

As a Christian and a son, great-grandson, great-nephew and cousin of ministers who were bold in their ministries and teaching the word of God. It has been my experience that much of the problems within the Christian church is not exclusively caused by the non-Christians, but primarily by Christians themselves. People, who proclaim to be representative of Christ, but act more as a liaison for an Anti-Christ.

You would assume that a Christian minister would at least abide by the Greatest Commandment; Love. But I guess that’s too much to ask for someone people, even the pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. This Southern Baptist minister delivered a message of why he hates Barack Obama.

OK, you can dislike the president for whatever your reasons may be. You hate Democrats, fine. You hate Black Democrats if that makes you feel better, cool. Oh, that’s right it’s not about race, but politics. That’s right. Hate whomever you please, but think about what you’re doing when you do that and more importantly what your actions are suggesting.

Wouldn’t it have been be easier to just say, “That _______ scares me”. Seriously, if just for the sake of honesty, because that’s what we’re seeing. Scared people, but what are you really afraid of? I bet you can’t be truthful about it, because the truth will reveal something ugly within your soul that you do not know how to properly deal with, so you revert to what’s comfortable, hate, fear and anger.

You can say whatever you want to say about me, you know this is the unspoken issue; hate.

Now this is not just some right-wing nut case to add to the collection, but a supposed minister of the gospel. I’m just waiting for him to say God Damn America next, but I forgot that level of condemnation only applies for certain people. This is a so-called minister of the gospel. I wonder what his positions are on racism, but I don’t want to make him feel any more uncomfortable than he already is.

But it’s only fair for Pastor Steve Anderson to speak for himself.

Remember what was said at the beginning of this as you read and view this and observe any responses. Look at their heart.

Finally, I ask ministers who say they live by the words of God to speak out against this sort of lawlessness within the Christian church today. This is not some isolated incident, because you have seen it within your own church.

Rhetorically speaking, does the church have to revisit a Birmingham Jail again to get the point? I strongly disagreed with the previous administration, but I never wished for their death or remain silent when I heard of others who did. This challenge is for you.

References & Inspirations
Christian Broadcasting Network – 08/31/09 “A Hateful Sermon Against President Obama
The Moderate Voice – 08/31/09 “Arizona Pastor Repeats Wish for Barack Obama’s Death
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Why We Can’t Wait”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 11/04/1956 “Paul’s Letter to the Christian Church
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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.

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We Think Just Like Everybody Else

a2a_linkname=”We Think Just Like Everybody Else”;a2a_linkurl=”http://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/everybodyelse/”;
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
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Empathy Is Not Sympathy

a2a_linkname=”TI&S | Empathy Is Not Sympathy”;a2a_linkurl=”http://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/empathyisnotsympathy/”;
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.”
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Conservative Radio Host Says It Was Absolutely “Torture”

For those who believe that I have an ax to grind with Conservatives and/or the Republican Party, please allow me to make this statement as clearly as possible. I do not have a problem with individuals who choose to be Conservatives even those who have issues with me being Liberal. I respect your embrace of conservatism, just as I appreciate those who respect my embrace of moderate liberalism (isn’t that just as oxymoranic as compassionate conservative).

It’s not those who are Conservatives that I have the issue with. It’s not even those who are true Republicans I have issue with. I believe many of the few True Republicans or should I say the Moderate Republicans do not like the extreme the GOP has gone and continues to go either. It’s not necessarily the Republican Party I have the issue with, but the extreme, exclusionist element that has hijacked the GOP is the problem. Now I do not pretend that the Democratic Party is perfect either, but I’m sure someone will accuse me of suggesting such.

Now I’ve said all that I believe I need to say in regards to the issue of torture, which includes waterboarding. I’m still amazed by those who feel the need to defend the use of torture. I’ve personally given up seeking common ground with these individuals in hopes they will some day realize their error and join the rest of us, both Liberals and Conservatives in our collective outrage on the use and endorcement of torture by the Bush/CHENEY Administration.

I give Eric “Man Cow” Muller, an extreme right-wing radio talk show host from Chicago credit for actually doing what so many who agreed with him (at least before this incident) in regarding waterboarding wouldn’t do, such as Sean Hannity. Mr. Muller didn’t believe waterboarding was torture and has repeatedly told his radio audience such among many other things for awhile. Since so many refuse to listen to the reasoning of Liberals or Moderate Conservatives, perhaps they will consider the words of one of their own.

