Friday, June 28, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg and the ILL Logic of Oppression

I'm rarely (if ever) amazed at stupid things politicians say. Matter of fact, as a comedian, I appreciate the disconnect between their alleged brains and their mouths. "Women who are victims of legitimate rape don't get pregnant because their bodies block it"....thank you Mr. just added 5 minutes to my stand up routine. "we'll never target Americans with drones" (ignore al awlaki tho...he was buggin)...thank you President Obama...needed a one liner as a transition. a citizen of the USA, that shit is terrifying.

These are the people charged with running the cities, states, and country we live in. We assume (yeah that's our fault...assumptions usually end poorly) that you suited, clean shaven, ivy-league educated people can think. We're repeatedly proven wrong. Ahh the audacity of "hope". 

The most recent example of our inability to choose is Mayor Bloomberg. On his WOR radio show he discussed "stop and frisk" and made THIS comment “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” (full article here)

Pardon my French but...mother fucker WHAT?! The elitist/academic statement "i don't know what school they went to...but they didn't take math/logic courses" implies that your reasoning can only be comprehended by those who took specific classes in the appropriate schools. Of course my lack of appropriate education prevents me from being able to reason that civil liberties aren't determined by statistics. "illegal search" has been defined by the courts. Frisking me without probable cause (or probable cause being based on my melanin content) is not only illegal, but suggests that phrenology and all of the other racially tinged pseudo sciences are real. What school teaches phrenology Mr Bloomberg? Whatever. There are several reasons why that "logic" is bullshit. 

First, statistics should be read in context. Murders also occur in places where black people don't even live. GASP!!!! "You mean that what happens in New York isn't representative of the entire world?" Yes my highly educated, math/logic proficient compadre...murders happen in all-white communities, too. Statistics also show that Black people are disproportionately affected by poverty. Should i extrapolate from that data that white people are trying to keep us down and all of them should be considered white supremacists? Finding "facts" to support bullshit policies only works when people DON'T use logic. By your logic, rich white men are disproportionately engaged in systematic racism. Thus, we should NEVER elect rich white men to offices that require them to represent a wide range of ethnic groups.

Second, most murders (statistically) committed against white people are committed by....(drum rolls and all types of "build to a climax" stuff).......... ............. ......... WHITE PEOPLE!!!  Are you in white neighborhoods protecting the good citizens from the statistical reality that is "white on white" crime? Oh I know...this is unbelievable to some. But the facts are the facts. Although what you see on TV has convinced you that black people are just out here murdering up shit all up and through your white neighborhood, the FACTS say otherwise. According to the Justice Department, an overwhelming 84% of white people murdered...were murdered by other white people. (i'm not pulling stats out my  Ain't that a bitch? So where is the stop and frisk for that? 

That's not logic. Ignoring the socio-economic realities of violent crime isn't "logic", either. But what should we're the same guy who "reasoned" that since soda makes you fat, banning soda will make people healthy. Your ability to reach for the moon when touching the ceiling would be enough...amazing, sir. You shouldn't stop and frisk anyone without probable cause. And being black...ain't....probable...cause. Asshole. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"You're Straight, Why Do You Care about DOMA?"

DOMA is DONE. I'm grateful. Nah...i'm not gay. Not even sure what my number is on the Kinsey Scale (that's the test that tells you whether you might be a little straight...or at least that's what they say...). So, why would I be grateful that something that "doesn't involve me" happened?

"I'm just trying to show you the big picture" ~~~ Loaded Lux

Gay rights are human rights. I'm human. There. Now, that should be enough of an explanation, but some of you raggelly bastids enjoy breaking people up into groups and assigning values and privileges to each group based on how you feel about that group. An adjective is a modifier. A tall woman. A short man. A straight human. A gay human. That's the origin of the bullshit. Because, no matter what modifier you use, the essence of the object is the same. Ok...i went too deep? Allow me to say it another way...calling a cat a dog won't make it bark. So...a straight human, and a gay human, are BOTH human. Human rights aren't "straight" rights. They're not "Christian" rights. They're human rights. So, if you're human, I'm here for your rights. (to those who wish to get off of the animals rights tangent, shhh relax...not today).

