Tag Archives: eric cantor

Commentary: Republican Chaos “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”  

20150428_000908I know these crazies, Republicans, don’t believe in science, but I learned in elementary school that sharks eat their own. In the midst of the dysfunction in the Republican Party, this appears to be happening. The title might be over the top, but it’s more like business as usual for this bunch. I would suggest that this chaos would be entertaining if the consequences weren’t so serious.

This ilk fought President Obama his entire presidency opposing his every action with their racist mindset thinking he would improve the lives of black people. The Republicans and Tea Party, i.e., KKK, are known as the party of NO, for good reason; the do nothing Congress! Lincoln said before the Civil War that “a divided house cannot stand.” From what I see, they are fighting a Civil War between themselves!

The speaker of the House is second in line to the presidency, and since the founding of the Republic the position has been one of the most important in government, key to national security and domestic tranquility. The entire party seems to be at war with itself. Maybe the better word to use is a revolt. There is a band of about three dozen conservative hard-liners, exploiting the partisan divide, essentially hijacking the Congressional Chamber and the party. It appears their intent is to reduce the speaker’s role to that of a figurehead subservient to the demands of this group of secessionists. Some might call their actions as nothing more than a coup!

A week or so ago, the leader, John Boehner abruptly quit the job of House Speaker going out singing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Duh. Next, within a week his number two, a guy named McCarthy, was swiftly deposed by a conservative rebellion before he even got to hold the speaker’s gavel by the Freedom Caucus and other conservative malcontents. Let’s go back a little bit; Boehner’s understudy, Eric Cantor, would have been the speaker, but his position in leadership made him a fat target for conservatives and voted out by his congressional district.

These folk said when they have the majority they would make the government work. Now, there is nobody who even wants the job. The next speaker, whoever that may be, will have to pick between two poisons: Defy the few dozen conservative zealots who hold the balance of power in the House and thereby lose the gavel, or surrender to the conservatives and take the Republican Party deeper into a quagmire of default and shutdown.

The real danger in American Republican politics these days is the in-house feud. The activists, claiming the mantle of principled conservatives, want Congress to become a stage for confrontation and displays of anger at the entire federal government and, most of all, at President Obama. Add to the mix the threat of the GOP’s right wing shutting down the government over federal funding of Planned Parenthood. It’s clear, we are witnessing a truly historic political moment, a party engaged in a full civil war with just a year to go before a presidential election.

Whether it’s their so-call savior Paul Ryan or another figure can temporarily unite the caucus, the conservatives’ demands will inevitably lead to more chaos. Frankly, all I see in anarchy, including unlimited freedom to amend legislation; a ban on legislation that doesn’t have the support of a majority of GOP members; and a refusal to take up compromise legislation worked out by the Senate.

These guys spend all the energy planning a shutdown, defunding Obamacare, and their favorite non-story Benghazi, which McCarthy, in an unwise moment of honesty this month, admitted was for the purpose of damaging Hillary Clinton politically. As bad as all of this is, I am not going to get into the presidential campaign; Lord knows that is a circus all unto itself.

Republican contenders for the party’s presidential nomination have noticed. An August Gallup poll of Republicans gave Boehner only a 37 percent approval rating while 42 percent rated him negatively. The same Gallup poll showed McConnell with a disapproval rating of 41 percent among independents and Boehner with a 57 percent disapproval rating among independents. McConnell had a 34 percent favorability rating among Republicans. The polls reflect hard-right criticism of the leaders for failing to use their majorities to halt Obama Care or same-sex marriage, and for failing to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Oh, can’t forget wanting to start another war somewhere!

Whether this is bad for the Republican Party isn’t my concern, but in the free advice department, I’d say being pushed into paralysis by a racist and sexist tiny but vocal minority isn’t doing the GOP brand any favors. More important, the dysfunction and extremism that increasingly define the House are bad for the country and the laughing stock around the world. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


RACISM: Perception Or Reality

faceHave you asked yourself “What is Racism?” Webster says it is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and racial differences that produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. This does not adequately explain or represent the reality of what we’re witnessing in today’s political and social environments.

