communication, racism

Getting a grip with the “super woke”…

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this morning. My mind was a bit fuzzy after having been awakened at 4:00am by Arran, the barfing beagle. Actually, all he did was retch a bit. He was hungry, so Bill fed him and all was well. I was annoyed, though, because the retching woke me from a pleasant dream. And when I woke up and got out of bed, I wasn’t as “woke” as I could have been. 😉

I started reading The Washington Post, as usual, and sure enough, found myself a topic. It came from an article about Vietnamese tenants in Manhattan who received an official letter from a city worker addressing them as “Chin Chong”. Included with the article was a photo of the correspondence– a window envelope with the words “Chin Chong” visible.

Apparently, this all started when an older White man came to check on the heating and water at Duc Pham’s New York City apartment. Pham said he seemed “polite and professional”, and took down the floor and apartment number but did not ask for names. Last week, Pham’s roommate woke him to show him a follow up letter sent by the city addressed to “CHIN CHONG”. Pham and his roommates are all Vietnamese.

So Pham did what everyone seems to do nowadays when they get offended. He posted the offending correspondence on social media. That action led the city housing authority to issue an apology. Further, an employee was suspended without pay, and the authority has launched an investigation into the matter. Given the recent uptick in racism against Asians in the United States, to include racially based attacks on Asian citizens, scapegoating Asians for the pandemic, and the deadly shootings at three Asian-run spas in the Atlanta area, this case is especially newsworthy and troubling.

Now… when I saw the words “Chin Chong”, I knew they were offensive. But I’m just one person. As I read the comments for this article, I came across one written by a guy named Bruce, who says he’s 67 years old and has never encountered the term “Chin Chong”. He wrote:

I am not trying to start a fight here, but I am 67, I have lived in or near NYC all my life, and I have never heard this phrase, and would not have known what it referred to.

Bruce was immediately taken to task for this comment by a woman named Michele, who wrote:

…you understand that the absence of you never having heard it doesn’t in any way negate it’s existence and the experience of those it’s directed towards? You understand that this statement is an example of minimizing and a microagression, yes? Finally you understand that stating “I am not trying to start a fight” isn’t a blanket excuse to say something so utterly nonsensical in the discussion correct?

A long thread ensued in which they went back and forth with each other. Honestly, I don’t see anything in Bruce’s initial comment that indicates any kind of micro-aggression on his part. Maybe, at most, Bruce’s comment just seems obtuse. Obviously, Pham and his roommates were offended by being called “Chin Chong”. Perhaps Bruce could have Googled the term, rather than asking about it on The Washington Post. I haven’t looked yet, but I’ll bet Urban Dictionary has it defined… Actually, in Urban Dictionary, it’s “Ching Chong”, and it’s described as a pejorative used by English speakers to mock Asian languages, especially Chinese.

Okay… so it was Ting Tong vs. Ching Chong…

I’m 48 years old, at this writing, and I do remember hearing that slur used when I was a kid, both in England and the United States. Most recently, I heard it used on Little Britain, which was a British comedy show that often included skits that were kind of racist. That show aired some time ago– from 2003-07– and I read last year that the creators, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, have said they are “very sorry” for playing characters of other races. However, I don’t remember hearing that term used nearly as often as I have heard other racist epithets that will remain nameless. Moreover, I don’t know Bruce. Maybe he really hasn’t been exposed to that term. His question actually could have been innocent.

Anyway, before I knew it, I had read the whole thread. Below are the screenshots.

I won’t be surprised if someone accuses me of being a racist because I left the last comment. I don’t think what I wrote was racist. I simply don’t think that it’s necessary or helpful to attack people and make negative judgments about their characters simply based on a single comment on a news article. Granted, perhaps Bruce’s original comment was perhaps a bit “tone deaf”, but being tone deaf doesn’t make someone a racist. I gleaned a lot more about Michele from her aggressively “woke” comments than I did about Bruce. I haven’t looked at either of their profiles, but frankly, I would much rather have a conversation with Bruce than Michele, even if what she writes about him is 100 percent true… and I am not convinced that it is.

I know we’re living in challenging times. Racism is a huge problem worldwide, but especially in the United States. I understand that there are people who feel the need to “educate” others about it. A lot of them assume the mantle with gusto and go on full bore flame wars against anyone they perceive to be “insensitive” or unaware. I don’t think there is anything wrong with combatting racism. However, I do think that verbally attacking people– especially people you don’t know– is unhelpful in combatting racism.

Most people don’t like being publicly chastised or condescended to, especially when they truly meant no harm. While Michele obviously interprets Bruce’s comment as minimizing and “micro-aggressive”, to me, she comes off as openly aggressive, hostile, superior, and rude. I wouldn’t want to have a discussion with her, having witnessed that exchange. I think, if Michele’s goal is truly to defend the marginalized, she should change her approach to one that is less threatening.

