Constant State of Rage.

Photo Dec 01, 1 07 44 PMI was saying to myself the other day that I wish that I could see a bright future that is so vividly displayed on Deep Space Nine where Captain Benjamin Sisco is captain. I was also commenting to myself (because I talk to myself quite often) that being human means to be inherently stupid, egoistical, violent, and often times self centered. No matter how much I can be angry about the world and its war on the oppressed, the inescapable and laughable fact is that we are choking ourselves with politics and needless rhetoric.

I am good at work. You can see me at work and think I’m the happiest person in the world. I do my job well. I have a good woman that I adore. I love my family and friends, who all relatively make my days in various ways. I have a good life filled with passions, dreams, and goals. But, there is a darker side of me. There is a switch that is constantly on that I have buried. It is that f*ck you very much switch.

I am in a constant state of rage. Sure, it is a low level rage that I will equate to a semi dormant volcano and every time I see some bullshit on the news I just want to scream. Black men are still getting killed with impunity, Black women are still being treated as the lowest forms of life, Muslims get blamed for just about every fear people have, the President gets disrespected by a branch of our own government, racist chants by a Fraternity, Transgendered people being targeted and killed, Michele Obama is called a monkey on Univision, and apparently apologists are the new black. That was just to name a few.

“To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” – James Baldwin

I cannot even begin to tackle each issue individually because I am just tired of all of this. Starbucks wants to have a conversation on race. What conversation needs to be had? What is talking going to do? That is all people do, talk. Granted, about 40% of all baristas at Starbucks are people of color and thus the intention might be good but honestly all it does is put people in a uncomfortable situation because many people are not trained to talk about something like this and nor should they have to.

What is there to talk about? Let me guess the DOJ report that states Darren Wilson was justified in killing Mike Brown? So because the forensic evidence states he was justified doesn’t mean we know what was was said to spark a teenager to commit suicide by cop. Which also means the #Blacklivesmatter cause is a lie? Perhaps no one read the second DOJ report that states Ferguson systematically targets African Americans unfairly. So let’s talk about that.

Lets talk about Rodner Figueroa. I do not believe for one second that he’s sorry for his remarks. He’s sorry he lost his job. He’s sorry is career is done. But sorry for his remarks? Nope. That is some typical shit that can fly out of the mouth of a white person who just so happens to be Latino. Name one dark skinned person you see normally on Univision? Assuming that you don’t watch that droll nonsense, I can tell you that the number is close to zero (I’m accounting for the darker Mexicans in commercials).

The thing is, I can talk about this all day. I can discuss how people are looking to apologize or looking to suggest that we as people of color need to hold hands and pray for racism to go away. I need celebrities to shut up. You made your money and now you need to save face and play the game. It is rare see the conscious Black actor with the exception of Jesse Williams.

There is a rage that is the under current in most people of color in the country and that’s why there’s this constant fear from the majority. They want prominent black folk to calm us down and remind us of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech while constantly degrading us in the media. So, if you want to talk about something let’s talk about the fact that you cannot kill an idea, this mind blowing idea the Black Lives Matter.

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Shut Down

shutdownI don’t like writing about politics too much. It’s not because I don’t understand what is going on, it’s because I view American politics sorta like Game of Thrones played out in a democratic/capitalistic society. I do vote and I’m a registered Democrat. I roughly follow what happens in government but it’s not apart of my daily life. Despite all this, I do fundamentally understand what is going with this governmental shut down. The question in my mind about all of this crap is, who does the Tea Party hate more, President Obama or poor people?

Let’s just say, for argument sake, that this whole action of shutting down the government due to Republican wanting to defund Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) is not about race. Factor out the fact that conservatives have fought POTUS with every tooth and nail. Factor out that the Affordable Care Act is SAME THING Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts and they all loved it. If it’s not about the race of Obama, then what’s it about? His political views that allowed him to win the popular vote twice? So if it’s not about that, then one could conceivably deduce that this issue is about poor people.

