Condescending But Not Racist

A prominent national figure passed away recently. He was important enough to merit national news coverage. As is the custom, he received much praise for some of his accomplishments in life, with no mention of any negatives. We don’t typically speak ill of the dead.

I decided to review his history to see what the actual record was. Although definitely not a Democrat, he was ahead of his time in recognizing the freedom of people to love whom they want, he had “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment and in favor of gun control. Yet his record was questionable when it came to matters of race and equality. He was the founder and CEO of a major company and his boardroom and executives were almost exclusively white males.

Only after the Labor Dept. ordered his company to adopt an affirmative-action plan did they begin to promote black workers. They lost multiple hearings before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board regarding fired black workers. The man said, “I don’t care what your color is, I don’t care what your race is, I don’t care whether you are a man or a woman, I am interested in what you can do, once you are here.” Executives that knew him explained he was “condescending, not racist,” when it came to black people. I am hard pressed to figure out the difference.

Let’s start with the definition of condescending: Patronizing, superior, snobby, scornful, disdainful, lordy, haughty, imperial, and supercilious. Which of these when applied to someone based on their race, is not racist? My issue isn’t so much now with the man who died, but the tendency of others to redefine racism such that it no longer exists.

America and I especially mean white America has always been quite comfortable with racism. There is now a dichotomy where the worst thing in the world is to be “called” racist. However, being racist is not much of a problem.

It struck me while listening to all Senators explaining their support for Jeff Sessions when being confirmed for Attorney General. To a person they remarked on their personal relationship. They consider him a “good friend.” They point to a couple of meaningless votes where he joined the majority and his name on a couple of documents where he played no significant role as proof he’s no racist. They ignored a lifetime of support for Voter Suppression and persecution of immigrants and minorities. They praise his work to reduce the inequity of Crack Cocaine sentences vs. Powder (used mainly by white people) down to a mere 18:1. Instead of praising the improvement. Why not decry why minorities receive sentences 18 times the length of whites for the same approximate offense?

Jeff Sessions is just an obvious example. America has given us a President who had rental applications for properties he owned marked “C” for colored so that he could discriminate. Working alongside his father Fred who was in the Klan, he implemented these policies whether or not they were his idea. He’s discriminated or promoted hate against Black people, Mexicans, Asians, other Hispanics, and Native Americans. He calls Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas.” He’s winked to white people while calling a Muslim ban by another name. White America knows who and what Trump is… and doesn’t care.

It has always been acceptable to be racist in America. Racism has always occupied high places of power. Racists have been your Mayor’s, your Sheriff’s, your Governor’s and your President’s. Even Abraham Lincoln who personally opposed slavery was perfectly content to let it exist. The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to those states seceding from the Union and didn’t apply to Kentucky, Missouri, and elsewhere. It wasn’t about freeing the slaves but about keeping Britain and France from joining with the South. It was a strategy to win a war. Freed slaves were just a byproduct.

The Supreme Court has always protected the rich and the white. Always! It gave us Dred Scott and Ferguson vs. Plessy. It weakened Brown vs. Board of Education with its “all deliberate speed” clause. Should you think those examples are too long ago. They gave us Citizens United and gutted the Voter Rights Act. As little as Congress has historically done to foster equality. The Supreme Court has often come behind to weaken what was legislated. There has never been a Civil Rights Act or Voter Rights Act that was not ultimately diluted by the Supreme Court.

The reason white people are able to be so comfortable with racism in their midst and in the seats of power is that there is no penalty. The “Southern Strategy” is odious but it has elected the last few Republican Presidents. Our purported allies in the struggle for equality are at best “changeable.” White women are more than willing to seek minority help for their causes yet they are there for us on a case by case basis. Women’s Suffrage wanted Ida B Wells on their side but they weren’t on hers. White women decried Trump’s misogyny but voted for him anyway. I can offer no explanation other than their whiteness was a bigger factor than their disgust. Now, after the fact they’re outraged. Hopefully not too little too late but definitely late.

Racist is still an awful thing to be called, so those to whom the term might apply have given themselves more palatable names they can proudly display. They call themselves “nationalists” and patriots and long for a time when America was greater. Some Americans wear their racism like a badge of honor, as long as it has a different name.

In addition to people being racists, policies can be racists as well, some clearly so. Whether they are fostering voter suppression or caging brown children, supporting Gerrymandering and redistricting to negate minority votes or placing a question on the census designed to hurt Hispanics. Those policies are racist, and by extension, so are their supporters. As long as you call them by a different name.