I’ve mentioned this before in my blog, but I’m going to mention it again. I think there’s great value in the gentler approach. For some reason, Americans haven’t gotten the memo and feel like they have to aggressively denounce anyone who isn’t fully onboard the politically correct bandwagon. So they attack people– often total strangers– who post something that could or could not be construed as “offensive”. It’s one thing if someone posts something that is obviously belittling and nasty. It’s another, when something is only potentially so, and that could only be gauged by non-verbal cues that are simply unavailable in a written sense.

Maybe if Bruce and Michele had been speaking to each other in person, she could have concluded he was being offensive by his mannerisms or tone of voice. Or maybe if they’d had a recurring dialogue online, she could have more correctly gauged whether or not he was minimizing the plight of marginalized people. But I think it’s hard to accurately make those conclusions based entirely on the written words of a perfect stranger one has only encountered once in a lifetime. I didn’t get the sense that Bruce and Michele had ever met prior to that chance encounter on The Washington Post’s Facebook page.

I’ve found that gentle probing is good for finding out someone’s true intentions before you lower the boom on them, so to speak. To further illustrate what I mean, here’s an anecdote from my past. Back in the late 1990s, I attended Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings. I went, mainly because at the time, I was living with my parents and having to deal with my alcoholic dad, with whom I often clashed.

One time, a young, attractive woman who was studying massage therapy came to the meeting with some kind of putty. When it was her turn to speak, she told us about how she was learning how to treat the tough knots that plagued her clients. The putty was used as a training tool in that endeavor. She showed us how, if she attacked the putty aggressively, it wouldn’t yield to her touch. It would be resistant and rigid. But if she gently pressed it, the putty would slowly become more malleable and she could manipulate it with much more ease. She passed the putty around so we could experience it for ourselves. Ever since that presentation, I’ve thought of that lady with the putty whenever I witness someone aggressively attacking another person in a well-meaning attempt to do “good”.

I think this was the stuff she used.

If you want a more cliched idea about effecting change, there’s always that old saying, “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.” If you’re kind, understanding, and trying to see the other person in a good light in your approach, others may be more inclined to listen to you. Most people are normal, and don’t want to be hurtful or cruel to others. If they are not normal, you will eventually find that out if you maintain contact with them. At that point, you can change your approach accordingly. For most online interactions, you probably should consider trying to be somewhat reasonable and understanding… at least at first.

On the other hand, this is also true… And who wants to attract flies anyway, except maybe frogs or spiders?

I highly doubt “Bruce” and the others in that thread who were responding to Michele learned anything new in that exchange, other than Michele is not a very nice person. I also doubt her efforts to make them more “woke” had much of a positive effect on them. Instead of focusing on what she was trying to say– which I assume was well-meaning– they were being defensive and had focused on the aggressive nature of her communication to them. She may have felt better in being so direct and condescending, but I doubt that approach led to anything good. I was uncomfortable and offended reading it, and I wasn’t even part of the conversation until the very end. I forced myself to read the whole thing, but I’ll bet a lot of people chose not to read it. We’ve got enough reasons to be hurt, offended, or irritated these days.

I was glad to see some people defending Bruce in that thread. It’s not that I don’t think his comment was a bit obtuse. It kind of was. I just don’t think launching a full blown nuclear attack against him, posting to him like he’s stupid, and assuming bad things about his character is useful, particularly when all he did was ask a question. There really is a dearth of mutual respect in our society and it’s having a serious effect on freedom of speech as well as mutual understanding. Angrily attacking people just leads to more attacks. It isn’t helpful, and doesn’t teach anyone anything. However, I also understand that people get frustrated and feel the need to vent. I just think it’s better to take out those frustrations in another venue, rather than in a public forum with perfect strangers. (which doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes slip up myself)

As for Pham and his roommates, I am truly sorry that they had that experience with the city worker. I don’t know what it’s like to be Asian American, so I can’t personally relate to what they went through. But I’m willing to hear what they have to say and offer respect and kindness the best way I know how. I think everyone is deserving of at least that level of respect until they show the world that they’re not worthy. For example, Donald Trump has pretty much lost all of my respect, but that’s because he shows so little to anyone else. When it comes down to it, Bruce’s initial comment wasn’t, on its face, offensive. A “woke” stranger assigned a motive to him and attacked him, rather than giving him the benefit of the doubt. A more gentle probe, rather than an aggressive reprimand, would have likely been more effective and educational for everyone. Or, at least that’s my take… but again, I’m only one person.

