Yes, Chick-fil-A Supports Hate Groups

There is a monumental difference between disapproving of same-sex marriage and actively working to assure homosexual and transgender people can make no socio-economic contribution to civil society. The owners and CEO of Chick-fil-A are starting to learn this lesson. After the company’s CEO Dan Cathy made public statement cementing Chick-fil-A’s public stance against gay marriage, the Jim Henson Co. announced they would sever all ties with the restaurant chain and donated royalty money received to GLAAD.

CEO Cathy’s remarks have caused public outrage across the internet. But the CEO’s words are not the root of the offense that Chick-fil-A commits. What really offends people is the message Chick-fil-A supports with their donations to anti-gay organizations. Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm WinShape Foundation donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay organizations in 2010. “So, who are these organizations,” you may ask. Let me tell you about the worst offenders.

One group that received Chick-fil-A money is the Family Research Council (FRC). The FRC is officially certified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their vitriolic (and highly inaccurate) statements against homosexuals. Yes, Chick-fil-A donates money a hate group. The FRC routinely spreads lies about gay and lesbian people as it seeks to outlaw same-sex marriage, and overturn hate crimes laws, eliminate anti-bullying programs and reinstate the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. An FRC pamphlet released in 1999 made the startling claim that, “One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.” FRC’s president Tony Perkins also makes the ridiculous claim that pedophilia is a homosexual problem.

Chick-fil-A also donated money to Focus on the Family (FOF), which used to partner with the FRC. According to Right Wing Watch, FOF is anti-choice, anti-gay, and against sex education curricula that are not strictly abstinence-only. The founder of FOF, Dr. James Dobson, regularly makes disparaging remarks about gays and lesbians, and purports that homosexuality is a mental disorder.

Exodus International – another chicken-funded org – advocates the message that there is something wrong with LGBTQ people; and up  until a month ago espoused the theory that homosexuality was an illness that could be cured with prayer and “reparative” ex-gay therapy.

Other funding recipients included the Marriage and Family Foundation Inc, the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, and the Georgia Family Council (an FRC affiliate). This is where Chick-fil-A puts your money.

Chick-fil-A donates money to organizations that actively promote hatred and intolerance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, organizations that promote criminalization of LGBTQ life, organizations that assert LGBTQ couples aren’t fit to raise children, and organizations that condone and actively spread the ideas that LGBTQ people are child molesters, are sexual deviants, that there is something fundamentally wrong with LGBTQ people’s brains or that being gay is a disease that can be cured, and that allowing LGBTQ people to live freely will destroy society. That is a message that I and many others just cannot support.

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@CoryBooker: Civil Rights Should NOT be Up for a Vote

“No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority.” – Mayor Cory Booker

I am slowly (or quickly?) being convinced to move to New Jersey. Althought people drive fast as hell there, one good looking’, well spoken Mayor is little by little convincing me that New Jersians are just made of proper, American stuff!

We all know Mayor Cory Booker don’t shy away from no raging inferno. So back in January, in sure Booker fashion, when he was asked his opinion no marriage equality. He sure didn’t shy away from speaking his mind!

Boy oh boy! Cory Booker is make of PROPER American stuff. You know that stuff, that thick red, white and blue stuff that separates the Patriots from the pawns. I sure am proud of him. New Jersey is looking better and better.

I Am So Ashamed of Spike Lee

Yo Spike! I am so ashamed of you. You used to be an influential voice of black America. You used to be a role model for black American men. Now I you are just a coward.

You are not brave enough to be a hero. You are not strong enough to believe in due process. You are not influential enough to affect change in America.

What did you want to happen when you publicized an address for George Zimmerman? Did you urge concerned citizens to write him peacefully patriotic letters convincing him to admit his culpability and face his punishment? Did you anticipate a small cadre of peaceful protesters to rally against racial profiling by law enforcement near Zimmerman’s door? Did you expect his mail carrier and paper deliverer to slip him persuasive, non-threatening notes?

Or did you want the New Black Panthers to make good on their bounty? Or maybe you wanted to see George Zimmerman’s home firebombed? Did you want him violently ripped from his home and throttled by a maniacal mob. Did you want him harassed and intimidated? Did you want his family punished and frightened? Oh, maybe you just want to see him shot in the street.

What did you want to happen Spike?

I am so ashamed of you. With your platform, you had the chance to rise above the counterproductive fog of vendettas and violence with a message of solidarity. But instead you offered nothing but racism. An eye for an eye, right?

New Black Panthers – Third-World Sentiment

As protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman continue to grow and new evidence in the case continues to be revealed, I am left shaking my head. I know it is sometimes hard for people to think calmly and rationally when an event the magnitude of Trayvon Martin’s killing occurs. But where do we draw the line between calls for justice and vigilantism?

