Saturday, May 26, 2012

Will somebody please connect the dots. .. ..

     How does one of the biggest shams in all of politics go largely unnoticed. This week the GOP presented it's Republican women's policy committee in Congress, to show their solidarity with women. As long as they don't adjust policy positions that don't support women's interests. It's really no different than running Sarah Palin for VP as a quick grab for women's votes. The same as allowing Michael Steele to head the DNC as a response to Obama being a black first, they needed a black first. Or now suggesting Marco Rubio as VP to lure the Hispanic vote. As if Hispanics don't know what he really stands for.
     They are all poor attempts at seeming like a party in the midst of a shift towards inclusion, but in reality the policies tell a different story. Rather than a boring recap of bad policy, I really wonder what the GOP sees in the average American citizen. What leads them to believe that they can promote policy against a particular group, then trot out a Republican member of that group to give the impression that they feel their pain or support their needs. At the same time implementing contrary to their cause laws that aim to slow that groups progress.
     In any other instance in life, a blatant attempt at false advertising would immediately be called out, and the perpetrator would get no support. In this case, the GOP does it with every group and it is largely ignored. Is it because we know politicians are corrupt, and we accept the lies as just part of the game. It's ok because it's expected. Is that what it's come to?
     Sadder still there's no end in sight. It's a winning strategy. They win elections, and not just with votes from those who benefit from their policies, they get support from all groups across the board. Sure talking heads do their spots on pandering politicians, and inevitably someone says, it goes on constantly with both sides being guilty. That may be true, but nobody has it mastered like the Grand Old Party, and nobody separates the dots like the mainstream media. If the groups the Republicans pander to would unite under the cause of being nobody's fool, the wool pullers wouldn't have the power. Until then, they will continue with the wooden nickels, and we'll continue to be the fools who look to cash them in.

Would an Obama loss Re-reshape Mainstream Media

     If Obama never became President, one thing would definitely be true. Cable News would be a lot less diverse than some would say it already is. Aside from being as close to a monopoly as possible, with predictable leanings and scripted talking points, one thing remains a fact. Since 08' more brown cable anchors began showing up on TV.
     I'm sure the Networks would say, it shows the American people that their stations were ready to have staff who better understand the social change to come due to the historic nature of the election, or maybe offer some new perspective on political issues since they lived the minority experience. All kind of meaningless because the news is scripted. So its just to put hosts on air who people feel comfortable looking at, and the more diverse the audience, so goes the hosts.
     The real change though isn't the hosts, its the guests. Since 08' the amount of young black professors we see discussing daily political issues, or current events is staggering. Melissa Harris Perry even got her own show where she introduces us to even more of black academia. Yet this phenomenon begs one question. If McCain was elected would we know Melissa Harris Perry,  Michael Eric Dyson or Marc Lamont Hill? I could fill a page with the names of smart Black professors from prestigious schools around the Country, some more recognizable than others, but none would have remotely become household names without POTUS.
    That's the problem, did these people spontaneously materialize on election day. These are professors from Tulane, Georgetown, and Colombia University, respectively. I'm pretty sure they were smart prior to the Obama Administration. Even putting intellectual perspective and experience aside, the image these people project that you can be a young, cool, urban influenced intellectual is needed in society. With all I've learned from Dr. Cornell West, he looks like a guy who should be teaching you something. This younger crop bridges the gap, and should be the new faces in our much needed public role model category.Only time will tell but, if Obama looses this next election we'll see if cable news continues to see the value of the black academic perspective, or if this handful of role model scholars vanishes as quickly as we were introduced to them.
   
     

Monday, May 21, 2012

Do you have a better plan? The move for unity.