On a fundamental level, I care because I want everyone to be treated equally based solely on their humanity (yes, that goes for those who aren't US citizens as well...later tho). On a broader level, I recognize that standing idly by while some other group is oppressed jeopardizes MY freedom, as well. You don't think that women being allowed to vote helped influence the civil rights movement? You don't think Martin Luther King, jr. and his speeches impacted the LGBT movement? To those who say that the civil rights rhetoric has been "stolen" and "re-appropriated" for the LGBT movement...look. We don't own oppression. If the tools used to fight our oppression worked, why WOULDN'T another oppressed group use those tools?  To go from oppressed to oppressor is some bullshit. We couldn't believe how "good hearted people" could stand by and watch as Black people were systematically marginalized in a free country. Now you got yours, huh? "Fuck gay people, I'm not gay"? Really...which black president was responsible for enacting the legislation that attempted to end Jim Crow? Let's be real...if Black people were the ONLY people who fought for the civil rights act, we'd still be "separate but equal". Acknowledging that white people were involved in the struggle doesn't minimize Rosa Parks. Mentioning the Jewish groups who fought to push civil rights doesn't take the light off Malcolm X. 

Oppressive groups have the advantage of power. The ONLY way to combat that power is to be consistently opposed to all oppression. DOMA was overturned. But oppression was NOT. You don't have to be an activist to care. Shit, I'm a activism usually involves me going on stage and holding a mirror up to hypocrisy, then ridiculing it until you at least consider a different way. You don't have to be gay to support gay rights. Hell, you can even be opposed to homosexuality. But unless you are willing to admit that you believe that some groups were inherently created better than should probably relax on the "fuck gay rights" talk. Because just a couple of generations ago, there was a good hearted white guy saying "I don't care about civil rights, I'm not black"...don't be THAT guy...ok?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SCOTUS on Voting Rights or "change I can't believe in"

Today (June 25, 2013) I'm concerned. Not because of the threat of terrorism. I'm not afraid of North Korea, or GMO's, or hip hop music poisoning the minds of our innocent youth. Nope. I'm concerned that the SCOTUS decided that an important part of the Voting Rights Act was no longer necessary.

Some of you may agree. You'll mention the giant strides we've made regarding race (because giant strides isn't ambiguous at all...). You'll suggest that the law itself was originally an overreach by the government (Ron you been?). You'll covertly imply, or overtly state, that "black people have to stop living in the past". And I'll offer you my whole ass to kiss. Ok...not really. I'll attempt to be civil and suppress my disgust at your inability to see outside of yourself (or your actual racism...get in where you fit in, homie) and try to explain WHY this was a horrible ruling.

Let's go with the obvious. Congress has been consistently incapable of making effective decisions for years. So now, the SCOTUS is placing the responsibility of picking and choosing which states need to be monitored in the hands of THIS congress. This congress can't balance a budget. THIS congress has a lower approval rating than Charles Manson (that's for the older folks...young folks...think craigslist killer). "And this is in whom you want to place your faith?" SCOTUS had the ability to make a decision. Instead they passed the buck...again (see Affirmative Action ruling). Cowards.

But now for the meat. There are those who feel like "it's no big deal". Because you know...racism isn't AS bad. I agree that it's not lynching, water hoses, and dogs biting. much racism is acceptable? If I make you a sandwich and it's 95% turkey and 5% human're ok with that? it's just a little...right? No. They ignored the millions of people who still see covert racism in their communities. Places where there is no secret made of "us" being unwelcome. That is the very reason the VRA was created. Because no matter how the majority group felt about me, the government at least appeared to protect my right to have a voice in how the country was run. Now...nope. I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the Immigration Bill that's up next either. Because Brown is the new Black (but Black is still the old Black...)