I believe racism is a misunderstood psychology and yes there is a psychology to racism, which is where the confusion exists. Therefore, it appears that racial prejudice or discrimination, which is a prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment is somehow believed to be directed toward the people of the dominate race.

The legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of its diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of African Americans based on an ideology of supremacy. We are the descendants of the stolen souls who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man. Hence, from the beginning, people of African descent were intended to be a nation of people living within a nation without a nationality.

~ “Law and Order” theme music plays ~

I read an article sometime ago, “When Racists Speak Their Unspoken Truths” by Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., who made a statement that speaks loudly to this issue.

“It’s what racists claimed for 235 years that American society is about rights (mainly theirs, everybody else’s can be stepped on) and not about race. It’s why racists wore hoods and sheets in public, and why their powerful societies that controlled political and economic affairs were always secret. The less you know about what they think, the less you can respond to how they think, even though the social, political and economic outcomes will tell you what they think.” It seems that those who claim racism are active participants in the continuance of this ideology and (in their minds) think they are now subjected to it.

I think we should understand the sub-text of what we are seeing today, at least from a power and political perspective. It is a strategic effort to contain and marginalize a black President, which is consistent with the Republican Party’s objective of marginalizing minorities and women. Now just like back in the days of segregation, its staunchest supporters were Southerners, Mid-Westerners and poor whites, and people now of that mindset remain.

This intolerance or behavior was never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, African American, and worst. All were polite terms assigned to make known that people of color were not American citizens. Remember the statement etched in the country’s blueprint that says clearly people of color are “3/5 a man” and did not mention women at all.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. This is to include the age old practice that has been very effective, “divide and conquer” because this form of thinking has one purpose. Therefore, when you look at what we have experienced and what they imply relating to this new phenomenon is as far apart as the vastness of the universe. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


An American Shame

“Disclaimer: This piece is long but it is knowledge everyone should know.”

2There have been many ways to suppress people over time; unfortunately, African Americans have endured the brunt of these efforts. As we know, the history of America reports that it was not only African American’s who were subjected or affected by these efforts. What I can report is that it was always a minority affected by these laws meant to ensure a permanent underclass.

This ideology began as indentured servants, then slavery, segregation, and now could it be conservatism. In each of these classifications there was a design called laws Black Codes, which I suppose make these immoral sanctions sound gentler. The truth is the sole purpose was to suppression rights. Kinda like the agenda behind the States Rights dog-whistles we hear today.

Black Codes were laws passed designed specifically to take away civil rights and civil liberties of African American on the state and local levels. This is the reason Conservatives desire a return to “States Rights” and speak of taking back their country because at the state level they can be unimpeded in turning back the hands of time.

Although, most of the discriminatory legislation, in terms of Black Codes, were used more often by Southern states to control the labor, movements and activities of newly freed slaves at the end of the Civil War. But as Malcolm X once said, “Anywhere south of Canada was south” meaning wherever you were in America you were subjected to discrimination in terms of the “separate but equal” laws, which was the law of the land.

The Black Codes of the 1860’s are not the same as the Jim Crow laws. The Black Codes were in reaction to the abolition of slavery and the South’s defeat in the Civil War. Southern legislatures enacted them during Reconstruction. The Jim Crow era began later, nearer to the end of the 19th century after Reconstruction, with its unwritten laws.

Then there were sundown laws, which meant Blacks, could not live or be caught in certain towns after dark. In some cases, signs were placed at the town’s borders with statements similar to the one posted in Hawthorne California that read “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne” in the 1930’s. In some cases, exclusions were official town policy, restrictive covenants, or the policy was enforced through intimidation.

After the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prior to that African Americans were considered 3/5’s human. Therefore, all former slave states adopted Black Codes. During 1865 every Southern state passed Black Codes that restricted the Freemen, who were emancipated but not yet full citizens. While they pursued re-admission to the Union, the Southern states provided freedmen with limited second-class civil rights and no voting rights. Southern plantation owners feared that they would lose their land. Having convinced themselves that slavery was justified, planters feared African Americans wouldn’t work without coercion. The Black Codes were an attempt to control them and to ensure they did not claim social equality.

