The Cruelty Didn’t Start With White Supremacists!

Padded shackles foot cuff, or neck cuff. Rusty padded shackles used for locking up prisoners or slaves between 1600 and 1800 stock images

Inhumane cruelty has been with us for a very long time and it didn’t start in the new land, later called America. It began with those who lived long before any of us were ever thought about. For those who read the bible, the evidence is within the pages.

The Children of Israel were treated abominably and those who thought they were superior, treated those they thought were inferior with less dignity than the way they treated most animals. People were sawn (most notably, the prophet Isaiah) in half, women had babies cut from their stomachs with swords, they were left to starve to death, with some resorting to eating their children. But through it all, some of them survived and unfortunately, so did the inhumane mindset that has carried over into the 21st Century. Before anyone decides to refute this statement, think first, expand your knowledge base and know that some people are still treated as though they are less than human and not just in third-world countries.

But let’s move forward from the BC timeline and look at what has happened, historically throughout Europe and we can begin with The Catholic Crusades — killing anyone who crossed their path who refused to believe as they believed. Then, we can readily see what happened when Europeans who fled England came to this new land, perpetrated the same kinds of indignities they claim to have abhorred. The “religious” folks, established rigid standards and morals that most mere mortals could not have sustained. They are responsible for the burning of women in Salem and called them witches because they “did not understand” what they refused to acknowledge — women are people, too and should not be subjected to the whims of men.

Of course, we cannot forget how “white men” enslaved and massacred other human beings — The Africans they imported and the Native Inhabitants who were already here. Remember now — they did not want a king telling them what to believe or how to worship, but they enacted the same concepts upon others and were able to get away with it for hundreds of years. They beat and maimed and killed any who refused to submit to them. Many Native Inhabitants were killed out of a sense of superiority and those who weren’t killed were placed on barren reservations with the intent that they would die out the means to sustain themselves. Survivors have this uncanny instinct to keep living in spite of how they are treated and the same is true of the slaves and their descendants.

Without going into the entire roadmap of how this country began with racism and bigotry in the forefront — driving the need and greed of “white men” who cared less about trying to “understand” others, let’s start with America’s rite of passion with freedom from a king. The Constitution was written and enforced with consequences for those who dared to act like they were human, and that included women. Re-read and understand that women, Native Inhabitants, and Africans were never a consideration in the beginning and now, in the 21st century, there are some “white men and women” who are trying to take humanity in the United States, backwards, especially for people of color.

Though some may not understand how cruel and unjust it is not have a voice in what is done is this country, let’s review. When black people didn’t have a right to vote, laws were made to keep them from voting, and even when it appeared (after the Civil War) that some were given the opportunity (during Reconstruction), that right was revoked by Jim Crow laws that prohibited black people from living within the same areas as white people, attending the same schools, using the same bathrooms, drinking from the same fountains, riding public transportation or eating in restaurants and certainly didn’t allow them to stay in hotels. I remember traveling with my family and we always had to “pack whatever we were going to eat,” I learned how to use the bathroom off the side of the road without wetting myself, and understood, even as a child, there were not going to be any privileges given to me. Yet, we survived. When NAACP begin to be known in our little town, people had to sneak and meet at churches to keep the local yahoos from interfering. When black people could finally vote, in 1965, most did with dignity and pride.

Fast forwarding to recent years, when black people stopped being interested in voting because they didn’t like the choice of candidates, efforts were made once again to inhibit their ability to vote. Their names were expunged from voting records and now if they don’t have photo ID, they’re still denied the right to vote. But because black people as well as some others were fed up with the nonsense perpetuated against them, they decided in 2020 to vote in massive numbers and because they did, Republicans — those “white men who think they are superior to others” — once again are trying to keep black people from voting because they know, the informed black person won’t vote for them.

So, it would appear that Trumplicans — those Republicans who have pledged allegiance to a man, the same mindset of the people who came here to escape a king, have decided to “openly and without regard of any moral or ethical reasoning” are passing laws that are targeted to keep people of color and poor people from voting, and it appears that the only way to stop the stupid is to encourage two Democrats to stand with the party and get things done so no ones rights are violated. If they don’t join the party, they can be seen as being cruel and unjust, since those in power, will retain power and treat people anyway they want to without consequences. The trumplican party — of white supremacists — are indeed inhumane and anyone supporting their agenda, is just as inhumane as they are, regardless of what their political party affiliation is. There is no excuse — NONE — for anyone in their right mind to support, diminishing the rights of people to vote under the guise of “precluding fraud,” which is part of “Their Big Lie” promoted to appease a corrupt and traitorous maggot.

Now, to backtrack just a moment, remember the lynchings during slavery and Reconstruction? White Supremacists (disguised as law enforcement) are now openly killing black men and women and children for acts that don’t warrant pulling a weapon and yet, those same trumplicans (white supremacists) stormed the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection guided by the same maggot, who now controls the “Republican lawmakers” and they are making havoc of this land. There is no excuse for this behavior and one can only conclude, the Republican lawmakers are indeed just as cruel and inhumane as those in biblical times and their ancestors.

But here we are — in another voting rights quandary — and we know we cannot depend upon lawmakers to uphold their oaths of office and do the right thing. Therefore, we — the American Electorate — must stand up and speak out against all attempts to inhibit voting by anyone. We must remember that “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” This is not a state-by-state problem; it is a problem for the entire United States of America and it is time for us to say, “NO MORE INHUMANE TREATMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS IN ANY MANNER AND THAT INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND HAVE ACCESS TO BALLOTS.”

We cannot depend on Joe Manchin or Kristin Sinema to do the right thing “with the party” so we must make every effort to “vote out Republicans” across the nation in 2022 and beyond. The only way, this country will be just and equal for all is for us, to make sure we elect the right people who have demonstrated humanity and compassion for all people, regardless of their skin tones, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation — human beings are human beings and no one should be treated as a lesser human than another.

RISE UP AMERICA! WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME LEFT TO SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY. IF WE DON’T ACT NOW, WE’LL BE LIVING UNDER AN AUTOCRACY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE!

