The Two Best Quotes About Trump You’ll See Today

The first quote comes as a response by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to when our Moron-In-Chief and national embarrassment was asked the question, “Why haven’t we heard anything from you about the soldiers who were killed in Niger, and what do you have to say about that?” Here is the video of Trump’s exchange with the reporter… Please watch as his uncontrollable narcissism takes hold, and he somehow manages to make the deaths of four American soldiers about 1) How hard it is for HIM, and 2) How much better he is than all the other presidents… Especially Obama.

Just in case you are the sort of person who doesn’t watch videos, here are a few highlights: “I’ve written them personal letters. They’ve been sent… Or they’re going out tonight {the check is in the mail}… I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents… President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.” He actually said “when I think I’m able to do it.” It happened 12 days ago… He has been golfing SEVEN TIMES since then. No mention of their names… No deepest sympathies… Just a narcissist pathological liar doing the only thing he is capable of doing: Making it about him, and telling lies.

And that leads to Gregg Popovich’s amazing quote. After seeing Trump’s unconscionable comments, Coach Popovich (who served in the Air Force) called Dave Zirin of The Nation, and said that he wants to get his statements on the record. Here they are:

“I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never-ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

This man in the Oval Office is a SOULLESS COWARD who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner – and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers – is as low as it gets.  We have a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”

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“Our country is an embarrassment to the world.” ~ Coach Gregg Popovich

And now that you’ve read this first amazing quote, take a moment to imagine what the response would have been if the person who said it would have been a Person Of Color…

The second quote about Trump that you need to see today is a quote that comes from 1792, from the brilliant mind of Alexander Hamilton. And though it is over 200 years old, it could not be any more about the asshole currently in charge of our nation if it had mentioned stupid hair and tiny hands. It is an excerpt from his letter “Objections and Answers Respecting the Administration.” Here it is:

“The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. Tired at length of anarchy, or want of government, they may take shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security.

Those then, who resist a confirmation of public order, are the true Artificers of monarchy—not that this is the intention of the generality of them. Yet it would not be difficult to lay the finger upon some of their party who may justly be suspected. When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.'”

It almost seems too on the nose to be real, doesn’t it? Well, again… IT’S REAL. So there you have it… TWO QUOTES. One with Gregg Popovich taking it easy on the President by only calling him a “soulless coward” and a “pathological liar,” and another with the star of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” going full Gregg Popovich on and prognosticating about a moron who would “ride the storm” of white supremacy into the White House 225 years after he made the quote. Feel free to file these quotes away in the place you go when you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth it to keep speaking up and acting out in response to the evil that this administration represents and embraces. It’s worth it.

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For Those Concerned About “Politicizing A Tragedy”

With each new mass shooting, people usually split into one of three groups with their talking points: 1) “Guns don’t kill people; People kill people” (very closely aligned with the “If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” crowd). 2) “We need gun regulations that make sense and reduce the number of these mass murders.” And 3) The folks who very adamantly demand “We must not politicize this tragedy.”

Here’s why two of these arguments are complete garbage…

The first two arguments/talking points usually go together. Fifty-nine people just got murdered in Las Vegas. There were over 500 more who got sent to the hospital with bullet wounds and injuries. In Las Vegas, it is perfectly legal to walk around with a machine gun. A lot of people, after yet another white man “snaps” and decides to murder as many people as possible before killing himself, RIGHTLY start pointing out that we could and SHOULD change the laws to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. That idea is usually met with talk about guns being “tools,” and how “If peopled wanted to murder someone, they can do it with a hammer. Or a knife. Or a car.” “Don’t blame the gun,” they say. These are the folks who buy into the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” narrative… Where we supposedly “need” everyone to have a gun, so that we can stop the bad guys who have guns (a concept perfectly parodied in the following video).

These arguments are very easily dealt with and dispensed. A man standing on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel could not have killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 by throwing hammers and knives out of his window. A FEW might have died… But nowhere near as many. And “NOWHERE NEAR AS MANY” is a GOOD thing. And sure, people can use their cars to attack people in crowds… But you know what ELSE people are required to have with cars? Registration. And insurance. And again, this won’t prevent some people from driving without registration and insurance… But that doesn’t mean we don’t even try! Laws regulating how much Sudafed people can buy don’t entirely get rid of meth abuse, addiction, and overdoses, but you know what it does do? It lowers the RATE of meth abuse, addiction, and overdoses. Saying that children have to use seat belts doesn’t mean that no more kids will die in car accidents… But it will lower the RATE. Drunk driving laws don’t prevent some people from still driving drunk… But they have demonstrably lowered the RATE of Drunk Driving deaths. Having locks on our doors don’t stop ALL break-ins… But that doesn’t mean we get rid of locks. And again, “NOWHERE NEAR AS MANY” is a GOOD thing.

This is the ONLY issue where the inability to COMPLETELY solve a problem is used as a justification for doing nothing to lessen the impact of the problem. Imagine if experts said, “This medicine will lower your cholesterol and reduce your chance of having a heart attack.” And then people opposed the medicine because they were like, “Some people will STILL have heart attacks… And there will be people who will forget to take their medication… Anyway, we’re all going to die someday!”

The whole “Guns don’t kill people” argument is easy to tear apart… So what has popped up in its place is this pernicious sentiment of “Now is not the time to talk about it.” Well, when WOULD be a good time to talk about it?? Emotions are part of this issue — People’s families have been torn apart! “You are politicizing a tragedy!” they say. Damn right, I am! This SHOULD be a political issue. Sanity has become a “political stance.” It is insane for this NOT to be a political issue. If a dam breaks, that will probably be followed by a healthy discussion of building codes to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. That’s what politics is for: Fixing the problems we have. And this is the truth: AMERICA HAS A GUN PROBLEM.

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I know… I find this picture (from Getty Images’ David Becker) disturbing as well. But here’s the thing: WE *SHOULD* BE DISTURBED.

And addressing this problem should not wait until next week… It should not wait until next year… It should not wait until the blood has been washed off the ground, and the bullet holes repaired to make it look like nothing ever happened. It needs to happen RIGHT NOW. We’re already forgetting. Our nation has a combination of Trump-Induced PTSD and Attention Deficit Disorder. If I don’t write this blog post in the first day or two, people will either be too saturated with posts, or they will have moved on to some other new issue. Think about it… TWO SHORT DAYS AGO, the president of the United States did one of the most horrible, disgusting, UNpresidential, racist things that has ever been done. Do you remember what it was?? Can you think of it? As horrified as I was, I had to search my memory to remember. If you’re having trouble remembering, perhaps these tweets will jog your memory…

Plus, Tom Petty died too… and that makes me sad, because I love Tom Petty. How can we keep straight all the things there are to care about?!? And two days from now, the white supremacist, morally corrupt, bag of awfulness this nation has elected as its leader will tweet some horrifying thing which will make the previous horrible thing he tweeted seem quaint by comparison. And we’ll move on. Just like we moved on from Newtown… Just like we moved on from Charleston… Just like we moved on from Orlando… We’ll move on from this. The time to talk about sensible gun regulations is NOW. Not two weeks from now… NOW. There are practical things we can do to lower the RATE of these tragedies, and speaking about that is not somehow “disrespectful” to the people who died… It would be disrespectful to NOT talk about fixing this problem. America has a gun problem. And it doesn’t need your “thoughts and prayers.” America needs us to ACT. NOW. Not later. NOW! Not after we’ve been distracted by a new tragedy. NOW!!!