Is Universal Healthcare that bad? One could argue that healthcare is a fundamental right of being American (or a basic human right). Yet we, as a society, seem to be ok with the rising prices of private insurance costs. I suppose that it is fine that the best medical care goes to those to can afford it. Honestly, it sounds a lot like Higher Education but what about those American citizens, who cannot afford insurance? You have some states, like New York, whose minimum wage is not sufficient to keep people about the poverty line and you expect those people to have decent healthcare?

Well according to some Republicans, those people should really do their homework and search the free market to get a fair price (assuming you do not have a pre existing condition). Of course, if you come to the table already having been sick then you’re pretty much screwed (so move to Canada or Cuba). But, hey this is the system that we has worked for many years and the think we should go back to that, which pretty much means they give zero fucks for those who can’t afford it.

So now the government is shutdown and each side is blaming each other when we all know that Obamacare is a LAW that passed both houses and deemed constitutional by The Supreme Court. Why fight this? Millions of people signed up on Day One and the website was down due to massive over use. What does that mean? Could it possibly be that there are more people who need this than previously thought? How is that possible when considering the rate of unemployment?

Having said all that, understand that this shutdown is about the common person. There are people out of work and thus not getting paid because the privileged are having a tantrum. All these politicians, arguing for or against what’s happening, are all getting paid. They do not and cannot feel nor truly understand how it feels to forced to not to work while people debate the validity of a LAW that has already been passed. Sure some can empathize, but at the end of the day, they can pay their bills.

I will fully admit that the luster of Obama’s administration has worn off on me. There things that he has done that I do not agree with when it comes to drones and the almost war with Syria. Despite this, he is still the President and the blatant disrespect of him from the Tea Party show that race play a factor at least on a subconscious level and if you do not believe me simply look up Michelle Bachman’s remark about how she feels that Obamacare is the POTUS’ attempt to drug dealer.

Winds of War

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I know I have been quiet lately. Too many things to think about with a less than enthusiastic attitude to write about the same things over and over again. But I need to begin with something that I have always thought about when I was a kid. Only the people in my generation and older would know what the Cold War was like in the 80’s before the Berlin Wall came down and the old Soviet Union was dissolved. Nuclear War was a reality in our minds.

While I never had to go through the bomb drills that my parents went through, I still had a very healthy fear of a full nuclear strike. I was convinced that hatred between the United States and the U.S.S.R would one day boil over and the cockroches will end up ruling the earth. There was always something going on that the US needed to be involved with and yet there were either scandals like Iran/Contra or the fact that we allowed Iraq to use chemical weapons (and Ronald Regan is the greatest president to some people). I never understood the need to be in such conflicts when poverty is so rampant around our own country.

Yesterday many people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Many people spoke including President Obama. I respect the legacy and the significance of Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. and this date, but I was not exactly excited to hear anyone speak. The fact of the matter is that the progress of equal rights for all has been slow. We are often under the illusion that things are better when statistically things are no better or maybe even worse than the civil rights era. So we can go ahead and live in a world where things seem OK when things really aren’t.

Now we stand on a brink of another war. A war that really has nothing to do with us. We Supesvoted for a change and what we are getting are speeches about change. I feel foolish now because so many times in the past I have talked to my students and colleagues about global citizenship and how social media has made the world smaller and yet we are still operating in the age old notion of colonialism where we teach the natives to behave for the benefit of the world. Meanwhile, the word around us is being distracted by the appropriation of a twerking Miley Cyrus in a gentrified Brooklyn.

I am also quite sure that there the though of the United Stated being the heroes who came in to save the day. Leaders of the free world that come swooping in like Superman to save Lois from Zod with no real recognition that the battle will destroy more than it saves and in the end we all wonder why we even paid for any of it (Yes, I am still bitter about the movie).

Where is the dream? Where are the little black children holding hands with the little white children? Dr. King was a well known pacifist that knew wars lead to the poor heading out to battle. These days, the Armed Forces will pay for college if you give them a certain amount of years of service and of course there is a nice check to live on assuming you can get rid of your PSD. I don’t recall that part of the dream where we invade other countries in pursuit of justice especially when justice doesn’t seem to exist much at home.