Somebody Explain Hotep To Me?

I confess. I’m Hotep illiterate. I think Hotep has something to do with faulty logic, conspiracy theories, staunch support of Black males and maybe some homophobia on the side.

I recognize an Hotep meme when I see one. Now I understand there’s a Hotep Civil War going on? I have so many questions.

a-hotep

Photo: twittter.com

  1. Does one aspire to be Hotep. Do you pledge like in a fraternity?
  2. Is there a secret Hotep handshake or pin? How do Hoteps recognize each other on the street?
  3. How long has this been going on?
  4. Why?

a-hotepb

Photo: vimeo

I’m dead serious. Can someone sum up Hotep for me ’cause I just don’t understand!

 

Featured Image: twitter.com

The New Racism Shaping America’s Foreign And Domestic Policy

I don’t mean to suggest that racism dictating America’s foreign and domestic policy is a new thing. Almost since the country’s origin, race has shaped many of our policies. Don’t take my word for it. Here are the words of South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun:

aaa-racismcalhoun

Photo: clemson.edu

“We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind, of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race…. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged … that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake”

Sen. John C. Calhoun – SC

Our country’s borders have been partially determined by white nations agreeing amongst themselves as to how to divide up North America. After the War of 1812, the Canadian border was set as England and America agreed on who shared what. The Louisiana Purchase was our deal with France. The Monroe Doctrine was a deal with Britain to keep primarily Spain and Portugal out of North and South America. Our growth west was guided by Manifest Destiny in which God apparently decided we needn’t be concerned about the existing inhabitants as it was literally “white man’s right” to occupy the land. The concept of American Exceptionalism was introduced in the mid-1800’s which I posit is simply another name for white exceptionalism. As Senator Calhoun noted in quote included above. America elected not to expand into Mexico because there were frankly too many Mexicans there. I mention for no particular reason there’s a statue of John C. Calhoun in Charleston, SC.

aaa-racismmm

Photo: thinglink.com

Throughout history, the wars we’ve fought, the foreign aid we provided, the atrocities abroad where we either intervened or looked away. All were influenced by race. In the television series West Wing, President Jed Bartlet said to Will Bailey, “Why is a Khundunese life worth less to me than an American life?” Will answered, “I don’t know sir but it is.” The fictional show was speaking of a fictional nation but the idea that foreign lives are worth less than American lives is a real thing. I go one step further in saying that there is a ranking system of foreign nations and the two primary factors are natural resources and race. This is why we can ignore famine in West Africa yet rush to the aid of countries less pigmented.

aaa-racism

Photo: twitter.com

This is the racism of our policies we’re accustomed to. Then we got our first Black President, Barack Hussein Obama. There were certainly those who opposed him for ideological reasons. To be against Obama’s policies because you disagree with them is not racist. To completely overturn your own beliefs to oppose Obama very likely is. It is why a larger percentage of American’s than one would have thought possible are willing to ignore Russian ties in the Trump administration and Russian hacking during the election process. The racial animus of some towards our President is why an Israeli Prime Minister knew he could basically call the sitting President of the United States a liar with no offer of proof and get away with it. It’s why a Congressman could shout, “You lie!”

Netanyahu

Photo: newsweek.me.com

It’s not unusual for America to shape it’s foreign and domestic policy as it always has where race was a consideration. What’s new is the desire to upend every piece of the Obama legacy with a desperate need to wipe out any and every contribution of the first Black President. The sad thing is that many of the people rabidly against the President are the primary beneficiaries of his policies. When they find out they’ve been bamboozled. They’ll probably blame him for that too!

Featured Photo: twitter.com

The American President vs. Israel

Israel says they have proof. They’re not going to tell you what it is but they will tell Donald Trump and he will tell Americans what they need to know. I’ll say that again, “Donald Trump will tell us what we need to know.”

Not for the first time despite how it’s being portrayed. A resolution was passed by the United Nations condemning Israel and its continuing to build settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. Like many issues involving Israel, there are multiple sides to every story.One true thing is that the past several US Presidents have opposed additional settlements and Israel has ignored that and kept building. Previously the United States has used its veto power as a member of the Security Council to block most resolutions against Israel. This latest resolution like some others, the United States abstained from while 14 countries voted for the resolution. It’s fair to say that in reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went ballistic.

