Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Google has a problem.


Just a note to you field hands. I tried posting an article a few days ago and it was shot down by the gatekeepers at Google. Why? Because they thought that it was offensive. (I can assure you it was not.) 

Those of you who know me know that I do not post offensive content. (At least not anymore.) I allow offensive comments, because I believe in free speech, but my posts are never offensive. 

The problem is that there are not a lot of folks at Google who look like I do, and they do not understand that that when I write the word *****  it is not meant to be offensive. The fact is, most of the people who look (and think) like I do consider the phrase field ***** a term of endearment. They are not offended by it, and neither should anyone else.  As for the phrase house *****, it should be no more offensive than the words snob, or clueless. If I had written an article about snobbish or clueless people, I am sure that it would have been allowed.  But such is life with the new gatekeepers. They decide what is offensive and what is not.  

Maybe at some point I will be allowed to repost the article, but for now,  I am reconsidering my relationship with Google. 

Sadly, after over fifteen years and millions of page views, it might be time for a change.


Sunday, April 30, 2023

The top ten house Negroes in America. (Latest edition.)

Before I get into my list, I want to acknowledge the passing of a great man; fellow yawdie and icon, Harry Belafonte. A true field Negro in my humble opinion. The man was extremely talented, and he unapologetically fought for the rights of the downtrodden. He was also the personification of class and dignity. He will be missed. May he rest in power.  

I was thinking about Mr. Belafonte as I sat to write my list of the top house Negroes in America. They are the exact opposite of him and everything that he stood for. 

Anywhoo, without further ado, here are the top ten house Negroes in America. (Note that some Negroes such as Clarence Thomas are just a given for this list, and they are already in the House Negro Hall Fame. Therefore, some of the usual suspects will not be included on this list. I will have a Hall of Fame edition later.) 

  1. Byron Donalds, Congressman from Florida: I don't know how many times I have to say this: being a black conservative is not an automatic qualifier for this list, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. We need different points of views in a debate about how to move forward. But being a black conservative just to jig for the FOX crowd without any knowledge of the issues makes you a house Negro. 

2. Jason Whitlock: The bad toupee alone gets him house Negro recognition. But seriously, this clown should probably be in the House Negro Hall of Fame with Clarence Thomas.  I am going to include him on this current list because he has inserted himself into every high profile case where a person of color has been wronged, and, like a true house Negro, he has taken a contrary position to be patted on the head by his far-right benefactors.  

3. Charlamagne  the God:  I am not one of these people who believe that artists, athletes, and entertainers should not speak up politically, but I do believe that when you have a platform you have to choose your words wisely. And, most importantly, you have to do some research on the subject of which you speak. This Negro has done none of the above, which puts him in the house. 

4. Candace Owens: Another potential House Negro Hall of Fame candidate. She is back on this list because she continues to contribute to the downfall of political discourse and has captured the zeitgeist of the moment. Her writings for the Daily Wire, with titles such as: The Left And The Devil Tell You Lies So You Will Despair" is just gross and incendiary. 

5. Harris Faulkner:  Lying on the air to appease your FOX masters is not cool. To the house, Harris.   

6. Young Urban Terrorists: Gangbanging, selling drugs in your community, and killing other young black men for no real reason is house Negro behavior.  There is nothing cool about not getting an education and earning an honest living.  

7. Deion Sanders: I'm not mad at Coach Prime for taking the money and moving on to bigger things at Colorado, but taking a shot at JSU and the poor black folks of Jackson, Mississippi, on your way out of town, was house Negro behavior. 

8. Joseph Ladapo, Florida Surgeon General: This Negro altered the vaccine study in his state to appease his Master, Ron DeSantis.  That's as houseish as it gets. 

9. Vivek Ramaswamy, GOP Republican candidate: I know this guy probably resents being on this list because he doesn't consider himself a Negro. But I have some bad news for him: In America, a person of color such as himself, is considered a Negro. Having said that, calling for the abolition of the FBI with no alternative, and attacking transgendered children, is house Negro behavior. 

10. Kristina Karamo, Michigan Republican party chair: This election denier has called BLM members Marxist witches, accused Beyonce of secretly recruiting Black Americans to Paganism, and used Holocaust imagery to oppose gun control proposals. One has to wonder how she  made it this far with these extreme views. I think it's called the power of the house. And any Negro willing to sell their soul will be welcomed inside.  

*This post was previously written and was not published as the  gatekeepers at Google found it offensive.   