Now...I am forced to imagine living in a country where not only Floridians take 2 days to vote, but several states may "put some shit in the game". What's most amazing to those of us who have lived through blatant discrimination (i'm 40...i have receipts) is that some people still have faith that our government would never discriminate against people in 2013. Fact: this government has discriminated against SOME group since it's creation. Like...that's our "thing" here.  Black people were chattel. Women didn't fare much better. In fact, AFTER slavery, women still couldn't vote until the early 20th century. It was another half-century before black people gained that "right". In 2013 the LGBT community is fighting to be acknowledged as fully protected citizens. Nope, voting isn't their issue...but discrimination still exists. That it's implausible to some, that a country that still blatantly, through specifically crafted laws, discriminates against ONE group would EVER discriminate against another is as illogical as believing a 2000 year old religious war in the middle east can be solved by a few conversations. We've made this mistake before...several times. A lot of people see slavery as the one big mistake this country made. Women's voting..."that was just the way things were back then" (hey Paula Deen). Internment camps for Asians..."we were at war...but we paid them back!". Ronald Reagan placed Nelson Mandela on the terrorist list during his presidency....but in 1982 he REMOVED Saddam Hussein from the same list. Mandela wasn't removed from that list until 2008...18 years after apartheid ended. Don't ask don't tell. Iraq has WMD's. Look...i'm saying that this country, as great as it may be, isn't flawless. And discrimination isn't a thing of the past. It has been a continual part of this country's value system. A system that was created to protect people from religious persecution, but has consistently used religion, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to discriminate against the very people who make this country such an amazing place to live.

I'm concerned. Not because this is a "set back"...nope. This is a continuation. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Acceptable Racism (or it's only wrong when YOU do it)

So…racism. “Oh no, not THIS again”. Nope. You’re right. Not “again”. Because “again” implies that it’s been successfully addressed in the past and it’s unnecessary to do it…again. But…that’s not accurate, is it?
Recently, Salamishah Tillet used the term “white supremacy” during a discussion about abortion. Bill O’Reilly immediately labeled that racist. Paula Deen admitted to using the word “nigger” (I don’t say “the n word” because I’m an adult, grow up) and some people (ok…a LOT of people) were outraged. Let’s look a little deeper, shall we? (when you read “shall we”, read it with a British accent. It’s fun. Do it. DO it.)

First of all, if racism has been “addressed” successfully, then why would Salamishah Tillet’s use of the term “white supremacist” be deemed racist? Here’s the entire quote that got O’Reilly’s undergarments gathered together in the most uncomfortable manner 

Well, I think, the Census just released data, so part of it is the changing racial demographics in the United States. For the first time in American history, children born under the age of five are racial, the majority of them are racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.

So I think that there’s a kind of moral panic, a fear of the end of whiteness that we’ve been seeing a long time in that I think, you know, Obama’s ascension as President kind of symbolizes to a certain degree. And so I think this is one response to that sense that there’s a decreasing white majority in the country and that women's bodies and white women’s bodies in particular are obviously a crucial way of reproducing whiteness, white supremacy, white privilege. And so I think it’s just a kind of clamping down on women’s bodies, in particular white women's bodies, even though women of color are really caught in the fray.” 

Now…as I read that, I notice she said “one response is…”. I’m not a genius, but when I see “ONE response” I assume that there are other valid responses as well. So…if she’s not saying everyone who is against abortion is a white supremacist…what’s the problem? Is it that people can’t believe that there still exist others who hold thoughts of white supremacy? Really? A Google search can show you that Aryan, Neo-Nazi, etc. groups still exist. Do you just not WANT to believe that? Or do you believe that by not acknowledging it, it doesn't exist? Cut that crap. Her statement was clear. Bill O’Reilly is a VERY intelligent man. So either, he missed the “ONE response” part of her statement, he’s being extreme for ratings, or he’s really accusing her of using “coded language” to arouse racist sentiment. Ironic.
Now, the question I asked myself…”did I perceive her statement that way because she’s black? Because she’s a woman? Because she’s attractive (I like natural hair, sue me)? Or because I really believe her intent wasn’t to call all white people “white supremacists”? I sincerely believe that wasn't her intent. But let’s be real. I AM black. Does that have ANY impact on how I perceive the world around me? Hell yes! I work on that constantly. I question, then adjust, then repeat. But, the converse is true. Did O’Reilly perceive her statement that way because he’s white? Maybe not. But he IS white. And whether we want to admit it or not, being a particular race, gender, etc. DOES form the basis of our perception. We CAN overcome that by constantly looking at our beliefs and at least TRYING to see “the other side”. But this arrogant belief that our perspective is the only logical one is one of the reasons that racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination exist.