The Black Codes outraged public opinion in the North because it seemed the South was creating a form of quasi-slavery to evade the results of the war. After winning large majorities in the 1866 elections, the Republicans put the South under military rule. They held new elections in which the Freedmen could vote. Suffrage was also expanded to poor whites. The new governments repealed all the Black Codes; they were never reenacted – OFFICALLY.

Many of these things are unknown to the generations of today because these injustices have been erased from our history and very little of it is taught in today’s classroom. For example, a sundown town was a town that was all white on purpose. The term was widely used in the United States and Canada in areas from Ohio to Oregon and well into the South. Even in Canada many towns in Southern Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec, were sundown towns prior to 1982, when it was outlawed. The term came from signs that were allegedly posted stating that people of color had to leave the town by sundown. They were also sometimes known as “sunset towns” or “gray towns”. Let me ask if you have ever been to a million dollar community – sound familiar.

The black codes that were enacted immediately after the Civil War, though varying from state to state, were all intended to secure a steady supply of cheap labor and all continued to assume the inferiority of the freed slaves. The black codes had their roots in the slave codes that had formerly been in effect. The premise behind chattel slavery in America was that slaves were property, and, as such, they had few or no legal rights. The slave codes, in their many loosely defined forms, were seen as effective tools against slave unrest, particularly as a hedge against uprisings and runaways. Enforcement of slave codes also varied, but corporal punishment was widely and harshly employed.

Let me highlight this example: In Texas, the Eleventh Legislature produced these codes in 1866. The intent of the legislation was to reaffirm the inferior position that slaves and free blacks had held in antebellum Texas and to regulate black labor. The codes reflected the unwillingness of white Texans to accept blacks as equals. You do remember “Juneteenth”? In addition, the Texans also feared that freedmen would not work unless coerced. Thus the codes continued legal discrimination between whites and blacks. The legislature, when it amended the 1856 penal code, emphasized the continuing line between whites and blacks by defining all individuals with one-eighth or more African blood as persons of color, subject to special provisions in the law.

Minorities were systematically excluded from living in or sometimes even passing through these communities after the sun went down. This allowed maids and workmen to provide unskilled labor during the day. Sociologists have described this as the nadir of American race relations. Sundown towns existed throughout the nation, but most often were located in the northern states that were not pre-Civil War slave states. There have not been any de jure sundown towns in the country since legislation in the 1960’s was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, although de facto sundown towns and counties, where no black family lives – still exist.

Therefore, we see hints of it in the racism that has raised its ugly head and risen to the surface of society’s consciousness, particularly in this political climate. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and especially since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing, the number of sundown towns has decreased.

However, as sociologist suggest it is impossible to precisely count the number of sundown towns at any given time, because most towns have not kept records of the ordinances or signs that marked the town’s sundown status. It is important to note that sundown status meant more than just African Americans not being able to live in these towns. Essentially any African Americans or other groups who came into sundown towns after sundown were subject to harassment, threats, and violent acts; up to and including lynching.

As one historian has noted, “Racial segregation was hardly a new phenomenon because slavery had fixed the status of most blacks, no need was felt for statutory measures segregating the races. These restrictive Black Codes have morphed in one form or another to achieve its desired effect to maintain a superior status by the powers that be. I am only suggesting that we know and understand history for it will open the mind to what the future may present.

Frankly, if you don’t know where you came from you will never get to where you are going. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!!!


Young Gun Down

11The most amazing thing happened Tuesday night that marked the first time since 1899 that the House majority leader was defeated in a primary election; and badly I might add. The prevailing wisdom, at least according to the winner, Cantor was too liberal. Fact of the matter, Cantor should be ashamed of his twelve year tenure because he did nothing and was part of the worst congress in the country’s history, commonly known as “the Do Nothing Congress”.

You proclaimed himself one of the “Young Guns” of the Republican Party, which is nothing more than a code-word for the “New Jim Crow”. This guy was in line to be the next Speaker of the House when John Boehner decided he was tired of herding the opposition. The majority leader was the number two man in congress and the third most powerful republican in Washington. He was also an Arden voice against the president, yet he called himself a patriot.