    There seems to be a general problem anytime someone tries to do something different to bring about some sort of change. Inevitably more people tell you it won't work with no reason why, than people who say they support the effort your putting out. Hundreds of people have read my post about No McDonalds in October and the overwhelming response has been, why would hurting McDonalds be ok to advance the cause of people of color. Now I think I  laid it out pretty well in the first post, http://buildbackwards.blogspot.com/2012/04/no-mcdonalds-in-october.html but people see things differently.
     Most people see the amount of money McDonalds makes from the black community and that's all they see. Once again there's no way to measure where the money would be spent if we retained the over 400 million dollars in one month as a community. The suggestion would be to spend the money at local businesses, but the purpose is to come together, and enact some sense of measurable change as a group. Clearly the powers that be are working to diminish our rights. The fact that we have a President of color, and the efforts are still to shift laws and ideals back to a time where minority rights are limited necessitates us coming together as a block. To protect what symbolism of rights we do have.
     The President can't protect you. The best case for strength we have is in our numbers, but as a community we have been fractured for so long that its the norm. So how do we come together? The amount of people who don't participate in things because they say other people won't is staggering. A unified act of any kind Political or Economic justifies the group be taken seriously. So simply put a one month ban on McDonalds is not to hurt McDonalds, its to learn to come together as a group for common causes. McDonalds gets 18% of its revenue from 13% of the people 5.2 Billion per yr. McDonalds also heavily promotes it's 365 program that targets underprivileged areas and people of color, they rebuild playgrounds and offer scholarships to many needy people. Having said that, one would expect that McDonalds would be all for the community it works to help using any legal means available to better its self, for the good of all of society. If not they do all the other stuff because we buy the product at rates higher than our population percentage. And they're playing us.
    To offset the cost, McDonalds could limit black advertising for as long as it takes. People will still eat there with a few less commercials. I wonder if people really don't want to hurt McDonalds or just enjoy having something to complain about. To unify would mean everybody would have to do their part, and it seems as I have recently been told some people just enjoy being sheep. For too many the idea of sacrifice is something that's inherently difficult. In this case all you have to do is spread the word  through social media and don't eat McDonalds in October. The show of unity will speak for it's self.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Majority Minority: The Browning of America

     The media explosion over the new minority majority is simple. A large segment of society believes America is a white nation created by and for white people. Supported by a Presidential statement by Andrew Johnson," This is a Country for white men, and by God as long as I am President it shall be a Government for white men." In reality it's all about genetics. Theoretically, if you place a Brown family and a White family on an Island and leave them there undisturbed for three or four generations, when you returned the inhabitants would be overwhelmingly browner.
     Nothing too shocking about that. But on a larger scale if America was that island, some scenario of racial separation would have to be in place to prevent the eventual browning of the entire Country. This explains the attempts by the majority to enact safeguards such as segregation and interracial marriage bans. Preserving our blood line is at the core of our animalistic instincts, like when lions eat the cubs of other lions to preserve the legacy of their DNA.
     Its really kind of sad, the blending of cultures brings so many positive things to society, the negative being that outdated codes in our DNA will be erased, in this case white skin. Skin color doesn't define you as a person, it only explains your where your ancestors lived in relation to the equatorial line, and their tolerance to the Sun's rays. The 0.1% difference in our DNA is so insignificant that the variation genetically between countrymen is no different than that of a man a continent away. That's why organ donation isn't effected by racial boundaries. It's normal to fear impending doom, the real crime is that this is not discussed in a way that relates it to current racial challenges present in America and throughout humanity. It's proof of evolution, nature continues to transform in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
     This isn't going away, at some point we have to recognize the elephant in the room. Examining the true roots of racism lets us better understand the problem giving us a clearer path to an eventual solution. In the end we all want the same things. To live happy healthy productive lives, with the ability to give our kids more than we had. Its possible, only if we all accept the impending fact that the world may just be getting a little bit browner.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Is Multiculturalism really that Bad

     After the Presidential elections of 08', we began to regularly hear the new battle cry of the right, Its time to take our Country back. Now originally, I thought this idea was formed with political ideology in mind. After all Obama won Iowa and a host of other less integrated areas of  the US, all the while the economy was beyond declining and we were in questionable wars on two fronts. As the dust settled I realized this was the battle cry of a culture war.
      Now that we are in election season its becoming increasingly apparent that some expect, and hope that time and progress can turned back, and are actively trying to do so. So many prominent Republicans have said this is the most important election since 1860. After Lincolns assassination President Andrew Johnson said “This is a country for white men ,and by God as long as I am president it shall be a government for white men”. The new majority minority numbers are making this an increasingly difficult promise to keep.
        I've never been one to take a politician at their word but, this crop of Republicans are speaking with actions and not just words. In no particular order, the absolute outright assault on women's reproductive rights with no representation, and voter suppression and redistricting efforts in largely minority communities. But the least covered is the mostly men who speak to the heart of the Republican party about fear based, antiquated ideas. This years CPAC (conservative political action) convention featured panels on “The failure of multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity”,and  High fences Wide Gates. Both groups of speakers considered supremacists by some, and at the very least racially insensitive were denounced by none at CPAC not even by Republican minorities.
     These views are not held by most Americans, but they are tolerated by far too many. Free speech is granted to all citizens, but the no fire in a crowded theater rule should apply here. Anyone can hate progress, and the coming together of like minded people from different races working for the good of the Country. Its fine if you don’t participate, whats not ok is actively working to prevent progress in the name of fear. What I don't understand is the wave of minority Republicans like Marco Rubio working hard to champion the ideas that oppress their own. It's really strange.

