Donald Trump is an Old, White, Racist

I cannot stay quiet anymore.

Donald Trump can claim to the hills how he is not a racist. But I know he is. His attempts to garner favor from Black voters have not fallen on deaf ears. I have been listening, and I do not like what I am hearing.

Those are my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, mother and father he is talking about when he says Black communities are in the worst shape they’ve ever been in, “ever, ever, ever.” Just. No.

And his solution? Drum roll…………..more STOP AND FRISK!

Stop and frisk (Terry stops) in every Black community in America. Donald Trump thinks emphasizing Terry stops in the Black community will reduce violence. The same stop and frisk that, contrary to Trump’s claims on how well it worked, did not yield any attributable reduction in violent deaths in New York City. The same stop and frisk that was declared an unconstitutional, illegal infringement on the rights of the minorities targeted under the policy.

No matter! Donald trump knows better than the generals! The Donald knows better than the NYPD and the U.S. federal court of appeals and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Maybe that’ll be Trump’s next real estate investment – a for-profit prison to hold all the big, “bad dudes” he locks up thanks to stop and frisk.

Because it has become obvious Donald Trump knows better than Black people what is good for Black people – the view inside a jail cell.

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Why the “Black is the New Brown” Shirt Is Offensive

Black people are not defined by being black. And being Black is not being a color.

Being that less than 1 percent of the population in my neighborhood is African-American, I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and am married to a white man, I get a fair number of questions about race and Black culture. I think I own a special perspective on race and culture because I grew up where I did – my sister and I were the only Black kids in our elementary school for a while. My skin is fairly light and I talk like a TV news anchor. So throughout my school years I had to weather the “trying to act white” accusations and the “not black enough” comments – a different perspective.

This week when a friend of a friend made a comment about the fairly offensive “Black is the New Brown” t-shirt that was put up for sale on etsy and subsequently removed after public outcry, I felt compelled to share with him – and you – why so many people the shirt offensive.

It’s not the fact that the shirt was likely created and sold by a white person (if that is even the case). The race of the seller would not change the offensive sentiment behind the product.

This shirt is offensive because rather than acknowledging Charlie Strong for his record, his accomplishments or even by his name, the shirt maker chose to acknowledge only his blackness. And to boot, the venerable Mr. Strong is reduced to a black body and then compared to another man – a white man – who was acknowledged properly (by his name).

Black people are not defined by being black. And being Black is not being a color.

It would have been much more acceptable to have printed “Strong Is The New Brown” on that shirt. Such a slogan would acknowledge that the new Coach Strong is much more than the color of his skin. Calling him by his name accords Mr. Strong the level of respect every law abiding person deserves. Using his name would reflect in the shirt the strength his name represents. Even if the shirt maker is African-American, he or she should have respected Mr. Strong as a whole person – not just a black man.

We should never reduce a man to a color. As Martin Luther King said, we should judge him by the content of his character – as I’m sure the University of Texas did when they offered him a HELL OF A LOT of moolah to take the position.

Post script: Charlie Strong just released a demanding list of expectations to his players. It’s pretty badass. Somebody should make a t-shirt about this!

Enter The Fragile Ego – No Bubble!

Since when did we lose our ability to hold complex discussions without acting like children? No really. It’s near impossible to have a real conversation anymore. When did that happen? There has developed a barrage of rules about when certain topics are forbidden conversation:

  1. Don’t discuss sex or politics at dinner parties.
  2. Don’t discuss politics or religion at the bar.
  3. Don’t discuss diet at the dinner table.
  4. Never discuss personal matters at work.
  5. No sex or race or politics or religion on Facebook, please. (Cat pictures only!)

With all these rules, when can we ever really, seriously talk about anything at all?

It seems one cannot bring up thought provoking topics anymore without someone else becoming offended or throwing around accusations. Dare you state the obvious, and you are just being mean. Dare to infuse racial-sociological context, and you are being a troll. “You’re talking publicly about your disbelief in my god – that’s RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION!” “How dare you analyze my personal experiences in a political context you contentious bitch!” We’ve become so afraid of rocking the boat that even calling oneself a feminist has suddenly become controversial.

It’s hard to pin down from whence this fragile egotism originated. Is this a product of the white, fluffy cloud concept of political correctness? Are we so motivated by etiquette that we feel the need to censor face-to-face, written, scholarly and even web speech? Or is this inane treading on the shallow end of conversation pool manifest of a collective need not to pop our own comfortable bubbles of correctness?

The dumbing down rampant in our education system (along with a host of other problems) could be partially to blame. When education funding is razed, the first education programs to disappear with that funding tend to be the courses that facilitate independent scholarly reflection: literature, art, sociology or current events. When people do not get the well rounded education needed to autonomously think outside the box, how can we expect people to approach complex social or political issues in a constructive way?

Where do we land at the end of this tryst with superficiality? The result is a bedazzled populace more concerned with who Miley Cyrus is twerking on than whether extending unemployment benefits is beneficial to our economy. Such is a populace that also avoids discussing the influence of racism on our social-economic institutions, or how the exaltation of female virginity degrades and hurts women.

A culture of avoidance facilitates ignorance. Ignorance breeds isolation. Isolation breeds extremism. And goodness knows we’ve already too much of that. It’s high time to take off the rose glasses, pop the comfy bubble, and commence with the discourse of our lives.

Race, Zimmerman and One Small List

Since the slaying of Trayvon Martin hit the main stream air waves, the conversation about race in America has erupted in a maelstrom of heated commentary, misguided angst and cowardice. So many people are quick to label George Zimmerman a racist murderer, call Martin a deserving street thug, and deny the role race has played in the entire matter. Even seemingly honest conversations about the killing of Trayvon Martin get mired in this toxic cloud of politeness – political correctness.

But a shroud of dishonesty does not change the facts. George Zimmerman suspected Trayvon Marin of nefarious behavior in large part because of the color of his skin. But while Zimmerman is entirely guilty of taking the life of a promising young man, he is not solely to blame for his mistaking a Black teen for a troublemaker. The tendency to suspect Black male teenagers of illegal behavior is deeply engrained in our sociological fabric in the United States. And the fact that Zimmerman is hispanic does not make him immune to this tendency.

So when we are talking about race and the Zimmerman trial, to deny that race had anything to do with Martin’s death or the outcome of the trial is a bankrupt notion. Race played a part in both events.

Some media personalities see fit to stick it to those incensed by Zimmerman’s acquittal (and the Black community at large) by trying to diminish the significance of Martin’s killing. In response to outcry about Trayvon Martin’s death, they ask why no one is getting mad about Black-on-Black crime – which is COMPLETE bullshit. (This non-sequitur question even happened to me at work!) People ARE mad about Black-on-Black crime. We talk about Black-on-Black crime a lot. But before the Trayvon Martin’s death, you didn’t feel the need to make yourself a part of that conversation!

I was impressed by at least one tv aired conversation on race recently thanks to my number 2 tv crush – Don Lemon.

Don’s simple advice: 5 – dress respectfully, 4 – quit using the ‘n’ word, 3 – don’t trash your home, 2 – quit stigmatizing education, 1 – reduce the number of children born out of wedlock. Don Lemon is being honest. And he is right.

Faking Persecution

Yes, bibles are allowed in public school. No, bibles are not banned from public schools. Anyone who tries to tell you bibles are banned is selling you something: that is a flaming bag of malodorous fakery.

idiotic bible meme

Bibles ARE allowed in schools. Just because a kid might feel embarrassed to bring a bible to school is not proof of any claim that the kid is prohibited from doing so. Peer pressure and prohibition are not the same things. Kids can have bibles in school. Kids can talk about religion in school as it may relate to history or literature. If such a discussion goes off on a tangent, I can see how a teacher would want to bring the discussion back onto topic. I can see how a teacher or other students might feel uncomfortable about talking about it. But that doesn’t make it against the rules.

Additionally, I hold that attributing the increased incarceration rate to lack of bible reading is not wholly truthful. Consider the role institutionalized racism has played in increasing the incarceration rate in this country. I believe that racism is the most influential factor in our increased prison population. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics‘ report “Prisoners in 2010,” Black men are imprisoned at 7 times the rate of white, non-Hispanic men. Black women are imprisoned at 3 times the rate for white, non-Hispanic women. Racism stymied education. Racism motivated the War on Drugs, which is singularly responsible for the imprisonment of nearly 20 percent of today’s prison population. Racism drives people to the streets and to crime to earn a living.

Racism is built into our social and government institutions. Urban centers with majority Black populations tend to have poorer schools, higher teacher-to-student ratios, higher teen pregnancy rates, and higher dropout rates. If one cannot get a job because because he or she lacks the necessary education, what does one do? Many people take the easy way out: sell drugs, become a prostitute, go on welfare, join a gang (all of which are arguable harder than taking the high road in the end). Sure, some people can and do turn to a church. But the church doesn’t have jobs for everyone. And joining a church won’t magically earn one a diploma.