His loss was devastating and a humiliating defeat. It was sweet vindication that the Republican strategy of stoking up faux-populism of just saying no and never proposing a solution to any problem has blown up spectacularly. Because in their gorgeously gerrymandered districts, their own voters felt things like shouting down the government didn’t go far enough. They said; government is the problem to which I would agree because it was Cantor and folks like that is the problem.

Moving on; the problem as I see it, if Cantor was too liberal – what do you think the guy who beat him to take his place will be like. The endpoint of this insane ideology is the election of a Tea Partiers that if like the rest are not interested in governing at all. Rather dismantling government. It is the mission of the institutional Republicans to gamble that obstructionism alone would give them power are seeing their fortunes turn, and their majority become meaningless.

They simple don’t want any government action on any issue. They want the current trend to continue to allow states rights to be the objective where individual municipalities push forward minimum wage laws because the federal government is paralyzed. Meanwhile, the gap between the rich and the poor widens every day, and Republicans have convinced many rural Americans that the problem is the tax rate on the wealthy. He also voted all of the fifty plus times to take healthcare away from American citizens.

We should be very skepticism of anything changing for the better. Cantor’s replacement will bring more of the same – nothing. But if college professor Dave Brat’s upset victory over the House majority leader indeed spells doom will certainly bring more of the same.

Here’s the irony. Cantor’s defeat had nothing to do with immigration, amnesty, or the border. It had everything to do with arrogance and the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – they realized like his cohorts simply did nothing, but leverage their positions to benefit themselves.

In an even more satisfying irony because Cantor was one of the greatest proponent of not cooperating with the administration on every piece of legislation proposed by the president. He, along with his compatriot Paul Ryan, instead has championed “broadening the tax base,” otherwise known as taxing the poor.

So overnight, he became a political dead man walking within hours of his defeat and resigned from his leadership position. So forgive me for having little joy in my heart, even if it means we get another Tea Partier in the House. For a bit, it feels as though there is some sense of justice for the left. No matter how much power you accumulate, your own monstrous sentiments can come back to bite you. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


You Must VOTE!!!

2Elections are being held all over the nation this year. Most of these elections are on state and local level with issues that have national implications. The issues before voters encompass a wide range of concerns including union rights, voting rights, and women’s rights. Let us not be fooled by the right-wing because nothing about their views encompass the reality we face.

There are and will be issues placed before voters this fall and coming in 2016 that are serious and must not be taken lightly. Consider this, weren’t the rights of workers to organize collectively and negotiate for fair wages and safe working conditions determined long ago? If you like a 40 hour work week, overtime pay, weekends off, sick leave and paid vacations, you have no one to thank, but union organizers who brought workers together to demand these benefits.

The issue of raising the minimum wage for millions of workers and their families must be addressed in this age when “oligarchy” rules. Of course, there are other important issues. But just think about all of the people who sacrificed so much, like those who sacrificed their very lives to ensure that all citizens could exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

Then there are the women’s issues; isn’t it settled law that women – as full citizens of this great nation – have the right to be secure in their own person – without Republican intrusion into the difficult and personal choices they make in respect to their own bodies?

One of the greatest difficulties we face by living in this democracy, if you believe that’s what this is, we must contend with the assaults from institutional racism. The highest court in the land is against the people; the House of Representatives is not a functional body, the police are combat soldiers, and you know what – it begs the question; who do they serve. Once we were slave, but today we are all slaves on the plantation. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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#jtwills

 THIS VIDEO SAYS IT ALL


Body Found May Be Teleka Patrick

122Police have not yet officially identified the body pulled Sunday morning from Lake Charles near the town of Porter, according to a release from the Indiana State Police. However, Patrick’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone on Sunday afternoon that it was Patrick’s body.