A fresh injustice is being advocated. The New Black Panther Party* – a hate group according to the Souther Poverty Law Center – has offered a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman’s head. The leaders of this wretched group have not minced words over the intent of their proposition. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, ” came the response of their leader, Mikhail Muhammad. They’ve also called for the mobilization of 10,000 men to catch him. They would see George Zimmerman lynched – strung up and burned in a nod to atrocities of the past.

It seems Mr. Zimmerman has already been convicted in the realm of public opinion. The voices supporting justice for this man have been drowned out by the angry melee of politicians, picketers and grieving family calling for prosecution. But we cannot let anger set us on a retreat to the days of race riots and dead cops.

This isn’t Rodney King. George Zimmerman is not a cop. He is a man who made a grave mistake. He is already paying for that mistake, and will probably end up defending himself in a court of law. But bounties and calls to violence serve nothing more than to delegitimize appeals for open dialogue about racial equality. The death of this promising (yet not angelic) young man has created an opportunity for Americans work together and help each other. We can’t let Trayvon Martin’s death set us back. We must move past demands for retribution if we are ever to find the truth.

 

*Please note: The New Black Panther Party – which advocates hate, violence against whites and Jewish people, and racism – is different from the original Black Panther Party which promoted black empowerment, education and black entrepreneurship.

Racism Didn’t Kill Trayvon Martin; George Zimmerman Did

Zimmerman’s internal delusions of authority obliterated the bright future into which Trayvon Martin was walking.

It’s a tragedy of American culture. An unarmed teenager is killed while walking home with a bag of candy and an iced tea and the gunman isn’t even arrested.  Although this tragedy was not driven by racism, Trayvon Martin is a victim of stereotyping, prejudice and one man’s power trip.

What would you do if a dude in a hoodie was walking down your street? Would you call 911? Would you pursue him? Would you confront him? Would you initiate a physical altercation with him? What if he attacked you? Would you shoot him?

America is trapped in a whirlpool of xenophobia. At one time touted as a melting pot, American culture is now fractured. Commonalities that used to bind us together are now overshadowed by nugatory dissimilarities. George Zimmerman is not a racist. But his actions are evidence of the perpetual racial divide in America – Trayvon Martin’s mere genetic makeup made him a subject of suspicion and doubt.

This isn’t racism. It is prejudice. This is a deep-seeded prejudice toward minorities. When you pass a black, male stranger on the street, what do you do? Do you give a friendly nod? Do you look him in the eye? Do you smile? If you see a black man or a group of black men on the street, do you cross to the other side to “avoid confrontation”? Study yourself. Pay attention to your reactions next time you are walking down a street. There are some racial prejudices that are so deeply engrained in our cultural makeup that most people are not even aware of a change in behavior when they are expressing them.

This differs greatly from outright racism. For example, a recent pole by the Public Policy Polling organization revealed that 29 percent of Mississippi Republican voters support reestablishing the anti-micegenation laws that forbade black and white couples from marrying. In other words, in 2012, nearly 1 in 3 Republicans in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be outlawed. So, while the rest of America approves of the dismantlement of sociological barriers to racial equality and personal liberty, a large portion of Mississippi citizens desire to reinforce those barriers.

Sacrificing everyone’s civil rights for the sake of preventing another person from living freely because of the color of his or her skin is racism. Calling 911 because you think a guy is scoping houses in your neighborhood is not racism. Pursuing, confronting, and then physically engaging a person that you suspect of unlawful behavior is just plain stupid – and possibly crazy. But however misguided George Zimmerman’s actions were, they weren’t motivated by his personal racial prejudices – they were motivated by society’s.

Trayvon Martin wasn’t just some black kid. He was a boy, a son, a brother, a friend. Trayvon could have been any boy. He could have been my boy. The fact is George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman may have genuinely been afraid for his life. He suffered injuries I myself consider quite severe and indicative of his receiving a proper thrashing.

The night Trayvon martin was killed, it was pouring rain and ~60 degrees in Sanford, Florida. When Zimmerman left his car to pursue Martin, he uttered a curse under his breath. Contrary to popular belief, he did not say “These fucking coons.” He said, “It’s fucking cold.” To a Floridian, 60 and rainy is pretty fucking cold. (Hence Martin’s hoodie.)

Brrrrrrrr...

It is Zimmerman’s actions leading up to the confrontation with Martin that society should be taking issue with. Zimmerman did not observe the protocol befitting a neighborhood watchman. Zimmerman carried a firearm. Zimmerman pursued Martin. Zimmerman elevated a possibly deleterious situation into a probable violent situation. Whether Zimmerman attacked Martin or Martin attacked Zimmerman is immaterial to the fact that had Zimmerman observed the protocol befitting a neighborhood watch captain, Trayvon Martin might be alive today. Zimmerman’s internal delusions of authority obliterated the bright future into which Trayvon Martin was walking.

 

Update: Post edited to revise estimated temperature on evening of February 26th.

Race to the Most Racist-est

I’ll be happy one day if I can truly say that my children are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. And I’m afraid I won’t live to see it.