A few things: Firstly — Earlier, when I wrote the arguments are “complete garbage,” I wanted to write “aren’t worth a trump” (but I didn’t want all the Trump supporters to stop reading that early). Anyway, I’d really like to see us all try to make “not worth a trump” happen. That would be about the most Obama thing I can think of right now. Secondly — If you value this blog, please consider supporting it. You can do this by BECOMING A PATRON or by LEAVING A TIP ON PAYPAL. I’m getting closer to my first milestone on Patreon. If everyone who read and enjoyed this blog gave a dollar or two a month, I could call this a job… And that would be amazing. Thirdly — You can keep up with me and interact on Facebook and on Twitter. And lastly — Please don’t lose hope in the midst of all this horribleness. Today in Las Vegas, the lines to give blood were around the block. People who couldn’t give blood passed out snacks and drinks for the people who waited for hours in line. There were so many people wanting to give blood that they had to turn people away. There is good in the world… Sometimes you just have to look harder than others. Stay strong, stay loving, and stay hopeful. 

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If You REALLY Loved America, You’d F*ck The Flag

I am SO SICK of people acting like they “love” America when all they do “stand respectfully” while the national anthem plays. You really think that is enough? Standing? Taking your hat off? Maybe placing your hand over your heart? Maybe making sure to sing louder than the guy next to you? Maybe doing the harmony part that you learned in high school? Maybe having a flag-pin on your lapel at all times of the day? Maybe making sure to squeeze out a few tears every time the song is played? Pfft… That is nothing. REAL PATRIOTS go the extra mile. 

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“You smell real purdy…”

All of this “taking a knee” that people have been doing makes me just want to vomit with patriotism. Talk about being UNGRATEFUL! We LET them become millionaires and play a GAME for a living, and all they have to do is practice their whole lives, work hard every day, and sacrifice their bodies and their brains… And THIS is how they repay us?!? Taking a KNEE? I mean, I know they say that they’re protesting “systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality, and the criminal justice system,” and that’s all fine and good… But couldn’t they protest without making such a big deal about it? Like maybe take a knee at home? When there is no one around? I think that would be WAY more respectful to America. Which IS — by the way — easily the greatest country in the universe. And listen — I’M NOT RACIST, but if I’m going to have someone telling me America is not great, it’s sure-the-hell NOT going to be some ungrateful, black multi-millionaire… It’s going to be the ungrateful, white BILLIONAIRE who God decided should be our president.

With all these un-American NFL protestors out there trying to Make America WORSE Again, it’s important that we each do something EXTRA to let the folks around us know that we are TRUE Americans. Standing while the anthem is playing is no longer enough. It’s not enough to just sing, or take your hat off, or put your hand over your heart (even though that is really only supposed to be for the pledge of allegiance). It’s not even enough to know the words to the third stanza of the song, where slave-owner Francis Scott Key wrote about killing the slaves who who were trying to win their freedom by fighting for the British (Here’s the verse, by the way, if you want to learn the words).

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Nope. In these dark times, we need the light of a REAL patriotism to shine through. I’m done with “the usual.” From now on, I am going ABOVE AND BEYOND… And if you really love America, you will too. Here’s the plan:

On NFL game days, I’m going to shave real close, and I’m going to take an extra long shower — to make sure that EVERY part of me is EXTRA clean — I’m going to put on a nice suit… And then I’m going to treat the flag to a beautiful evening. I’m going to take the flag out for a nice steak dinner… Maybe splurge on an expensive bottle of wine. Afterward, I’m going to take that flag home, light a couple of candles, put on some romantic music (probably some Lee Greenwood)… I’m going to fold it into one of those nice, tight, respectful triangles… And then that flag and I are going to make some sweet, patriotic, American LOVE. I am going to SALUTE that flag, if you know what I mean. NEITHER of us will be at half mast. It’s going to give new meaning to when people say, “America: Love it, or leave it.” And you know what? God willing, I’m going to get that flag pregnant. And we’re going to have some little star-spangled babies, and they are going to grow up and vote to take away civil rights from people who don’t look like them.

And maybe THEN I can finally prove to the world how much I love America…

It’s been a while since I’ve brought out the Bathroom Humor. If you’re like me, you maybe haven’t felt like there is very much to laugh about lately. I hope this post changed that in some small way. If you value my writing and this blog, and you like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. Or if you just feel like leaving a tip, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter. I am genuinely honored that there are people who read the things I write. Thanks again!

 

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This Is Who The President Is.

I woke up this morning way earlier than I normally do — I’m not sure why. It was one of those times when you are just inexplicably wide awake. There have been a couple of times in my life where this has happened to me, and then when I checked the news (which — for me — is looking at the journalists I follow on Twitter), I saw that something awful had happened… Like the echoes of some tragedy woke me up from a dead sleep. So I was nervous to see what fresh new hell the president of the United States of America has unleashed on the world this morning. But instead of some new national embarrassment or mass shooting or weather catastrophe, this tweet from Seth Abramson (a journalist, poet, attorney, and professor of English whom I follow online) was at the top of my feed:

What follows is a thread of tweets eviscerating the cyanide pill that currently serves as the president of our country. Every tweet — every sentence — is damning and true… And so important for people to read. ESPECIALLY those of us who think this country is worth saving rather than tearing down. So I’ve compiled the contents of his thread, and posted them here for you to read….

“We need to never again discuss this man with respect to policy—it’s become more than clear in 9 months that he holds no policy positions. So if you support Donald Trump because of any view you claim he holds, I don’t ever want to hear from you again. The man holds no views. There is no position Donald Trump has ever taken that he has not, at some point in the past or present, taken the opposite position to. We mustn’t ever discuss this man as someone “challenging the system” or any similar bromide.

His White House is the most corrupt ever. Not one story of honorable conduct has emerged from this White House. Instead, it’s been lies, deception, corruption, graft, propaganda. But the most important thing is this: this is the first U.S. president to systematically and willfully terrorize his own populace daily. His changeability is intended to keep us anxious and on guard. In fact, he’s admitted publicly, many times, that this is a tactic of his. His corruption is equally studied: his business model has always been “get away with what you can,” and that’s exactly how he’s governed. He saw that he had a GOP Congress—and knew that his worst-case scenario was not getting re-elected to a job that he never really wanted. That’s why he hasn’t eliminated his conflicts of interest, delivered on his promises, “drained the swamp,” acted as any kind of leader. His presidency is a criminal enterprise designed to enrich his family and give him the attention his father clearly denied him as a kid. He has no beliefs, no ambitions, no morals, no principles, no guidelines, no plans, no expectations. He simply needs to sow chaos daily. What Trump knows better than most is that America is a chaos machine—you feed it and it spits out attention, headlines, sometimes money.