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Authoritarians at the gate.

There have been three high profile cases of innocent people shot because of trigger-happy shooters over the past few days, and we can blame the likes of FOX NEWS and their never ending programming of scary and out of control criminals marauding in the streets for that.  This is the right-wing narrative that allows a culture of more guns and destruction to thrive. And they wouldn't have it any other way.

The right wants a sick dystopian world of fear and authoritarianism which makes it easier for them to take control and implement their vision of what America should look like. They are already hard at work in various red states throughout the country that have become laboratories for their autocratic rule.  

See Florida if you want a classic example of this trend. The governor of that state wants to be our president, and he is using Florida as a practice run for how he wants to run the country. He is taking on Disney, banning books and the teaching of subjects that he doesn't like in schools, banning what can be said in schools, and consolidating power around himself and his cronies. He is even recreating his own military force to battle...whatever it is he wants to battle.  ("Woke" Floridians better watch out.) 

I am not sure where this all is heading, and I wish I could tell folks that simply voting will be enough.  Sadly, I don't think it will be. It's looking more and more like getting more votes doesn't necessarily mean getting to govern in this country. The right-wing might be losing the population war as America becomes more brown and more young, but they have found a way around that by manipulating the courts to their benefit. This is where I would write an entire essay about Clarence Thomas, and the Federalist Judges that the former guy appointed, but that's for another time. I think you get the picture.

I will leave you with some quotes from a recent article in The Atlantic by Brian Klaas:

"When gerrymandering is extreme, most elections become foregone conclusions, extinguishing the foundational principle of democracy: competition. Five years ago, in Wisconsin, Republicans won just 44.7 percent of the vote in races for control of the state legislature. Yet Republicans won 64.6 percent of the seats. In North Carolina, state Republicans drew such skewed districts in the 2018 congressional elections that the GOP won 10 out of the state’s 13 districts, even though the party’s candidates earned just 50.3 percent of the statewide vote. In Georgia, a state that voted for Joe Biden and has two Democratic U.S. senators, the newly drawn district lines mean that 57 percent of State Senate and 52 percent of state House seats can be considered “safe Republican” seats. Barring a major political shift, Republicans will continue to easily control the legislature in a competitive state trending toward Democrats.

When such blatant electoral manipulation takes place in other countries, the U.S. State Department denounces it. Here, it’s just a legalized part of the American system." 

That said, I am still encouraging you all to vote. Your vote still matters. At least for now. 

*Image above from HuffPost



Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Criminal Defendant Trump.


The MAGA crowd will try to spin the criminal prosecution of their leader to be something positive, but it won't work. How can it? Just think about what this means for a minute: A former president is being criminally prosecuted for alleged crimes against the state. And a Grand Jury of his peers gave the District Attorney the green light to go ahead and charge him. 

The following article in The Atlantic from McKay Coppins sums it up perfectly. 

 "He shuffled quietly into the courtroom and took his seat at the defense table. He looked strangely small sitting there flanked by lawyers—his shoulders slumped, his hands in his lap, his 6-foot-3-inch frame seeming to retreat into itself. When he spoke—“Not guilty”—it came out hoarse, almost a whisper. Pundits and reporters had spent weeks trying to imagine what this moment would look like. How would a former president—especially one who prided himself on showmanship—behave while under arrest? Would he act smug? Defiant? Righteously indignant?

No one predicted that he would look quite so humiliated.

Of course, becoming the first ex-president in American history to be charged with a crime is not exactly a coveted résumé line. But Donald Trump’s indictment yesterday marked a low point in another way too: For a man who’s long harbored a distinctive form of class anxiety rooted in his native New York, Trump’s arraignment in Manhattan represented the ultimate comeuppance.

The island of Manhattan plays an important role in the Donald Trump creation myth. In speeches and interviews over the years, Trump has repeatedly recalled peering across the East River as a young man, yearning to expand the family real-estate business and compete with the city’s biggest developers. For a kid born in Queens—even one who grew up in a rich family—Manhattan seemed like the center of the universe.

“I started off in a small office with my father in Brooklyn and Queens,” Trump said in the 2015 speech launching his campaign. “And my father said … ‘Donald, don’t go into Manhattan. That’s the big leagues. We don’t know anything about that. Don’t do it.’ I said, ‘I gotta go into Manhattan. I gotta build those big buildings. I gotta do it, Dad. I’ve gotta do it.’”