Do we return to “slave mentality” allowing white supremacists to control the government or do we stand up and fight back — making this country, an America we all can love and be proud of? It’s up to us, so let’s take charge of the direction of this country like we truly care about it. Call or Write Senators and dare them to do the right thing for all Americans, not just some of them! Pass Voting Rights Reform that allows all Americans the dignity to choose who they want to lead this country.

Sanitized History

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            Sanitize definition: to make less offensive by eliminating anything unwholesome, objectionable, incriminating, etc.

We sanitize our history.  We erase all kinds of social, cultural, and economic conflict from it.  We run away, in a sense, from ourselves, from what we and our ancestors – whoever they are – created.  Indeed, this history is highly peculiar, for it avoids acknowledging the accompanying social inequalities that capitalism (and any other economic system, for that matter) creates as it remakes society according to its own rules and imagination.  The matter of privilege — and of white privilege in particular, given the majority-minority state in which we live today — is largely relegated to the dustbin of history.  The truth be told, the silences in our histories speak as much truth to power as the histories we publicly uphold.

We must strive to teach a plural people’s history for Texas students in the twenty-first century.  A recent study by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) contains in it past, current and future projections for the public and nonpublic high school graduates of Texas from 1991-2022. (1)   According to this study, Texas Latino high school graduates will be greater in number than Anglo high school graduates beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.  By May 2020, the date through which the current social studies curricular standards under discussion will presumably apply, Latino high school graduates in Texas will number an estimated 156,000 students.  By comparison, by the end of the current decade Anglo high school graduates will number 102,000.  That is, the statewide spring graduating classes in May 2020 will host 54,000 more Latino high school graduates than their Anglo counterparts.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/126436

            While I was looking for a reasonable explanation and plausible definition of “sanitizing history,” I came across this article. There’s more, but I excerpted the two paragraphs to help support what I’ve said in another article and what I’m about to say in this one.

            The fear that “old white men” are feeling about becoming the minority is palpable in their attempts to revamp the voting rules (violating our constitutional rights) as well as with their reluctance to support police reforms. They are afraid—big time—and have been for some time because they (those understanding karma) fear being treated the way they have treated minorities of color. They can deny this all they want, but the proof is in how for decades they have attempted to erase large swaths of history in order to make themselves look like better human beings.

They have rather successfully brainwashed people with their revisionist histories about how awful white men are as human beings. It’s not all white men, just those who are racial bigots and would rather hate others than change their minds. When we look at how Texas changed the related content in history books to pacify their egos and allowed Texas students to be led by lies, we see the proof in some of the Texas legislators now—they didn’t want their children to know how horrible their ancestors had been, so they either erased the true history, or sanitized it so it would not seem so bad. They have eliminated the parts of history they find objectionable and unwholesome and offensive since they were the culprits. But they have also eliminated the opportunity for students in Texas to know truth, to see for themselves and to learn to think for themselves which results in not being controlled.

With this particular view of what it means to “sanitize history,” we begin to understand how or rather why textbook publications, supplying the Texas school districts, were so easily convinced to exchange the truth for a lie. In the long run, it helped those in powerful positions to ignore all the wrongdoings of “white men” for centuries.  The massacre of Native Inhabitants, treatment of slaves, Chinese railroad workers, Japanese Interment camps, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and generally racist policies that excluded or eluded most people of color in this land. But one thing is certainly true as pointed out by Richard Calderon, the author of the article referenced—white people will soon be the minority in the United States and perhaps, that is the real reason why “white lawmakers” are trying so desperately to keep immigrants out of the United States—especially those from Central America, the Middle East and Africa.

When “white people” use the bible to justify their behavior or attitudes, it is out of fear that “we” the others would discover the truth and lo and behold we have. We have discovered that Jesus was a person of color having come from the Middle East, He loved everyone, and had a real problem with slavery and hypocrites.  “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  I am convinced that White Evangelicals that teach they are superior to others are the biggest liars on the planet and they lie to their congregations to control what they do and how they think. That is not to say that other religious denominations don’t do the same thing, but let’s get real, religions are designed to control people and convince them to swallow whatever lies they’re told.

Now, for those of us who know how to read and how to think, we know better. Many of us are “true Christians” and we know what is expected of us is that we are to love one another unconditionally. Therefore, if we are busy loving one another, we don’t have time to promote hate or fear of others because love conquers all. Love will even conquer the need of people to sanitize history for their own sakes, but will conquer the need of those who were mistaught to influence their need for truth. Fearful people, put undue constraints upon others, controlling what they’re exposed to and limiting their ability to develop critical thinking skills, especially about the history of our nation, the true, unsanitized version of history.

Yes, haters of truth—the world is not flat, the Holocaust and slavery were very real, vaccines have saved lives, Easter is not about a rabbit or chickens, parents buy toys for kids at Christmas, and no one human being is superior to another. Did you catch that? Truth matters, and Black Lives Matter as well as all others. Stop The Hate America—in order for us all to matter and to survive and thrive, we must stop hating and start loving.

Fear In The Absence of Love

The product of fear

When we allow fear to influence our direction in life and what we do, we lose sight of what “humanity” should lead us in doing.

Fear–an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen: (From the Cambridge English Dictionary—cambridge.org)

Fear–a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. (From dictionary.com)

Fear–an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger (From Merriam-Webster.com)

“Perfect love (unconditional love—my paraphrase) casts out fear.”

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18 NIV)

Now, that the definition has been addressed and a biblical concept has been made, let’s look at what fear has done in our nation.

            From the beginning—when the first colonists came to this country—they allowed fear of the Native Inhabitants to influence their decisions and actions. The Native Inhabitants were different—they looked different and had different customs—therefore, they must be “dangerous.” At least that’s the attitude taken when human beings were slaughtered because they didn’t look like or act like the invaders.  Never mind the fact that those same “dangerous human beings” helped the first colonists to survive in this land. When the “killing stopped” of the Native Inhabitants, the white people restricted them the most barren lands and forced them into reservations, without thought as to how they would survive. They did and now the United States Government has acknowledged the Native Inhabitants and attempted in some ways to amend the damage done through various laws and policies. Let’s never forget this one—very important fact—the Native Inhabitants were here in this land—FIRST.