I want to be very clear here: Donald Trump is a toxic human with a toxic public presence and—worst of all—he wants to poison his people. His reign will go down not just in U.S. history but human history as a reign of uncommon cruelty in the democracies of this millennium. It’s *more* than that he’ll go down in our history as the worst president we’ll ever have—he’ll go down as one of our greatest villains. Benedict Arnold tried to betray America for a prior sovereign—Trump is trying to *torture* a nation that was good to him his whole life. Have you noticed a change in your mood since January? I mean a change you can’t seem to escape? Anxiety, anger, fear, confusion, doubt? The most ubiquitous man in your nation is trying to poison you daily—because it gives him power—and no one’s stopping him from doing it. I’m not using hyperbole: you’re under attack. A deliberate, unprovoked, systematic, and—yes—evil attack. And it’s working. We’re losing. When humans are endangered, confused and hopeless, there are certain things we turn to—all of which Trump is deliberately stealing away. Our fight or flight instinct—which Trump activates—can be quelled if we’re given respite, which is why Trump ensures we have no respite. That’s why his tweets—which are intended to terrorize, and *do*—come in a daily barrage of needless conflict, warmongering, and cruelty. He must never stop tweeting, because his tweets now activate our culture in a way so *inescapable* that we’re almost like his prisoners. You think he’s attacking North Korea in his tweets? No—he’s trying to terrorize *you*. The NFL? You. Segments of America? No—all of us. 

When humans are confused, we seek the stability of truth, trusted institutions, neighbors. He’s destroying those anchors systematically. “Fake news” isn’t about getting re-elected—it’s about controlling your fight-or-flight instinct by giving you no safe harbor in “truth.” Every institution we like or trust, he’s undermined. The media. Government. Unions. Hell—even the NFL. Veterans (when he feels like it). He’s enabled by the GOP—but he’s no Republican. He wants to destroy any politics or politician whose world he’s not at the center of. He’s a malignant narcissist, and his *only* ambition is to spread his toxicity nationwide in whichever ways feed his perverse pathology.

If you’re a Trump voter, by all means laugh it up. You’ll be caught in wars, recessions, and international collapse like the rest of us. He has 35% support because Americans love to be right/see fools suffer—and Trump voters think they’re on the right side of the equation. Time will show that we were all the fools—and whatever temporary satisfaction the Right got from annoying the Left wasn’t worth America. Because the last thing—of the three I mentioned—humans look for in a crisis is hope, and he’s systematically taking *that* away as well. We don’t have hope future elections will be fair. We don’t have hope our government is working in our interests. We don’t have hope… …we can trust and love our neighbors and they’ll trust and love us back. And we don’t have hope things will start to make sense again. But only a fool fails to see that the pain and suffering that comes from having a madman as a leader is soon coming for every one of us. Things are going to get very bad. And many fools will say, “Well—that’s America.” And America *is* deeply flawed. But we weren’t *this*.

One in every few generations in the West, a leader arises *so vile* that he can draw out the evil from his population and weaponize it. Trump is *not* Hitler. There was only *one* Hitler. But Trump is the *sort* of Hitler that America in 2017—at its very worst—can breed. Everything evil a man can do to a country like this, at a time like this, in a span of four or eight years, Donald Trump will try to do. He’ll try to make the vulnerable live in fear. He’ll position himself as unreviewable by the media and government. He’ll sow confusion. And when his crimes are uncovered—and he’s been a villain and criminal his whole adult life—he’ll try to stoke violence to save himself. Trump is the most dangerous American of all our lifetimes—he’s so dangerous we can’t fully apprehend the danger or how to respond to it. He’s an actually evil presence that hangs over your life—and the life of a nation you love—every single day. And he may be unstoppable.

Is there any reason to trust future election results—now that we know Russia is hacking/interfering and Trump’s doing *zero* to stop it? And is there any reason to think the damage Trump has done to our political system can be solved in just a single American generation? And as he plunges us deeper into our Longest War and tries to start World War III in Asia, can we be certain lasting doom isn’t ahead? My point: there is only one fight in America today that matters, because all other fights are ultimately a direct corollary to this one. If we want to save ourselves—and our country—Trump must be legally, peacefully and transparently removed from a position of power. ASAP. 

P.S. It’s OK to finally indulge the idea that everything is as bad as you think it is if hitting rock-bottom gives you the courage to FIGHT.”

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I would rather look at literally anything in the world than look at this face. How do people meet him and NOT shout obscenities at him. I just don’t get it…

That is who Donald Trump is. He is not a good person. He’s not even a good businessman. He is a moral cancer on the character of our nation. I struggle to find the words to describe him. It’s hard for me… I end up with words that would give a movie an R rating. I’m not sure if it’s because those words are accurate, or because they feel so good to say. But whatever adjectives, whatever insults, whatever hyperbole, whatever spiritual of psychological diagnoses you bestow on him… One thing is for sure: He is dangerous, and he is unstable. And the most patriotic thing a citizen of this country can do right now is to stand in direct opposition to this corrupt administration, and continue to work to remove this president from a position of power as soon as possible.

 

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Every Single NFL Player Should Take A Knee During The Anthem

Every last one one them. Whether their skin is light or dark. And not because they “hate America,” but because they love it… They love it enough to make a public statement of protest about our White-Supremacist-In-Chief’s comments yesterday at a “rally” in Alabama that was way more Klan than “Campaign.” The man whom white people calling themselves “christians” LOVE to support stood behind a podium and said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!'” Followed by cheers…

Then, without any sense of irony, the most unpopular president in history promised that this action, taken by an NFL owner, would “make them the most popular person in the country.” “For a week,” he clarified. And then, like some shitty animal who feeds off the bloodthirsty cheers of a frenzied, white crowd, he went on to criticize the NFL for trying to make the game safer. You can see the total transcript of his remarks RIGHT HERE. He lamented how penalties for hitting people too hard is “ruining the game.”

“Because you know today if you hit too hard: 15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re running the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”

He did this a day after it was announced that Aaron Hernandez had one of the worst cased of C.T.E (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease found in people who have multiple head injuries) that doctors had ever seen in a man his age. Aaron Hernandez, who killed someone else, and then ended up killing himself… A pattern which is not uncommon for football players and veterans who have had repeated brain trauma. Trump did this only a few days after a study showed that “kids who start playing tackle football before the age of 12 — whether or not they suffered concussions — are at much higher risk of developing behavioral and emotional troubles as adults.” But this is the America Trump is attempting to return to: The one where we didn’t worry about silly things like “traumatic brain injuries.” Though Trump did play tackle football as a child, so it’s possible some of his aggression and erratic behavior and insanity is due to too many head collisions and not enough helmet while his brain was still forming…

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Trump’s real beef with the NFL is that they make the footballs to big for his tiny hands.