He and many others in the Israeli administration have publicly accused the Obama Administration, one report naming Joe Biden in particular of having orchestrated the resolution including drafting the wording and forcing its passage. None when questioned would directly call President Obama a liar when he vehemently denied this, but would go on to imply just that. Israel has stated they have “absolute proof” which they refuse to provide.

We might remember that long before Russia was accused of taking sides in the Presidential Election. Netanyahu was accused of the same thing in pushing for Mitt Romney vs. Obama. It would be most unusual for American politicians to take sides with a foreign leader against our own President. Had we not gone through eight years of  Republicans trying to obstruct everything this President did and an election season where Trump promoted Putin as the stronger leader. Even Democrat elected officials have attacked the Obama and taken the word of a foreign leader against our own. Trump has said, “Barack Obama is the worst thing that ever happened to Israel.”

I can only speculate as to what it is that makes this particular President so easily disbelieved? I would certainly require proof before taking what should be construed as a treasonous stand. There is a theory that the United States Constitution is strong enough to survive the administration of any President. As Republicans prepare to try to dismantle all the accomplishments of the first Black President. Taking healthcare away from millions. Reneging on an agreement with Hispanic youth that came here as young children. Dismantling LGBT rights and protections for women. Overseeing a policy of voter suppression. I can’t help but wonder.

Featured Photo: Newsweek.com

My Theme Song For 2017 (That’s Just The Way It Is)

This song was written by Bruce Hornsby and released on the album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range in 1986 on the album, “The Way It Is.” If you listen closely, there are two distinct stories being told. One simply accepts that things are the way they are and “some things will never change.” Another says, “Don’t you believe them!” I choose not to believe them.

The narrative of the song ends after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when discrimination was theoretically outlawed. We now know that was in theory alone. Since then we’ve encountered new challenges. In the history of our country we’ve always had voter suppression, inequitable laws and enforcement and several Presidents and a Supreme Court that didn’t represent the whole country’s interests. That’s the way it’s been but it doesn’t always have to be that way.

A Trump Presidency is not “just the way it is.” The President is not a Monarch and we can resist following  his crude base instincts. We can resist building the wall and a nuclear arms race and the elimination of health care for millions. We have the power… we must also have the will.

The title is misleading because things don’t have to be the way they’ve been. “Don’t you believe it!” Positive change will not come without struggle. At least during the battles I can enjoy my theme song. I give you Margot Bingham!

 

Featured Photo: picsofcelebrities.com

Coming January 7, 2017

Something that has distressed me for some time is the way that we treat our leaders. By “we” I mean the coalition of people that have much in common but were unable to unite to defeat what most recognize to be the worst incoming President in our lifetime. Why do we require our leaders to fit our definition of perfect when the other side ultimately unified behind a racist, misogynist, insecure, lying bullshit artist?

All the efforts to bring down our leaders are not organic. The other side is working hard to de-legitimize our leaders and some of us are accepting their twenty pieces of silver to help. It’s fine to have honest differences of opinions, even public ones. It’s not okay that we denigrate everyone that reaches a certain level of impact to the point where it’s hard for anyone to lead. If you’ve been supportive of leaders and causes you believe in. Please continue. No movement succeeds without followers. I think we should support our leaders more, none of them perfect since nobody is. I plan to positively recognize leaders from all walks of life that are about progress. Now every leader doesn’t mean us well. I have no current plans to come after them in this forum but no promises.

Every month I plan to recognize a leader in the struggle. Some will be readily identifiable, others more obscure. We need to appreciate those who are stepping up and doing their part. In spite of the inevitable backlash that comes with it.

I welcome nominations of people anyone reading this thinks should be considered. Please send any nominations either by Facebook inbox (William Spivey) or email to spiveywilliamf@gmail.com. I’m also entertaining suggestions for the name of this recognition. For those that don’t approve of my selections. Please resist the urge to drag them down like crabs in a bucket and wait for the next selection which you might like better. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities elsewhere to assassinate their character.

There is a power in positivity and conversely a negative impact in looking only at what is wrong. I’m looking forward to offering some positive recognition of those engaged in real work and hope it’s received in the spirit intended.