            Moving on to 1619—when the first slaves from Africa arrived on these shores (and possibly before they left the continent of Africa)—they looked different, had a different language and did things differently. But white slave owners didn’t care about the fact that bringing them to a strange land would make them unable to comprehend what was expected of them since they didn’t speak the language. So, what did the white slave owners do? They beat the slaves into submission without ever considering what they were doing to other human beings.

            Thankfully, the Civil War helped to end slavery when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but it did little to assuage the fear white people had of black folks. Before 1864, there were more black and Native slaves than white people so they made unfair and horrendous laws to maintain control over them (minority rule). Afterwards, during Reconstruction, some white people continued to mistreat and abuse black people, especially the poor, uneducated white people who later made up a large percentage of the “white hate groups.”

            Looking back at history and truly understanding the “fear” white people have of black folks is evident in how they continually tore down and destroyed anything black people as a community attempted to build:

The Atlanta Race Riot

            (blackthen.com)

Hoke Smith was a former publisher of the Atlanta Journal and Clark Howell was the editor of the Atlanta Constitution. Both candidates used their influence to incite white voters and help spread the fear that whites may not be able to maintain the current social order.

The Atlanta Georgian and the Atlanta News began publishing stories about white women being molested and raped by Black men. These allegations were reported multiple times and were largely false.

On Sept. 22, 1906, Atlanta newspapers reported four alleged assaults on local white women. Soon, some 10,000 white men and boys began gathering, beating, and stabbing Blacks. It is estimated that there were between 25 and 40 African-American deaths; it was confirmed that there were only two white deaths.

Greenwood—Tulsa, Oklahoma—(Black Wall Street)

The neighborhood was destroyed during a riot that broke out after a group men from Greenwood attempted to protect a young Black man from a lynch mob. On the night of May 31, 1921, a  mob called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, a Black man who shined shoes, after reports spread that on the previous day he had assaulted Sarah Page, a white woman, in the elevator she operated in a downtown building.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Black Tulsa was looted, firebombed from the air and burned down by white rioters. The governor declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firemen in putting out fires, removed abducted African-Americans from the hands of white vigilantes, and imprisoned all Black Tulsans, not already confined, into a prison camp at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds, some for as long as eight days.

In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, over 800 people were treated for injuries and estimated 300 deaths occurred.

Chicago Race Riots (1919)

Termed “Red Summer.” On July 27, 1919, an African-American teenager drowned in Lake Michigan after he challenged the unofficial segregation of Chicago’s beaches and was stoned by a group of white youths.

His death, and the police refusal to arrest the men who caused it, sparked a week of race rioting between Black and white Chicagoans, with Black neighborhoods receiving the worst of the damage.

Rosewood Massacre (1923)

Spurred by unsupported accusations that a white woman in Sumner had been beaten and possibly raped by a Black drifter, white men from a number of nearby towns lynched a Rosewood resident. When the Black citizens defended themselves against further attack, several hundred whites combed the countryside hunting Black people and burning almost every structure in Rosewood.

Washington, DC Race Riots (1919)

However, Washington’s Black community was then the largest and most prosperous in the country, with a small but impressive upper class of teachers, ministers, lawyers and businessmen concentrated in the LeDroit Park neighborhood near Howard University.

By the time the “Red Summer” was underway, unemployed whites bitterly envied the relatively few blacks who were fortunate enough to procure low-level government jobs. Many whites also resented the influx of African-Americans into previously segregated neighborhoods around Capitol Hill, Foggy Bottom and the old downtown.

In July 1919, white men, many in military uniforms, responded to the rumored arrest of a Black man for rape with four days of mob violence. They rioted, randomly beat Black people on the street and pulled others off streetcars in attacks. When police refused to intervene, the Black population fought back.

Detroit Race Riot of 1943 (detroithistorical.org)

Like the successive rebellion that would erupt 24 years later, the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 was deeply rooted in racism, poor living conditions and unequal access to goods and services. The apparent industrial prosperity that made Detroit the “Arsenal of Democracy” masked a deeper social unrest that erupted during the summer of 1943. The KKK was active in the region and riots had already broken out in other cities.

Before and during World War II, workers migrated north to seek factory employment in such vast numbers that Detroit was incapable of adequately receiving them. Because black Detroiters were still treated as second class citizens, they suffered disproportionately from wartime rationing and the overall strains on the city. Factories offered employment but not housing, and because whites violently defended the borders of their segregated neighborhoods, black residents had little choice but to suffer in repulsive living conditions.

Detroit’s 200,000 black residents were marginalized into small, subdivided apartments that often housed multiple families. They were crammed into sixty square blocks on the city’s east side, an area ironically known as Paradise Valley.

Knoxville, TN Race Riot (1919)

In August 1919, a race riot in Knoxville, Tenn., broke out after a white mob mobilized in response to a Black man accused of murdering a white woman. The 5,000-strong mob stormed the county jail searching for the prisoner. They freed 16 white prisoners, including suspected murderers.

After looting the jail and sheriff’s house, the mob moved on and attacked the African-American business district. Many of the city’s Black residents, aware of the race riots that had occurred across the country that summer, had armed themselves, and barricaded the intersection of Vine and Central to defend their businesses.

Two platoons of the Tennessee National Guard’s 4th Infantry led by Adjutant General Edward Sweeney arrived, but they were unable to halt the chaos. The mob broke into stores and stole firearms and other weapons on their way to the Black business district. Upon their arrival the streets erupted in gunfire as Black snipers exchanged fire with both the rioters and the soldiers. The Tennessee National Guard at one point fired two machine guns indiscriminately into the neighborhood, eventually dispersing the rioters.