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complaints, condescending twatbags, racism, rants

Why I unfollowed “God”…

I don’t remember when I discovered the God page on Facebook. I remember liking it when we lived in Texas, which was about seven years ago. I probably liked it in North Carolina, too… which was about ten years ago. It used to be a genuinely hilarious source of laughs on a daily basis. But now, it seems to be full of self-righteous virtue signalers who want to live in an echo chamber. And since this past year has been unlike any other in my lifetime, I find that I have less time for people who try my patience. It’s not so much God that tries my patience. It’s his “followers”, many of whom are, frankly, very obnoxious, narrow-minded, and hypocritical.

I may decide to follow God again at some point, but I’ve found that many times, once I get sour on something, I don’t want to return to it. I used to follow George Takei’s page, but I had to quit following him a couple of years ago… again because of the other people who follow him. Same with Janis Ian, although I did recently re-follow her. And Wil Wheaton… had to stop following him, too. I just can’t hack it.

So what brought on the unfollowing? It was a post God had shared about a woman who went maskless into a grocery store in New York. The woman– who is now dubbed “Bagel Betsy” (again with the hijacking of people’s names and turning them into insults)– was asked to put on a face mask. She adamantly refused. Security asked her to leave the store, and she dropped the n-bomb at the cashier. Later, when people gave her hell on social media, the woman posted a picture of a report from 23andme, claiming to be biracial, and wrote that all of her children have a Black father. She also defended her right to call the cashier a “bitchass n-bomb” because she claims that she, herself, has Black ancestry.

Screenshot of the justification for dropping the n-bomb.

As you might have guessed, the post was quite inflammatory and there were over a thousand outraged comments. A few brave and intrepid souls tried to inject some reason into the flood of hatred. One woman bravely posted that words only have the power that we give them. She got a huge ration of shit for that. Another asked why it’s only okay for certain people use certain words. Again… tons of insults lobbed at her for asking a serious and honest question. Below is just one example of the exchanges on that thread.

Here’s a comment from Pam:

She does have a point. I’ve often heard black people say that word. If it’s ok for them to say it, but not white people, isn’t that racist too?

Oh boy… that opened the flood gates of hypocrisy. One guy, name of John, wrote this:

my friends and I call each other all sorts of names but god help anyone else who tries it on with us! You have missed the point by a stratospheric amount.

So Pam asked:

“Again, its an honest question. I’ve never understood why its bad”

And John responded:

“really, please tell me you are being sarcastic. As a Scot I don’t mind being called a “Jock” by other Scots. But don’t you dare call me a Jock if you aren’t Scottish. It is about the use of the language. Using the N word if you aren’t black is normally a way of suggesting that people of colour are inferior to whites.”

At this point, I have to ask… how would we even know where exactly someone is from? How would we even know what their racial makeup is? At what point is someone “Black enough” or “Scottish enough” or whatever, for someone to use a widely accepted insult and not face repercussions? I have mentioned before that when in was in college, I studied African-American literature and Women’s literature. Both classes included slave narratives that we read and discussed. I distinctly remember learning about concepts such as the tragic mulatto and the one-drop rule in both of those courses. The one-drop rule held that anyone who had even just a drop of “Negro” (in historical terms) blood was considered Black.

By that definition, my husband Bill, who looks very much like someone who is European to the core, would be considered Black. He has ancestors from Nigeria and Ghana. Of course, no one would know that to look at him. He would never dream of dropping the n-bomb in an insulting way. But 120 years ago, he technically could have been classified as a Black person, based on the one-drop rule– which, thank Heavens, was never codified into a federal law, but was codified as a state law in some states. Direct from Wikipedia:

The one-drop rule is a social and legal principle of racial classification that was historically prominent in the United States in the 20th century. It asserted that any person with even one ancestor of black ancestry (“one drop” of black blood)[1][2] is considered black (Negro or colored in historical terms). 

This concept became codified into the law of some states in the early 20th century. It was associated with the principle of “invisible blackness” that developed after the long history of racial interaction in the South, which had included the hardening of slavery as a racial caste and later segregation. It is an example of hypodescent, the automatic assignment of children of a mixed union between different socioeconomic or ethnic groups to the group with the lower status, regardless of proportion of ancestry in different groups.[3]

The one-drop rule is defunct in law in the United States and was never codified into federal law.

In no way do I think that the racist outburst by the maskless woman at the grocery store was a good thing. It was absolutely disgusting behavior, and I do not condone it under any circumstances. But I also think the barrage of negativity that comes toward anyone who questions the logic of people losing their shit over racist epithets, but thinking nothing of insulting total strangers with hateful and dehumanizing words like “bitch”, “cunt”, “white trash”, “slut”, and “asshole” simply because they have a different perspective, is mind bogglingly non-sensical and hypocritical.

I’ve just gotten to the point at which reading that stuff makes my head (and heart) hurt, even if I also fully admit to being hypocritical. I like using a couple of those words myself. 😉 I just think that if equality is what we all seek, we have to realize that using degrading language toward any person, regardless of their racial makeup, is offensive and wrong. I’m working on myself, too, and reading that stuff makes it harder to break the habit, even if it does sometimes provide blog topics.