After attending a military academy for high school, he played sports while he was in college too… While he received four draft deferments for education. Then, after graduating from college, he miraculously developed “bone spurs” in his heels, which afforded him yet ANOTHER draft deferment. The man who criticized a gold star family. The man who said John McCain wasn’t a hero because he liked “people who weren’t captured.” The man who told Howard Stern that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while dating was his own “personal Vietnam.” THIS SAME MAN is angry about NFL players not showing enough respect to our country.

And now the president of the United States is calling for private citizens to be fired from their jobs for not being what he deems “patriotic” enough. A slime ball who had be forced into reading a script condemning nazis and white supremacist (just to recant his condemnation while he didn’t have a teleprompter), who noted that there were “many fine people” on the nazi side of the protests, has finally found something worth vehemently condemning… Something worth calling someone a “son of a bitch” over: Black NFL players peacefully taking a knee during the anthem to protest the needless killings and murders of People Of Color in this country. A white supremacist murdering a woman in the street in Charlottesville? Meh. Take a knee and say “Black Lives Matter?” SOMEONE FIRE THAT SON OF A BITCH!

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What’s REALLY offensive to me is that there aren’t MORE people in the NFL taking a knee…

Listen. I have loved the NFL for a long time. I have played Fantasy Football for over a decade. I know the players by their faces. I know people’s injury histories. When I told my college buddies I planned to boycott the NFL this year, they convinced me to still do Fantasy with them. I admit my boycott is not as strong as others. It is a hard thing for me to give up… I love the game. But the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick has been atrocious. And so very soaked in racism. The league uses (mostly) black bodies to make white owners billions of dollars, and then it spits out those bodies a few years later with parts that barely work anymore, and C.T.E-ridden brains. In a study of 111 former players, 110 of them had some form of C.T.E. And now our cowardly, hypocritical, wouldn’t-know-patriotism-if-it-bit-him-on-his-spray-tanned-face, Racist-In-Chief finds stern words for someone daring to draw attention to the fact that BLACK LIVES MATTER, all while calling out the league for being to soft???

If you are an NFL player, at this point, how can you NOT take a knee during the National Anthem?

I get it… After watching Kaepernick get black-balled, people are probably afraid of risking their livelihood by taking a knee. This is why two things need to happen: 1) Everybody in the league needs to take a knee. All colors. All players. Do it as a sign of protest against the expendable bodies of athletes, against the continued taking of Black Lives like they don’t matter, and against this racism that Donald Trump embraces and stands for. And 2) We need to let them know we support them. The amount of people who are aware that our president is a racist, hypocritical shit bag is growing every day. We need to make our voices heard. There will always be the sorts of people who will cheer when a megalomaniac calls a black man a son of a bitch… But the players who are brave enough to take a stand need to know that those sorts of people are vastly outnumbered by those of us who support their act of protest. 

So share this post. Tweet to NFL players, and encourage them to take a knee. I started using the hashtag #EverybodyKneel, but if there is some better rallying cry, great (it seems that hashtag is going to be #TakeAKnee). Let the reality of our nation’s disapproval of Trump be so clear and loud that not even the handlers they have put in charge of only letting the president see positive stories about himself can keep it from him. Right now, things are bad enough that the ones who AREN’T protesting should be in the minority. EVERYBODY KNEEL!

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Geneviéve Jones-Wright: A Profile In Christian Compassion, Justice, and Sanity

These days, it can probably seem like most people identifying as “Christians” have gone crazy. If you’re anything like me, when you see the percentage of people (especially white people) calling themselves “Christians” while continuing to support an objectively ANTI-JESUS person like our current president, it probably makes you want to leave the word “Christian” behind you forever…

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From Geneviéve: “I know that prosecutors can and should be an instrument for needed reforms. They can be a bridge between communities of color and law enforcement in an effort to heal San Diego County’s divides.” Awesome.

But I promise you there are many people out there who are running for office out of a deep desire to “follow” — to be like — Jesus… And to “be the change” they want to see in the world. So I am doing something that I don’t normally do: I am profiling one of those people. Her name is Geneviéve Jones-Wright, and she is running for District Attorney in San Diego County. I asked her four questions, and I’m publishing her answers here — Not just so my readers in the San Diego area will vote for her… But so you, dear reader, can read her answers, be inspired, be reminded that every person calling herself a Christian has not lost her damn mind, and maybe even consider running for office yourself. We need more good people (who actually want to help) involved in government. Anyway,  here are the questions and Geneviéve’s answers (I have taken the liberty of  highlighting some of the things she said by putting them in bold typeface):

1) Why did you decide to run for office?

The need for change. I have lived “be the change you would like to see in the world” since childhood. I have always been a person who creates things that aren’t in existence because I felt that they should be. My best friends and I started a non-profit mentorship organization in San Diego for young girls from inner-city communities because there wasn’t anything like it at the time. I knew the value of mentorship in my own life so I created what was necessary for young girls who had similar upbringings.

And so it is the same here with my decision to run for District Attorney: I am making a pathway for the change I want to see. I am being that change. No more complaining. There is so much change that needs to happen within our criminal justice system and it will only happen when a person with my life and work experience, values, and perspective takes the reins.

2) What are you passionate about changing?

I am extremely passionate about our children. There is a lot of lip service about how our children are the future, yet we set up a vast majority of our children of color for institutionalization. We remove them from school when they are troublesome or because they have a lapse in judgment (which is what kids will do from time and time), and set them on a path that starts with incarceration in our juvenile facilities. This leads to incarceration in our jails and ultimately our prisons. We have to stop the school-to-prison pipeline. 

In general, I am passionate about People. God gave me a heart for people. Early on I knew that I would become an attorney so that I could use the law as a tool to help marginalized groups. Right now, homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are criminalized in our county. This is unconscionable; so I am very passionate about creating a system that treats our homeless, mentally ill, and addicted with dignity and also about stopping the fueling of the mass incarceration machine in general.

3) How does your faith influence your political beliefs and your understanding of policy?

My faith informs every part of who I am–how I see the world and myself, what I believe, and my decision-making. One basic tenet of the Christian faith is that God is just. In Jeremiah 22:3, the Lord commands us to “[d]o what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Again, in Isaiah 1:17, we are told to “[l]earn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

From the very teachings of the Holy Bible we see that we are to do what is right and to seek justice, especially standing up for the marginalized.

When I see budget cuts to programs that help seniors, middle class families, the working poor, and the most vulnerable in our country, it saddens me. I believe that Equity is a Christian value. I also believe that building an economy that lifts up all Americans and not just those on top is rooted in Biblical teachings. The very foundation of my political beliefs is that we are greater together and that our country succeeds only when everyone–regardless of national origin, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation–has a fair chance at a life of quality, gets their fair share, and adheres to the same rules.