William Spivey

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews Special Edition: Introducing William Spivey’s “Strong Beginnings”

The PBS Blog

Title: Strong Beginnings

Author: William Spivey

Publisher: TBA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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This is the last book review of the year and what a way to go out. Today’s review is a special one.

I am honored to introduce to you William Spivey, a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, and Enigma in Black. William is also the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education”. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL.

His goal…

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White People (Some) Are All In Their Feelings

I read a lot of blog posts, some from people I don’t always (or ever) agree with. I saw a recent post from Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional Lawyer who often appears on MSNBC to discuss Constitutional Law issues. He posted about a white Georgia Police Sergeant who was fired from her small-town police force, allegedly for flying a Confederate Flag in her yard. The post itself wasn’t inflammatory, he concluded the woman likely had 1st Amendment grounds for a lawsuit. Then the comments began…

Only a few people had commented before I replied. Most were supportive of the woman and her rights. Dismissive of the “overly sensitive people” who filed the initial complaint and attacked the political correctness of the police department that fired her. The reason provided by their Internal Affairs department was that she “engaged in conduct that was unbecoming” and “brought discredit to the Roswell Police Department.”

I replied, “The flag does have negative connotations and does reflect poorly on the Department. Whether there is sufficient legal basis to remove her may depend on her contract and whatever clauses exist and how vague they were. We are presuming the sole reason for her firing is flying the flag (which is legal) which may not be the case. There is a portion of the citizenry that would find her flying that flag offensive. I believe it is generally illegal to walk around naked in one’s home if visible to others with some constitutionally protected exceptions. Whether it should be offensive to others is debatable. That it is… is not.”

That’s when they came for me!

 

Olly: “There is a portion of the citizenry that would find her flying that flag offensive.”

“There is also a portion that are offended by the Rainbow flag. There are portions of our citizenry that are offended by any number of things for any number of reasons. Is there some objective standard that you can possibly think of that might protect you, me, your family, everyone from being arrested merely because someone took offense to an object they happen to have visible on their own property? Anything?”

Me: “She was under no threat of being arrested. She according to the article was dismissed because she reflected poorly on the department which I don’t doubt is true. I suspect she will ultimately win a lawsuit, be reinstated with back pay and continue to fly her flag. The “Heritage” she claims the flag stands for will win out. The offended will have no recourse as has almost always been true.”

Nancy: “So, true. She is the one offended and has no recourse against those with leukophobia. I firmly believe that bigotry is fear that grows out of ignorance. We have no hope of being other than a society of all kinds of bigots if we are offended by all things, try to remove any words and history associated with our fears, cease trying to understand the whys and wherefores of those with differing views. This is an America where freedom ceases and we are driven underground. It is why many left their countries in the past and now seek entry to America. What a sad state of affairs.”

Me: “I confess nI had to look up “leukophobia” because the fear of the color white never occurred to me as being an actual thing. Pray tell what is the effect of this fear gripping the nation? Has any minority truly achieved equal rights? Hasn’t gerrymandering, redistricting and voter suppression kept you in control despite changing demographics? The saddest thing I can imagine is a poor white person that has never experiences 10% of the affronts minorities have in the present let alone the past. You’re not driven underground… Redlining and restrictive covenants have ensured you got all the best places. Please elaborate on the suffering you have endured as a white person? Stop & Frisk? Hyper mass incarceration. Racial profiling? Lynching? Let me know when I get one right.”

Squeeky Fromme – Girl Reporter (who apparently idolizes the Manson family) wrote: “The “offended” will have the recourse that they have always had, which is, to “Get a life!” I am offended every time I hear somebody laud Trayvon Martin, but know what? I have a life sooo I get on with it.

If black people need something to get offended over, might I suggest the ridiculously high illegitimate birth rate among black women, and the way that black men have been made unnecessary in their own families by Democratic Party policies. That is something that blacks actually have some control over. Their own lives.”

 

If you know me, you know I actually enjoy engaging with idiot’s on-line. I picture them getting angrier while I get calmer and bombard them with information for which they have no logical argument.

Me: “There are many policies that have helped remove black men from their families. Kudos to you for recognizing that. We might disagree as to whether or not they are strictly Democrat Party Policies although many were. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voter Rights Act in the 60’s. Republicans (many of them who migrated from the Democrat Party) have done more than their share. Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy, Mass incarceration began during the Nixon Administration although every President since has contributed to it (including Clinton and Obama). I don’t know that Trayvon Martin was made out to be a hero. Just a representation that one ought to be able to walk home from a 7-Eleven.”

Paul: “enigmainblackcom – one should not be allowed to pound someone’s head into the sidewalk.”

Me: “I supposed we’ll never know exactly what happened as Trayvon was unable to tell his side of the story. One thing that’s certain is that the entire situation was of George Zimmerman’s creation, after he disobeyed the police dispatcher’s instructions not to continue to follow.”

Paul: “enignainblackcom – I cannot believe how many people think that the police dispatcher ordered him to not follow him, she only suggested. She has no power to order anyone.”

Me: “I didn’t say she ordered him not to follow or that it was illegal. I am saying that everything that happened after that point is a direct result of his actions. His behavior since the trial does nothing to improve his credibility.”

Squeeky:  “Oh the heck with the “Southern Strategy” canard. More word salads. I assure you that Lakeesha of the Hood is not thinking about Lee Atwater when she is laid up in the sack doing some Willie Horton wannabe in the sack. Or the next thug baby daddy, or the next. Nope, she is thinking about “benefits.”

And the “mass incarceration” canard is another non-starter. My goodness, but the durn Mexicans can swim the Rio Grande and find work. They roof houses, or work in slaughterhouses, or restaurants. And most of them don’t even speak English. And the poor old black men who just can’t find nothing to do except sell drugs and rob stuff? Hogwash. they are criminals, and don’t give a hoot about the very black people they sell the drugs to. They can be in prison, or they can be in the neighborhood.

And Trayvon? Oh my, but silly-a$$ white people were putting on hoodies and trying to end the right of self-defense after Poor Old Trayvon. What a joke. The little thug was busting George’s head into the sidewalk, and got shot in the process. That was hardly just “walking home from the 7-11.” Good riddance to bad rubbish, IMHO.

But by all means, ignore what blacks do to themselves, and sit around whining about slavery and Rebel flags. Geeesh, but most parts of the country haven’t had slavery for over 200 years, and many places, never, and blacks are still blaming whitey for their woes.”

Me: That’s as comprehensive a collection of misconceptions as I’ve seen in one place in the history of ever. So much that I don’t want to try to address everything individually. I would say that your premise that because slavery ended over 200 years ago that it wasn’t replaced by other institutions that were highly effective in suppressing a people. Slavery didn’t end and then everything was okay. It was replaced by Jim Crow. Those that couldn’t document employment were interned and sentenced to labor camps in some areas and were literally still slaves. There was some immediate progress. Former slaves in some areas got to vote and during Reconstruction actually sent members to Congress. In 1876-7, after a disputed Presidential election, Democrats (they were the bad guys then) ceded the Presidency as part of a deal to have Federal Troops removed from the South. Reconstruction ended and Jim Crow began.

I won’t explain to you what Jim Crow was, you might consider it more word salad. When The Civil Rights Act and Voter Rights Act were passed in the 1960’s. Many angry Democrats (Dixiecrats) fled the party and became Republicans. Lyndon Johnson famously said that Democrats had, “lost the South for a generation.” He may have underestimated. Then came the Southern Strategy you so easily dismiss as if it weren’t a real thing. The widow Atwater was front and center at the Republican Convention, happy to see the resurgence of her late husband’s beliefs. The Republican Party has a coordinated and comprehensive pattern of Voter Suppression which goes far beyond Voter ID which I could agree with it there was no cost which would be an Unconstitutional Poll Tax. I know, more word salad.

I suspect you have no true concept of what systemic things are substantially responsible for the difference in economic achievement between blacks and whites in America. Even you might agree whites had a bit of a head start. You might research “Black Wall Street” where what was the most prosperous black neighborhood in the nation was shot up by whites and police and bombed from the air by the National Guard outside Tulsa, OK. You might research The Ocoee Massacre where all the residents of the town were either killed, burned out or allowed to leave after two black men tried to vote outside Orlando, FL. The city of Ocoee stayed all-white for over 40 years. This is in the same county as Orlando yet nothing is ever taught about this even locally.