Thank You Mr. Muller for having the courage to stand by your claims and test to see if waterboarding is torture.

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Torture: What Would Jesus Do?

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I simply can not believe the blindness of this statement on the philosophical implications of torture in terms of what Jesus would do.

Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate affiliated with several Christian right groups over the years, said the discussion should not come down to…

Would Jesus torture? There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn’t do because he’s the son of God. I can’t imagine Jesus being a Marine or a policeman or a bank president, for that matter. The more appropriate question is what is a follower of Jesus permitted to do? I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information– GARY BAUER

Seriously, this is unreal. Attack me if you wish, but I dare you to validate this statement with the teachings of Jesus Christ without perversion. Taking just a simple look at this statement would lead one to the assumption that Jesus would be against torture. Do I need to remind you of the act of crucifixion?

There were only 12 disciples, not 24. Jack Bauer wasn’t a disciple of Jesus, so why are you conforming to his gospel?

Allow me to make this easy enough for you to understand. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ wouldn’t you do what he does? Isn’t he the example?

Listen, God is no respecter of persons, this includes his son. The belief Jesus wouldn’t or couldn’t do something because he’s the Son of God would not be an acceptable excuse according to the Bible. That would mean that God is no respecter of persons that isn’t his son. (Romans 2:11)

Why should I engage in a public debate with Pharisees and Sadducees on the issue of torture when the answer to the question is simple and clear? How does the issue of torture align with what is know as the Greatest Commandment?

Torture contradicts the instructions, examples and teachings of love your neighbor as yourself. If you choose to become a follower of Jesus Christ, do what is written. Too often we as Christians act like the priest on that road from Jerusalem to Jericho and remain silent when we should speak. Many act as the Levite did when he saw the man who was robbed and left for dead and just pass to the other side of the road. I don’t want any trouble. I just go along to get along. I know some may not understand what I’m referencing, but I’m sure followers of Jesus Christ feel me. (Mark 12:28-31)

Even for my friends who may have historically viewed the story of the Good Samaritan as a religious heretic and/or an inferior race, I hope you have not continued to adopt discrimination in this or any circumstance today.

Who among us will act like the Samaritan when it comes to the issue of torture? This is the answer to what followers of Jesus are to do. Luke 10:25-37 is the information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed. It is morally suspect to use harsh tactics to get that information, when a better law has already been written and implemented.

You see this is the problem with Christian Extremism. Why adopt such a backwards thinking? And you’re surprised and/or upset by anyone who rejects Christianity? This sort of public example of the perverted beliefs placed upon Christianity, coupled with the systematic incorporation of theological bigotry and the denominational exclusionary practices in our segregated sanctuaries by those who proclaim to be followers of Jesus Christ is the problem and one of the real and factual arguments against Christianity.

Quit perverting Jesus to fit your own antiquated beliefs. Stop using Christ as your crutch of justification for your own illusions of morality and irrational conceptions.

References & Inspirations
Military.com – 05/13/09 “Evangelicals Wrestle with Torture Issue
The Washington Times – 05/14/09 “Torture Soul-Searching
Google/Associated Press – 05/13/09 “Torture Debate Prompts Evangelical Soul-Searching
The Holy Bible (New International Version)

*OK You Can Hate Me Now.

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Cheney: Using Lies as Alibis

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Just the beginning of the GOP Cat being let out of the bag, by Dick Cheney. Keep Talking Dick, help the prosecution build its case for sending you and others to jail.

So Mr. Cheney, you want give us your poker move and try to make people believe that there’s some unreleased memo that will vindicate your knowledge and approval for torture. Well why not declassify the ENTIRE memo instead of bits and pieces. Why torture us, let us see it all.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment adopted into force on June 26, 1987 that the U.S. Government is legally obligated by the U.N. to investigate allegations of torture and prosecuting those who order, authorize or carry out torture. (Source)

So all the flack I received year after year of “Not Supporting the Troops” and being “Unpatriotic” from Republicans, I am waiting to hear what you have to say about this. You can’t say I’m not open-minded enough to listen and consider your positions, unlike many are to mine.

