Sunday, July 24, 2016

"People of color" put up a "firewall".

MORE DISCLAIMERSThe Field Negro education series continues.

The following post was written by Denise O. Velez for Daily Kos:

"We, the people of color of these United States of America, are going to be the salvation of this nation. We are the firewall that is standing strong against the travesty that we’ve just seen displayed at the Klanvention convened by Republicans in Cleveland.

Black folks are not buying what Donald Trump and the rest of his raft of Republican racists are selling. Neither are Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans. As the traditional media tries to sell us on a neck-and-neck horse race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—ignoring the electoral college—and as Trump and other Republicans ramp up the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic volume, there is one thing Democrats need to keep in mind: A big part of our voting base is black and brown, and that base is growing.

The coalition that elected Barack Obama twice isn’t shrinking.
President Obama achieved victory by carrying 93 percent of African American voters, 71 percent of Latino voters, 73 percent of Asian American voters, and only 39 percent of white voters
Republicans know that, which is why they are fighting tooth and nail to initiate more voter suppression across the U.S., and have even incorporated those efforts into their platform.
The Republican Party's platform formally endorses laws requiring voters to show identification when they cast ballots. The new provision inserts the national party into a contentious debate over voter access at a time when several states are tightening identification requirements. The party platform, adopted unanimously by delegates in Cleveland on Monday, goes farther than language that had been included in earlier years. The party "support[s] legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and secure photo ID when voting," the document reads. Four years ago, the GOP platform "applaud[ed] legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud."
 The stronger language comes ahead of a presidential election in which 12 states -- including critical swing states like Wisconsin, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia -- will enforce voter identification laws for the first time."This is part of a broader move to curtail voting rights, which began after the 2010 election, when state lawmakers nationwide started introducing hundreds of harsh measures making it harder to vote," wrote the Brennan Center for Justice, which opposes many of the new laws.

We need to mount every effort possible to not only fight voter suppression, but to increase our GOTV efforts in black, Latino, Asian, and Native American communities.
The good news is the Clinton campaign “gets it” in regards to expanding efforts with black voters.
NBCBLK has confirmed from a Hillary Clinton aid that Hillary for America is expanding its African-American outreach team for the general election.

The Clinton campaign has hired several staffers in an effort to build an already sizable advantage with African-American voters. During the primaries, African-American voters favored Clinton overwhelmingly and a recent poll in Pennsylvania showed Trump's African American vote support at zero.
We should expect to hear from her campaign about ramped up Latino and Asian outreach very soon. However, we can’t just focus on the critical presidential battle. We have to flip the Senate and make inroads into the House, while also beginning to undo the depredations caused by Republican legislatures across the nation. As we fight the battle for victory in November, our eyes have to be on the ultimate prize of dominating midterms, and building our local and state participation. Ignoring the central importance of people of color as the bulwark against white supremacist/fascist ideology and practice imperils us all, no matter your individual race, ethnicity, or gender.
Bear with me as I digress and rant here.

From my perspective as a black Democratic voter, married to a brown Democratic voter, who has been fighting for our voting rights since being inspired by Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer (among others) in 1964, I’m more than a bit ticked off by all the hand-wringing from the white left about white voters and the fantasy that the loss of “the white vote” is going to doom us. Before white Democrats read this and get upset, let me be clear: If you are white and not buying the racism—right on. If you are white and fighting voter suppression—right on.

Democrats lost “the white vote” decades ago. That doesn’t mean “all whites,” but it sure as hell tells us something about the pervasive impact of racism in American politics. [More]


Saturday, July 23, 2016


I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic from

Friday, July 22, 2016

TGIF, but not for all the news it brings.

Image result for german shooter mcdonalds imagesThis has been quite a news day.

There was another terrorist attack in Europe. This time it was in  Germany , where some nut-job decided to kill at least nine people (including children) before killing himself. (That might just eliminate the radical Muslim jihadist angle.)

Dude was yelling  "you fucking Turks", and his rampage comes on the anniversary of a white supremacist shooting and killing 77 people in Norway. (77!!)  