Let’s go the opposite direction. Paula Deen. Completely different take. She used the word nigger jokingly. I didn't buy that.  By her own account she never used it in a cruel manner. Nope...didn't buy THAT either. I’m honest. My thinking is colored (no pun intended) by my own experiences. So the fact that Paula Deen is a southern white woman definitely impacts the way I perceive her situation. Again, I have to ask myself “would I give her the benefit of the doubt if she were someone else?”. The answer is yes. I've admittedly defended several comedians’ use of the word nigger (the jokes were funny. That’s my criteria for whether or not it’s acceptable) while drawing the line at Michael Richards use. I don’t know Louis C.K., Bill Burr, Michael Richards, OR Paula Deen…so how did I come to these conclusions? I guessed. I used logic, reason, and my gut. And you know what…I could be wrong about ALL of them.

That’s it. We’re debating the intent of strangers. Arrogantly. Ignorantly. But we’re at least having the conversation. Because one thing that’s inarguable…there is a real difference between being real and being right. Racism is real. But it ain't right. It won’t go away with silence. But I’m still na├»ve enough to believe that enough of us can rid ourselves of racist/bigoted mind sets, that we’ll marginalize the remaining idiots. Or not. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father's Day is coming...with the BS

This ISN'T directed to women (although you're welcome to read/comment). I don't speak on women's issue very often, because without a vagina, my opinion will usually be based on partial (at best) information. In other words, I'd be talking out of my ass. Nope...this is for the men.

Father's Day is coming. And that means the "i'm a mother AND father to ray ray" comments are coming with it. Fuck that. Stay focused. If you're a good father, bravo. We need more of you. If you're a deadbeat...let's talk.

Oh Word?
Lot's of understandable reasons why a man wouldn't be there for his child. The mother is violent towards you. The mother's new boyfriend/husband is violent and you are on parole. The mother moved out of town and didn't give you a location. You're a dickhead. Ok...that's the list for the most part. And while 3 of the 4 reasons are understandable, NONE of the reasons are acceptable. Because no matter how much you "hate that bitch", you put your raggedy ass sauseesh inside of her without protection. Say what? The condom broke? the fuck it did not. You mufuggas been running that bullshit lie for too long. I'm a man. I know what happened. It feels WAY better raw. She didn't make you. You both fucked up. Now a baby is here with a woman you can't even get along with. Deal.

I HATE with a passion seeing that "i gotta be a mother AND a father" bullshit. You're a mother. Period. You may even be a disciplinarian. But you're NOT a father. However, what irritates me even more is that you're in the position to say that shit. My ex can't honestly say it. And IF she did, I would react. I haven't always been the BEST father, but I've ALWAYS tried. And by trying, I got better. It wasn't easy. We argued, fought, all that. At one point I wouldn't even answer her phone calls. Only communicated through text because I wanted a record of everything that was know...childish shit. But we worked through it. Because our DAUGHTER matters more than US. 

And that's it. i don't care that your "baby momma" is a bitch. Fix that shit. I don't care that she's violent. Go to court and establish supervised visitation. Same if her new man is a dick. Fuck him. That's YOUR child, too. You can't talk that "I'm a man" shit without handling your responsibility. Grow up. our community I know there are a number of "historical reasons" why men and women struggle with relationships. But for some reason, for the first 100 years AFTER slavery, the black family found a way to stay together. (see the stats) Now we find reasons NOT to. You don't want to get married? Cool. Take care of your responsibilities. The kids are suffering. While we talk about the government conspiracies to emasculate the black man, your punk ass emasculated yourself. Man up.

Happy Father's Day