One of the many things that I find absurd is the repeated warnings and documented advice you had from well respected and highly knowledgeable individuals and organizations on the use of torture and you ignored it. Who’s not supporting the troops now? Who’s unpatriotic now?

Serious concerns regarding the legality with some of these techniques could be construed as TORTURE, as that crime is defined by 18 U.S.C. 2340.” – U.S. Air Force Memo to Joint Staff, 11/01/02 (Source)

The significant legal, policy and practical concerns of Category III Techniques violate the President’s Order on Human Treatment and various U.S. Code and Military Justice articles.” – U.S. Army Memo to Joint Staff (Source)

Several of the Category II and III Techniques arguably violate federal law and would expose our service members to possible prosecution.- U.S Marine Corp. Memo to Joint Staff, 11/04/02 (Source)

Hold up there’s this from the U.S. Army CITF Chief Legal Advisor Major Sam McMahon’s Memo to CITF Commander. On the recommendation of torture it may subject service members to punitive articles of the United States Code for Military Justice CITF Personnel who are aware of the use or abuse of certain techniques may be exposed to liability under the UCMJ for failing to intercede or report incidents.”

So what’s next?

How do you reconcile the growing evidence of torture? Will you continue to deny, deny, deny and stand with them on this sinking Bush/Cheney tugboat of lies? Will you take the Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck approach and say to the world, “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?

Listen, I’ve made it easy for those who still refuse to acknowledge the truth. Many of you have seen the pictures from GITMO and other places. Now I ask you to simply read Article 3 of the Geneva Convention’s treatment of Prisoners of War and tell me if you can still take the Republican position on torture.

Mr. Cheney, if this is your attempt to position yourself for an “I Told You So” in the case of another attack on the U.S. then I will leave my contempt for you and your position silent out of respect for those who may read this and allow others to offer theirs. If this is true, then my silence would only amount to a whisper to the deafening silence of the supporters and apologist for the position taken by Dick Cheney.

References & Inspirations
Amnesty International USA – “War on Terror
International Humanitarian Law – “Article 3: Treatment of P.O.W. Geneva, August 12, 1949
U.S. Senator Levin – “The Origins of Aggressive Interrogation Techniques Report
U.S. Senate – “Senate Detainee Report

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The Republican Tea Party

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Notice — This one is long, but I think you will enjoy the laughs unless you’re a Republican. Then you may not find the humor in it. J

Disclaimer — Before I even start this one I must ask some of you reading this to please excuse my play on certain words and phrases, but I can’t resist this one. I will be as cautious as possible. For those who don’t know what I’m referring to don’t worry about it.

Let’s begin…

*I’m walking to the podium now for the TI&S Press Conference regarding the activities going on today with the so-called Republican Tea Party.*

Republican T-Bagging

Who’s bright ideas was this and what in the Hell were they thinking?

If you’re going to have a protest that you’re attempting to reference history there has to be a connection, truth in your reference. I will spare the American history lesson, but to summarize the revolt that is known as the Boston Tea Party that occurred in 1773 you got to consider the conditions that sparked that revolt. The phrase many of you’ve heard of before, taxation WITHOUT Representation was at the heart of this protest.

What the Republican Party is doing is the opposite and still confuses me why this?

Taxation with Representation

Alright let’s have a three minute lesson about basic American History. The original premise of the Boston Tea Party was the right for our own representatives to make decisions about our Tax policies not Great Britain.

Now I know this is difficult for the organizers to fully comprehend, but let me help you understand it better. You see back in the 1970’s there was a video by Schoolhouse Rock called “No More Kings” that really helped me understand the Boston Tea Party maybe you can have this video ran on FOX News.

Silly Scare Tactics

The ridiculous cry of socialist doesn’t fit. Do you realize how you participate in the dreaded socialism? No you probably don’t, because you’re grabbing hold to the claims of a delusional Right-Wing Radio Talk Show Host and the equally erratic hosts on FOX News to base you claims of Socialism, Liberals, Fascism and Marxism.

So I thought that I help you out on this one.

Who in the crowd today knows the definition of socialism?