If it does turn out that this was some nationalist nut job acting alone,  and not the work of a Middle Eastern terrorist group, look for the coverage to change.

Whoever it is, it won't stop  Donald trump from using this as just another reason to ramp up the fear factor. (Is he still giving his address?) The world is going to hell in a hand- basket and only I alone can fix it.

And will someone please tell the folks in the republican party that optics matter? Retweeting something posted on a white supremacist website on your convention jumbotron in the middle of your nominee's speech, was not a good look. The white only elevator signs we can live with, because we understand that it might have been an oversight. (Might.) But at some point you have to start wondering about the motivations of these folks.   

Hilary also picked her running -mate today. I guess if you want safe and steady Tim Kaine is the way to go. Virginia would be a nice feather in Hillary's electoral college cap, although with the latest ruling from the supreme court in Virginia it won't be that easy.

Finally, the most troubling news of the day comes from Austin, Texas. Where some police officers in that department decided that it was cool to dehumanize and abuse a woman of color.

Her name is Breaion King; she is a school teacher, and what happened to her should sicken every person of conscience in this country.

Watch the video tape, and listen to what they say about black people.

"First and foremost, let me just say this to Breaion King, her family, her friends, her neighbors, her supporters: 'I’m sorry that on the day that you were stopped for going 15 mph [above the speed limit], you were approached in a manner and then treated in a manner that is not consistent with the expectations of this police chief," Acevedo said. "There’s a way to do this job, and that day, we did not approach it anywhere near the way we should’ve approached it."

Acevedo said that "the chain of command" who reviewed Richter's use of force in the incident determined that "the incident was not consistent with the expectations of the department." Richter was told to attend training and counseling. "
Chief, all the counseling in the world will not help that man and you know it.
Ms. King, I am just glad that you are still alive.  We all know that things could have turned out a lot
worse for you and your family.
*Pic from

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gretchen takes down Roger.

Image result for roger ailes images     So Roger Ailes, the Jabba the Hutt look alike who created FOX NEWS into a money making right-wingnut echo-chamber, is stepping down.  The alleged serial sexual harasser was, in the end, brought down by one of the blondes that he liked to trot out (skirt raised) for his melanin challenged  AARP and octogenarian viewers to see.

I hate to give Gretchen Carlson a profile in courage award, because for years she went along to get along while she cashed the checks. That is, of course, until FOX ( and Roger) thought that it was time for her to move on.

But it takes all kinds. I guess it's better late than never. I suspect that the only people who will miss Ailes are the men and the blondes with no talent over at FOX.

The irony in all this, of course, is that Aisles is stepping down on the night that the FOX NEWS created candidate- who leads what was formerly the republican party (now known as the American Nationalist Party) is going to give his coronation speech and reintroduce himself to the American people.

The Donald has had quite a ride, and he has FOX (and the FOX light folks in the main stream media) to thank for it. Ailes figured it was best to blow up the republican party and give the FOX viewers what they really want: Someone who shares their fears and their prejudices and who is unapologetic about his bigotry. The republicans were better than the democrats, but the "establishment republicans" just didn't get it. These new republicans  wanted a revolution in Washington and they wanted the bums thrown out. It was a revolution, by the way, that took hold in their minds after the election of the first president of color.

Now they can see a little light at the end of the tunnel, the orange haired one just might win this thing. A trump presidency with a sympathetic FOX News working their propaganda magic on the American people. Wet dreams all around.

Sadly for Roger, he might not be around to enjoy it.  

*Pic from  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Open mic Wednesday.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's "hump day", so let me know what you feel about a few things.

For instance, the RNC convention going on in Cleveland.

The Montel Williams Bill O'Reilly feud.

Roger Ailes becoming Bill Cosby.

Is Melania's alleged speech writer even real?

Steve King letting his inner Klan show.

And twitter suspending a right-wingnut.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How not to handle a crisis.

 Image result for melania trump images Folks are still talking about Melania trump ripping off some of the First Lady's speech.

At first you wouldn't think it's such a big deal. I mean who among us hasn't taken some liberties with the inspirational words of others? If you write enough, or engage in enough public speaking , it's easy for the P bug to come and bite you in the ass. I mean sometimes you just forget to give proper credit where it's due without thinking about it.