New York City Draft Riot (1863)

The Draft Riot of 1863 was a four-day eruption of violence in New York City during the Civil War stemming from deep worker discontent with the inequities of the first federally mandated conscription laws.

In addition, the white working class feared that emancipation of enslaved Blacks would cause an influx of African-American workers from the South. In many instances, employers used Black workers as strike-breakers during this period. Thus, the white rioters eventually turned their wrath on the homes and businesses of innocent African-Americans and anything else symbolic of their growing political, economic and social power.

The East St. Louis Massacre (1917)

During spring 1917 Blacks were arriving in St. Louis at the rate of 2,000 per week, with many of them finding work at the Aluminum Ore Company and the American Steel Company in East St. Louis.

Some whites feared loss of job and wage security because of the new competition, and further resented newcomers arriving from a rural, very different culture. Tensions between the groups ran high and  escalated when rumors were spread about Black men and white women socializing at labor meetings.

In May, 3,000 white men gathered in downtown East St. Louis. The roving mob began burning buildings and attacking Black people.  The Illinois governor called in the National Guard to prevent further rioting and conditions eased somewhat for a few weeks.

Then on July 1, white men driving a car through a Black neighborhood began shooting into houses, stores, and a church. A group of Black men organized themselves to defend against the attackers. As they gathered, they mistook an approaching car for the same one that had earlier driven through the neighborhood and they shot and killed both men in the car, who were, in fact, police detectives sent to calm the situation.

            Of course, we could go on for decades describing the indignities and inhumane treatment suffered by black people at the hands of white people and all because of their fear of black people. After the Reconstruction Era, fear motivated Jim Crow Laws which further limited the mobility and potential of black folks. All of this is documented in so many places that it would entail writing a book to list it all. But let’s take another look, with a microscopic perspective at events in recent decades—the killing of black males and females by white police officers. Without going into great detail about what is readily known and has been recently portrayed in the review of the practices of police officers who appear to not think twice about shooting a black person (suspect), but will go out of their way to treat known white killers with dignity and humaneness. Why? Fear of black people motivates the unjust use of force and eventual deaths.

            I’m not trying to relitigate the deaths of all those who died at the hands of police officers who appear to have racial bias. That would take too long and not many would read it, but I am trying to show how “fear” in the absence of love, leads to disastrous results. Until we learn how to love, unconditionally, all human beings (that’s not to say we have to agree with them), we will continue to see the ravages of human life at the hands of those who are fearful and promote fear to inflame others. What the world—especially those of us in America—needs more than anything else is “love” and understanding. Where there is no understanding of the experiences of another, we tend to fertilize fear with fearmongering and that has to stop.

2020 Pandemic

Other than thinking that 2020 was going to be the year we “fired trump,” I would not have guessed, had no inkling, 2020 would turn out the way it did. I knew a Corona Virus had hit China hard, but never thought we would see the devastating results we have seen in America and all due to the incompetence and narcissism of Donald Trump (yes, at last, I capitalize his name).

From January to March—we coasted—not recognizing the rollercoaster ride we were about to take and all the while, going about our “normal routines.” Now, we wonder if in fact, there was anything normal about those early months—especially now that we know trump knew in December what China was facing—well, actually what the world was facing, but he downplayed at the beginning and is now—at the end of 2020—still not dealing with the reality of this deadly virus as we can see in the 333 thousand deaths of Americans, with many more expected, by the time we reach the end of the year.

Our lives have changed forever.  What we thought was normal, is now a thing of the past. We are living in a new normal and no one can adequately predict how long the new normal will last which includes masking up—especially in close quarters with others. What we already know is that some will rebel and cost others their lives simply because they do not care about other people—though they will never admit it. That is the bottom line. Wearing a mask for them—infringes upon their freedom. They do not want to look like “sheep.” They do not want to maintain social distancing or follow any of the other guidelines determined by the experts—and of course—none of the rebellious are actually experts at anything other than complaining about “their rights,” while totally ignoring the rights of others, those of us who want to live a long life, totally unencumbered by the effects of COVID-19 or any of the mutated variants, now coming to light.

Many of us, while at home awaiting orders to resume our lives outside of our homes, took up baking. We baked and baked and baked and then we gained weight. Some of which, we have yet to shed because getting outside with mask-deniers is simply not worth the risk. So, we find other things to do—that are, unfortunately, not related to exercising. We watched more television, both news and movies. The news depressed us, so we retreated to heartwarming movies that gave us a bit of a reprieve from the devastating news of death totals across the country. We learned the art of video conferencing, thanks in no small part to Zoom, Google Classroom and Facebook Video Chats. Other companies have come aboard with the video capacity for those of us who are not corporate elites, but the retired and otherwise, working poor who can now communicate with family and friends without jeopardizing our health. Amazingly, churchgoers (not necessarily Christians) discovered they could actually worship God at home or enjoy church services via a video platform on their phone or laptop or tablet. How about that? God is everywhere! Of course, there is always a downside to just about everything, church leaders missed their offerings and so they filed lawsuits against wise government leaders who restricted the attendance of churches in person. We can see where their priorities lie—in the offering plate—not in the safety of their congregants.

We have seen throughout the four years of the current administration more blatant expressions of overt racism and bigotry than this country has seen in a long time. So much so that we have given the white women who make false claims against black people a name—Karen. The white males who are haters are more likely to kill a black person than to just call the police filing false claims, and then the black males, mostly, end up dead, for no apparent reason other than being black. We have seen protests arising from the disproportionate incidents of black deaths and we have also seen the total ignorance and lack of understanding of white people who simply choose to ignore the obvious. They have ranted against Black Lives Matter because they simply do not understand that the movement is not about ignoring the lives of others but highlighting the loss of black lives—specifically those killed by police officers or other angry white men. What we have seen in this country is the totality of ignorance abounding in people who refuse to research, using credible sources, and instead, choose to regurgitate the hatred and discompassionate rantings of idiots—including the orange menace. Though there have been some, as usual, who dared to stand up against the hatred and bigotry risking repudiation from members of their own families and certainly political parties and communities, the hatred abounds and swarms over communities of color with reverse racism, felt across the land. Too many people, so-called leaders in the black community, are engaging in efforts to vilify all white people, while promoting the antics of black people that are questionable, if not downright illegal.