No. One at a time.

OK big guy in the back… Um that’s incorrect.

Yes, you with the cheese sandwich… WHAT! No the Bible has nothing to do with this.

Let me help you out.

Socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. So to offer a real-life definition for you, it’s like the program you as taxpayers contribute to and will participate in when you retire; Social Security, Medicare. So for those with parents of retirement age, this means your momma is a socialist.

If you disagree with me ask your Republican member of Congress to publicly denounce Medicare or Social Security and let’s see what happens.

Alright, next question. Who can tell me what is liberalism?

Um Sir, there’s no need to curse. Calm down. OK, you can call me uppity, but you’re too scared to say the rest. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, please sit down.

Yes you, the gentleman the corner with the stuffed animal in your hand. Do you know the answer?

OK, someone who hasn’t been drinking or indoctrinated by Rush Limbaugh and FOX News.

Alright the older lady with the t-shirt on.

I thought I recognized you. NO, the President is not an Arab. Ma’am, please take your medicine.

Anyone else…

<Big Sigh> My goodness, this is ridiculous. Seriously, how did you graduate?

Liberalism is a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual. That sounds like something like various arguments we’ve heard from Republicans. A nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties. Hmmm… Where have we seen this before?

So since this is suppose to be a peaceful protest of an economic institution [IRS] doesn’t this mean you all are Liberals? Hey, I’m just looking at the definition of the word and comparing it to your actions and words. Don’t get mad at me.

The Fringe of Sanity

Each time someone makes the ridiculous notion that has been proven false by the state of Hawaii of the citizenship of the President it weakens the credibility of your entire group. If you really want to get at the heart of your fear I can, but I don’t think you want to go there.

Republican Taxusations

What you fail to understand about President Obama’s tax plan is beyond me, because I can’t see how it can be said more elementary than it has already been said. Let’s see if we can make it so easy that even Joe the Plumber can understand it.

  • Click Here to see the Tax Policy Center’s 2008 Comparison of Obama & McCain’s Tax Proposals and decides if your accusations prove to be accurate of President Obama.
  • Click Here to view FactCheck.org’s research of then Presidential Candidates Obama & McCain tax plans.
  • Chick Here to view The White House overview of President Obama’s tax agenda.

If you can read and comprehend English you can understand this. The claim of President Obama raising taxes are false and the carryover from the McCain Campaign. The lie has been proven false by factcheck.org. Your ‘outrage’ is foolish at best unless everyone protesting makes $250,001.00 or more a year. If so, I can understand your outrage.

Republican T-Bagging

I guess we’ll see who’s standing over whom when this over. My guess is that this is going to backfire, but let’s wait to see who’s going to be on their knees.

I’m trying to hold back, but I think I’m gonna… talk about the people at the center of this one. Oh tell me it isn’t so, Sen. David Vitter, Newt Gingrich and Dick Army. :D Oh this is too good. This should help me reach the climax of this blog post. But I can’t forget the media mouthpieces for the T-Bagging with FOX News’ Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity’s excitement over the event.

Perhaps the biggest Nut of them all comes from Neil Cavuto’s defense of FOX News covering the spectacle. “We are going to be right in the middle of these tea baggers because at FOX we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests. We were there for the Million Man March”.

OH REALLY. FOX News was there in Washington DC October 16, 1995 for the Million Man March. You’re making this too easy, but since I like kicking a man when he’s down lets see what a simple Google search comes up with shall we.

WHAT! FOX News has been in operations since October 7, 1996. (Source) How can that be, that means either the Newscorp website is wrong or you do not have a proper understanding of time. You see that was practically a year before you came on the air. It’s OK, my 4 year old son made the same mistake.

Final Analysis

I know you all are upset. You feel used. During the last election McCain/Palin basically t-bagged their morals for political gain and conservatives got screwed again. This demonstration is entertaining, because I’ve enjoyed myself. Listen, I only want you all to get off your knees and stand-up. Stop falling for the same old tricks. Who’s leading you?

Do you understand exactly what you are protesting and from whom are to blame for the tax increases? I don’t believe you do, because if you did you all would be Democrats.