4) What advice do you have for other people who love Jesus, but find themselves disgusted with the evangelical support of Trump, while being pulled toward a more progressive political worldview? 

Personally speaking, it has been disappointing to see the evangelical support of Trump as his outward behavior and speech do not espouse Christian values. Christ did not mock the afflicted — He healed lame men. Christ did not engage in repulsive behavior — He led a life completely above reproach. And we are to strive to do the same. To be a Christian means to emulate Jesus Christ by the very way we live. So, I first say that I understand.

My advice to believers who find themselves disheartened in this situation, I echo Paul’s urging in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that we pray for our leaders. Leaders owe a great deal of responsibility to their followers and to God. This is not to be taken lightly. Our responsibility to them, in turn, is to pray for their wisdom and ask God to guide them in their decision-making. The same passage tells us that we are to pray for “all those in authority.”  So, prayers for our leaders are not reserved for those who are saved. We are to pray for all leaders, those righteous and unrighteous.  This makes sense. As believers we are to pray that all come to salvation and to the truth of Christ. This means that for our leaders who are far from Christ, we must first pray for their salvation. Then, we are to pray that God move in their hearts and guide them in their decision-making. The scripture says we do this so “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

As Christians, we all have the duty to speak the truth from the Word of God and take a stand for righteousness for God’s sake. As leaders, Evangelical ministers have a duty to teach the Word of God and be examples of godliness. I encourage believers to simply do what is right to do by the teachings of Christ despite even the actions of leaders. Leaders are human, and humans get it wrong sometimes. This is why we are to follow Christ and not man. It is then critical to know that, even in our country, to follow Christ is to expect ridicule and even persecution. So, if that means that we will be persecuted for Christ’s sake, then that is what we must endure because that is what we are called to do. Never be afraid to stand for Christ and speak His truths no matter who you are up against.

So there you have it. A Woman… A Person Of Color… A Christian… And a strong Advocate for Justice, for Change, and for the Oppressed and the Marginalized… Thank you, Geneviéve Jones-Wright, for bringing me a much needed glimmer of hope today. Also, if you’d like to contribute to her campaign, you can do that RIGHT HERE.

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The Reason This Man Didn’t Explain That He Was Not A Muslim

His name is Jagmeet Singh. And chances are good you’ve probably seen his face pop up on your social media over the last few days. At a recent campaign event in Canada, he was interrupted by a irate woman who confronted him about his support for Sharia Law (a system of laws based on Islam), as well as his ties to the “Muslim Brotherhood.” She got in his face and accused him of not telling the truth about his sinister Muslim plans for Canada… The only thing is, Jagmeet Singh is not a Muslim. He is Sikh. Which (it turns out) is a totally different religion. I realize it can get confusing for some folks… When they see brown skin, a turban, and a beard, it can be very difficult to not assume, “This person is definitely personal friends with Osama Bin Laden.”

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The video has gone viral because of the graceful way that Mr. Singh handled the hatred and Islamophobia and irrationality of the woman (named Jennifer Bush–a member of a white nationalist group in Canada named “Rise Canada” that called Islam a barbaric ideology of hate that must be banned,” and proposed “a permanent ban on all Muslim immigrants PLUS mass deportation​ of existing Muslims.” She identifies as “christian,” and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you which American presidential candidate she supports). But this post is not about tearing down another ignorant, hateful, racist person who is scared of people who look different… It’s about highlighting the coolness of the response to that hatred. If you haven’t watched it before, you should definitely take a couple minutes and enjoy a master-level course in how to respond to hatred & ignorance with “Love & Courage.”

We’ve all seen these sorts of confrontations before. It’s become all too common in the United States to see white people angrily and fearfully confront someone who looks different than them or speaks a different language, lashing out in response to the general sense that their privilege is slipping away from them. As it turns out, there are also quite a few people living with our neighbors to the North who like wear their deplorableness and lack of common decency like some gross badge of honor. So we’re used to seeing people act like calls for equity and diversity are some sort of personal attack on them and their precious whiteness… What is a little LESS common is to see the people they are lashing out against respond with such dignity and kindness. It’s not always easy to keep your cool when some racist lady is pointing her finger in your face. As the woman was shouting at him, here is one of the things he said:

“We don’t want to be intimidated by hate. We don’t want hatred to ruin a positive event, right? We don’t want hatred to ruin a positive event, so let’s show people how we would treat someone with LOVE. We welcome you, we welcome you, we welcome you. We love you. We support you, and we love you… Everyone in this room loves you, we support you, and we believe in your rights.”

Later, after the lady finally left, he told his supporters, “You know, growing up as a brown-skinned, turbaned, bearded man, I’ve faced things like this before. It’s not a problem, we can deal with it.” In the wake of the video going viral, many people wondered why Jagmeet Singh didn’t simply inform the woman screaming in his face that he actually was not a Muslim, but was–in fact–Sikh. Enough people asked him this question that he thought he should answer with a public response. And it was a thing of beauty. Here is his amazing response…

Just in case some of you are reading this on your phones, and can’t see it clearly, here is his statement:

“As part of my campaign to become the leader of one of Canada’s largest political parties, I held an event in the city where my political career began.

I walked into a room filled with supporters and old friends. As soon as I was introduced, a person confronted me with angry, hateful, and Islamophobic comments. I had to act fast to set the tone for the room.

Despite this person’s anger and hate, I told them that we loved them, respected them, and would protect their rights.

I chose not to answer the questions asked because I rejected the premise. Many people have commented that I could have just said I’m not Muslim. In fact, many have clarified that I’m actually Sikh. While I’m proud of who I am, I purposely didn’t go down that road because it suggests their hate would be OK if I was Muslim. We all know that it’s not. I didn’t answer the question because my response to Islamophobia has always been and will always be “hate is wrong.”

Once allowed to grow, hate doesn’t pick and choose, it spreads like fire. Once we say it’s OK to hate someone based on their religion, we’re also opening the door to hate based on race, gender, sexuality, and more.

It is important that we stand united against all forms of hate.

It takes love to understand that we’re all in this together. It takes courage to come together, demand better, and dream bigger, so that we can build a world where no one is left behind.”

With love and courage,

Jagmeet Singh

So just in case you missed it, a man was being accosted by an irate person in front of a crowd because she mistakenly thought he was a Muslim… And instead of explaining that he wasn’t a Muslim to get her to stop shouting and leave him alone, he explained to her that she was loved and supported, and encouraged onlookers to be loving and full of courage. That’s good religion. And no matter what you believe about God, we can learn from this good reaction. If someone is being discriminated against, the point is not to differentiate between yourself and the group that is being oppressed… The point is to declare with your words and your heart and your life that HATE IS WRONG. And where Christianity misses this point — where ANY religion misses this point — that religion gets it wrong.