“I Don’t Know Karate, But I Know Ka-Razor!”

In 1973, James Brown submitted a song for the soundtrack of a Fred Williamson blaxploitation film, “Hell Up In Harlem.” The song was ultimately rejected as being, “the same old James Brown stuff.” Pissed off, Brown released the record on its own and it became one of his greatest hits, reaching #1 on the R&B charts. It arguably had one of the greatest single lines of all time, “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razor.” There is some dispute about what he’s saying, many people thinking he’s saying “crazy.” He is indeed saying ka-razor, referring to a strait edged razor to bring to a fight when his regular fighting skills just won’t do. It’s time that Democrats bring a little ka-razor to this fight against Trump and what he represents because they are literally taking away our rights while Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi whine.

With the retirement of Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court, Donald Trump is preparing to appoint, and the Mitch McConnell led Republican Senate to approve, a right-wing Justice that will change the shape of America for decades and it’s time to fight. I am not advocating violence, I am saying it’s time to acknowledge that we’re in a fight for our way of life and for others their actual lives if the right gets what many of them think now they want.

White women, 53% of whom voted for Trump, will eventually realize that when Planned Parenthood goes which is high on Trump’s list. So will the availability of healthcare to many women for whom Planned Parenthood is their only option. No matter one’s opinion about abortion, they’ll realize that mammograms and prenatal care, contraceptives and testing critical to all women, will be lost to many as a result of not fighting for these rights. This court will likely decide that they know what’s better for women’s bodies that they themselves.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Latinos are Republicans, they just don’t know it yet.” He was suggesting they would find more in common with Republicans than Democrats once they took a close look. Now, they can see from any distance how Republicans really feel. They’ve listened to the voices of children crying, torn away from their mothers and fathers at the border. They told immigrants as they arrested them, “you didn’t come in the right way.” When they tried to seek asylum at official ports, they were repeatedly turned away, leaving them little recourse. They rewrote the rules just for you saying fleeing violence at home wasn’t sufficient reason to grant asylum. The United States created much of that violence, helping establish the cartels, picking winners and losers, allowing some to prosper while crushing others. The same Ronald Reagan gave us Iran/Contra where he and the current NRA President provided arms to Nicaragua.

The LGBTQ community is well aware of what to expect from this massive change in direction on the Supreme Court. Recent gains including the right to marry are subject to being wiped away. The current court just said that their rights are subservient to whatever one can claim as a religious right of their own. Trump has already said, “Transgenders can’t serve in the military. He refuses to acknowledge, “Pride Month.” His Justice Department has argued in court that discrimination against gays is legal. Today they don’t have to bake your cake, tomorrow who knows?

If there are any of my sisters or brethren still undecided as to what in the hell they had to lose? Know that any Federal supervision of local police forces is already gone. The Supreme Court too will look away from the systemic practices of law enforcement and the official cover-up that always follows, resulting in no justice, no justice, never any justice. Your ability to get a quality education or be admitted into a good college is being negatively affected while at the same time, HBCUs are being underfunded and losing accreditation. Mass incarceration is making a comeback as for-profit prisons are ramping up to accommodate those caught up in the next round. Trump has already advocated “stop & frisk” in more of our communities and now the court won’t stop him. It’s time to fight (metaphorically) and if you don’t know karate, at least know ka-razy because it’s no time to hold back.

Starting today, call your Senator and let them know you will not stand for a directional change to the Supreme Court. At the same time, register to vote and if you already are registered, find someone else you can get registered because it’s the results at the ballot box that matter. It is essential that Democrats not only take back the House of Representatives but the Senate as well. This November, we the people need to change the current direction of America. Skinheads, Neo-Nazi’s and White Nationalists have become mainstream. They are represented in the White House, time to send them to the outhouse.

Whether or not the next Trump nominee is stopped, we must continue to reject what some Republicans have stood for while others said and did nothing. The housecleaning shouldn’t stop there because Democrats have not been nearly as responsible to the people as they have their contributors and lobbyists. It’s time to payback not just one Party but to force our entire government to represent the people and not the power. Getting rid of Citizen’s United would be a start, ending Gerrymandering and voter Suppression good follow ups. It’s not enough just to get mad, it’s time to get even!

“Sold me out, for chicken change (yes you did!)
Told me that they, they had it all arranged
You had me down, and that’s a fact
Now you punk, You gotta get ready
For the big payback! (the big payback!)
That’s where I land, the big payback (the big payback!)”