Conservative Charlie Brown Moment Side-Note

As many conservative bloggers are still wiping the Easter egg off of your face from this past weekend when they called President Obama weak and a pantywaist I hope you rethink your involvement or cover of your latest Charlie Brown moment. Maybe this time you’ll be able to actually kick the football, since President Obama snatched the football away by ordering the Navy Snipers to shoot to kill the Somali Pirates.

President Obama gave you a clear hint between him and the Republican paper leaders, “I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

Its OK Charlie Brown at least you tried.

Oh don’t bother him Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s upset right now. Stop laughing Woodstock.

Who’s Participating

Besides the misinformed Republican lawmakers and governors have signed on to speak at local events so you’ll know the individuals who’s promoting this to bring them into question.

  • Former Rep. David Davis (R-TN)
  • Representatives from Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) office
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
  • Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
  • Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)
  • Representative from Rep. Sam Graves’ (R-MO) office
  • Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)
  • Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
  • Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
  • Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)
  • Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC)
  • Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
  • Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC)
  • Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT)
  • Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
  • Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)

Let’s hope this stunt doesn’t prove true and you’re caught on your knees. That’s not a sight I want to see, but enjoy your Tea bagging.

References & Inspirations
Eyewitness to History – “The Boston Tea Party, 1773
AFP/Google News – 04/14/09 “US Protestors Brew Tea Party Tax Revolt
Barack Obama for America – “Economy
Tax Policy Center – September 2008 “Major Provisions of the McCain & Obama Tax Plans

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Rush Limbaugh Discusses Race Relations

I wish this was a joke, well in a way it is a joke. But Rush Limbaugh is actually trying to talk about Race Relations as if he’s some authority. Well I guess he is in a way, but as the antagonist. So I guess if you do the opposite of what he’s saying you’re alright.

WHAT! You’ve got to be kidding me. You can’t be serious Rush. This is what you and your drones honestly believe?

OK, let me stop laughing for a minute here and get serious. It’s not really worth my time to crush you point by point on this one, but if you really want to go there and have a honest debate on Race Relations, the Civil Rights Movement which you say had no purpose and have me explain what you essentially are doing I’m more than willing to have that discussion.

Although I believe I would have a more sensible debate on race with Oscar the Grouch. Dude, you absolutely do not know what you’re talking about. This wouldn’t even be a fair debate, because you don’t know history. All you know is the fantasy that someone has spoon feed to you. In case you didn’t receive the memo I’ll summarize it for you, “We’re not afraid of you and your lies.”

The reign of psychological terrorism and scare tactics defended by the propagandist of fear is over. The way you counter illogical, irrational and unsubstantiated assumptions of the morally deficient, socially insecure and emotionally unstable individuals such as Rush Limbaugh is simply speak truth to their perceived power. Use their ignorance as a footstool to promote what is the truth regardless of how bitter it may be.

There’s no need to be fearful of individuals who support the crap that spews from mouth of people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and others, they’re scared and when fairly challenged they can not support their claims.

Rush I would love to debate you on the issue of race. That would be fun. You can gather whomever you please to assist you. I’m not an expert, but understand that I would not hold back and will boldly pull the white sheet that you place your soul behind.

Now I know I’m not suppose to laugh or make fun of the mentally challenged, so you have to excuse me and make an exception this one time.

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A Confederate Contradiction

As many people throughout the United States and the world are still coming to grips and realizing that all Black men are not out to get them (however you choose to read that is correct) and what was once thought to be a fact of life and insurmountable for one to consider has been proven wrong by the presidency of Barack Obama.

Today Blacks are forced to embrace this reality as well as Whites and all other races and cultures. I am not as bad as some say that I am and not as good as I believe I am is what many men & women privately confess to themselves. The contradictions are being revealed and the realities are difficult to honestly dispute.

Now it’s rare that I talk about many regional controversial issues like the one that surrounds the Confederate Flag. This is especially true being from the American South where you can easily find this flag. I just want to offer my thoughts, ideas and suggestions about another reality that is controversial for many, the Confederate Flag.

I understand that there are certain groups of people who will find this to be a sensitive subject. Without any assumptions I ask everyone to approach the subject without any preconceived bias, connection or allegiances. To honestly address certain issues with a controversial history with sincerity you must approach it with an open mind.