I’ll be happy one day if I can truly say that my children are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But I think that day is a long way off. And I’m afraid I won’t live to see it.

Thursday, Southern Mississippi University made headlines. Not for their season-ending loss to the basketball powerhouse Kansas; but for the racist and very offensive chanting of some of their band members during that loss. These students – who were attending the game as representatives of Southern Mississippi University – felt they were entitled to chant “where’s your green card” at Mr. Angel Rodriguez as he was taking some free throws during the first half.

The school acted swiftly and precisely. The punishment was almost exactly what I would have done. The students have been stripped of their scholarships, are out of the pep band, and have to undergo sensitivity training. I must credit Southern Miss’ school officials for their swift reproach of these students’ behavior.

In the face of anti-immigrant harassment (misdirected as it might have been to Puerto Rican Rodriguez), voter identification laws (that disproportionately affect minorities), and questionable immigration reforms in the south, the growing tree of evidence of a reversal of racial equality and cultural tolerance in America is virtually undeniable. In this supposedly “post racial” America, what does this say about the state of race relations in this country?

Up until a few days ago, one could purchase bumper stickers referring to the President of the United States as a nigger. Of course, the purveyor of this despicable product, Paula Smith, denies all racist connotation. She claims that the President isn’t even black. She also claims that putting one of the most offensive, racially-motivated words in the English language on a bumper sticker referring to our black President is not racist. Yeah. Right.

So many people have jumped on the [non] racist, anti-Obama band wagon the last year. The fact is, much of the opposition to Obama’s presidency from its very inception has been motivated by Barack Obama’s race. We’ve heard him referred to as the “food stamp president”, we’ve heard accusations of Obama  “chugging 40s” instead of doing his job, he’s criticized for “entertaining rappers,” he’s derided as having a “hip-hop BBQ” at the White House. It seems no matter what President Barack Obama does – and he does just about the same things that previous presidents did (except play a mean game of basketball) – pundits who don’t like him routinely stage their disapproval in race-tinged cultural terms. And racist sewage circles the internet drain in chain emails that even pop up out of the offices of the judicial branch.

If it’s not racism, what is it? These people like O’Reilly, Beck and Boortz know exactly what they are doing. They are well versed by now in the art of the covert racial message.  One would be remiss to claim that their euphemisms are not carefully crafted and their responses – if they offer any acknowledgement whatsoever of their slander –  to the predictable fallout are not premeditated. These mass double entendre serve as a call to arms – fuel for the fire for their political lynching of a honorable man.

[Post-] Racial America My Foot!

With the election of Barrack Obama to the Presidency of the United States, pundits termed a supposed new description for our culture. People are trying to call our current social climate post-racial. People want to believe they have surpassed the violent racism of that past, that they are colorblind. I say it’s all bullshit.

I have even heard politicians say, “We elected a Black President. We don’t need Affirmative Action anymore.” Meanwhile Republican governors want to slash funding for public schools across the country; and leave many students whose parents cannot afford to send their children to expensive private schools to languish in under-funded classrooms. Is it a wonder that the bar at an under-funded, struggling school is lower than at a well-funded private school? I imagine, as an administrator, it’s a bit difficult to build a robust AP program when your still trying to bring your graduation rate up to the national average, and your teen pregnancy rate below it. Where should your priorities lie in such an environment? I would put my money into pregnancy prevention and student retention programs. Oh, wait, did I mention that money was cut? Sure, abolishing affirmative action will guarantee ‘real’ (un)equality.

How can this be “post-racial” America when James Craig Anderson can be beaten, robbed, run over and murdered by kids who attacked the first black man they saw, yelled “white power” while they did it, then bragged about murdering some ni****, only to have community members decry labeling it what it is: a hate crime? Oh, that’s just youthful indiscretion? That’s not hate driven?

You cannot even isolate this ‘post-racial’ description for the political climate! Remember poor Shirley Sherrod? She was forced to resign her position with the USDA after her words during a speech at an NAACP event were taken out of context. Her firing may not have been race driven, but the onset of the whole debacle sure was. (By the way, I hope she wins her defamation suit against Andrew Breitbart. That jerk should pay the price for his thoughtless actions. Shirley sure did!) And since President Obama is colorblind in his cabinet and judicial nominations, Sonia Sotomayor was accused of racism. And what about the beer summit? And a recently published study of the number of strikes called by umpires for same or opposite race pitchers reveals that racial bias is so deep, we don’t even know when we are doing it!

Even so-called ‘millenials’ say race matters. So can we just drop the whole ‘post-racial’ farce already? We’ve got a long way to go, people.

Update: As if on cue, Andrew Breitbart has advocated civil war (i.e. – violent overthrow of the United States of America) because he constantly (rightfully) gets called out on Twitter for his bullshit ultra right wing rhetoric. I really do hope Shirley wins that defamation suit.