How “Shithole Countries” Organized A Trade War And Brought Trump To His Knees

Their covert communications were never intercepted because the CIA, FBI, NSA, et. al. were never looking in their direction. The target date was September 1st, late enough in the United States growing season that they’d have no chance to respond. They gave no notice, sending out a tweet on August 31st announcing their 100% export tariffs/duties on all goods from their countries going to the US. Half of America was confused, not recognizing that America even bought goods from those countries, some the same names as those whose children we were separating children from their parents at the border. Guatemala and Honduras were on the list. Peru, Chile, and Mexico participating as well. Costa Rica had joined in along with several African countries. Trump immediately responded with a tweet, “Shithole countrees think they can mess with the US? We don’t need their goods or there people! MAGA!” The countries raised the export taxes to 200%… it was on.

August 31st was a Friday and the announcement came after most in the White House has gone home. Chief of Staff John Kelly was still there, working on the same plan he’d been refining for a year. How to quit and retain his honor if Trump did just “one more thing.” The problem was his honor was lost long ago. He still dreamed though. An aide showed him the tweet and he ignored it to go home for the weekend. He told the aide, “Let someone else worry about it.”

Grocery stores were the first to understand the significance of the export taxes. They were at the end of the US growing season. Much of their fruits and produce was already coming from those countries; cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelons, bananas, grapes, peppers, and more. Jewelers recognized how much of their diamond and gold supply came from Africa. Egyptian Cotton had long been branded as the world’s best, now all these things had tripled in price. The stores all raised their prices at least double while simutaneously cutting their profit margins. They called their trade groups, Congressmen and lobbyists. They demanded action, this cannot stand!

No one in the Administration even knew who to talk to on the other side? Most of their embassies were unstaffed. John Bolton wanted to bomb someone and Mike Pompeo had no contacts. The countries hadn’t even issued any demands or contact information. Their only line of communication was through Twitter where any negotiations would have to be conducted in public. Finally, they picked Jared Kushner to respond with a reply, “What do you want?”

The response came a few hours later, “What is your plan to reunite the families you separated?” This set off some scrambling in the White House and three hours later a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office was held. Trump asked, “So what is our plan?” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Don’t you think it’s a little late to be asking that? This was your idea. You’ve had me saying for three months we know where every child and parent is, do we?” Trump looked at Jeff Sessions, “Do we?” Sessions said, “I think HHS has control of the lists?” Trump asked, “Where’s Alex Azar?” John Kelly said, “He quit twenty minutes ago, matter of fact, I’m out the door too. I can’t think of a better time.” Kelly turned and left the room, slamming the door behind. Sarah Sanders said, “How am I supposed to explain this to the press?” Trump said, “Just make something up… you always do.”

Across America, grocery prices had gone up an average of 30%, stores which operated on thin margins anyway were now losing money because of their increased shrinkage from throwing away out of date product they miscalculated people would buy at higher prices. Mexican Restaurants were shutting down which got the attention of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen and Sr. Advisor Stephen Miller who frequently dined at Mexican restraunts on days they’d been especially cruel to Mexicans and those who looked like them. Unexpectedly, the NRA was hearing from its members that gun sales were way down. It seems even the drug cartels and gangs south of the border had stopped buying guns at gun shows, utilizing the loopholes Congress would never close. Even the drug lords were upset at the way the children were treated at the border and agreed to stop their purchased until this matter was concluded.

The NRA applied pressure to all the members of Congress they owned which was basically all of them, they demanded an immediate end to the export taxes, but no one knew what the countries wanted yet? Mid-terms were approaching and all the backlash was accruing to the Republicans who supported Trump or said nothing when the children started being taken away. The menu at Mar-a-Lago had been decimated, most of the fruit and vegetable dishes were no longer offered along with the some of the steaks. Trophy wives were upset about the lack of diamonds and gold suddenly, they didn’t sign on to be team players, their expectation was they’d get paid, so they cut off their husbands, adding more pressure to the situation.

Trump’s approval rating was down to 18% among all Americans yet surprisingly still hovering at 77% among Republicans. That figure was misleading because over half the party had now left and become Independents or Democrats but the remaining ones were still loyal. Trump himself finally tweeted, “What du you want?” The reply came immediately, “1. Reunification of all the children taken from their parents 2. Removal of any tariffs introduced since you’ve been President 3. Fire Stephen Miller 4. Resign or be Impeached?