I submit we should have a White History Month where the parts of American History too inconvenient to talk about and never seen on Fox News or read on Breitbart can be taught. I submit you live in a bubble which you demonstrated quite eloquently.

Mespo: “At some point, you might want to stop blaming people who weren’t even born for other people’s troubles. You might even consider that some problems in the black community are its modern cultural acceptance of illegitimacy caused by the welfare state and a persistent refusal to cooperate with police in fighting crime. And then you might want to adopt the very American belief in self-reliance. Until then, you’ll be complaining to an ever shrinking audience. Every group has troubles; some learn to deal with them and others don’t. No one owes anybody anything in a capitalist democracy except what the law requires.”

Me: “If you read through the various posts responding to me. It is Black people who have been blamed for all manner of things. All the while dismissing any rationale which suggests a rigged system or unequal playing field. I believe heavily in self-reliance. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real barriers, purposely erected to slow our progress.”

Paul: “enigmainblackcom – the only thing standing in the way of blacks today is blacks themselves. They are their own worst enemies. BLM has done more damage to the race than anything since Birth of a Nation.”

Me: “What is it you think Black Lives Matter stands for?”

Paul: “enignainblackcom – it is not what BLM originally stood for, it is what it stands for now.”

Me: “That wasn’t an answer to my question. I’ll try again. What do you think Black Lives Matter stands for now? I submit the original purpose hasn’t changed. Just the onslaught of negative publicity allowing people to ignore their message.”

Mespo: “There are short cuts purposely set up to speed your progress as well like college preferences, hiring preferences, affirmative action and the like which mitigate the historical discrimination. That never gets talked about.”

Steve (An Ally): “There are short cuts purposely set up to speed your progress as well like inheritance laws, life insurance to avoid probate, legacy preference, and the like which suggest a rigged system or unequal playing field and which mitigate what you see as reverse discrimination. That never gets talked about.”

Me: “What I like about having responded to this one post about the right of one Georgia police sergeant to fly the Confederate Flag in her yard is being called on to address a wide range of issues. I don’t know that I accept the term “short cuts” when what actually happened was providing limited access to education/jobs/business opportunities that were historically denied. I’ll start with colleges. At the end of slavery, a combination of efforts by the Freedmen’s Bureau and the establishment of Land Grant Colleges gave some black people the opportunity to attend college. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU’s) were initially almost the only schools black people and they did a relatively good job of educating initially teachers. Later doctors and dentists with the majority matriculating from two Medical schools, Meharry in Nashville and Howard in Washington, DC. Land grant colleges were initially intended to educate Americans in science and agriculture. The first beneficiaries were schools like Kansas State, Texas A&M, Rutgers and Cornell. Their funding was based on the Morill Act of 1863 (slavery was still in force). A second Morill act was passed circa 1890 which created a number of state owned schools for the education of black people. Some private schools like Fisk University founded in 1866 already existed. To be clear, the establishment of many black schools were a way to have an alternative to ending segregation and were the result not of a new special program but one that had existed for 27 years and benefitting white people only with tax dollars that black Americans contributed to.. When desegregation finally came to public Universities (being implemented with “all deliberate speed”) the pace was so slow and admissions so few that Affirmative Action programs for colleges and universities were established to get those schools to do what they were not inclined to do on their own. In general the percentage of blacks admitted were less than that of the population so instead of being a “short cut”.It set admission levels artificially low, a percentage most schools were not inclined to exceed. A case can be made that some black students were admitted that were unprepared for a college curriculum. I submit it had little to do with intelligence but was a reflection of the inferior resources of the segregated schools they came from including books, facilities and more. “Separate but equal” was a slogan but never a reality.”

(I would have continued but I reached the maximum number of characters for a reply.)

The conversation is ongoing. I did leave out some posts solely for length, certainly not because of any persuasive arguments I was afraid to print. The point is that some white people are living in a separate reality in which Black people have so many advantages, gained at the expense of white people and their upset about a changing demographic under which their reign will end. I avoided calling any of them racist because historically they would shut down, call me the racist for having the nerve to call them out. I’d like to think a couple of them at least considered some of the uncomfortable facts I brought up but I suspect like one person, they consider it all “word salad.”