We have watched while small businesses went under, not only because of the pandemic, but because rich lawmakers helped themselves to billions of dollars intended to help the small business owners. Families have suffered due to lost jobs and lost loved ones. The economy has certainly suffered, but it could have been saved sooner if those who have been and are still rebellious had just complied with the guidelines provided by the experts.

No doubt about it, this past year has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us and the end of the ride, is not yet known, even with the production of vaccines or getting vaccinated. All we can do to ameliorate the incoming year, is to remember this past year is to commit ourselves to doing better in caring about all. Mask-Up America, for as long as needed, without complaining or putting yourself or others at risk.

A Rightful Place In History

Deb Haaland, President-Elect Joe Biden’s pick as Secretary of the Interior, the first Native Inhabitant to hold a position in a presidential cabinet will be a welcomed sight for many.

While listening to him describe her background, I was moved to the past, a past before America was America and struggled not to be angry over the treatment and massacre of so many human beings. I have always had an affinity towards the “Indians” in movies and hated watching them being accused of something they didn’t do and then being killed. My stepfather loved watching cowboy movies and unfortunately, the cowboys always won. The depiction portrayed was that Indians were evil and the cowboys were the good guys except for the fact that some of the cowboys were just downright evil.

All the cowboys portrayed in the television shows of old were white. All the bad or evil people were either black or Indian. And this is what generations of people grew up believing, until now. Until now, most chose to ignore the history of this land. How the Europeans came to this land, were helped by the Native Inhabitants to survive the elements and to grow food they did not know. Then, after surviving tenuous situations, the Europeans repaid the Native Inhabitants by stealing their land, killing off entire tribes, and relegating them to dry arid lands (reservations) where they were expected to just die off. They did not just die off and Deb Haaland is proof that no matter how terrible her ancestors were treated, the Native Inhabitants of the land knew how to survive, all the torture and mistreatment they have endured.

And they will survive to tell the story, a better story than the Europeans would ever tell because of the history in the making. What is shameful is the fact that there are still people (of European descent) who still think Native Inhabitants are inferior to them and they publicly treat them abominably. But then again, we have a segment of our society who treats everyone who does not “look like them or think like them or worships like them” abominably, still.

Now, there are number of people who might be reading this who might be wondering why a black woman is so outraged at the treatment of Native Inhabitants. Perhaps, the outrage is because they are human beings, just as I am, and I understand how hateful it is to be treated with disdain because that’s exactly how my ancestors were treated. The Native Inhabitants were already here, my ancestors were brought to this land in chains and forced to forego their native languages and customs to assimilate themselves to the white European ways. Or maybe the outrage stems from the blood flowing through my veins that aligns with tribes of the land.

There is so much that I can say about ill-will and faux superiority of white Europeans that it would take volumes to say it all. The true (unabridged) history books tell the story, how elected leaders ordered others killed, and no one cared, how faux negotiations were made for land and then the white man stole the land, breaching the negotiations made in good faith, forcing the Native Inhabitants to be on the move, giving up their way of life, just to survive the atrocities lodged against them.

America could have learned so much from the Native Inhabitants, had they been able to put their robe of superiority in a closet and donned a robe of humility for a few hundred years. Had there been an ounce of humility in any of those who came across the pond to this land, slavery would not have been an issue that has kept human beings in bondage for hundreds of years and in a state that many would like to see that particular position continue. Like the Native Inhabitants, black descendants of slaves learned survival and because of their inherent innovative skills, are responsible for multiple creations that have helped make life easier for all, though they were not always given credit for their contribution to this society.

What is country needs, is a microscopic look into the history that has brought us to this place and understand that if change, real change is not initiated, America will cease to exist as we have known it and the planet will die without the bold, creative genius employed by descendants of slaves that has so often been ignored. The Native Inhabitants knew how to take care of the land to keep a supply of food and resources available and the descendants of slaves, knew how to create what was needed from the resources sustained. If anyone should be wearing a robe of superiority it should be the Native Inhabitants, who had it not been for them, white Europeans would never have survived living in this land.

But all things being equal—at least that is the fight of the 21st Century, that we are all treated equally, and no one suffers injustice—watching this step up for Deb Haaland and a host of ancestors will be the beginning of something wonderful and I sincerely hope, those who insist onto holding to their bigotry will move out the way or be moved out of the way so freedom and justice can be enjoyed by all.

Biden Taps Rep. Deb Haaland to Lead Interior in Historic Move - EcoWatch
A Little Perspective

A Little Perspective

With all of the Executive Orders limiting and quarantining people–all over the world–and especially in the United States, people are grumbling.

CEOs are grumbling about losing money in businesses–the sports arena, airlines, children and parents are grumbling, every market that contributes to the economy is grumbling because of the attempt by many leaders to save lives–from a destructive virus that does not discriminate and then we have an occupant in the WH who chose not to recognize and deal with the situation earlier than he did. But this isn’t about him, it’s about us–the everyday, working Americans who have apparently taken the privileges (to get into cars and drive where we want to go, when we want to go, and do what we want, when we want to do it), we have as a right.

There are hungry children all over the world. There are adults struggling with lack of job skills, addictions and apathy. There are homeless people living in parks, dumpster diving to eat, sleeping in public toilets so they have someplace to wash their face. There are people who have job skills and can’t find jobs. There are companies who won’t hire specific groups of people and have wage caps that won’t allow a person to save for a rainy day.

Well that rainy day has come and it’s been raining for four weeks now with no sign of a let up, yet. Why? Because of that pesky virus that’s killing people and since we weren’t prepared to contain it or stop it, here we are–on lockdown–except for going out for essential needs–food and medicine. And here is where things get really crazy. The grumbling by folks who yet have lives to live–angry because they can’t travel to their homes up north, or have their landscapers cut their lawns (they can do it themselves, but that’s too much to expect of the privileged, right?) or they can’t go to the salon or the barber or get their nails done or do some spring painting or plant gardens. Really? Did anyone see the statement about lives lost?