In the version of the story Trump likes to tell, he went on to cross the river, conquer the island, and cement his victory by erecting an eponymous skyscraper in the middle of town. His childhood dream came true.

But Trump was never really accepted by Manhattan’s old-money aristocracy. To the city’s elites, he was just another nouveau riche wannabe with bad manners and a distasteful penchant for self-promotion. They recognized the type—the outer-borough kid who’d made good—and they made sure he knew he wasn’t one of them. With each guest list that omitted his name, with each VIP invitation that didn’t come, Trump’s resentment burned hotter—and his desire for revenge deepened.

Today, the old hierarchies that defined the New York of Trump’s youth are largely gone, replaced by new ones. (Brooklyn, the middle-class backwater where Trump’s father kept his office, is now home to enough pretentious white people that even the snootiest Manhattanites have to acknowledge the borough.) Trump, meanwhile, isn’t even a New Yorker anymore, having changed his voter registration to Florida in 2019 and retreated to the more hospitable confines of Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House.

But Trump never forgot the island that rejected him. And this week, he was forced to return to it—not in triumph, but in disgrace. Hundreds of journalists descended on Lower Manhattan to chronicle each indignity: the courthouse door gently shutting on him because nobody bothered to hold it open, the judge sternly instructing him to rein in his social-media rhetoric about the case. At one point, shortly after Trump entered the courtroom, someone in the overflow room, where reporters and others were watching a closed-circuit feed, began to whistle “Hail to the Chief,” drawing stifled laughter.

In the past, Trump has succeeded in using his humiliations to his benefit. It’s a big part of why he excels at playing a populist on the campaign trail. When Trump railed against the corrupt ruling class in 2016, he wasn’t just channeling the anger of his supporters; he was expressing something he felt viscerally. Yes, his personal grievances with the “elites”—the ego-wounding snubs—might have been petty, but the anger was real. And for many of his followers, that was enough.

Now he’s trying to pull off that trick again. In the weeks leading up to his indictment, Trump has sought to cast Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation as an act of political persecution—aimed not just at him, but at the entire MAGA movement. “WE MUST SAVE AMERICA!” he shout-posted on Truth Social last month. “PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!”

A modest contingent of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered in a park across the street from the courthouse yesterday, separated by a police barricade from a larger group of counterprotesters. But the relatively muted MAGA presence, compared with the crowds of onlookers relishing the moment, only underscored how alienated the former president has become from the city with which he was once synonymous. The scene was heavier on performance artists and grifters than outraged true believers. A woman in a QAnon T-shirt strutted and gyrated for reporters as she rambled about Satan and the financial system, periodically punctuating her comments with “Bada bing!” A Trump supporter burned sage to ward off evil spirits, prompting one bystander to ask, “Is someone cooking soup?” The Naked Cowboy made an appearance.

A handful of Trump’s New York–based supporters tried to convince me that this was still his town. Dion Cini—a MAGA-merch salesman who drew attention for his giant TRUMP OR DEATH flag and his liberal deployment of flagpole-based innuendos—told me he lived in Brooklyn. “Trump country!” he declared.

I asked Cini if he really believed that New York could still be considered Trump country. Cini responded by launching into an enthusiastic (and exaggerated) recitation of how much of the city had been built by the Trumps. “Sheepshead Bay was built by Trump. All 50,000 homes,” Cini said, claiming that he lives in a Trump-built house there himself. “How many towers were built by Trump? The Javits Center! I mean, you name it—the Wollman Rink, the carousel in Central Park. And they call him a Nazi. I mean, did Hitler ever build a carousel?”

After Cini wandered away, another Trump supporter named Scott Schultz approached me. Schultz said he also lives in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay neighborhood, but he disagreed that it was “Trump country.” He can’t even put a Trump sign outside his house, because he knows it will be immediately defaced, Schultz said. He fantasized about a day when New Yorkers could celebrate Trump simply as a product of their city.

“Most other [places], when someone becomes president, they have pride in that,” Schultz told me. “There was no pride at all … They want to wipe him clean. They rejected him.”

Trump didn’t linger in the city after his arraignment. There was no impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps or chest-thumping speech to his supporters outside. Instead, his motorcade whisked him away to LaGuardia Airport for a flight back to Florida. He’d been in New York barely 24 hours. For now, at least, he seems intent on waging his battle with the Manhattan haters from a distance. Writing on Truth Social yesterday, Trump proposed moving his trial to Staten Island."