A small sampling of the verbal carnage…

Is it really a good thing to wish for people to be unemployed? Especially when they have children? It seems to me that we’d be better served to wish for “Bagel Betsy” to grow up and be civilized. We should want her to raise her own kids, rather than have them taken by government authorities and put in foster care. We should hope that she becomes a better person tomorrow, rather than trying to destroy her livelihood and break up her family. Many people in that thread were commenting that “Bagel Betsy” should lose her kids over this outburst. Have they even thought what that might mean for the children? Foster care is a crap shoot. It’s a blessing for some children; for others, it means going from one bad situation straight into another.

I don’t approve of what “Bagel Betsy” did, but I don’t wish her dead, injured, ill, unemployed, or for her to lose her family. It’s my experience that people who behave the way she did have reasons for behaving that way. Making things even worse for her, and for her family by association, will not teach her a lesson. It will probably just make her even more hateful, inconsiderate, and mean. Moreover, this is just a tiny sliver of her life. I’ll bet there are people in her life who love her. If there aren’t, perhaps that’s why she’s dropping n-bombs in public.

I find the single-mindedness of people’s negative comments disturbing. I’ve written about this before, but it really is creepy when a horde of people insist that we must all subscribe to a certain viewpoint, or we’re worthless and must be destroyed with insults. And, as much as I can’t stand the Trump mindset, I also dislike the super left-wing politically correct crowd who can’t see their own hypocrisy and hubris. Here’s another comment that indicates that you don’t have the right to use certain insulting words unless you’re in that group yourself…

There are words acceptable among your friends, your in-group, that you are a part of that are NOT acceptable in the general public or if you are not part of the group –this is true of some terms used for women, disabled persons, LGBTQ etc. Again you need to BELONG to the group to have the right to choose what you call yourself and your community.

Who gets to decide what “group” a person is in, that makes it okay to use denigrating language toward that group? Can a person decide for themselves, or does it take another person or more to make that decision? I don’t understand this rationale, and it’s exhausting to try to understand it. If you ask the question among these folks, they resort to insults and shaming. They never answer the question in a mindful, serious way.

Another example of why I unfollowed God was this below post, which appeared this morning as I was unsuccessfully trying to find a lone wise comment in that huge thread about “Bagel Betsy”.

Many people think this is behavior that ought to be encouraged…

The few brave folks who wrote that this is not a good idea were promptly drowned out by the self-righteous. Many people who have declared themselves fully onboard with the anti-covidiot crowd feel perfectly free to harass, judge, and insult those who have a different view. And even if you declare that you agree with wearing face masks, but disagree with the above obnoxious behavior, you will be aggressively called out by God followers who can’t have a civilized discussion.

The last comment is mine.

The lady who posted the above comment got so much hate from the peanut gallery for simply suggesting that people pick their battles. Frankly, I think paying your kids to call people out over a lack of a face mask rather than doing it yourself (if you feel so inclined) is the height of cowardice. Having your kids do your dirty work is potentially dangerous and very stupid. At what point is it no longer going to be okay for them to call people out? When will people stop thinking it’s “cute” that a kid took an adult to task over absent or improper mask wearing?

There’s a good reason why the adults don’t want to call people out themselves. It’s because you never know who’s carrying a weapon and having a bad day. The adults figure people won’t harm a child, so it’s somehow “safer” for them to “innocently” chastise an adult for not following the rules. But children get harmed by the unhinged all the time. And, as easy as it is for you to whip out a camera and put someone’s bad behavior online, it can be just as easy for someone who is angry and unsettled to whip out something and do the same to a child, who is being encouraged by an adult to be obnoxious to strangers. If you’re lucky they’ll whip out a camera, rather than a firearm. Personally, I wouldn’t want to put my hypothetical child in that position, and I hate to see it being encouraged by “God”. Seriously speaking, I think it’s a very bad idea, even if it’s being suggested in jest.

Really, though, the main reason why I’m no longer following God is that the page just isn’t funny anymore. It used to be about jokes. Now, it’s mostly inflammatory articles about people behaving badly in public, and insufferable strangers reacting to the bad behavior in extremely hypocritical and self-righteous ways. Instead of promoting better behavior and civility, these folks are not a lot better themselves. Their comments often indicate that they’re just as immature and offensive as the perpetrators are, only they’re on the “right” or “left” side of public or political opinion. It’s exhausting and annoying to read that shit, and everyone knows I can’t resist the comments. So I have decided to bow out. Maybe, now that a year has passed since we lost Jonny the would be rescue hound to negligence, it’s time to follow the dog rescue pages again. That might help me keep my blood pressure down.