 

Sikhs believe “that the Divine is equally present in all people, and that, therefore, every human being is equal in the eyes of God.” The woman in the video believes that Divine is on her side, and God is against everyone who doesn’t believe the same things she does. There is a schizophrenia within Christianity. Many profess to believe that “God loves everyone” while believing that God is on OUR side and against THEM. Many Christians say “God is love” while proclaiming that an all-powerful, all-loving God created a system where the vast majority of humanity is going to end up getting tortured forever. Either we are ALL created in the Image of God, and God actually is love… Or God is a monster who is only “FOR” a few and “AGAINST” the rest, and chances are very slim that we are on the “FOR” side.

Today, I am thankful for the strong example of Love and Courage that this man gave us. I am thankful for his example to people who would call themselves “Christians” of how to love our enemies. I am thankful for all of the many religions in the world, and the ways they reveal different Truths and parts of God’s goodness. I am thankful for the image of Jesus wearing a turban. And I am thankful for people who live out their belief that God is FOR US ALL. Let us learn from our Sikh brothers and sisters, and let us leave behind the tribalism and division and hatred of the misguided woman in the video… A woman who completely misses the simplest point — HATE IS WRONG.

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The Real Reason Trump Is Ending DACA

With Trump’s announcement that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), people have been trying to figure out “WHY?” Why now? Why ever?! Why would he go back on his word like this? How could a human being do something like this? Etcetera… There are a lot of theories out there:

  • Some people think he’s planning on using DACA as a bargaining chip to try to get congress to fund the border wall. By ending DACA with an executive order, he forces Congress to act to keep DACA alive. The only way to protect the dreamers against the awfulness of this administration is to pass legislation, and it’s been suggested that any legislation they produce could be compelled to include funding for the border wall. Of course, he is asking for this border wall funding at a time that Houston needs an estimated $190 BILLION in flood relief money, while yet another hurricane–Irma, a Category 5–bears down on Florida.

  • Some think he ended DACA because he has so many racists on his staff: Jeff Sessions for his Attorney General, and Stephen Miller for his… whatever the hell Stephen Miller does as “Policy Advisor.” I don’t know… Just standing around and whispering racist shit in his ear, I assume? (By the way, sending Sessions out there to announce you were ruining the lives of 800,000 kids who have done nothing wrong was the political equivalent of the pediatrician leaving the room when it’s time to give a kid a shot, and sending in the nurse… Only WAY more chicken shit)

  • Some think it’s because Trump genuinely hates all the people who aren’t white, straight, and male (or rich enough to help him get more power).

  • Some think it’s because he’s trying to make us forget the LAST unbelievable awful thing he just did buy “topping it.” And in order for people to forget, he has to keep outdoing his previous awfulness. For example, I honestly couldn’t even remember (without looking it up) what Trump did right before Hurricane Harvey that made Bob Corker say that the president “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.” Turns out it was him doubling down on “both sides were a little wrong and a little right” about Charlottesville. It’s almost enough to make you forget that a fascist white supremacist murdered a woman with his car…

  • Some think it’s because he is just looking for yet another distraction so that people take their focus off of the Russia investigation.

  • Some think he knows that he’s going to be impeached and removed from office so he’s trying to do as much damage as possible before he goes. This is the diabolical genius of today’s government-hating GOP: “If they succeed, government gets smaller and ineffective… If they fail, they can still make government even more ineffective by inspiring people to lose hope in its ability to do anything worthwhile.”
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Can we all just get T-Shirts that say this on them?

  • Some think he can feel his support slipping away, and this was just an attempt to pander to his grotesquely racist base. And believe me, if you are still supporting him, you are RACIST AS ALL HELL (even former Reagan/Bush advisors admit it). Even though your ears instantly close when we say this, we have to keep on saying it: YOU CANNOT STILL BE SUPPORTING DONALD TRUMP AND ACT LIKE YOU AREN’T SUPPORTING WHITE SUPREMACY.

  • Some think he’s just angry at how much people still love Obama, and he’s just trying to tear down as many of the good things that black man did as possible…

There may well be SOME truth to all of these things… But it’s not the WHOLE truth. The real reason Donald Trump is trying to get rid of DACA is as follows: IT IS BECAUSE HE IS A FESTERING BAG OF SHIT. Period. Every unscripted opportunity he has had to change my mind on this has only resulted in him proving he is the absolute worst. He is a rotten, broken excuse for a human being… A hollow shell of a man whose narcissism leaves no room for anything as unprofitable as “compassion.” Morality and conscience fled from the putrid smell a long time ago. He is a bloated orange pile of selfishness, white supremacy, and self-loathing that feeds on misplaced praise. That’s it. There’s no need to look for a deeper meaning for the things he is doing… No reasoning… No strategy… It’s just this: The President is a bag of shit.

And I am aware this is not a “Christian” way to speak about someone. I get that… I guess I’m not feeling very “Christian” right now. And I get it! “Dehumanizing” people is what THEY do… We can’t “stoop to their level.” “When they go low, we go high,” right? Well… I just can’t right now. If we are so afraid of “dehumanizing” people that we refrain from calling an actual monster a “MONSTER,” then what is that word for? There are actual monsters in the world… And we have elected one of them as the President of our country.

I am done playing nice. I am done worrying about how “Christian” it looks when I call him what he is. I realize we are supposed to “Love our enemies,” but Trump does not need love… He needs to be removed from a position where he can hurt even more people. I seriously believe he is beyond help. Giving him “love,” would be like giving shoes to a man with no legs. His brokenness is even beyond the reach of his own family. His own children are nothing more to him than medals he pins on his empty chest. If a maniac is walking around wildly swinging a sword and hurting the people in his path, “Loving” that person does not look like praying for him and letting him continue. It also doesn’t look like picking up your own sword and cutting him down. But Loving him CAN look like a community of people wrestling him to the ground… taking the sword away from him so he stops inflicting harm… and then keeping him away from weapons until he comes to his senses. If he ever does…

This is my truth right now. Thank you for reading it. A special thanks to Lori, who is my newest Patron. THANK YOU! It means so much. If everyone who values this blog became a $2/month Patron, writing could be something like my JOB… And that would be amazing. So if you’d like to support my writing, you TOO can BECOME A PATRON. Or, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PayPal, which sometimes happens. Otherwise, follow me on Ye Olde Facebook, and also on Twitter. And most of all, keep on resisting and opposing this present darkness.