He could move it to Mars. It won't matter. Even if he is acquitted or somehow gets the more serious charges tossed on appeal, he will forever be an indicted defendant, and the humiliation that comes with that will be a nasty stain on whatever legacy he has left.   


Friday, March 31, 2023

S*** just got real!

 All these right-wing pundits and politicians saying that Donald trump is being singled out for unfair treatment by the Manhattan District Attorney's office have never practiced criminal law in America. The truth is that Donald trump has been singled out for favorable treatment from the criminal justice system for years. Now, finally, it would appear that there is a prosecutor willing to charge him for his "alleged" crimes and make him accountable. 

And let's stop with this silly notion that Manhattan District Attorney Bragg should have waited to charge him until more serious charges were brought by one of the numerous other agencies investigating his numerous cases. That's not how this works. If you are committing criminal acts you should be held accountable regardless of your station in life. No one should be above the law. No one.  

Now, predictably, Mr. trump is painting the charges being brought against him as a political witch-hunt, and he is calling for violence, once again, from his minions. He is attacking the Judge, the District Attorney, and all of his perceived enemies for his predicament. Predictably,  he is leaving out the one person responsible for the mess he now finds himself in: Himself.

We will see how this plays out in the next coming days and months, and regardless of the outcome of his trial, Mr. trump has been an enormous stain on America and everything that she is supposed to stand for. He has exposed the true character of almost half of the country, and discredited the lie that we are a nation that view each other as equals. 

As is always the case with Mr. trump, there is more than enough irony in the position that he now find himself in. Remember all the "lock her up chants"? Hillary Clinton is having the last laugh. All those MAGA heads who were crying "lock her up" along with him, are now screaming that it's not right to indict and arrest a political opponent.  

Donald trump will be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken on Tuesday, and a new chapter of his life will begin. This one won't end the way he wants it to, and he won't be able to control the narrative the way he is accustomed to with the help of his right-wingnut friends. 

As they say in the streets: S**t just got real.   



Tuesday, March 21, 2023

? Of The Day

Now that there is finally a sign that the former guy might be held accountable for his past actions, I have a question: Do you believe that he will actually be charged and convicted in any of these pending criminal probes? And if your answer is  no, why not? 

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Musings about the news.

I have some observations about some of the stories in the news over the past few days.

First, if republicans ever want to make inroads with black folks in this country, they are going to have to start by doing the little things to make us know that they care about our history. 

I was watching the march in Selma, Alabama this past weekend, and not ONE single republican politician participated in that march. What are black folks supposed to think of that? Tim Scott, you better pay attention.

I am not sure how many people tuned in to the former guy's speech at CPAC gathering a few days ago, but if you did, you saw a guy who was clearly delusional and out of touch with reality. The scary thing is that even though the room was half empty, it was still half full, and those people who still believe in this guy scare me even more than he does.  His speech was dark dark and loaded with things that would make any fascist leader proud. 

Honestly, if you want the American experiment to continue, you better pray that this guy doesn't get close to the White House ever again. 

I saw some of Chris Rock's special on Netflix last night, and to say I was disappointed is an understatement. He picked on being woke, which is such a lazy and easy fall back for comedians these days. As if woke is a bad thing. New flash, it's not. Then he went in on Jada Pinkett-Smith.  Again. He actually called her a bitch this time, and in her hometown of Baltimore no less. Lord! The level of disrespect.  I get it, celebrities are fair game, and Will Smith was wrong for physically assaulting him at the Oscars. But Rock, to me, is one of these Negroes that's always cooning for the approval of a certain segment of the population. He is always so proud to tell black folks business. That bothers me. Those people love him, though. I suspect it's because he says out loud what they want to say but can't.  

Rock ended his show by declaring that he didn't fight Smith because white folks were watching. Yes, he really said that.  I rest my case when it comes to this fellow.

Finally, there is the F****r Carlson's edited version of what happened on January 6th. You really have to wonder how a guy like this is allowed to spew his lies and hate on a nightly basis to millions of gullible people. Ask yourself this: If January 6th was all a hoax, and those treasonous lunatics were just a bunch of sightseers, just what the hell was Josh Hawley running from? 

Friday, February 24, 2023

Caption Friday.


What is the name of this singing group? 

I read the Pointless Sisters on twitter.

That will be hard to beat. :) 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

When diversity and "wokeness" goes wrong.

The link below is a very thought provoking article from Salon. I don't agree with all of it, because I happen to believe that  being "woke" is a good thing. And if we put the right people in place, so is diversity. 