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celebrities, obits, politics, racism

Rush Limbaugh is finally dead… shit makes the flowers grow.

A few months ago, my husband lost a “friend” over his “hatred” for Rush Limbaugh. I put quotes around the words “friend” and “hatred”, because I’m being facetious. Anyone who knows Bill knows that he doesn’t hate anyone. He doesn’t even hate his ex wife, who probably deserves his hatred more than anyone on the planet. The point is, my husband isn’t a hater. But he never liked Rush Limbaugh. Neither did I.

Last night, we found out that Rush finally kicked the bucket at age 70. He’d been suffering from lung cancer, having announced his illness in February 2020.

Back in October 2020, Bill was labeled a hater by a former friend because he had noticed that the very organ that had allowed Rush Limbaugh to spread hatred and bigotry toward large groups of marginalized people was also going to be the death of him. Bill had posted his thoughts about Rush’s illness on his Facebook timeline, and some of his friends went freakin’ nuts. One even accused him of being a “bad person” for stating this:

I know what I’m about to say is the result of unskilled thinking, but this appears to be an example of Karmic Justice. The organ used to spew years of hate, vitriol, and self-centeredness will be his undoing.

We weren’t rejoicing in Rush’s illness in October, and we’re not rejoicing in his death now. I don’t generally celebrate when people die, even people I think of as highly contemptible, and worthy of disdain or even outright hatred. I think Rush Limbaugh qualifies as someone who, in life, was highly contemptible. And while I’m not particularly happy that he’s dead, I am relieved that he won’t be spreading his toxic negativity, ignorance, and bigotry anymore. He won’t be saying or writing hurtful things to or about people who aren’t like him and don’t share his opinions.

In the aftermath of Rush’s death, we’ve also seen yet another falsely attributed quote arise from the dead. If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you’ve probably seen people sharing this meme.

According to The Atlantic, Mark Twain NEVER SAID THIS.

I know a lot of people like to share these kinds of cute and clever memes, and many people don’t actually care who said it. I care, though, because I like to give credit where credit is due, and I don’t like false attributions. So where did this quote come from? According to the article from The Atlantic I linked above, no one important actually said or wrote it in that precise manner. Alex Eichler, the person who wrote the article for The Atlantic, writes:

Matt Blum at Wired has the fact-check: the quotation actually comes from Clarence Darrow, the lawyer of Scopes Trial fame. Here’s a fuller version of the quote, which appears in Darrow’s 1932 work The Story of My Life:

All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.

Clarence Darrow

I know some people are glad Rush is gone. Some are actually jubilant about it. And I would never tell them they don’t have the right to feel whatever it is they feel. I’m not in a group that Rush openly mocked, unless you want to call me a liberal. I’m not actually that liberal, but I don’t like the way the Republican party has gone in recent years. I think their embrace of both evangelical Christians and Donald Trump is confusing and wrong. And Republicans often say regrettable, heartless things to people who are in trouble and need help.

Case in point. Yesterday, I read about former Colorado City, Texas mayor Tim Boyd, who basically went off on his constituents for begging the government for help. Texas, as you probably know, is in serious trouble right now, thanks to a terrible winter storm that has disrupted the power grid. People are suffering because of power outages. Some people are even dying! They’re either freezing to death, or poisoning themselves with carbon monoxide by doing things like running their cars in closed garages or using barbecue grills indoors to generate heat. But Mr. Boyd, proud Texan conservative he is, had this to say in a poorly written and now deleted Facebook post:

Typical Republican ASSHOLE!

And then he continued with this:

To be clear, I don’t agree with issuing death threats or even so-called “cancel culture”, but what the hell reaction does Tim Boyd expect? He was an elected official and it was his JOB to help his constituents and show some fucking compassion!

I’ll bet Tim Boyd is sad that Rush is dead. I’ll bet Boyd was a Limbaugh fan. I don’t know for certain that he was, but what he posted is the same kind of hateful, mean-spirited shit that Rush Limbaugh was spewing for YEARS on the airwaves. And ignorant, compassion challenged people who are deeply saddened that the raucous voice of their belief system has died don’t seem to understand that Rush hurt a lot of people with his snarky, hateful rhetoric.

This has been a very difficult year for so many people– from the deaths and illnesses caused by the pandemic, to the many natural disasters, to the massive job losses, and complete upending of of normal life for everyone. It’s really sucked on many levels. And so, when an elected official like Tim Boyd mocks and lectures people for their valid complaints, it stings a bit. Rush Limbaugh was of the same ilk, and people like Tim Boyd looked up to him. He had no compunction about saying awful things to and about anyone, especially people who have historically suffered and been marginalized by privileged people.

Seriously…

Let me remind Rush’s supporters of a few things. Rush Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox for having Parkinson’s Disease and accused him of exaggerating his symptoms. Rush Limbaugh called women “sluts”, and referred to Barack Obama as the “magic negro”. And he wouldn’t have thought much of me, either…

Bwahahaha… maybe he wouldn’t have thought of me as “overeducated”. But I don’t think that Rush was a very good judge of intelligence.

Anyway… I’m not glad Rush is dead. I don’t care enough about him to rejoice in his death. Besides, everybody has to die sometime. It was simply his time to go. I’m not going to celebrate his death. But I’m also not going to shame or blame anyone who is glad to see him gone. I figure they have their reasons, and many of those reasons, while perhaps hypocritical, are understandable. We all have our own karma to tend.

Bye now.. enjoy the next life..

In other news, our heating went out last night. It’s not as bad here as it is in Texas, but I am a bit chilled. Hopefully, the landlord will have it fixed soon, so my hands, feet, and nose won’t be so cold. And Bill has to go away for three weeks next Saturday. Hopefully, he won’t bring any COVID-19 viruses back with him. Otherwise, people might be cheering about my death.

So long, Rush… You served a purpose and now your work is done. And, as Folk Uke reminds us, even shit has a purpose.

“You’re not good for nothin’…”
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Police, politicians, politics, racism

Mike Pence is still sleeping, and others are not facing reality…

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post wondering if Mike Pence was finally “woke” (much as I hate that expression). He’s now made it clear that he’s still snoring. In a letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Pence wrote that he has no plans to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.

I’m not surprised that Pence won’t cooperate. I had faint hope that he’d grow a spine, and my opinion of him did go up last week when he addressed all of the right wing whackaloons who stormed the Capitol last Wednesday, condemning them for their violence. But given that Trump has just a week left in office, it doesn’t surprise me that Pence would rather not be part of an action that would kick his boss out of office. It doesn’t matter, though, since Trump is going to be impeached for a second time, and he will be the first president in U.S. history to have such a “distinction”. I would be satisfied to know that Trump can’t run for office again.

Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends are arguing amongst each other. I do still have some conservative friends on Facebook, and more than a couple of them have been engaging in a bit of “whataboutism” regarding last week’s riots versus the riots that occurred nationwide last summer, due to the Black Lives Matter movement.

I have not been getting involved in those arguments myself. I see them as different entities. BLM was supposed to be a movement bringing to light the injustices faced by people of color when they come into contact with law enforcement, as well as racially motivated violence. It’s a fact that many people of color have been injured or killed by police officers, and even if they aren’t arrested, people of color are more likely to be racially profiled. In 2013, many people were rightfully outraged that George Zimmerman, who was a private citizen, was acquitted of killing unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, thanks to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Since then, there have been other cases of Black people being injured or killed in racially motivated altercations. For instance, George Floyd, was absolutely helpless last May when he was arrested by Minneapolis cop, Derick Chauvin, who had rear handcuffed Floyd and knelt on the man’s neck, resulting in his death. People were and still are rightfully pissed.

It’s also true that last summer, a number of demonstrations became violent and resulted in destruction of property and looting. I condemn the violence and criminal activity that arose from the BLM riots of last year. However, I support the movement itself, because I think there’s ample evidence that, on the whole, people of color have not been treated fairly. I absolutely think they have a right to protest, even if I don’t condone violence, theft, or destruction of property.

Last week’s riots in Washington, DC were not about peace or promoting fairness. They were about a large group of white people– many of them men, armed with weapons, wearing body armor, and carrying zip ties– who felt emboldened to disrupt democratic proceedings. They were engaging in treason and, in the process, also destroyed property, looted, and killed and injured people. For some reason, these folks can’t accept that Donald Trump lost the election and will no longer be in charge as of next week. They can’t fathom that over half the country does not want him to be the president anymore, and they’re trying to disenfranchise people who made their wishes known with their votes. They allowed an unhinged orange dude to rile them up and incite violence. And they don’t seem to understand that the orange guy isn’t going to help them, now that they’re facing the consequences of their stupidity.

Yesterday, I shook my head as I read about some of the people who were involved in last week’s uprising being arrested. The widely photographed Shaiman guy, 33 year old Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli) is now sitting in an Arizona jail cell after turning himself in to federal authorities. I read a story about his mother complaining that her son hasn’t eaten anything since Friday, because he only eats organic food. You know, I’m not usually one to say things like, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”, but maybe ManBearPig should have thought about his aversions to gross jailhouse food before he decided to storm the Capitol. He says he didn’t commit a crime, since the doors to the Capitol were “open”. Yes, but I think he knew full well he wasn’t supposed to go barging in there, right? And he was in Washington, DC to stir up trouble. And he sure did find it, didn’t he? I wonder if it was worth it to him and his cronies, now that they’re being arrested and charged with crimes.