All of Congress had read the exchange and internal huddling indicated Impeachment would be no problem, the NRA had given them the green light. Mitch McConnell made the trip to the Oval Office to tell Trump he couldn’t survive an Impeachment vote. Trump… broken and bowed, acknowledged he had no choice and agreed to all the demands. He fired Miller first whom he blamed for all his racist policies, although he’d harbored them himself all his life. The tariffs were renounced by tweet, the process of reuniting children began although the ultimate success was unclear as they had no idea how to connect several of the families. Further negotiations indicated the demand would be considered met after 90% of the families were reunited with clearly outlined plans to keep working on the rest. Talks almost broke down when Trump admitted “a few children had died while in custody.” An agreement was made that no pardons would be issued for the rest of Trump’s term and no future President could pardon Trump or his staff or the export taxes would resume. Also, because Trump often lied, Impeachment proceedings began in the House of Representatives, giving Trump some impetus so he could quit rather than be dragged out.

A month later, people were eating their fruit salads, bananas and the East Coast had pineapple again. Mar-a-Lago was closed and up for sale. It seems for the first time in a while, no Russians were lining up to buy a Trump property. The entire Cabinet resigned along with Trump, Gary Pruitt and Wilbur Ross were both arrested on the White House steps on a variety of charges. Indictments came down for Erik Prince, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions and since he was no longer President, Donald Trump as well. Contracts were signed with Court TV and The Comedy Channel to televise all the trials. Most of the families were reunited and the US had agreed to provide counseling as needed which was in every case. Because the countries south of the border had learned to utilize each others goods and services and not depend on the United States, their economies improved and the US started experiencing negative immigration as people returned to their countries. The cartels and gangs had engaged in discussions with their countries leaders and stopped persecuting the people The cartels went into agribusiness of legal crops. The gangs became the primary work force and took up agriculture somewhat grudgingly. The pay was much less but they had a higher life expectancy so there’s that.

As for Trump himself, he was convicted of multiple financial crimes including money laundering, fraud, insider trading, and FEC violations. Charges were still pending related to Conspiracy but the list of people that have flipped on him included his sons (including Barron), Melania (who revealed her marriage to Trump was fake because she was already married at the time). After Melania testified, she told reporters, “I told you I reaqlly dont care!” Ivanka and Jared testified against Trump for reduced sentences, it seems she was complicit in everything after all. Trump was sent to a Federal Prison in New Jersey which had a golf course, but part of his sentence was that he not be allowed to play. Mike Pence was also found guilty of gross negligence and conspiracy and forced to resign. Republicans lost both the House and Senate in the mid-terms. Democrats promised to keep a strict rein on new President Mike Pompeo who was a lame duck from the beginning having promised not to run. Paul Ryan had declined to accept the Presidency as he was next in line after Pence, probably because he knew of pending charges against himself. A final tweet was issued from the Twitter account registered to the shithole countries, “Don’t start none won’t be none!”

What Is It Trump Doesn’t Want You To See?

Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev) undertook a tour of several detention centers where immigrant children were being held. Some were torn away from their parents while crossing the border seeking asylum. She notified the centers in advance of her intended visits. When she reached the Casa Presidente facility in Texas, she was denied access because it was “private property.” She was allowed to see what the government wanted to see, not what they have chosen to hide.

This scenario is now playing out across the country as more and more facilities are identified and the public demands to known what the conditions are. Occasionally, elected officials and sometimes the press are allowed into selected facilities. Always under the condition they not speak to the children, no audio, and no cameras, no cameras, never any cameras. It may well have been the unauthorized leak of the voices of young girls crying for their family that pushed Trump to issue the Executive Order that stops future separations of families. This does not affect those families already separated, some of those families may never be reunited. They release selective pictures depicting what they want you to think. What is it they don’t want us to see?

On May 12, 2018 a distraught Honduran man allegedly killed himself, weeks after he was separated from his wife and child at the border. Marco Antonio Munoz was found dead in his cell although under watch, his death was not reported in local media and never publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security. Starr County Sheriff’s Deputies recorded the incident as a “suicide in custody” in their reports. What is it the government doesn’t want you to know?

We know from reporting that several children have been taken to the hospital since the implementation of Zero-Tolerance by Donald Trump. The children had no medical records. What we don’t know, and can’t rely on the Trump Administration to tell us is, how many people have died while in custody by any cause, suicide, murder or natural death? How many children have been assaulted, harassed or raped? We read about children being given excessive doses of medical drugs issued by psychiatrists, what is the truth? How many families will never be reunited because the government never thought to track them in the first place. How many children are being given up for adoption to American families while their own families desperately want them back?