Over 200,000 thousand people have contracted the virus in America and 20 thousand have lost their lives. In order to minimize any further loss of life, governors–primarily–have issued executive orders asking people to stay at home, away from large gatherings so they limit contact with others who might be carrying the virus. And what do silly people do? Complain and grumble.

I wonder what they would do if someone had started a war and over half of the nation’s buildings were destroyed, banks, hospitals, stores, farmland–everything. The homes in the Hamptons, and Martha’s Vineyard and further north in Michigan–all desolated and the beaches demolished with contaminated water. What good would privilege do anyone then? There is no food to be found, no water to drink and the air is polluted with contaminates from exploding bombs. What would we do then? There is no shelter other than a partially standing wall here and there, and masses are huddled wondering which way to turn or fearful if they’ll be attacked for the shreds they now call clothes. The rats are thriving, but there is little animal life left and people are hungry. What will they do?

We are not in that situation but there are people in other countries who are and they’re too busy trying to survive to complain. So why can’t we do the same? We need to take another look at ourselves and see this situation from a different perspective. We may be doing without our favorite restaurant or getting gussied up or entertaining friends and families, but what we have, that the dead don’t have is–another chance to live our lives, if we practice social distancing and abide by the executive orders of those who are simply trying to keep us safe. If we don’t have life, having a job won’t matter, flowers and vegetable gardens won’t matter, homes in other places won’t matter, none of it will matter if we are dead.

So, do everyone that’s left a favor–practice social distancing and give us all a chance to live until the next pandemic (for it will come), but let’s learn from this one how to survive and thrive, while we can. Think about it, with a little more perspective other than not being able to live our “privileged lives” having everything we want.

COVID19 Our Lives Matter

COVID19 Our Lives Matter

I’ve been watching as the world turns and evolves and grapples with the devastating crisis for which there is no cure. Lives are changed forever–and some are lost–leaving grieving families and friends, wondering what happened. Though I am not a health expert or scientist, I can say with confidence, this didn’t have to be this way.

When it was first known–with the confirmed case in November in Wuhan, it should have been taken seriously and every effort made to make sure the loss of lives was mitigated by attempts to thwart the spread of the virus–not deny its existence. The denial of its existence and refusal to address the damage the virus could cause is the reason we are seeing what we see now in America.

When will the lives of human beings become more important than a election to trump? Oh, he’s doing “something” now, but what he could have done when he was first told of the possibility of widespread contagion and didn’t do, will never make up for the lives lost. And the first thing he did–dismantling the agency that could have prepared America for this pandemic–should have been a red flag about his incompetence. Anyone supporting his position right now is just as guilty of murder as he is.

What we don’t need is a petty, grudge-mongering self-indulgent narcissistic bully in charge of anything that has to do with this crisis. America deserves to have leadership who at least understands the importance of having experts direct the path we take to navigate us to victory, with the least number of lives lost in the process. What we don’t need is a pathological liar who blames everything he did wrong on others. What we don’t need is a bloated egotistical orange menace trying to explain anything.

What we need is strong leadership capable of assessing the situation and doing what’s right, no matter who does it. Now is not the time for egos to rise to the surface–whoever comes up with a viable solution should be welcomed, no matter what their political party affiliation. We need appropriate supplies for our healthcare system and workers, tests for those who need to be tested and a populace who takes the warnings and admonitions seriously. We cannot stop a virus from spreading if we’re not willing to do our part to keep it from spreading.

STAY HOME!  STAY HOME! STAY HOME! BY STAYING HOME, WE SAVE LIVES–OURS AND OTHERS!

What we really need in this situation (aside from appropriate medical care) is a wealth of common sense exercised in every community. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the more we isolate ourselves from potential harm, the fewer lives will be at risk of contracting this virus.

The stories–of lost lives and hurting families are numerous–primarily because families didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to those afflicted and died. We can do better folks. We must do better. Use technology to communicate with others rather than attempting to congregate in public places where the virus can attach itself. If we exercise a little wisdom now, we’ll have plenty of time to gather together when the decline of the virus is known and we can all breathe a little easier.

This is not a great time for any of us–most can’t stand to be isolated–but we must do, what we must do, because our lives matter. We must listen to the experts, not the know-nothing menace in the WH!

 

 

Election 2019

Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to run for president and when I found out how much that would cost, I decided to run for an open seat on our city council. Now, I’ve never been overly fond of politics or politicians, but I thought I’d give it try any way. What I learned is–I was right to distrust the political machinery, even in a local election. Corruption has a stench that reaches into the hearts of small towns as well as big cities.

I followed the procedures I was given to get on the ballot–getting the required number of signatures, filing all the paperwork and having it done before deadline. On Memorial Day–2019,  I was told I had a target on my back. I heard what was said, but really didn’t give it much thought. “What can they do to me?” I thought. I knew there was nothing negative anyone would be able to find on me and if anything were publicized, it would have to be because someone made it up. Well, they did, but that didn’t stop me.

So, about a month or two before the election on November 5, 2019, I found out the plot–an 83 year-old white man who had been the former mayor and councilmember was running for the council seat because he didn’t want another African American on the council (we had one who got there by manipulation). Then things got really juicy. I was provided the man’s historical stance in trying to keep Black people out of the city–from blocking the sale of a building to a Black Church, to manipulating the Council into buying the building–only to discover once the city couldn’t afford the upkeep and had to close the building, the building ended up in the hands of a Black Church, anyway.

The name of the city was changed because it included the word, “Detroit” because some people didn’t want the association with the bigger city. About 20 years ago, the Black population was insignificant to most, but since then (around 2008), the numbers have been growing and now, it is believed that 40% of population is Black.

In 2017, the city was sued by the Department of Justice for allegedly violating civil rights voting laws. In November of 2017, a Black person was elected (primarily because of split votes between five Black candidates). In June of 2019, the city and DOJ reached a settlement–the city would use Ranked Choice Voting to establish a pathway for minority candidates to be elected. I ran, but was not successful in my bid for the seat because (viola) the plot to keep me off the council worked (name recognition).

How did it work? The “former mayor” of over 20 years ago, put out campaign signs for himself, another council candidate and a mayoral candidate. Whether others were involved remains to be discovered, but I’m guessing, someone will talk and someone else will hear about it. With the three signs put together in various locations, it gave the impression the three candidates were running as a team or slate (and since the three candidates were white, it made the DOJ lawsuit very relevant). And apparently, that’s how a number of people saw it–manipulation at work.

On election day, November 5, 2019, before the polls closed, the spouse of one of the candidates for council (the incumbent) happened to hold a conversation with a poll worker that he didn’t know, was there for me (correction–he did know). He laid out the entire plan (that was misunderstood by source). “My wife and Henry (pseudonym)  will win, and Mary will get a 1000 votes, then we’ll offer her an opportunity to apply for an appointment” (contextually, this was not reported with full knowledge and understanding of what was being said. The 1000 vote reference was about past experiences for candidates to win).

I got 1061 votes and the next day when we were given the results of the election, I was asked to consider applying for the appointment of a vacated seat. (This blog post ignited conversations–perhaps needed conversations in order to clear the air of any all misunderstandings. However, looking at the “entire” situation, without parsing–the optics were not good and possibly led to the misunderstandings, but I am yet analyzing to understand the motivation that prompted this entire discussion).

While I was considering applying, I got the word not to take it because it had been pre-planned and was possibly in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The way it was explained to me, by someone who had first-hand knowledge of the manipulative way the council worked. Some time ago, a seat was vacated and a number of people applied for the appointment. After the interviews, some were told they were sure to get it, but they didn’t. One of the interviewees found out later that a member of the council was friends with the wife of one of the interviewees and had been promised the positioned. The other person felt this was a waste of his time and since that “policy” was apparently the status quo, he didn’t want me involved with shenanigans. I’m grateful for the info.

Here’s what was offered: I would get the vote for the appointment as long as another person didn’t apply for it. I have documentation of what was said, just in case one or more of parties involved happens to read this. I love paper trails. And for those reading, before jumping to conclusions, try to understand how I perceived what I did. Being a minority, brings a certain mistrust to a number of situations and when a person “watches” what happens (not just hears), I tend to look a little closer look at everything, not just one thing. I’ve been told before that perhaps, I’m too analytical and that may be true, but being analytical means I examine all sides of an issue before drawing definitive conclusions. Note: DOJ has since responded to an inquiry by me and confirmed what I already knew–name recognition used as a means to choose candidates–will not change using Ranked Choice Voting. Basically, nothing much will ever change unless a person changes their name and that still may not work.

So, my proposal to fill the vacant seat is to appoint the person who was already voted for by the residents, rather than have 4-member council (likely divided) to try to make the decision. Based upon the “vacancy” section in the city charter, the council appoints the person to fill the vacancy–“before the DOJ settlement decree” and since the rules for voting changed, there should also be a change  in filling a vacancy since the Election Results record shows, how the next person ranked on the ballots with the residents’ input. The one thing the “plotters” overlooked is who would win the mayor’s seat, but that’s for another article. In that article, I’ll explain how “manipulation” won the day over egos. After all, the same manipulation that worked the first time around–when five Black candidates were in the race, won again–vote splitting–a winning strategy.

Too bad manipulation won’t hold seat. Tick-tock–the 6 month clock is running! Being escorted out a bar for being drunk (and I can imagine disorderly) right before an election–is not a good look and certainly not a “good representation” of self or city.

More next time! Keep watching as the “world turns and manipulation rules” in Eastpointe, MI! At the behest of the residents, I’m going to apply for the appointment and we’ll see how that works, in 2019. If it wasn’t for the residents, I’d call it a day and move on with my life–still helping where I can–but without the weight of corrupt politicism as a burden.

Author’s note: While some folks were trying to block me from winning an election out of pure racial bias, they forgot to keep watch of the mayoral candidate–who just happened to be Black–and won. Talk about Irony!

 

 

I’m Convinced!

I’m Convinced!

Reviewing news coverage about the number of incidents that occur between white people and the police and black people and the police, I’m convinced that there is a conspiracy by law enforcement officers to “kill black people” when they’re confronted, but to “save” the white people (with a few exceptions).

How many black people (predominantly male) have been killed just because of their skin color? Not many institutions will ever acknowledge the number because then they’d have to realize the stark truth of the matter–black people are targeted by their skin color, not necessarily by any alleged crime committed.

Eric Garner–killed when a white police officer refused to listen to him when he told him he couldn’t breathe. Why? I’m betting the mindset was, “one down and how many more to go?” Now, keep in mind, Eric Garner had no weapon of any kind. But then, a white male walks into a Walmart with bullet-proof vest and assault weapon and he’s, “talked down” with no one even drawing a weapon on him.

How many times must black men tolerate being profiled by police officers and “white citizenry” who proclaim fear for their lives just because a black person was in their presence?

Now, to get some perspective on the situation, let me ask this question: How many videos have been made and promoted on social media showing a black person calling the police on a white person just because they were taking up the same air space? How many times have we seen videos of white people, calling the police on black people just because they were black and then making up “absurd” excuses as to why they called. But then again, we’ve seen many videos in which white people harass and try to bully anyone of another ethnicity simply because. Is this the America we all love or is this the America trump has unleashed, full of hatred and bigotry?

I wish I knew Spanish well enough to hold a conversation within hearing range of a bigoted jerk just so I’d have a chance to tell them exactly what I think of them.

People who are fearful–have not love or humanity within them.

People who hate are fearful.