The president did it with Duval Patrick's speech, and Joe Biden among others have also ripped off the writing of others without properly attributing it. (Although in the case of Obama and Biden they were borrowing lines from ideological soul-mates)

The thing that makes the Melania plagiarism scandal so bad is how the campaign has been reacting to it after the fact. Instead of just making a statement to the effect that she did take some words from the First lady's speech because regardless of their political differences she has had similar inspirations, sadly, they choose to deny the obvious and look like bigger fools because of it. They have in essence  kept a news story going that should have had a very short life span.

Now, as it turns out, the story is getting even weirder.   

"A new report is providing some insight into how Melania Trump ended up reading a speech featuring a paragraph that plagiarized Michelle Obama.

NBC News’ Hallie Jackson reported on MSNBC tonight that Matthew Scully was brought on to write her speech for her, and “the draft submitted by Scully shows none of the portions in question.”
So, basically, the passage in question was added after the draft was submitted."

I guess now they can't throw the speech writer under the bus. But they have to do something; this scrutiny on Mrs. trump is not a good thing. There might be all kinds of things about the  former beauty queen that I am sure the campaign would rather the rest of us don't find out about. If that's the case, the sooner they put this one to rest and come clean, the better.

*Pic from

Monday, July 18, 2016

If you thought that the Oscars were white.....

Image result for gop convention cleveland white imagesI tweeted this earlier, and it is worth repeating for this post: The problem with not knowing any black people or having any "black friends" (I see you Paul Ryan), is that when you need to trot out a black face you are forced to go with lunatics like Sheriff David Clarke.

Dude is one of the speakers at the RNC convention tonight (Don 't worry David, that white only elevator sign was just an oversight), and to say that he is a bit unhinged is an understatement.

Let's just say that the sheriff from Milwaukee has some issues.

I certainly hope that speakers like David Clarke will be few and far between at the RNC convention this week.

And I hope, for the sake of the country, that we won't have anymore of this:

"Donald Trump has moved on from the birther movement to float another equally reckless conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama.

After three police officers were killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the president said that “there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None.” He made similar comments after five officers were killed in Dallas on July 7, calling the attack “vicious, calculated and despicable.” He also flew to Dallas on Tuesday to speak at a memorial for the fallen officers.

Still, Trump questioned the legitimacy of Obama’s grief and concern.

“I watched the president, and sometimes the words are okay. But you just look at the body language and there’s something going on. Look, there’s something going on,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

“There’s just bad feeling,” he said.

Trump was responding to the head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association’s claim that Obama “has blood on his hands” because he also condemned the police shootings of two African-American men.

“The president of the United States validated a false narrative and the nonsense that Black Lives Matter and the media are pressing out there to the public,” Steve Loomis said. “He validated with his very divisive statements and now we see an escalation.” [Source]

I suppose that president Obama can't grieve and show genuine concern know.... those Black Lives Matter folks have to stick together. *big eye-roll* 

*Pic from

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A nation divided?

Image result for baton rouge police shooting images“I know we’re about to enter a couple of weeks of political conventions where our political rhetoric tends to be more overheated than usual. And that is why it is so important that everyone regardless of race, or political party, or profession, regardless of what organizations you are a part of, everyone right now focus on words and actions that unite this country rather than divide it further. We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points, or advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts. All of us.”

"I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge.  For the second time in two weeks, police officers who put their lives on the line for ours every day were doing their job when they were killed in a cowardly and reprehensible assault.  These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.  

"We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear:  there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.  None.  These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one.  They right no wrongs.  They advance no causes.  The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas – they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best.
"Today, on the Lord’s day, all of us stand united in prayer with the people of Baton Rouge, with the police officers who’ve been wounded, and with the grieving families of the fallen.  May God bless them all."
~President Obama~ 
President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn't have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse!"'
~Tweet from candidate trump~ 
"A divided crime scene", huh ?
I guess this is why we will continue to hear rhetoric like this, and this.  
Thank goodness there are still some adults left in the room.  
*Pic from

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Image result for pence trump images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Keep it short Mike, my makeup is running.

*Pic from

Friday, July 15, 2016

Setting the agenda on race.

Image result for obama town hall images   Black folks are not feeling much love for ABC News these days. (Sorry D.L. it's not only FOX VIEWS that likes to clown us.) Apparently the town hall meeting n race hosted by the network last night was somewhat of a sham. Just another prime time spectacle to capitalize on our current racial climate and drive up their ratings and their profits.

"Thursday’s ABC town hall with President Barack Obama was anticipated with bated breath.
Many were looking forward to an honest conversation about race, and the current tensions between the black community and police officers in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the attack in Dallas that left five officers dead.

Unfortunately, many activists left disappointed, even angry, at what they witnessed and heard.
Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner who was choked to death by New York City police in 2014, stormed out of the taping of the town hall, saying she had been “railroaded” by the network, denied the opportunity to ask the president a question, something she said she had been promised.
Garner said she felt that she had been “used for ratings,” and a few activists in the room agreed that the event seemed to be manipulative.

It felt manipulative and disingenuous, and if we’re really trying to have a town hall about race in this country, it’s going to have to look much more like a truth-and-reconciliation process. It can’t be an hour and 15 minutes with the president taking up the most space, with people asking what he thinks of things instead of demanding that he do things,” Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, told The Root Friday.

“The town hall was clearly a curated event for ABC to quell protesters and organizers. It had nothing to do with actual future for black, people and I think that for us, we want to push POTUS in his last few months as the president to take executive action, to defund law-enforcement agencies that have consistently violated the civil and human rights of black people,” she added." [Source]

President Obama was the featured speaker, and he tried to calm their anger and fears with his usual platitudes.

The thing is, though, these kids out here are not trying to hear it. They think they see a set-up, and  they are going to let their voices herd no matter what. 

*Pic from

Thursday, July 14, 2016

More terror in Europe, and the coming autocracy in America.

Image result for nice france  terror images  Another attack in Europe. This time it was not a truck bomb, but an actual truckMan these fools are relentless. The death toll is 80 and rising. And it happened during Bastille Day celebrations, which is the French equivalent to our 4th of July.

Anyway, as is to be expected, a certain candidate for president has already called for a declaration of war to be authorized by congress.

The problem is, of course, that I am pretty sure he can't tell us what nation he wants us to go to war with, or even where he wants to put our troops to start the fighting.

Saying we don't want any refugees in the country sounds good for political sound bite purposes, but the reality is that most terrorist attacks on our soil has been carried out by American citizens or people who are here on visas issued by the state department.

In times like these you might want to take time to read the following:

"Autocracy is government based on fear, domination and insecurity. It is of course billed as the opposite. But it is born of these three horsemen and in turn breeds them. One of the shaping thoughts of the generation of actors and thinkers who emerged from the Second World War was the seared perception that stability, trust, peace and virtuous cycles of all sorts are not natural phenomena or human norms. In fact, they are brittle creations and perhaps abnormal in human affairs. Of course, these beliefs and the ambitions and goals which grew out of them led to their own follies. One can jump from 1945 to 1965 and see the wisdom of this recognition conditioning many of the same people to walk into a folly of an entirely different kind. Those men who built much of the world we live in today also built a world that was perpetually on the brink of cataclysmic nuclear annihilation. Their creation, let us say with some understatement, had real shortcomings. And yet, for all that complicated history and all that human folly, some basic realities remain. Democracy, borders that are peaceful rather than armed and bloody ... none of these things are natural states of being like a rock that rolls to the bottom of a hill and then stays there until some greater force than gravity and friction presses it along or pushes it back up the hill.