 

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The Reason We Still Have The KKK Founder’s Statue In the TN State Capitol

A commission of representatives from Tennessee just voted 7 – 5 to NOT have a discussion about taking down the bust of former KKK Grand Wizard, slave trader, and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Their vote wasn’t about taking it down or leaving it up… It wasn’t a vote to destroy the bust or have it melted down… It was simply a vote to petition the Historical Society for a WAIVER so they could begin a lengthy process of discussing relocating the bust. That’s it. That’s all this vote was. And SEVEN PEOPLE out of a twelve person commission just voted AGAINST that motion. I think you deserve to know who these people are…

Before I introduce you to them, I’d like to tell you a bit about what’s been happening. Two weeks ago, my wife and I spent half a day at the Capitol Building here in Nashville, Tennessee, and we joined with more than 100 other citizens in demanding that the bust of General Nathan Bedford Forrest be taken down from the halls of the State Capitol. We sang songs, we chanted phrases of protest, we listened to stories, and we sat on the floor outside of where our lawmakers and our Governor were meeting until someone agreed to make a statement about taking down the bust. During our protest, my wife photographed the bust being covered up with a black sheet (even though a white sheet probably would have been more appropriate). Here is the picture she took:

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Justin Jones, being his normal kick ass self.

Just in case you don’t know much about Nathan Bedford Forrest, here are some highlights: He made his fortune as a slave trader and planter. He rose to fame as a Confederate general, and came to be known as the “Wizard of the Saddle” and “Devil Forrest.” During the Civil War, he presided over the massacre of hundreds of surrendered negro soldiers at Fort Pillow. Here is the account of the massacre by Achilles Clark, a Confederate soldier with the 20th Tennessee Cavalry:

“The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor, deluded, negroes would run up to our men, fall upon their knees, and with uplifted hands scream for mercy, but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. I, with several others, tried to stop the butchery, and at one time had partially succeeded, but General Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased.”

After the South surrendered, he was one of the earliest members of the Ku Klux Klan, which was formed by Confederate veterans in Pulaski, TN in 1866. He was sworn in in 1866 and given the title “Grand Wizard,” which is said to come from his “Wizard of the Saddle” nickname. He now has a State Park named after him, a statue in that State Park, obelisks at his birthplace in Camden, and a bust in the State Capitol. In his book Lies Across America: What American Historic Sites Get Wrong, James W. Loewen writes that Forrest “has THIRTY-TWO state historical markers, far more than any other person in any other state in America. Tennessee supplied three United States presidents — Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson — but Forrest gets more markers than ALL THREE PUT TOGETHER.” Let that sink in for a moment…

Anyway, my wife and I left the protest at the Capitol feeling hopeful, as Gov. Haslam issued a statement that he believed the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest DOES NOT deserve a place of honor in the State Capitol. Later, Gov. Haslam pushed the Capitol Commission to act, saying, “I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol. The General Assembly has established a process for addressing these matters and I strongly encourage the Capitol Commission and the Historical Commission to act.” You might be wondering to yourself, “What’s this ‘Capitol Commission’ about?” and “Historical Commission? Wha?” Well, I had those same questions… Before I spent most of my day on the phone interviewing people close to this story.

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I’ll let you guess who this dip shit would have voted for in our last election…

A couple years ago, while feeling pressure to take down monuments honoring the confederacy, the TN General Assembly passed the “Heritage Act,” which put in place a procedure for changing or taking down monuments. It basically adds many hoops to jump through if anyone wants to remove a monument (you know, “Heritage, Not Hate”). The first step is a vote by the Capitol Commission (CC). The CC does not meet regularly, but after Gov. Haslam’s comment (as well as Sen. Lamar Alexander’s comment  that “There is a place for General Forrest’s bust, but not in a place of honor at the state capitol”), CC Chair Larry Martin called the meeting. After a vote, the next step in the process is to allow the Historical Commission to discuss AT LENGTH whether or not the monument should get removed… This discussion process usually would take eight months to a year. But that lengthy discussion will NOT take place, because — AGAIN — the CC voted 7 – 5 NOT to request a waiver from the Historical Commission.

So here are the people on the Capitol Commission, their positions, and how they voted. I’m also including their telephone numbers, just in case you want to call them and tell them what you think of their vote.

First, the five people who voted FOR the simple act of allowing the Historical Commission to weigh the pros and cons of relocating the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest…

  • Larry Martin, Commissioner — Finance & Administration, Chair of the Capitol Commission, and the person who called the meeting and introduced the motion to petition the Historical Society for a waiver for relocation of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. HE VOTED FOR. His number is (615) 741-2401.
  • Bob Oglesby, Commissioner — General Services. HE VOTED FOR. His number is (615) 741-2081
  • Bob Martineau, Commissioner — Environment & Conservation. HE VOTED FOR. His number is (615) 532-0106.
  • Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Chair — Tennessee Historical Commission, Professor at Fisk University, and living legend. HE VOTED FOR. His number is (615) 329-8669.
  • Howard Gentry, Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk and former General Assembly At-Large and former Vice Mayor of Nashville. HE VOTED FOR. His number is (615) 862- 5601.

Even after Gov. Haslam and Sen. Alexander urged the Capitol Commission to let the Historical Commission start a discussion about relocating the bust, THESE NEXT SEVEN PEOPLE VOTED AGAINST ALLOWING THE HISTORICAL COMMISSION TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION:

  • Tre Hargett, Tennessee Secretary of State. HE VOTED AGAINST. His office number is (615) 741-2819. Feel free to give him a call.
  • David Lillard, Tennessee State Treasurer. He said he was in favor of having the bust of NBF being put on a “rotation” in the Capitol halls, rather than relocating it completely… Though it should be noted no motion was made at the meeting. HE VOTED AGAINST. His number is (615) 741-2956. Please let him know what you think.
  • Justin Wilson, Comptroller of the Treasury. I spoke with Mr. Wilson on the phone, and he said that HE VOTED AGAINST the motion because he believed that “since the General Assembly put it there, it’s the General Assembly’s place to take care of it.” His number is (615) 253-3912. He was the only person on this list brave enough to answer his own phone.
  • Jack Johnson, (R) Legislative member of the Senate. HE VOTED AGAINST. Call him at (615) 741-2495.
  • Curtis Johnson, (R) Legislative member of the House. HE VOTED AGAINST. His number is (615) 741-4341. Hold him accountable.
  • Tammy White, President & CEO of Leadership Knoxville, and the only female representative on the Capitol Commission. SHE VOTED AGAINST. Maybe you should call her at her office in Knoxville at (865) 253-9137 and let her know what you think of her “leadership.”
  • King Rogers, Attorney at Glankler Brown Attorneys in Memphis. HE VOTED AGAINST. His number is (901) 576-1721. Please call him… Also try saying his name out loud without putting air quotes around the word “King.” It’s nearly impossible.

Listen–This is government at its worst. This is called “PUNTING.” It’s when political leadership, rather than doing the job they were asked to do, decides to let someone else worry about it. In this case, the members of the Capitol Commission punted to a General Assembly that often is full of people representing districts that have no interest in taking down statues dedicated to former Grand Wizards of the KKK. And they won’t even be able to entertain the idea of taking down the bust until at least January of 2018… Long after today’s political capital is spent on some other national embarrassment.

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Here is the face of ANOTHER NBF statue that stands in Nashville… Caption from a really funny friend: “That feeling when the president thinks you’re beautiful.”