Injecting religion into schools serves only to violate the rights of those – like me – who choose not to observe any religion as well as those who observe a different religion. The solution to every problem may seem simple when ones solution to everything is more religion. But religion doesn’t make racism go away. (Heck, religion even motivates bigotry in some cases.) And the fact that a simple claim of religious piety does not elicit the blind respect of yesteryear does not prove that our society needs to dump the First Amendment.

Personally, I’ve got no problem discussing the role religion played in shaping our society. But I draw the line at using lies to support giving religion a higher priority in public schools.

no bible meme

Faking Hate

If you follow the femme rampage that is my blog space, you might have experience my utter disgust with a certain local radio personality. Let’s not mince words: I think Mark Madden is a racist jerk.

Now, that is not really saying much. So many people say racist, insensitive things nowadays, it would be impossible to preserve the meaning of the word racism if we attached that label to every person who tried to argue that Black people should “turn white” to get ahead in their careers. (NOT!) It has become politically correct to apply a hierarchy to racist behavior such that, those who say things that are only moderately offensive to minorities are labeled “insensitive,” while reserving the harsher “prejudiced” label for blatant discriminators and the full-on “racist” label for imbecilic, teenaged assholes who attack the first Black person they encounter and murder him by running him over with a truck.

Well, the lovingly racist radio jock Mark Madden took to the airwaves once again this past week to rail against another supposed injustice – this time aimed at him. It seems poor, portly little Markie is mad because Krystal Cozzo of the Pittsburgh Passion called him a fag or something.

OH NO! Poor Mark Madden!

He got called a mean name. He feels personally insulted – insulted enough to spend 15 minutes of airtime ranting and raving about how he doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment and sponsors should drop the Passion and they must hate gays and dont allow gay people into their stadium and…blah, blah blah…

OH SHUT THE HELL UP YOU HYPOCRITICAL MORON!!!

The only thing I feel sorry about Mark Madden for is that he can’t stop shoving crappy, unhealthy food into his mouth and get off his lazy, palid butt long enough to do something healthy for his body before it quits on him for good. It’s no wonder he only speaks highly of women who take their clothes off for a living, since he couldn’t get a decently intelligent woman to put up with his arrogant, sexist drivel for more than the few minutes it takes her to chug the beer he pressured her into accepting.

Maybe Mark Madden should spend less time being offended by random twitter remarks and spend more time learning why his own public, on-air, racist, sexist, and homophobic comments, which he and Clear Channel broadcasted to an entire city, are offensive to other people.

Broadcast Racism

Sometimes I listen to sports talk radio. I’ll listen to 105.9 The X on the way home from work when they broadcast Penguins games. Listening to hockey games on the radio has been a love of mine since I lived in Columbus. I would watch Columbus Blue Jackets games on tv with the sound on mute, and let the radio announcer make the call. George Matthews‘ game call puts those tv announcers to SHAME!!!

I was listening to WXDX this evening when sports talk radio personality Mark Madden remarked about how he thought a certain commentator on ESPN was “turning white.” Mark said this guy was getting pale, and that maybe it was a career move on this guy’s part. Then Mark follows this all up, on live radio, with his opinion that the guy was “turning white” because the guy “realized he was completely talentless”.

Now, there are so many things wrong with his few seconds of radio they are hard to enumerate. I want to ask Mark Madden, “Do you think talent is defined by skin color? Do you think this commentator would be more talented if he were whiter? In your opinion, should all Black people start “turning white” in order to further our career prospects?”

Mark Madden doesn’t want to call his comments racist:

Seriously? Apparently, Mark Madden thinks “turning white” is diversity.

I think Mark should seriously consider why this person is “turning white.” Maybe Mark is ignorant of the fact that dark people tan. (Yes! Black people tan!) Has Mark considered that maybe this man hasn’t had time to maintain his usual tan because he has taken on additional responsibility at work and doesn’t have time for sunbathing and fun in the sun? Has Mark considered that his knee-jerk assumption is based on racist indoctrination; and that losing one’s tan is a sign of hard work and dedication to one’s trade rather than baiting opportunity?

No matter which way you spin it, Mark Madden’s comments were racially insensitive, and rooted in racism. Though he most likely won’t apologize and will not understand the significance of his prejudiced remarks, he should know that other people get it. He should know that saying racist things in jest is still racism.

I know where he stands.