After Patrick’s mother’s call, another family member called back and said they were waiting for confirmation of the body’s identity, which they had not yet received. They then sent this statement:

“Our family was informed that a body was found that may be our daughter Teleka Patrick. We are waiting for official confirmation from the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department and have no comment at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers-we ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Chuck Harris, the Porter County coroner, told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday that no positive identity had been made on the body, which he confirmed was that of an African-American female. Harris said he’s not certain how long the body has been in the lake. Due to its decomposition, he said, fingerprints or dental records will have to be used to confirm an identity. He said there were not any obvious signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is scheduled for the beginning of the week, he said, possibly on Tuesday.

A man fishing on Lake Charles noticed something suspicious floating in the water around 7:10 a.m. Sunday, the release from Indiana State Police says. He called police. Area residents said they woke Sunday morning to find a fleet of emergency vehicles around the lake. The Indiana State police SCUBA team and Porter Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and pulled the body of a female dressed in dark clothing from the water, the release said.

Harris, the coroner, said he was called to the scene at 9:21 a.m. He also said the woman was wearing dark pants and a dark top. Patrick, 30, was last seen the evening of Dec. 5, 2013 in the parking lot of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. Her car was found later that night off I-94 near Porter, less than a mile away from Lake Charles. Lake Charles is separated from the highway by a waist-high barbed wire fence.

Authorities searched Lake Charles in January when it was still frozen over, but that search did not reveal anything related to Patrick’s case. Last week, authorities also conducted a land search near where Patrick’s car was found. That search was also fruitless. Besides those searches, Harris said, there is nothing at this time to link the body to Patrick.

In a Sunday release, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department said it would not immediately have any comment.

Western Michigan University’s medical school released this statement Sunday evening:

“Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine was notified earlier today that a body matching the description of Dr. Teleka Patrick, a first year resident in our psychiatry residency program, has been found.  We are awaiting the results of an official confirmation from authorities and offer our sincerest condolences and prayers to Teleka’s family during this difficult time.”


Time After Time: Same Old Story

13798_lgAs I look back over the passage of time from the era of the 1960s to now. Things are worse and more devastating than ever in every category of life. I often wonder “what happened to the protest and the rage”. Poverty is worse, social vices have exploded, crime, police brutality, healthcare, education, and unemployment is more prevalent today. During the 60s, people took to the streets to make a statement that there is something very wrong. The cry of the day was power to the people.

Lost is the concept of “I am my brother’s keeper” or “it takes a village” and the sense of community, rather what exists today is “I and me”. A common theory for this is complacency and the belief that everything is all right in this land of milk and honey. There is no recollection of the voices real leadership as it was of that era. What we see today is corporate faces out front; bought and paid for to give us a message that says “don’t worry, just pray, and you will get your just due in the next life.

I don’t need to name names because you know who they are!!! There is always a false prophet espousing the same old message that one day “we will overcome”. They are forced upon us in every aspect of our lives. These folks come in many forms and have usually been given a position of authority over you by someone other than us. There job is like the overseer or the selected preacher from the days of slavery. You see them on television and in case you didn’t know this tool is amply named. The idiot box is designed to “tell you a vision” and that vision is usually not based, in fact, which is a view that those in control want you to believe and know.

During the 1960s, the mantra was “the revolution will not be televised”! It spoke to the ideology of that which is in your mind where you can see through the lies and have the courage to address the wrongs of society that are imposed on the people through a system of capitalism. Where are those voice like Brother Malcolm, Dr. King, the Panthers, SNCC, and others of the era which believed “I am willing to die for what is right.

I had a conversation with a conservative person recently, who claimed to have answers to all the problems of the least of thee. What was amazing, no crazy? This fool said, “All I know about ‘you people’ is what I see on television. These people should just get a job and stop having children”. Of course that was enough for me to know how deranged this fool was but what this fool does not understand, it is bigger than that. It is done by designed, as it has been from day one. There has to be a permanent underclass in order for the so-called real Americans, the rich and white, to survive or more aptly put “laws that allow the rich to continue to rape and pillage”.

No one knows what to fight for because no one knows what to say. Then there is the longstanding notion by those who remind me of an uncle of mine – whose name was Thomas, but we call him “Tom” for short. So to the Judas’ among us maybe that old country preacher I knew was right! Money will make you change your God and like Judas betray your people. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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