Of Choice and Sin

     I always considered myself to be pro life. There's nobody I want dead. I never killed anybody, and I accept that life is a precious thing. All common ideas expressed by reasonable people. Then there's that grey area. Is supporting a woman's right to choose a testament to ones lack of respect for potential life. Encompassed in that metaphorical sea of grey, is the potential life vs. actual life side of the spectrum. A legitimate question but inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. That's right in this case the facts do nothing but deepen the muddy waters.
     Ideologically, as good Christian folk, pro lifers have done their job. They've succeeded in their job of informing the masses of the Lord (several times). They also have shared their experiences of how the Lord has willed them to succeed. Pick any random public speaking event and you will hear multiple mentions of  God. Your job is done, you've effectively proselytized. Now if some (as you say) sinner, after hearing the tales of the Almighty God, chooses to act out against the teaching in the book he left you, and chooses abortion, that's between them and the Almighty. You've done your part.
     But no you say. You can't stand by and watch innocent babies slaughtered. It's immoral. The discussion then turns back to when life starts. Now, using the mind God gave you what is the rational solution. It should be when the kid can survive outside of the womb on its own. When its well within reach of being tempted by Satin, and can recognize Jesus as the son of God. Satin never possessed embryos or zygotes did he?
     So, no abortions after your old enough to inherit that original sin huh? 28 weeks is a little rough, even for me. So lets just leave things like they are, and you remember, God loves you, and you're doing a top flight job. Feel comfortable that in your belief, everyone gets theirs in the end. God doesn't need you to fight his battles for him. Why would he now? He never did before. God routinely laithed the smackith down on non believers. Call it tough love. Whatever the case its not your place to interfere in the free will of Gods creations. Its their life to lose in the afterlife. Not yours, leave it alone, it's not your fight.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gay Rights, Religious Oppression, and You: How are you even mixed up in that?

     It's times like these that Religious skeptics will point back to when explaining the use of Religion to oppress society. So many people claim to be children of God. Some choose to gain power by governing in the name of God. Half of society wishes to control progress, to what they deem The Lord would envision us having. The other side wanting some representation of free will. For the Religious side to win power in the face of the prospect of ultimate free will, some sort of divisional tool must be used to sway the balance of power before the tide of freedom  turns,If not, the ability to rule through religion, (the easiest way) is lost.
     With Gay rights being our lightning rod, it's difficult to watch one minority (blacks) consider putting in power,  people who openly work to limit our daily rights, (republicans) to join in their fight to suppress the rights of another minority (gays), in the name of God. You want to put someone in power to hold back these gays, even if it means holding you back too. That's how you'll get it. No Gay Civil Rights fine, cut the college grants also, and the healthcare for those poor sick people. Oh yeah, see guy and girl doing equal jobs, on payday give her twenty percent less.
     So we give up what we fought for because someone has the perceived will, to stand up for what they think God would do. Even if it means we take a loss too. That plan always works. It's always in the movies. Some cowardly little guy goes to fight by the villain's side, in return for some agreement for some sort of power. As it always goes, towards the end of the fight the villain sacrifices the coward in order to make his escape, and live to fight another day.... And this is supposed to help, how?
     I never had an opinion on Gay stuff until recently. People have to do what they have to do, but using them as an oppression tool?  It's the Religious people calling them sinners, like it's strange to see a sinner. Then in the same breath saying we all are sinners, and no sin is greater than the next, and blah blah blah, whatever fits their momentary point. So you, Gods child, can't work to better yourself in Gods eyes. A sinner, equally beside other sinners, but not those sinners, because their sin is greater than yours. It all seems kind of confused. Confused people are easy to manipulate. Manipulate enough people you can control them all. That's the role you're considering playing in the future of our children? Brilliant..