I don’t see BLM and what happened last week as similar situations at all. The only thing that they have in common is that they attracted criminal behaviors among spun up, outraged people. It’s never okay to destroy property, steal things, or hurt or kill people in the name of a “movement”. But I think BLM is very different from “Stop The Steal”. It’s been repeatedly proven that our election was fair and there is no evidence that votes were tampered with. I think what we have right now is a bunch of white people who are pent up and legitimately fed up over COVID-19 restrictions, mixed with their own distrust and dislike of people who aren’t like them. They’re afraid their way of life is going to be disrupted. Well… it sure will be disrupted if they land in a jail cell, right? Violence is not the answer and won’t lead to positive resolutions or change. And while Mike Pence won’t acknowledge that Trump incited the riots, a whole lot of us know what he won’t admit. Donald Trump is directly responsible for the catastrophe that occurred last week. He egged on the most radicalized of his followers to try to overthrow the government, and that is not acceptable. Trump needs to face serious consequences for his actions. It’s too bad Mike Pence is too cowardly to do the right thing. But again, I am not surprised.

I have never in my life seen so much polarization caused by a political leader. I’ve seen many people breaking up friendships and even family relations over Trump. Last night, I was talking to my mom, who dislikes Trump as much as I do, telling her about how people on my dad’s side of the family are ardent Trump supporters. There are only a few of us on that side of the family who don’t support Trump. When we speak out, a few of the Trumpers on that side of the family can’t stop themselves from arguing. Just last week, one of my cousins, who is not a Trump fan, posted a rare status update on Facebook, denouncing the riots. Another cousin immediately took her to task about it. Then, when I commented in support of her statement, the same cousin tried to argue with me. I politely told him to fuck off. I mean, I didn’t actually say, “fuck off”, but I did politely ask him to leave me alone. There was a time when I really liked him a lot. He used to be one of my favorite relatives. Now, I can barely stand talking to him, because he won’t let people express themselves without overbearing commentary on why their opinions are “wrong”. He’s especially overbearing toward women. I’ve found that getting into arguments with people, rather than having a respectful conversation, rarely leads to anyone changing their views. It’s just annoying and aggravating, and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to look at him in the same way I used to, before Trump was a thing.

It’s depressing and sad to watch the news and worry about what kinds of violence and mayhem will occur next week. I hope the DC cops and military are prepared for what’s coming. I’ve read that it won’t just be DC that gets targeted. There are also “storms” planned for state capitals, which may be besieged by batshit crazy people who feel emboldened by Trump and want to disrupt peace in an especially difficult time for people around the world. I can only hope and pray that some of them wake up and get with the program.

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politics, racism, Trump

Trump praises people with “good genes” and the “racehorse theory”…

Yesterday, I wrote about a Facebook convo I had with a male Trump supporting Christian who chastised me and a couple of my friends for painting Trump supporters with a “broad brush”. He claimed that he isn’t a racist and loves the Lord, and that the Lord is “using Trump” to do great things in America. He had a problem with the fact that I compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. From yesterday’s post:

For goodness sakes! Another Hitler reference. ? Now listen, Hitler would have never support Israel. Israel was under attack but it wasn’t by this President. Further more, Hitler was a socialist. He was driven by hatred and discontent. Trump is a competitor and wants to win. That’s getting old and tired.

And he also didn’t like that I accused him of drinking the KKKool-Aid…

Where do the references to Hitler, KKK, etc. come from? Do you have actual proof of those things? Why is it that before he became President all of the liberal media morons worshiped him and we’re giving him awards?

Well, as it so happens, this morning I was handed an example of Trump’s racist proclivities on a metaphorical silver platter. A friend of mine shared this article from The Rolling Stone, which covered Trump’s recent rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, a small city in the northern portion of the state. At the rally, which was mostly attended by lily white people, Trump rambled about a number of alarming issues.

At the beginning of his rally, Trump spoke about refugees, claiming that the subject of resettling them is one of the most pressing issues in the election. Minnesota is where a number of Somalian refugees have been resettled and, in fact, one of Minnesota’s representatives in Congress is resettled Somalian refugee, Ilhan Omar.

How the HELL did Trump win?

Then he went on to speak about the racial unrest in Minneapolis, a direct consequence of the public execution of George Floyd, a Black man who was wearing handcuffs as a White police officer pressed his knee into his neck and suffocated him. Trump then seemed gleeful as he remembered how Ali Veshi, an NBC correspondent of color, got hurt when he was struck by a rubber bullet…

“It was the most ‘beautiful’ thing!” It will be beautiful when this orange shitstain finally gets flushed.

As the crowd roared, Trump said, “Wasn’t it a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order!” Yes… something else Hitler and his cronies liked. Law and order.

Then, with his base fully buttered up with talk about reporters getting hurt while covering protests and not allowing Somali refugees safe harbor in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, Trump goes full on racist as he compliments Minnesotans for their “good breeding”.