To reiterate a previous statement I must repeat it to make myself clear. I’m not suggesting that I have the answer to the dispute. I only offer an alternate point-of-view with hopes that it may lead to a consensus regarding the controversy and contradictions of the Confederate flag.

What moved me to bring up the subject of the Confederate flag?

In a previous post titled “The Tale of Forrest Park” I discuss a park in Memphis, Tennessee called Forrest Park that was approved to be placed on the National Historic Sites registry. The Forrest Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans submitted the nomination to the National Park Service in what I like to call a Blagojevich move. I actually admire the move, because it’s legal and shrewd at the same time. Regardless of how some like or dislike the move it was perfectly legal.

The history of the Confederate flag is one that claims heritage and hatred, but to the surprise of both parties I have a different position for each side to consider when thinking about this symbol of history.

For those who may not know this history may be wondering how Nathan Forrest and the Confederate Flag relates?

Well the short answer is that Nathan Bedford Forrest was a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. You often find the reverence towards this flag given by those who revere Nathan Forrest. It’s hard to separate Nathan Forrest from the Confederate Flag and Nathan Forrest from the KKK and the Klan to the Confederate Flag and the Flag to the Civil War. If you want to go into detail about what all the Civil War was about you may find more resources and reasons for these relationships.

In Nashville there’s a roadside memorial to Nathan Forrest on a horse surrounded by Confederate Flags on I-24 between the Old Hickory Blvd exit of Brentwood and Harding Place in Nashville. At some point each week I pass this ‘exhibit or tribute’ if I decide to take that route home.

Now when this memorial was unveiled years ago it was offensive to me and many others of all races and backgrounds. It represented a symbol of hate, domestic terrorism and discrimination, but when I came into contact with some people who proudly displayed the flag and looked at it as a symbol of their heritage I was confused. How could this flag be a source of high regard with such a sorted history? Back when the terror level was raised to White for the white sheets and members of Homeland Security worn them this flag was often used in their operations or should I say misused. This is the confederate contradiction.

It’s about heritage not hate some claim and that may have been the intended purpose, but it’s hard to dispute the misintended use of this flag as the symbol of choice for those who perpetrated acts of domestic violence years ago and those unreported cases of today.

But today something has changed within me when I see this flag. It does not bother me anymore. It just makes me smile and sometimes chuckle to myself. I smile not out of any respect or disrespect towards the Confederate Flag, but the contradiction and symbolism.

I like how the cartoonist Walt Handelsman illustrated this ongoing confederate controversy or contradiction.

Now I’m not saying that I have the answer to the dispute, but an alternate point-of-view that may lead to a consensus regarding the Confederate flag.

I smile because I know that we  all have overcome. Not just Black people, but White, Latino, Asian and Native Americans have overcome. Yes there’s still a racial divide, but no longer does a man on a horse, a coward covering his face with a white sheet or even a flag with a meaning attached of pride and southern heritage or a meaning of hate and fear can divide us.

These things can’t bother me anymore because it doesn’t govern me and is proven to be wrong regardless how you slice it.

Although I understand and can relate to the hatred that some may have towards the confederate flag I choose not to go that route, because the flag has two meanings applied to it. One of hate and one of heritage. Regardless of how I look at it the flag is what it is, a symbol. The symbol itself is not evil or bad, but the meaning applied to that symbol and how it’s interrupted is the issue.

It’s a symbol of regional pride and heritage for some whose family members fought, sacrificed and died in the Civil War. It’s a symbol of hate and fear for some whose family members died at the hands of those who upheld the flag in reverence. Now we can go into detail of the root of the matter of why the North & South were fighting and how that relates to the other meaning of the symbol, but that gets I save the American history lesson for another day.

The point is that this is not a battle for Non-White people to be fighting, because Non-Whites did not hijack the meaning of the Confederate Flag. This is a fight for within the Southern White community and those who reverence the Confederate Flag. The debate is with those who value it to properly reconcile its meaning with those who continue to misused and misrepresented its meaning. The damage is done, now is the time to stop fighting about and over it and reconcile our difference and participate in the union of uniting the state of America.

References & Inspirations
NPR: Weekend Edition Saturday – 02/12/00 “Confederate Flag
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