This following paragraph from the article is an example of the author's mindset: 

"Diversity is important. But diversity, when devoid of a political agenda that fights the oppressor on behalf of the oppressed is window dressing. It is about incorporating a tiny segment of those marginalized by society into unjust structures to perpetuate them."

Nice lines. But wouldn't it better if we just made sure that the segment of  the marginalized people we put in those spaces were "woke" enough to understand their assignment? If those officers in Memphis were "woke" they would have never beaten poor Tyre Nichols to death.    

Sadly, woke has become a four letter word that the right has brilliantly manipulated to be a bad thing. It triggers their base in unspeakable ways. Which I guess is kind of the point. 

Their latest hope for a presidential throne, the fascist in chief from Florida, is banking on it, and he is hoping to ride that wave all the way to the White House. 

Anyway, read the article and give me your thoughts. 

[Article here]

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Memphis Blues, and the slave-catcher mentality.

If you have been paying attention over the past few days, you know by now that the most popular news story coming out of Memphis, Tennessee, is not the success of their basketball team, but the horrific beating and killing of one of the city's citizens at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect. 

I must confess, I still have not had the stomach or the emotional discipline to watch the video.  I have seen enough graphic videos and horrific scenes in my life as a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia over the past twenty years to be able to withstand seeing one more such acts of horror. But honestly, I am just exhausted at this point.   

What makes this story particularly unique and nuanced,  is the fact that the five perpetrators, like Tyre Nichols, were black men. This, to me, is not surprising. I have been telling you about house Negroes and the danger they present to our community my entire blogging career, but unfortunately folks have not been paying attention. It's that slave-catching house Negro mentality that made it so easy for these Memphis police officers to savagely beat Tyre Nichols to death. We devalue the lives of our own, which makes it easier for others in the majority population to devalue us. One thing we are learning about this specialized unit formed by the Memphis police, is that it was staffed with mostly black officers because they did not want the scrutiny when it comes to civil rights violations that white officers would bring. The fact that these officers would sign up for this should make us all realize that the slave-catcher mentality is still alive and well. 

And let's look at the majority population for a minute.  Please note how quiet all the usual conservative suspects (who are always quick to support the police and demonize victims) are being when it comes to this particular case. Not surprising given the fact that the police officers doing the beatings were black. These officers were quickly fired and charged with second degree murder, and that's a good thing. But think what usually happens when a white officer, or officers, are guilty of doing similar things. They are put on administrative leave WITH pay. It takes weeks (and in some cases months) to release the video tape, and the right-wing media machine falls in lockstep to defend them and tell us what a dangerous job policing is. That is not the case here, and these clueless house Negroes who thought they were protected by the blue wall, will now realize that the wall does not extend to them. 

There is something the mother of Tyre Nichols said that really moved me. She talked about his love for Vans, and not Air Jordan sneakers to highlight his individuality. She also said that he liked art, and he loved skateboarding, and that he cried out her name while he was being savagely beaten to death.  

Stay peaceful.  

*Image from yahoo news.



Sunday, January 22, 2023

Caption Sunday.

I need a caption for this pic.

I have one: POS in boots.  

Sunday, January 08, 2023

The chaos Congress is here.


The 15th time was a charm for Kevin Mc-Qanon-rthy. If you are a republican and you are not embarrassed by the actions of the folks who represent your party over the past week, you have not been paying attention. How are they going conduct the people's business if they can't even get their own s*** together? 

While the GOP reps were auditioning to join the MMA, Hakeem Jefferies and the democrats were just enjoying the moment and savoring in the obvious difference between the two parties. No one is surprised. This is tfg's party, and we all know that chaos follows everything that he is associated with like a paparazzi follows the Kardashians. 

You have to wonder what's in store for this Congress over the next two years. My prediction is that it will be one big mess, and the group in power will get nothing done. They have a feckless and weak leader who seemed to have wanted the speaker's gavel at all cost.  A leader without a spine is not a leader, as we have seen from Kevin McQanon-arthy, he is simply a person who will go with the wind to suit his own purpose. This is who the new GOP Speaker is, and as we live out the next two years Americans will get to watch the train wreck that's coming play itself out before our eyes. 

Congresswoman, Katherine Clark, said it best: 

“Years of blindly pursuing power, currying the favor of special interests and bowing to election deniers has left the GOP in shambles,”....Kevin McCarthy is now being held hostage to his own ambitions by the dangerous members that he’s enabled.”

Popcorn anyone?