Tag Archives: racism

Sunday Afternoon Ramblings – 9/24/17

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I’m reaching out to my friends on both ends of the political spectrum. We live in contentious, divisive times, and many days it feels as if our country is about to split apart into a fragmented mess. I’ve written many posts on this blog about how we need to find common ground and attempt to heal, or we are going to spiral into something violent and bloody.

Well, here is yet another opportunity for us to come together, if we have the courage and fortitude to show unity.

Yesterday, our president called certain American citizens “sons of bitches” for protesting during the national anthem before football games. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their form of protest, which is both peaceful and civil, and whether or not you believe in their message, which is a plea for improved social justice for African-Americans, you should be horrified by the president’s remarks.

We are Americans. We live under the rule of law established by our Constitution, and one of our most fundamental rights is the right to express our beliefs, especially beliefs which run contrary to government policies. This right is imperative for a free society. If we do not have the right to speak our minds, to criticize our leaders for their failures, and to question injustices, we are no longer free people.

Regardless of whether or not you voted for Donald Trump, you need to recognize that his remarks are a form of authoritarian fascism, which discourages citizens from standing up for their rights and encourages employers to punish employees for questioning authority.

In a free society, it is simply unacceptable for the president to use the office as a means for squelching public discourse. His words were deplorable, and his message, though cloaked in pseudo-patriotism, is as un-American and unconstitutional as anything I’ve heard in my life.

Now is the opportunity for us to come together as free citizens and tell the fascists and bigots who feel empowered by their leader in the White House, that we will not allow hate to divide us, and we will not allow fear or threats to take away our rights to express our beliefs in peaceful and civil manners. We are Americans, whether we are black or white or brown, whether we are liberal, conservative, or moderate. We are the shining beacon of liberty. We are the greatest country on earth, not because we are perfect, but because we have the freedoms and the rights to stand up for our beliefs and express our views without fear. Now is the time for unity.

Thursday Morning Ramblings – 8/17/17

I have friends from every end of the political spectrum. Within my circle, there are gay liberals, a gay conservative, transgender individuals, a handful of homophobes, educators, financial advisors, ministers, truck drivers, mechanics, artists, musicians, moderate conservatives, proud Trump supporters, and even a couple of Baltimore Ravens fans. These people are my friends because each and every one of them treats me with love and respect, and while we may sometimes bicker over politics or policies, at the end of the day, I know my friends have good hearts. Liberal or conservative or moderate, the vast majority of people just want to live in peace, work at a job they enjoy, and make certain that their children are safe and happy. That’s the real American Dream.

However, I will say this as succinctly and clearly as I can. If you believe that other people are not worthy of the same rights as you because of the tint of their skin or their gender or their sexual preference or the god they choose to worship, you are an asshole.

In our country, you have the freedom to be an asshole. You can believe whatever outdated, backwards, inbred horseshit you want to believe, but you are not free from the consequences of your ignorance. You do not have the right to harm others just because they don’t fit into your pigeonhole of what’s wholesome. You do not have the right to deny American citizens their inherent human rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution, no matter how many racist clowns you might get elected as president.

We as human beings are capable of terrible atrocities. At our worst we are petty, vicious, insecure people who rush to judgment. In those times, we are worse than animals. But that is not all we are. We are also capable of kindness, charity, cooperation, love, and mercy. In those moments, we are divine.

At this point in history, I hope that the good and decent people of this great country will stand together, regardless of political views or superficial differences, and tell the hatemongers that they do not have the final say. I hope the best of us will rise up, stand together, and demonstrate that evil will not conquer good and hate will not supplant love. We must set our insignificant differences aside and unite against the bullies and tyrants who thrive on hate. The time is now.

The Conversations We Need to Have

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Open and honest discussions of racism and prejudice matter. The cold, harsh reality in America today is that racism is alive and well. My Facebook newsfeed over the last few months has proven that fact to me and opened my eyes. Not so long ago, when America elected its first African-American president, I believed that our culture had made tremendous progress in overcoming racial discrimination, and in some ways we have. In 2008, I believed racism had been pushed to the fringes, populated only by lunatics and the truly backwards. However, ever since the protests and rioting over Michael Brown’s murder made national news, my eyes have been open to the fact that many, many people still harbor horrific racist views about minorities.

I have long believed that race is merely a mirage. I believed this long before DNA proved it right, and my reasoning was based on observation and experience. I’ve had the good fortune to have lived a rather diverse life among a myriad of people, and what I have learned from my interactions with people of numerous nationalities and religious backgrounds and cultural identities is that people are people no matter where you go. Some would offer you their last bowl of soup if you needed it; others wouldn’t share if their pantry was overflowing and you were dying of starvation before their very eyes; and still others would steal a life-saving meal right out of your hands. And like most everything, there are countless shades in between. The simple reality is you cannot tell who truly falls into which category until you witness their behavior in your moments of weakness.

In college, I discovered the writings of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington and immediately felt a kinship for these former slaves, not because of racial identity but because of the obstacles of poverty that they had overcome. As I studied their works, I began to see that race and bigotry are social constructs used to divide us so that we the populace never learn to cooperate as a unit. Skin color is such an easy divider, and it becomes so easy to say I knew “those people” would behave that way, no matter that you can easily find examples of other skin tones doing the exact same things and no matter what the examples might be. When people, human beings, get upset over circumstances out of their control, a certain element take it upon themselves to destroy other people’s property, usually stuff that belongs to some innocent bystander. Whenever social order breaks down, there will always be an element, irrespective of skin tone, who capitalize on the opportunity to steal material objects. That’s human nature, regardless of “race.”

I always knew that I wanted to write works that would attempt to break down racist thinking, and though I thought progress had been made, I also believed that there was still work to be done to rectify the centuries of slavery and now century and a half of social and economic discrimination. I also knew that as a white man from the hills of East Tennessee, I would have an uphill battle to write about race relations in America. To counter this stereotype (and yes, I live under the yolk of an oppressive stereotype about hillbillies, and no, I’m not making an attempt to draw a comparative analysis of being more or less oppressed than anyone else because that’s counter-productive), I chose to use Fantasy Action-Adventure as my medium for discussing race and discrimination.

The main character in my series is bi-racial and struggles to find his identity between two disparate cultures. Each race carries misconceptions and prejudices about the others, and from those mistaken ideas much of the tension grows. However, through the course of the series, the central characters learn to see each other as individuals, not as part of a “them,” and through this process they learn to work together to defeat their common enemies, those who seek to oppress. I’ve not discussed this facet of the series very often because I had always hoped my audience would find it for themselves. However, as we encounter this new era of racial tension, it is more imperative than ever that we as a society discuss these issues and listen to each other.

So now, I’m going to be something of a capitalist and ask you to buy the first book in my series and share it with the young adults in your life (Because it is fantasy and there is some bloodshed, I do not recommend the series to anyone under ten years old). I’m making this appeal for two reasons. First, we need to have these open and honest discussions about the racial problems that still exist in this country, and I’m a firm believer that fiction can be an excellent bridge to discuss difficult topics. My second reason is that I need to sell more books to be able to afford treatment for this neurological condition that is crippling my body. So if you would like a good work of fiction that examines the racial divide we are facing today and would like to help out a person in need, you can do both by checking out The Brotherhood of Dwarves. As always, thank you for your support.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0076OCAKG

A Deeply Personal, Angry Rant

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I’m probably the whitest white guy you could hope to meet, so honestly, I probably have no business saying anything about the happenings in Ferguson. But I’m going to speak my mind anyway because I’m pissed. I’m pissed for my black friends who once again feel as if our justice system has failed them. Before any single one of my white friends chimes in with a “yeah but,” shut the fuck up and listen. I hate the expression white privilege as much as the next person because there hasn’t been anything privileged about my life at all, but I’m absolutely aware that if I’m detained by the police for any reason whatsoever, if I’m polite and respectful, most likely I will get out of it unscathed. My black friends DO NOT have that luxury. If you disagree with that simple fact, fuck off and get out of my sphere. Permanently.  You won’t be missed.

I’m pissed at the latent and overt expressions of racism I’ve seen coming from white people ever since Michael Brown was gunned down in the street unarmed. If you think he deserved to die because he was a “thug,” fuck off and get out of my sphere. I’ll guarantee I was just as much of a smartass punk at 18 as he was and probably did ten times worse, and I didn’t deserve to be shot. Besides, this whole thing isn’t just about him. It’s about the thousands of black men who have been murdered by authority figures who never face punishment for their excessive uses of force. Michael Brown has just become the symbol for that oppression. If you think jokes about work boots not being looted is funny, fuck off. If you want to make analogies to OJ or the poor kids murdered in Knoxville or use this as any other excuse to express your internal racism against minorities, fuck off. Just because you don’t use the word nigger doesn’t mean you aren’t a racist.

I’m pissed that my white friends can’t see that their “yeah buts” are exactly the response the powers that be want. As long as working class whites are fine with working class blacks being treated like animals, caged in the prisons of the slums with little hope of escape outside of athletics, we will never push back against the oppression of the wealthy elite. As long as we allow race to divide us, we will never be anything but suckers and doormats for a system that fucks us over and drains us dry on a daily basis. And that is exactly what they are counting on. If you believe that THIS SYSTEM as it stands is what’s best for the average American, you are a delusional fool. Sorry to be the one to break that to you, but any system that allows billionaires to pay poverty wages to working people while receiving billions in corporate welfare and simultaneously dodging their tax responsibilities is morally bankrupt and doomed for bloody civil war. You can accept that lesson from thousands of years of human history or you can bury your head in apple pie and sing Lee Greenwood tunes.

I’m pissed that we are controlled and ruled be an ever shrinking wealthy elite who buy politicians and rewrite laws into their favor and then blame the rest of us for not succeeding in spite of the game being rigged in their favor. I’m pissed that conservatives want to blame everyone but big business for the mulching of America, and I’m pissed at liberals for being too spineless to actually do anything about it. I’m pissed at myself for not hoisting the black flag in my youth, when my body was still strong and virile enough to fight for real change. I’m pissed that now I’m virtually powerless to do anything of substance except write angry blog posts.

To my black friends, I’m sorry I failed you. I tried to build bridges; I tried to make a difference. While I know I made the effort, ultimately, I have failed at making any dent in the poison of ignorance and racism once again consuming this nation. To my white friends who harbor latent racism in your hearts (if you have in any way uttered that Michael Brown got what he deserved or that “those people” are acting just like you thought they would, I am talking directly to you.  Yes, you) fuck off and get out of my sphere. Whatever time I have left on this earth will not be spent on people mired in the divisive charade of hate that is racism. From now on, my time and energy is reserved for those who want to unite all of us working poor who want to shrug off the yoke of oppression and ensure that equality and justice are for every single person in this country, not just certain groups. If you aren’t in favor of that, fuck off. You won’t be missed.

What Century Are We In?

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I can’t believe in 2014 that racism is still so rampant, and I really can’t believe that as a society we have regressed so far that people are once again willing to flaunt their racism publicly. In my much more idealistic youth, I had hoped to live to see the day when it was eliminated from the world, but as I’ve aged and realized that would never happen, I’ve clung to hope to see it at least pushed so far to the fringes that only lunatics would dare utter racist slurs publicly. Now, after seeing so much hate pour from so many white people’s hearts over the last two weeks, I’m really ashamed of just how far we’ve backslid as a country.

The one that really pisses me off is the meme going around about no work boots having been taken during the looting in Ferguson. For those of you too stupid to understand why that’s racist, please exit by the side door and go read something by Frederick Douglass. There is no way to spin that meme so that it’s not a racial slur. Anyone who claims it isn’t is either delusional, deficient in cognitive ability, or a liar. That meme is just a continuation of the tired, old stereotypes that minorities are just a bunch of lazy animals. Under the circumstances, there is no other way to read it, and I have reached a point in my life where I refuse to sit idly and allow the hatemongers to go unchallenged.

To my black friends, I’m sorry that all the progress I thought we were making has been lost. I’m sorry that ignorance and intolerance are so difficult to defeat. I’m sorry we’re still having to fight this same old fight.

Primary Ramblings


BREAKING NEWS:  Today, millions of Republicans enter walk-in clinics to request anti-depressants as they begin to accept Mitt Romney will be their nominee for president.

“Well, I for one was hoping for someone who’s actually a conservative,”  says  Joseph Cartwright III, conservative talk-radio host and active blogger, as he nursed a bottle of double-malt scotch.  “Romney just doesn’t seem to hate enough sub-groups for my taste.  He’s so wishy-washy on gays, abortion, and minorities.  We need leadership with a deeply-rooted animosity towards these fringes if we’re ever going to get back to the good old days.  At least Romney seems to hate the average American, so that’s something to work with, I guess.  Also, he’s white, so that’s an upgrade.”

Other Republicans, especially Tea Party members, are more scathing.

“I’m just ordnary folk,” claims Cletus McOnetooth, after crushing a beer can on his forehead.  “I want pollytishuns like me running this here country.  Like Sarah Palin.  Where’d she go?  I don’t know the difference between North and South Korea, either, so she’s my kind of girl.  Give me guns and Bibles, not this Ivy League sissy.  I ain’t voting for nobody till she’s back in the race.  I will give him this, at least he’s white, even if he is a Yankee.”

“Now that Romney is almost guaranteed the nomination,” states Dr. Fullofshitz of Fox News.  “Our data show that Republicans are 97.8% fully supporting him.  We at Fox News have been behind Romney all along because we’ve recognized his whiteness from day one.”

“Dr. Fullofshitz is full of shit,” counters Dr. Lottastatz  of the Center for Researching Research.  “The data to which he’s referring shows that 97.8% of Republicans are begrudgingly accepting Romney despite prior affinities for Cain, Paul, Bachmann, and Santorum, and nearly 75% of those Republicans gauge their feelings for Romney as ‘Lukewarm’ at best.  Where do they get this bullshit?”

“Dr. Lottastatz is clearly a socialist,” retorts Dr. Fullofshitz.  “He’s part of the liberal elite who want to muddle simple facts with sophisticated nuances to confuse the average voter.  The Republican Party and Fox News fully endorse Mitt Romney’s whiteness.”

However, the mood at Romney’s headquarters can be described as joyously optimistic.

“The campaign clearly has some strong momentum now these pesky ‘other’ nominees have been out-spent to the point of oblivion,” states an anonymous insider of the Romney campaign.  “We’re now going to rally the conservative base and appeal to independents by spending millions of dollars on advertising that gets to the core of our message.  Here let me show you.”

With that he held up the prototype for the campaign’s general election poster:

MITT ROMNEY:  AT LEAST I’M WHITE

Editor’s Note:  This entry in no way implies that the Tea Party and/or the Republican Party dislike President Obama based solely on the issue of race.  Any inference of that on your part indicates that you, in-fact, are a reverse-racist with clear ties to the former Soviet Union and were born from a test-tube.