Since I do not fear people, nor do I hate them, I’m free to love all–primarily because I love myself and have love to give to others. I care about the plight of people and when I see injustice, I get angry and want to fight for the rights of others–no matter how many or who I’d be fighting against. I will always stand up for the marginalized groups that are targeted by bigoted, hateful people. We cannot allow hate to severely impact how our children live and play with others or how we all interact with one another. We are all human beings and I am convinced, once we understand that one simple fact and if we have even an iota of humanity within us, we’ll stop the hate!

I’m convinced–the only way we’ll stop all the foolishness we see reflected in our society right now is when we’re willing to sit down and talk “to” each other, not “at” each other. I’m convinced we’ll discover we have more in common than we don’t have; we all want to protect our children, live in a safe environment, and have the means to support our families. We should all want the planet to survive our existence so our grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy clean air and water and non-toxic soil so they’ll have food to eat. I’m convinced, I’m not the only person who feels this way and what I’d like to see is for everyone who “knows” not thinks, that all human beings deserve to be respected as such would do just that–treat other human beings the way any of us would want to be treated.

If we are unable to do that, I’m convinced we will have failed as Americans, human beings, and examples for others.  We don’t have to agree with everyone else, but we must learn how to disagree agreeably, respecting the rights of others to disagree with us, without calling them names or trying to dehumanize them. It is a very “weak” person who uses such tactics against other human beings.

I’m convinced–we can save the nation by putting aside our need to make us feel superior to others. None of us are superior to any others since we are all, flawed, imperfect beings. Now, let’s convince law enforcement, not to be fearful of black people, until they have ascertained credible reason to fear them. Let’s treat all transgressors of the law the same and try to save them for the judicial system to handle.

If you’re convinced of the same, I’d like to hear from you so we can work together to get America Back On The Right Track!

 

Are We Convinced Racism Still Exists in America?

Are We Convinced Racism Still Exists in America?

This has been a truly revealing week — and yet for many of us — it’s been a confirmation of what we already knew. A racist bigot occupies the White House and with every tweet, he proves it.

But it’s not just trump — the occupant in the White House— it’s the GOP in Congress who refuse to call him out on his racist behavior and comments or the treasonous rhetoric and his love for dictators. While we know trump is a racist, we may have tried to not conclude those in Congress were also just as racist as he is. Oh, we about some of them — the ones who are hard to miss or ignore like: Steve King Chuck Grassley, Tom Cotton, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell and others. So, when we think about all the elected officials who are racist bigots, we have to look at those who elected them and knew what they were.

Though their numbers (the racist GOP in Congress) may be few, look at the number of people they represent from their respective states who put them there! Look at the people who chanted, “send her back” when trump attacked, without evidence — Ilhan Omar — lying about what she has said (he forgets she’s apologized for some statements). They were clearly supportive of his racist stance in wanting to deport a woman of color who just happens to be Muslim. And then, the next day, he claims he didn’t like the chant and he didn’t say it. Really? Didn’t he say in a tweet that the women of color in Congress (Rashida, Ilhan, Ayanna, and AOC) who disagreed with him, and wouldn’t say “nice things” about him should go back where they came from? Lindsey Graham confirmed that had Ilhan Omar been wearing a red cap and embraced trump, he never would have said anything about her. And that’s a problem — trump only wants people in this country who will praise him and kiss his behind and go along with whatever he wants.

But I digress. He doesn’t understand democracy, any of America’s history regarding the tropes he uses that are racist and pervasive and he doesn’t care. He understands how to project fear into the hearts of those who feel they have somehow been victimized by people of color — without evidence — and it gives them the right to hate. His only goal is to win — by any means necessary — and we know he’ll use Russia’s help again to deliberately spread disinformation and misinformation to build the fear. What’s truly sad to watch is all the gullible people who praise him, thinking he cares about them. He doesn’t. They are simply a means to an end — his staying in the White House to avoid prosecution for all the crimes he’s committed.

So, here’s my message to the sane and rational people who have not yet succumbed to drinking the orange Kool Aid — recognize racism exists, how it keeps a stronghold on people, and then do everything you can to wipe it out of existence. A tall order I know, but we have to begin somewhere and it might as well be now.

Call out racism — wherever you see it, by whoever is guilty of it, even if it’s a friend or family member.

Never accept anyone’s justification for being a racist unless they can provide unequivocal evidence that proves whatever they’re saying is true.

Learn to love all humanity and treat everyone with respect especially those with whom we disagree. We can disagree agreeably without igniting fear that could lead to violence.

In our corner of the world in America, we must learn to take a stand and speak up wherever we find injustice (racism, despotism, etc.). Where there are those who are afraid to speak up, we must become the voice of reason and speak for them. And we must vote — in every election — knowing who it is we are voting for who will represent all the people, not just some of the people.

I’ve encountered blatant racism while campaigning for our governor last year, but it didn’t deter me, it ignited a desire in me to run for office — on the local level — and do my part to combat racism by demonstrating that people of color are capable of leading the masses no matter who the masses are. When we learn to see “a human being” in front of us, not just a person of a certain race, we start to unravel the misconceptions that have led to racism still existing in America. I love my city and I know because of the people I know — racism doesn’t exist in their hearts, but I can’t ignore the fact that in the hearts of some — it still exists.

The people with whom I have a relationship with — friends, family social media followers — know I don’t care about a person’s ethnicity — I care about them and how I’m treated and I always try to encourage others and tell them I love them — even those I haven’t met. It’s just that simple. We can bring racism to an end if we really want to do so, by minimizing the impact we allow the haters to have on what we do (unless challenged or threatened with bodily harm). It’s our choice. We can feed their egos and animosity or we can focus on bringing communities together and let the world see who we really are —American Patriots who care about all.

On another note — running for any office takes money — even the local races — and I want to make sure I’m in position to represent my community well and to be “a voice for them.” We’re short $1K in meeting our budget goal by August 1, 2019. Will you help with a $5 donation to help me with this election so I can stay focused on shredding racism in my little corner of America? Thank you! Real change begins, locally and spreads outward. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/committee-2-elect-mary-hall-rayford-1

If you want to know more about me and the issues and concerns I’m addressing, please check me out on facebook.com/EPCityCouncilCandidate.