These are the things being hidden by our government. They would distract you by focusing by Administration members being heckled while at restaurants. We would rather know the answers to these questions? We must not stop until we uncover that which they are hiding. Melania Trump may not really care? The question is… do U?

Melania Trump, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”

Melania Trump boarded an Air Force jet to McAllen, Texas, wearing a green jacket saying, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” Whether she was speaking about this visit to see immigrant children, some locked away due to her husband’s policy. Or her role as First Lady in the reality show that is her life. It hardly matters. Melania Trump doesn’t care anymore. Perhaps she hasn’t for a long time?

She doesn’t go on trips where FLOTUS might be expected to appear. She slaps away her husband’s hand when he reaches for hers. She sleeps in a separate bedroom from her husband and pointedly rebuked Rudy Guliani when he suggested she “believed her husband” regarding the porn stars and Playmate’s that have dominated the news.

The problem with her no longer giving a shit, when representing a President we know doesn’t give a shit, is that her visit carries no weight. Zero-Tolerance has not gone away. Trump’s recent executive order only says that new families apprehended will be kept together while the US prosecutes 100% of families, even moving them to the front of the line for deportation. They will be held mostly on Air Force bases in new tent cities, where the press will not be allowed to document the care and conditions.

The Executive Order contained no provisions to reunite the 2,300 kids that have already been separated from their parents. Some of whom may never be returned to their parents. Since then, Trump has mumbled some words suggesting reunifications will take place, but they are only words, Trump words at that which carry even less weight. There is no policy or process to restore the families that have been torn asunder by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Kirstjen Nielsen.

This is not the time to claim victory and ignore what happens next. The pressure that got Trump to make what may ultimately be a subtle change, must continue if true victory is to be won. If you are waiting for the kindler, gentler voices in Trump’s sphere to make a difference? Ivanka has problems of her own and Melania has told the world, “I really don’t care!”

Where Are The Girls? Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Shame

When the government does something so heinous they have to hide what they’re doing, you know it’s bad. They have released a few photos of teenage boys playing video games, mostly a different group of immigrants than those forcefully separated from their parents at the border. No sign of the girls and toddlers? Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director Kirstjen Nielson said she “didn’t know,” where the girls were? She also said the Trump administration doesn’t have a policy to separate children from their parents, although Chief of Staff John Kelly, Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, and even President Donald Trump say differently. Nobody has said where the girls and toddlers are?

We’ve heard from a few of the girls on an unauthorized audio tape released by Pro Publica. We heard young girls, reportedly between ages 4–6, crying for their parents. Calling for their mama or papa, in one case asking if her aunt could pick her up? Those young girls are somewhere… the government won’t tell us.

Trump doesn’t want you to see pictures beyond the few his DHS department has released. They tell us of the comfort, security, health services, and games. Cameras are not allowed in. Elected officials are mostly turned away. Those few that have seen inside speak of cages, mylar blankets spread out on the floor, what under any other circumstance would be called child abuse of the boys that have been seen. Where are the girls? Where are the toddlers? Why won’t the government show us or tell us? Our government is now being compared unfavorably to Boko Haram, holding girls hostage to attain a political gain. What trauma is Trump willing to inflict to get his wall?

The United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned America for its policy of stripping children from their parents. Trump and U.N. Secretary Nikki Haley responded by withdrawing its membership in the Human Rights Council. The United States and Human Rights are no longer to be mentioned in the same sentence without drawing attention to the hypocrisy of the Trump Administration. Where are the girls? Where are the toddlers?

Trump blames the Democrats on what he and Sessions did. John Kelly spoke of this very policy a year ago. The latest polls show 55& of Republicans are in favor of this zero-tolerance policy. If Republicans hate so much being seen as racist, perhaps they should stop doing racist things?

The children fleeing to this country from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico are seeking refuge from the certain terror and possibly death they face at home from gangs and cartels. They undertake dangerous journeys under the calculation that it is the only chance for safety and perhaps life itself. Some are under threats of being killed unless they pay money they do not have. They get to America… land of the free, only to see their children kidnapped, some never to be returned, until Trump blackmails the legislature to give him what he wants, using children as pawns.

Sooner than later, the girls and toddlers will be found and the conditions they have been placed in will be revealed. What will be the result of the traquma these children and their parents are facing at the hands of Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, Kristjen Nielson, and the 55% of Republicans that support them. The girls and toddlers will be found, their stories will be told, and the blame will be certain. But for now… where are the girls? Where are the toddlers?