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Does Voting even matter anymore?

     If voting isn't an option for enacting long term change in society what is? I have friends that are smart, happy successful, family first guys who choose not to vote. These are not under informed or disinterested citizens, these are well read students of history, who speak the language of governmental corruption, from international conspiracy to local inconsistencies. They believe change comes from within. If everyone would be the best person they could be and stop chasing material things, most importantly parent their children, while mentoring those kids that need it. This remolding of the core of the group, should insure a stronger group of leaders moving forward into the future, a legitimate observation that fundamentally addresses the roots of society's short comings.
     But what of the meantime, we just continue to complain? What about when locally elected officials, who's campaign positions don't reflect the will of the people get in office and enact their unwanted agendas. They under fund schools, cut senior programs, and close Fire Stations.  People literally gave their life for our opportunity to effect local change. They knew laws were set up against them and the ones that weren't were birthed to protect the ruling class of society. Yet they still gave their lives. They died so we could protect our homes and schools and have some sense of governmental inclusion and responsibility for our own communities.
     I think both concepts can be mutually correct, although not voting seems to have more appeal. You can be a rebel against the corrupt system, giving the establishment the middle finger by not giving your time to play their game. That's the problem though, non participation supports not being informed, clearly not for all but more people do get informed about life around them when they are engaged. Non participation makes reshaping the core infinitely harder, which jeopardizes yet another generation. A unified front got us these rights and to ignore them is a slap in the face to those who fought for them.
     So this is where we stand fractured and bruised, fueled by adversity and led by the experience and tenacity of ordinary people taking extraordinary measures to shed light on our uphill push. So what do we do, collectively check out, keeping only the hope of a life altering hard look in the mirror to inspire change, or combine that with electoral participation in the face of institutionalized corruption, at the risk of not seeming rebellious or anti establishment enough. What is the path to teach your kids....You Decide.
 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Too little too late: Is the NFL Really concerned about player safety?

     It seems the NFL never is out of season. Once again player safety is at the top of the list. Or is it? To this day the NFL reports that concern over head injuries is molding the future of the game. Along with a steeper fining scale, and rule changes, the goal appears to be creating a safer environment for players of today and tomorrow. Concussions have been and will be a part of the game, some see this act of working to protect it's players as just that, an act. Currently over 1500 former players have brought a lawsuit against the league for doing nothing to curb the risk of concussions in the past. And that number is growing.
     It seems the NFL could have prevented this by providing some sort of after football care for the players that built this league into  the juggernaut it has become today. We all know Baseball is Americas pastime, but Football is Americas Passion. So wheres the compassion? So many of the guys we watched growing up can't even play with their kids, or make it down a flight of stairs, they transformed a fledgling game into a ratings, and commercial monster, now airing three nights a week. So what gives?
     Wouldn't this be the time, with all of this talk of player safety and and injury concerns, to take a look at the players left behind and their lack of health care options due to pre existing conditions. The NFL Network shows all of those classic games with paid commercials, still making money off of retired players and offering no help in their lifelong health battles. The Current players dropped the ball during the last collective bargaining sessions, by not demanding some sort of mandatory health care for retired players. As they too will soon be joining the ranks of used players, only to be tossed aside like broken toys.
     With the possibility of concussion linked suicides, astronomical fines, and player bankruptcy. Now more than ever seems like the time to take care of these guys. The money is there on both sides, players and management. Use that NFL Classic advertising money, and the fines from illegal hits. Even the salaries and fines accrued through bounty gate would be a start to get things moving in the right direction. We used to laugh at the Steve Young I'm Batman concussion mocking commercial, but it's not going to be funny watching him waste away into a delusional old man, literally walking his neighborhood in his Batman underoos. Trying to find his way home. Wondering why the league he helped make great abandoned him and so many others like him.
     Football is a violent aggressive and lucrative sport, so either help these guys with medical care, or go back to those leather helmets. So guys think twice about launching head first into a 6'6 350lb wall of bone and muscle. Just a thought.