Before I finish (and you share this post, and then pick up your phone and start calling people), I want to leave you with some thoughts from Howard Gentry, who (along with Dr. Mitchell) is one of only two People of Color on the Committee. I spoke with him on the phone. Which, first of all… You know how you know you voted the right way? You don’t mind answering questions from the press about your vote.  He said “the Capitol Commission deflected their responsibility today.” He said, “I consider the State Capitol the sort of place where people of all types can enter the building expecting non-bias and fairness to be reflected.” He went on to say, “No one suggested that it be destroyed… Just removed. We’re at a time right now where these statues are affecting people’s right to safety and happiness. I’m just disappointed that we didn’t look at it through the eyes of the people who are most affected by these statues.” Gentry, now 65, remembered growing up in this area, and visiting the State Capitol as a boy at a time when that building still had separate bathrooms for “Colored People.” He said that “to walk into the Capitol right now and see the bust of someone who supported slavery and the degradation of people of color, it brings back those memories.”

Right now — In 2017 — in our State Capitol, we have a bust honoring a man who got rich off of slavery… Who massacred surrendered black soldiers to send a message to other black soldiers thinking about fighting for their freedom… Who helped found the KKK — one of the worst terrorist organizations this country has ever seen. And in our state, we have representatives who know this, and don’t care enough about that fact to start the process of taking it down. Please — PLEASE continue to put pressure on the representatives here in Tennessee, so that no more kids will walk into our Capitol and feel separate… Like the values of fairness and equality that SHOULD be represented in that building don’t apply to them. TAKE IT DOWN.

I’d like to say a special thank you to Ann McGuaren, Lola Potter, Pat Bailey, and Katie Hicks… Kind people who not only answered my questions, but pointed me in the right direction to find out how people voted and helped me understand how the process worked so I could explain it to you. They called me back when a lot of people didn’t.

A lot of work goes into writing this blog. If you value my voice and you want to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. It’s easy and fun… For the price of a cup of coffee each month, you can help me buy my wife a cup of coffee each month. Otherwise, if you want to LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL, you can do that too. You can also follow me on Facebook as well as on Twitter. Which is also fun, because sometimes I am funny. Or, just share this post with the people in your lives. And maybe flood the phone lines of these people who chickened out. They need to know that was gross. Either way, I love you.

Posted in 2) Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nope, John Piper… You Don’t Get To Use The Name “Nashville” In Your Bigoted, Anti-Gay Statement.

Not my town, John. Not OUR town. Find another name for your homophobic manifesto. Nashville is NOT on board with your hate-filled, exclusionist version of God. You don’t get to name it “The Nashville Statement” (an anti-gay treatise which you can read HERE). Name it after Bethlehem Baptist Church, where you weekly spread your hatred from your tainted pulpit… Name it after “The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” (CBMW) that you co-founded to ensure the continuation of a male-centered worldview and a “complementarianist” understanding of gender roles… Name it after your warped Calvinism that turns God into a monster… But you DON’T get to name it after this good Southern town–this oasis in the middle of the Bible Belt–this Nashville… A town that is doing its best to be a welcoming and affirming place for ALL people, regardless of who they love or how they express their gender and sexuality.

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The only reason Nashville worked so well as a place for you little anti-gay gathering is, ironically, because of how welcoming it is. 

You have chosen one of the most divided times in our nation’s history–a moment where our country is dealing with one of the worst national disasters it has ever seen–to release a highly divisive and inflammatory statement. In a time where the majority of people–both in this country AND on your list of initial signatories–calling themselves “evangelicals” (a word so wholly compromised and diminished that it is almost impossible to use it in a non-pejorative sense) have put their support behind a philandering, thrice-married, pussy-grabbing, white supremacist, you thought that RIGHT NOW was a good time to make a statement about the “sin” of being queer. In a time where people DESPERATELY needs the help of our religious leaders to articulate with moral clarity the clear evil and depravity of white supremacy, SO MANY “leaders” within the Church decided to make a grand statement saying that folks who are LGBTQ+ don’t get to be “christians.” I seriously cannot believe it…

So here is what I have to say to the “leaders” who signed this monstrosity: You arrogant, hypocritical assholes. You have completely missed the point of Jesus. Every time the Bible tells a story where Jesus was presented with an issue where the choice was between Law and Love, he sides with love. EVERY TIME. When he’s asked about “how to inherit eternal life,” he tells a story about two religious leaders who follow the letter of the law, and then points to a Samaritan–one who gets all the theology wrong, but who goes out of his way to show compassion to someone who is hurting, and touch someone their culture called “unclean”–as an example of how to love our neighbors. And yet here you are, still focussing your misguided attention on the letter of the law.

Well, here’s the truth: We have millions of people in this country right now who are lying on the road to Jericho, wounded and in need of help… They are our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. And they are told BY YOU that they are worthless… Or at least worth less. They are suffering the emotional abuse of being told by their families that they are broken and unloved and destined for lives of loneliness and isolation, and with this hate-filled statement, you are giving theological covering and justification for the Priests and the Levites to walk to the other side of the road… And that’s the reason my eyes are filled with tears right now. It is just so utterly Anti-Jesus. This bullshit “statement” will do very real harm to kids and adults whoYou are providing a theological backing for policies that will LITERALLY KILL KIDS. You talk about being “pro-life.” Kids who are LGBTQ+ and are in non-accepting religious families are EIGHT TIMES more likely to attempt suicide… That is NOT “pro-life.” You talk about judging something by its fruit. The fruit of a statement like this is that lesbian, gay, and transgender kids are WAY more likely to kill themselves. That is some of the shittiest fruit I have ever heard of…

So with your signing of this document, you are adding your names to a list of stubborn, conservative irrelevance… A relic of a time where a privileged few stood firm in their legalism, while the Spirit of God led the consciousness of the world in a more loving direction. And just like the church leaders who defended slavery, who argued against interracial marriage, who fought tooth and nail against women’s rights, you are adding yourselves to a list of names that–generations from now–will be looked back on in horror by future followers of Jesus, trying to understand how so many could have been so misguided. And if you want to add your names to a list that is certain to be yet another shameful black eye on the face of this thing called The Church, that’s your decision… But you don’t get to add the name “Nashville” to that list. That’s not your decision to make. 

I’ll leave you with the words of Nashville’s mayor, Megan Barry…

TAKE IT DOWN!

It would mean a lot to me if you shared this. If you love someone who is LGBTQ+, if you love the town of Nashville, if you love the Jesus who hangs out with the ones everyone else has called unclean… it’s important that we stand with the ones who are under attack by this garbage “Statement.” Be vocal. Use your voice, and let them know that this “Statement” is about power and privilege, and not about Jesus. And if you belong to a church that supports this, go ahead and #EmptyThePews.

Also, if you value this blog and you want to be a Patron, you can RIGHT HERE. If you’d like to leave a tip, you can ON PAYPAL. If you’d like to follow me on Facebook or on Twitter, there some good stuff happening there as well. Love you all…

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments