Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The sad tale of Ota Benga.

Image result for ota benga imageToday I had an e-mail exchange with my sister and she reminded me about the Ota Benga story.

In case you don't know your history, Ota Benga was a human being who was put on display in the Bronx Zoo in 1906. ( New York. Not Alabama or Mississippi; New York!) It was sick and disgusting, and it defies belief that people could actually act that way towards another human being.

It is an uncomfortable part of our history,  but it is one that needs to be told.

Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia.  

The field Negro education  series continues.

"O"ta Benga (c. 1883 – March 20, 1916) was a Congolese man, a Mbuti pygmy known for being featured in an anthropology exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904, and in a human zoo exhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo. Benga had been purchased from African slave traders by the explorer Samuel Phillips Verner, a businessman hunting Africans for the Exposition.  He traveled with Verner to the United States. At the Bronx Zoo, Benga had free run of the grounds before and after he was exhibited in the zoo's Monkey House. Except for a brief visit with Verner to Africa after the close of the St. Louis Fair, Benga lived in the United States, mostly in Virginia, for the rest of his life.

Displays of non-white humans as examples of "earlier stages" of human evolution were common in the early 20th century, when racial theories were frequently intertwined with concepts from evolutionary biology. African-American newspapers around the nation published editorials strongly opposing Benga's treatment. Dr. R. S. MacArthur, the spokesperson for a delegation of black churches, petitioned the New York City mayor for his release from the Bronx Zoo.

The mayor released Benga to the custody of Reverend James M. Gordon, who supervised the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn and made him a ward. That same year Gordon arranged for Benga to be cared for in Virginia, where he paid for him to acquire American clothes and to have his teeth capped, so the young man could be more readily accepted in local society. Benga was tutored in English and began to work. Several years later, the outbreak of World War I stopped ship passenger travel and prevented his returning to Africa. This, as well as the inhumane treatment he was subjected to for most of his life, caused Benga to fall into a depression. He committed suicide in 1916 at the age of 32." [Source]

I need you to think about Ota Benga when folks start getting on their moral high horse and declare to all who will listen  how we as Americans are superior to others. 

*Pic from phillytrib.com

Monday, June 26, 2017

What should really embarrass us.

Image result for healthy care cbo scores images* So the CBO score of the right-wingnut healthcare bill came out today, and as was to be expected, it predicted that 22 million Americans will be without healthcare as a result of this bill in 10 years.

I am not quite sure how these politricksters can try to sell this bill with a straight face, but , not surprisingly, some have tried. 

I wish they would just be honest and tell the country that they are just trying to  undo everything that former president Obama did.  Their hatred for the man is so strong that they will do everything in their powers to undo his legacy. Even if it means leaving 22 million Americans without heath coverage.

The hater in chief has Obama on his brain so much that he is now blaming him for not stopping his buddies the Russians from hacking into our elections.  Think about this for a minute: This is like a rapist saying, Why did you wear that dress?

 This is the same guy who was just days ago telling us to move on from this Russia story because there is nothing to see here.  Now he is saying that if there IS something to see here, it's Obama's fault.    


Speaking of president Obama, here is a wonderful essay about him and the class and dignity he showed while in office, and possibly the real reason for the hatred in some quarters towards him.  
"The following story, "No, White Friend - You Weren't 'Embarrassed' by Barack Obama," was originally published on JohnPavlovitz.com
I remember the day after the Election, a friend of mine who happens to be white, remarked on social media that he "finally wasn't embarrassed of America and our President."
I sprained my eyes rolling them and they have never fully recovered.
Since then I've heard this sentiment echoed by more white folks than I can count, especially in recent months; supposed relief at once again having a leader who instills pride.
Since I don't have the time to ask each of the individually, I'll ask here:
So, you were embarrassed for the past 8 years, huh?
What exactly were you embarrassed by?
Were you embarrassed by the way he lovingly and sweetly parented and protected his daughters?
Were you embarrassed by his Columbia University degree in Political Science or his graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School?
Maybe you were embarrassed by his white American and Black Kenyan parents, or the diversity he was raised in as normal?
Were you embarrassed by his eloquence, his quick wit, his easy humor, his seeming comfort meeting with both world leaders and street cleaners; by his bright smile or his sense of empathy or his steadiness - perhaps by his lack of personal scandals or verbal gaffes or impulsive tirades?
No. Of course you weren't
Honestly, I don't believe you were ever embarrassed. That word implies an association that brings ridicule, one that makes you ashamed by association, and if that's something you claim to have experienced over the past eight years by having Barack Obama representing you in the world - I'm going to suggest you rethink your word choice.
You weren't "embarrassed" by Barack Obama.
You were threatened by him.

You were offended by him.

You were challenged by him.

You were enraged by him.
But I don't believe it had anything to do with his resume or his experience or his character or his conduct in office - because you seem fully proud right now to be associated with a three-time married, serial adulterer and confessed predator; a man whose election and business dealings and relationships are riddled with controversy and malfeasance. You're perfectly fine being represented by a bullying, obnoxious, genitalia-grabbing, Tweet-ranting, Prime Minister-shoving charlatan who's managed to offend all our allies in a few short months. And you're okay with him putting on religious faith like a rented, dusty, ill-fitting tuxedo and immediately tossing it in the garbage when he's finished with it.
None of that you're embarrassed of? I wonder how that works.
Actually, I'm afraid I have an idea. I hope I'm wrong.
Listen, you're perfectly within your rights to have disagreed with Barack Obama's policies or to have taken issue with his tactics. No one's claiming he was a flawless politician or a perfect human being. But somehow I don't think that's what we're talking about here. I think the thing President Obama did that really upset you, white friend - was having a complexion that was far darker than you were ever comfortable with. I think the President we have now feels much better.
Because objectively speaking, if what's happening in our country right now doesn't cause you great shame and doesn't induce the continual meeting of your palm to your face - I don't believe embarrassment is ever something you struggle with.
No, if you claimed to be "embarrassed" by Barack Obama but you're not embarrassed by Donald Trump - I'm going to strongly suggest it was largely a pigmentation issue.
And as an American and a Christian committed to diversity and equality and to the liberty at the heart of this nation - that, embarrasses me." [Source]
The scoreboard is lighting up, because you sir, just hit one out of the park.
*Pic from youtube.com

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trumpism and race. The new identity politics.

Image result for trump image racismThe following insightful article from Johnathan Chait  is a couple of months old, but it is a must read for those of use who want to understand what is happening with the presidency of Donald trump.

The field Negro education series continues.

"In August 2015, Marco Rubio, a rising star in the Republican Party and, by the reckoning of many at the time, the most likely candidate to claim its 2016 presidential nomination, gave an interview to Fox News. In it, Rubio offered a moving explanation for why he sympathized with the anger many African-Americans felt toward police. “This is a legitimate issue,” he said. “It is a fact that in the African-American community around this country, there has been, for a number of years now, a growing resentment towards the way law enforcement and the criminal-justice system interacts with the community.” Rubio shared the story of “one friend in particular who’s been stopped in the last 18 months eight to nine different times. Never got a ticket for being stopped — just stopped. If that happened to me, after eight or nine times, I’d be wondering what’s going on here. I’d be upset about it. So would anybody else.”
One should not mistake Rubio for a principled crusader for racial reconciliation. He is a partisan cipher, blessed with a talent for locating the midpoint of acceptable thought within the Republican Party and articulating it with apparent sincerity. And indeed, by the end of Barack Obama’s second term, one could plausibly identify the Republican Party as having begun the task of shedding what was known as its “southern strategy” of appealing to whites through their discomfort with blacks. In 2002, Republican Trent Lott had to resign his position as Senate Majority Leader after praising Strom Thurmond’s 1948 segregationist candidacy. In 2005, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman formally apologized for the southern strategy. In 2006, Congress almost unanimously extended the Voting Rights Act. In 2008, John McCain forbade his campaign staff to mention the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a line of attack he considered racially inflammatory. By 2013, many Establishment Republicans (including Rubio, before he changed his mind) had come to believe they needed to embrace immigration reform to maintain their party’s long-term viability. Throughout Barack Obama’s second term, the cause of criminal-justice reform attracted increasing bipartisan support in Congress, as well as financial support from the Koch brothers, who were eager to complicate their public reputation.
This is why Obama’s legacy will endure long beyond his presidency.
The point is not to glorify the racial outlook of Republicans but to note that its direction appeared encouraging. The party may have largely ignored the persistence of systemic racism and clung to an unrealistically color-blind ideal, but it increasingly shunned not only overt racism but the dog-whistle appeals of the era of the welfare queen and Willie Horton. If, in the summer of 2015, Rubio had been signaling some measure of support and understanding for Black Lives Matter protests, then there was every reason to believe that this stance represented the political high ground.
But Rubio’s idea of the Republican future was not the one that prevailed. Instead, the future belonged to a very different vision, a glimpse of which could be seen in a furious dissent registered on Breitbart, a popular young news site that railed against the country’s growing pluralism. MARCO RUBIO LENDS SUPPORT TO ANTI-COP RHETORIC, BLACK LIVES MATTER SEEKS MEETING, blared the headline. “Rubio’s rhetoric echoes progressive rhetoric that black progress is impeded by institutional racism rather than left-wing policies,” reported the story, which took care to contrast Rubio with a surprisingly popular candidate who was attracting favorable coverage. (“Trump,” the article added approvingly, “has said that the Black Lives Matter protesters are ‘a disgrace’ and that those who pander to the anti-police movement are ‘unfit to run for office.’ ”) The article’s author, Julia Hahn, went on to take a position as an aide to Steve Bannon, who now serves as the main strategist to the president of the United States.
Measured in traditional terms, Trump’s accomplishments as president have been meager. He made a series of popular campaign promises, such as replacing Obamacare with something terrific, negotiating more clever trade deals, and building a wall on the Mexican border, that require technocratic aptitude to deliver and thus have mostly floundered. But traditional measures do not capture the most profound changes he has wrought.
Where he has defined Trumpism most clearly is in his sharply distinguished theory of race. Race is the unifying idea Trump has used to recast not only his party’s place within the country but his country’s place in the world. It is where his administration has been most passionate — and also most effective. Unlike economic or health-care policy, which requires dealing with Congress, Trump’s ethnonationalist program can be carried out by Trump and his tight band of loyalists on their own. And while Trump has foundered at the complex work of policymaking, he has succeeded at the simple work of tribalism, precisely because it is so simple. In both words and deeds, the White House has established the federal government as the defender of white power in America, projecting a blunt-force message of zero-sum dominance. Trump has done little to change the country’s policies, but ten weeks into his tenure, he has already made the United States a very different place and positioned himself to reap the terrible rewards that will follow.
In 1989, Trump took out a full-page advertisement in four New York City papers demanding that five black and Latino teenage boys receive the death penalty for the rape of a white female jogger in Central Park. It is one of the most important early clues to the political style that would carry him to the presidency more than a quarter-century later. Most of the elements of Trump’s worldview were already in place: the value of marshaling fear, the conviction that simple solutions were available and being ignored by the authorities, the fetishizing of the past as an ideal in need of restoration (“What has happened is the complete breakdown of life as we knew it”) and the demands for uncritical adulation of law enforcement (“Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!”).
Of course, civil liberties exist to ensure that people identified as criminals actually are. In the case that inspired Trump, the alleged rapists turned out to have been coerced into supplying false confessions. Trump, typically, has never reconsidered his original position, insisting as recently as last fall, “They admitted they were guilty.” From Trump’s standpoint, the political style he modeled had worked. And if it could work in the balkanized urban landscape depicted in Bonfire of the Vanities, which spawned the bitterly racialized mayoral contest of Rudy Giuliani against David Dinkins, it could work in the rest of America, which was hardly more evolved.
Perhaps it had seemed so, in the days immediately following the election of the first black president. But Obama’s presidency filled the Republican base with racial terror. Beginning in 2008, social scientists identified a sharply rising correlation between racial resentment and Republican voting behavior. Obama “pitted the blacks against the whites,” Diane Fitzpatrick, the mother of Kellyanne Conway, told The Atlantic’s Molly Ball. “If something happened to a black person, he and his wife were right there. But if something happened to a white person, you never saw them, did you?” [More]
*Pic from workers.org

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Image result for republicans health care*

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: "Wait until they see the senate version."  

*Pic from trofire.com

Friday, June 23, 2017

Justice for Jethro, but not for Philando, Samuel, and Sylville.

Image result for jethro k-9 imagesI swear  if someone could come up with a brilliant invention to make black men look like dogs after a traffic stop, I for one would buy one of those devices. I have been stopped a few times for no apparent reason, but I have been lucky. I am still here to type this blog post. My brothers, on the other hand, not so much.

I say this because if you are a dog and happen to meet the unfortunate fate of being shot by someone, there is a pretty good chance that your killer will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The same can't be said for killing a black man.

"The man who shot and killed K-9 Officer Jethro, of the Canton Police Department in Ohio, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Kelontre Barefield, 23, received the sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to the police dog's death and other charges in an unrelated robbery case, a spokeswoman for the Stark County Clerk of Courts told ABC News today.
Barefield's attorney, Steven Reisch, didn't immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment."
Well there you have it, justice for Jethro.  I for one couldn't be happier. I love dogs, and anyone who thinks it's cool to take the life of a loving animal like Jethro, deserves whatever punishment he gets. 
The thing is, though, that being a black man myself, I happen to think that we deserve justice as well, just like poor Jethro.
Unfortunately, that has not seemed to be the case of late.
Just today yet another man was given the chance to walk out of a courtroom after killing a black man in live and living color.

"A judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury deadlocked in the case of a former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a 2015 traffic stop, the latest in a series of high-profile law enforcement shootings that spurred charges but not convictions.
The mistrial was the third time in a week that jurors weighing a fatal shooting by a police officer did not convict the officer involved, following acquittals in other cases. It was also the second time a jury has deadlocked considering this particular shooting.

Judge Leslie E. Ghiz, speaking from the bench, read from a note sent by the jurors who said they were “almost evenly split regarding our votes toward a final verdict” and unable to reach a unanimous decision."

Oh well, no justice for the DuBose family, the Smith family, or the Castile family, but we are getting used to it. This is the third such case in the last few days.  Throw in the not guilty verdict for Betty Shelby for the killing of Terence Crutcher last month, and we can see a national tragedy playing itself out before our eyes.

All I can say is that I hope they come up with that invention real soon.

*Pic courtesy of news5cleveland.com


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Night off.

MORE DISCLAIMERSNo post tonight, field hands.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


TWEET MEIt's hump day in America, people, and I need to know your thoughts on a few stories in the news.

First, the dems are 0-4 in these recent special elections (yeah I know I know, they were close, but close only counts in horseshoes), is it time to rethink their strategy in picking candidates? Or is the voter purge and gerrymandering just too much to overcome at this moment in time?

Also, what's up with all of these state killings  of black folks and the killers walking free?

Will Donald trump's justice department step in? Or will the police have to start killing innocent white people before he cares?     

Finally, what's up with Otto Warmbier's family refusing the autopsy for their son?


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Orange hawk.

MORE DISCLAIMERSI remember in the middle of the 2016 campaign some folks (even some progressives) were trying to say that Hillary was the more hawkish of the two major candidates. They said that at least trump was an isolationist and that he would not get us involved with foreign conflicts like a president Hillary Clinton would.

What a difference a few months make. Herr trump has us careening towards World War III and there is nothing we can do to stop it. His foreign policy team has decided that the best way to show us that he is not in bed with the Russians is to shoot down a jet belonging to a Russian ally. Now, the entire region is one big clusterf**k.  

Then there is Afghanistan. Herr trump has decided to send more troops there as well. I am not sure when world leaders are going to learn that war is the  national sport of Afghanistan.  Sending more troops there will not make a damn bit of difference in terms of tipping the scale of power in the region or stopping the spread of terror.

Finally, there is the other leader with a bad haircut; this one happens to be running things in North Korea.

He is a man who our fearless leader says he admires. This was before he tortured a young American citizen to death. Now Mr. trump is scrambling for answers. North Korea has been firing more missiles than fireworks at a 4th of July picnic, and there is no telling how far some of those missiles will go.

But back to that young American who died, recently. Mr. trump actually tried to blame the previous administration for his death, because, in his words, they didn't get him home soon enough. I am not sure what Mr. trump thinks that he is going to do, but I am afraid of what could happen. In case you haven't been paying attention, our president is not one to think things through.  He is the kind of guy who will start a war for all the wrong reasons. 

'"It's a disgrace what happened to Otto," Trump said to reporters. 'It's a total disgrace what happened to Otto.'
'It should never, ever be allowed to happen. And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different. He should have been brought home that day."'
Now might be a good time to buy shares of some stock in a company with a large defense contract.



Monday, June 19, 2017

"Make America great again"?

Image result for make america great idiot imageA drug epidemic in the heartland.

There is still a water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

There is still questionable state killings of people of color.

More and more America loving, hard working people, are  facing deportation.  

There are levels of corruption never seen before in a White House.

Seven  American servicemen just died at sea. 

It's damn near 125 degrees in some parts of the West, and our leader continues to deny climate change.

World War III is possibly breaking out in the Middle East.

Right-wing hate crimes are on the rise.

Crime in general is on the rise.

So is fake news.

Wages remain stagnant.

The GOP health care pan is a mess.

There is still no wall.

"Make America great again"?

I don't think so.

*Pic from twitter.com

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Another day, another lie.

Image result for trump imagesToday we learned that seven Navy sailors tragically lost their lives when their US Naval destroyer collided into a cargo ship.

Sadly, instead of our president offering his condolences and "prayers" on behalf of himself and the nation, he was doing this:

The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating.That's higher than O's #'s!

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Image result for ivanka snooty images

I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic via twitter.com