Whether it was wise or not for the United Kingdom to walk out of the European Union is a question that I can't answer, though I certainly have my opinions. What is worth noting, though, is that what we now know as the EU was not created to promulgate human rights or create efficiencies of trade and labor mobility. All of these came later. The predecessor organizations of the EU were created with a single, very focused aim: preventing the recurring pattern of the rivalries of Europe unleashing horrific wars which not only destroyed the lives of millions of Europeans but embroiled the entire world in spasms of almost unimaginable destruction. The key was binding together France and Germany and from there the other great nations of Europe and then the smaller states into one whole, to build connective tissue, whether of trade or culture, which would prevent the every generation blood-letting. Numerous of Europe's small nationalities want to break free from the nation-states of which they are a part. We have frozen under our own feet many of the centripetal forces which tore Europe apart in the past. And in an ever-deepening European Union perhaps they can do this. We can have a Scotland and a Basque homeland and a northern Italy able to stake out on their own, unfettered by peoples they've never quite felt part of and it can all happen within an umbrella of Europe. But if that umbrella frays the picture looks rather different.

We sometimes hear that Europe's 'brand' is human rights. But that is a recent and aggressive rebranding. Europe's real brand is barbarity and killing on an almost unimaginable scale. Europeans are and were no more evil than Indians or Chinese or subsaharan Africans or any other people. To believe otherwise is just a relic of eurocentrism. But their fortuitous grasping of control over key trading networks in the 17th and 18th centuries and then development of key technologies in the 19th and 20th allowed them to practice barbarity, to be shall we say human on a scale and with an intensity never imagined before. Yes, there were marvelous symphonies and advances of science and art. But the barbarity and killing should hold our attention. Indeed, that was what held the attention of the men and women, but still largely men, who pondered how to reconstruct the world in the 1940s.

It worked almost unimaginably well, certainly in Europe and by and large around the globe as well. European institutions, NATO, the benign and generally soft dominion of the United States, which reinforced both, created what was and is, in the scope of most human history a period of peace and unrivaled prosperity. For all the uncertainty and novel animosities we've unleashed and seen unleashed in recent years, the thought of Germany and France going to war with each other is close to unimaginable. The same with England and France, England and Germany, Germany and Italy. All of these contentions are part of a distant past.

But here we see the United Kingdom simply decide to up and leave. And why not? Perhaps the British will see an economic downturn, some perceptible diminishment of prosperity over the decades. But it seems more or less a free choice. Scotland can contemplate and perhaps will decide to leave the United Kingdom in turn. Because, again, why not? No one imagines the Scots and the English will go to war, despite the fact that Scotland is a tiny country compared to England and not one that could easily defend itself alone against an aggressive England to the south.

Of course I am not saying that England and Scotland couldn't peaceably part. But the fact that they can is a product of institutions and history and habits of trust and rule-keeping that are the product are conscious and hard-taken decisions which we now take as the natural order of the things but are in fact not natural at all.

As John says, the horror of autocracy is diminishing as the living memory of World War II drifts into oblivion. But it's not just autocracy. It's the world of cycles of killing, 'high fear' rather than 'high trust' patterns of international relations and domestic accord that we take for granted as the natural order of things but most definitely is not.

Of course in the United States we have Donald Trump, a man of erratic impulses and petty but intense grievances who has, like all demagogues, ripped at the existing fissures of our society as a way to grasp political power. American institutions have preserved political order and domestic peace for going on a quarter of a millennium with the very notable and brutal exception of four years of civil war 150 years ago. Those institutions can in all likelihood weather four years of his mental instability and toxic incitement. But not necessarily. Britain's exit from Europe, Scotland's exit from the United Kingdom, the increasingly militarized border between 'Europe' and Russia can likely all be managed. But maybe not. Violence and instability can build quickly on themselves.

I believe generally in what Democrats believe in rather than what Republicans believe in. It informs almost everything I've written in almost twenty years as a professional writer about American politics. But both have been able to govern the country within a broad consensus of what we consider acceptable behavior. Trump represents something quite different. And the kind of menace he represents is amplified by the rise of complacent instability and reckless behavior we see today in Europe, in the conflagration in the Middle East and the still distant but rising specter of great power confrontation on the borders of Russia and in East Asia. The belief that we can roll the dice with no consequences, that we can provoke and act out with no consequences is a dangerous illusion. We are indulging that illusion along with many other peoples across the globe. But there are consequences. And they can multiply and spin out of control quickly." [Source]


*Pic from