Ah… “good breeding”… “good genes”… Eugenics!

Maybe at face value, these comments don’t seem overtly racist. He talks about Minnesota’s settlers who didn’t have a lot of money, but they had each other and lots of grit… and “good genes”.

“You have good genes, you know that right?” Trump said to to a ripple of applause.

“A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it? Don’t you believe? The racehorse theory,” he added.

What is the racehorse theory?  It’s the idea that “good” genes are the “right” genes. That’s the basis for eugenics, the theory that selective breeding can improve the human race. And you know who else supported that idea? That’s right– you guessed it– Adolf Hitler.

A very interesting German documentary (in English) about children who were kidnapped from around Eastern Europe and forcibly “Germanized”. If you have the time and inclination, I HIGHLY recommend watching this video.

You see, many of the people who champion Donald Trump are good old, salt of the earth, red-blooded American people who have never traveled, don’t read much, pride themselves on being law abiding, and probably don’t know much about history. They don’t like civil unrest or protests. They want people to toe the line and they don’t think too much about what that would mean in the grand scheme of things. They’re the type of people who support the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it.

These folks aren’t the type of people who are curious about things that happened in Europe back the 1930s and 40s. I’m sure if they listened to the heartbroken man at the beginning of the above video– kidnapped from Poland when he was nine years old and forced to watch as his heavily pregnant mother was stabbed in the stomach with a pitch fork– many of them would have basic empathy. But they aren’t interested in such things. They aren’t curious. They like someone who promises to “restore order”, not encourage them to think beyond the orderly and see the forest for the trees.

Likewise, they don’t know about how kidnapped Polish children were chosen by Germans as if they were pets up for adoption. In the above video, there is the story of Herman, one of the first children abducted from Poland and sent to Germany to be raised by Nazis. An elegant German lady chose Herman from the home where he was living. A nurse told the lady that she could “pick” one of the children, “like at a chicken farm. I want that child; that one wasn’t so good.”

Heinrich Himmler, on the idea that children of “especially good race” from Polish families should be brought up in Germany and help make Germany the “mightiest country on Earth”.

Trump loves to be around people who aren’t curious, yet are easily aroused by charisma and hyperactive talk about making America “great” again and giving them a few more bucks in their paychecks. What do they care about Trump’s comments about people of color from other countries who are fleeing death and destruction in their homelands? Have they even considered why these people would run?

I’ll tell you something else. Although Trump loves talking to people who aren’t thinkers or readers, he doesn’t actually care about them. They’re beneath him because they’re poor. He would never deign to visit the simple home of a person from rural Minnesota and have a meal. He’d rather go to Palm Beach, Florida and play golf… something else a lot of his base can’t relate to, since golf is a very expensive sport for people who can also afford the time it takes to play.

I think if decent people took the time to listen to Trump, they might realize that he’s not a good person at all. There will be a day when people who supported Trump will be on the wrong side of history. They will be akin to people who admired Hitler, especially if he’s not stopped in November. But I know there are people who don’t care about that. They don’t care that they support an unabashed racist, because they are themselves racists.

Remember that back in January 2018, Donald Trump made a very telling comment about “shithole countries”. Here’s an excerpt from an article from The Washington Post from January 12, 2018.

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting. 

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

In addition, the president singled out Haiti, telling lawmakers that immigrants from that country must be left out of any deal, these people said.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. “Take them out.” 

Well… what kind of people are in Norway? Most of them are are White… the same shade and ancestry as people who settled Minnesota. What kind of people come from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa? Mostly Black or Brown.

Incidentally, people who are in the Ku Klux Klan are also interested in white supremacy and fewer people coming to the United States from what they regard as “shithole” countries. They sympathize with Nazis.

Yep. He’s right.

So… the next time some very nice, Christian, male, Trump supporter wants evidence of Trump’s racist proclivities, I will think about Trump’s comments about Minnesotans and their “good genes”. They were thinly veiled references to eugenics, an idea that stirs up people who believe that White folks are superior to everyone else. It’s pretty disgusting that some people still think that way, but unfortunately, that’s how it is. However, I will grant that a lot of people who support Trump truly do think he’s “good” for America. They haven’t thought about eugenics. They know nothing about what happened in Germany (or America, for that matter) in the 1930s and 40s. It’s not on their radar. Frankly, they probably would rather not know. Ignorance is bliss.

It’s time Trump mounted the “racehorse theory” and rode it straight out of the White House. The White House is no place for him or his ilk. If you really care about America and other people, you will make a better choice and be on the right side of history. It’s that simple.

Edited to add: A bonus video for those who can stomach it.

A very good but graphic video about eugenics… and breeding for performance. Something Trump recently alluded to in Minnesota.

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