This Video Proves The President Is Pure Garbage

First things first… I need you to watch this video. It’s only 19 seconds long, but it might take you a couple tries to get through it, because the words that come out of this man’s smarmy mouth are so very, very disgusting. Please watch it.

Now I want you to think of a woman you know…

And then I want you to think of her as your little girl.

I want you to think of her walking into her first day of school, smiling and nervous, wearing a backpack that is too big for her.

I want you to think of watching her play soccer as a kid, and encouraging her to be aggressive… Cheering for her, and yelling across the field, “THAT IS YOUR BALL! GET IT! HUSTLE!!!”

I want you to think of her telling you, in tears, about how the boys never pass her the ball when they play at recess.

I want you to think of her entering middle school, as her body starts to change, and the awkward feeling as boys’ eyes start focusing on different parts of her.

I want you to think of her gravitating toward justice… And getting the facts right… And The Truth.

I want you to think of her entering high school, and being startled by her seriousness and beauty, but mostly startled by the adult standing in front of you.

I want you to think of her opening the one acceptance letter she cared about, and her hugging your neck, feet dangling in the air.

I want you to think of her sitting in a library by herself… At night… Working hard… Goals on her mind, and dreams in her heart.

I want you to imagine the phone call, from a busier and far away place, where she tells you she got the job.

I want you to imagine her standing on a lawn at the White House, confident and strong and intelligent as hell…

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And now I want you to imagine the smirking president of the United States — A man who somehow possesses the most powerful office in the world, yet also possesses an insecurity so debilitating that he feels the need to demean everyone around him — calling on a woman and having the exchange that you just saw in that video.

Imagine him being flanked with a bunch of other powerful white men… Men who laugh at his horrible comment, like advisors complimenting a naked king’s clothing.

Imagine seeing other women standing there… Somehow managing a blank-eyed smile, like the women holding down other women to be raped in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Now imagine seeing all this — Seeing the objective grossness of the man who conned his way into power… Seeing the stomach-turning misogyny of the men at his side… Seeing the embarrassing complicity of the token women near the podium — AND THEN IMAGINE BEING SUCH A GARBAGE PERSON YOURSELF THAT YOU NOT ONLY DEFEND HIS GARBAGE ACTIONS, BUT YOU PLAN ON VOTING FOR HIM AGAIN. What kind of a person do you have to be to defend this man? Seriously.

If you can’t look at this video and know without a doubt that the president is pure garbage, then there is NOTHING — not any argument, not the most gifted orator, not William Shakespeare himself — that could convince you of his moral bankruptcy and unparalleled depravity. Donald Trump is an festering pimple on America’s anus, and he needs to be popped. And if you can’t see that, it is only because you are almost as gross as him. Shame on you…

 

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Brett, Georgetown Prep, and The Preservation of White Male Privilege

In two short years as president, Donald Trump has chosen two Supreme Court nominees and a new Fed Chairman… ALL THREE MEN ATTENDED THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL. I mean, that’s insane… Right? Jerome Powell, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh — One high school, three of the most powerful appointed positions in the nation? That high school is Georgetown Preparatory Academy, commonly known as “Georgetown Prep.” It is a private, all-boys Jesuit boarding school, it is one of the most exclusive, expensive schools in the nation ($60,280 per year), and it has recently come under fire as stories of sexual assault and even gang rape (though President Trump is prohibiting the FBI from looking into these claims) have surfaced with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And so, as we watch this cartoon happening in real time…

… I have been thinking about Georgetown Prep, and the lengths white men will go to to protect their power and privilege. During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brett Kavanaugh actually said the following nonsense:

“I got into Yale Law School. I had no connections there. I got in there by working my butt off.”

This sort of “I did it all by myself/Born-on-third-base-thought-he-hit-a-triple” BS narrative is classic White Privilege Delusion. BOTH his parents were attorneys — His mother a Circuit Court Judge in Maryland — And yet he somehow believes that he “pulled himself up by his own bootstraps” all the way into Yale Law. I’m sure his acceptance letter had nothing to do with the fact that his parents were able to afford to send him to a school that costs more for nine months of schooling than most Americans make in a year… A school that pops out Senators and CEOs and Supreme Court Justices like it’s just the “natural result” of the 8:1 student to teacher ratio, and had nothing to do with the considerable means of the families who can afford to send their kids there. And to top it all off, he is actually a YALE LEGACY, as his grandfather attended Yale for his undergraduate studies.

And so a lot of attention has been paid recently to what went down at Georgetown Prep in the early 80’s. And listen, EVERYONE knows this was a different time (HERE is a great article about the Rape Culture of the 80s). Getting girls drunk to take advantage of them sexually was like an 80’s movies trope. In Sixteen Candles, Jake basically hands over his passed out ex-girlfriend to The Geek to have sex with. By today’s standards, that is RAPE. In the 80’s, this was treated like a PUNCHLINE. But even for that time, the stuff that Brett Kavanaugh and his friends wrote down on their senior pages in the Georgetown Prep yearbook was pure craziness. Here is part of Brett Kavanaugh’s page:

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I’m sure “Those Prep Guys Are The Biggest” had nothing to do with anything sexual… I sure that the word “Douches” was just accidentally cut off.

What kind of prep school allows high school boys to write whatever they want, and then prints it in their Yearbook?? There are even references to the KKK in other boys’ entries, but Brett Kavanaugh seemed more preoccupied with alcohol and sex. I was in middle school during the 1980’s, and I recognized a lot of what he wrote about. He testified before congress that the word “Boof” had to do with flatulence. It doesn’t. It is slang for anal sex. Butt F*ck — the “BF” sound that led to “Boof — All the same thing… And there are hundreds of thousands of suburban white guys who grew up in the 80’s who could tell you the same thing. It’s been on the Urban Dictionary for years. They know it, I know it, and Brett Kavanaugh knows it — AKA the guy who was the principle author of the Starr Report, which justified the impeachment of Bill Clinton based on the fact that he LIED UNDER OATH ABOUT SEX STUFF FROM HIS PAST (THIS ARTICLE is long, but it proves beyond any doubt that Kavanaugh knowingly lied). He also lied about “The Devil’s Triangle,” which is a sexual slang term for “two guys with one girl.” After two men (he and his good friend and classmate Mark Judge) were named as taking part in a sexual assault against one girl, it makes a little more sense why he would lie about the definition of THAT one (He said it was a drinking game… A dishonest definition which got changed IN REAL TIME on the Wikipedia entry for that term).

It SHOULD be obvious to everyone who watched him respond to these allegations that he does not possess the right temperament to sit as a Supreme Court Justice… But that is not what I’m writing about here. If you don’t already see that, chances are pretty good you are not still reading this post. My question is this: WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL LETS 16 YEAR OLD BOYS WRITE THAT SORT OF CRAP ON THEIR YEARBOOK PAGE?!? The answer is: A school that is acutely aware that the student body’s parents are all very powerful people. “Keg City Club?” “100 Kegs or Bust?” “Beach Week Ralph Club?” These are all CLEAR references to a 16 year old drinking to excess (Brett said he was 16 during his false “Boof” explanation, but then he LIED and acted like he was old enough to drink as a senior, when the legal drinking age changed from 18 to 21). Not to mention the lies about hurtful “Renate Alumni” the boys made up about a girl from another school…

His history of misogyny and heavy drinking continued into college with his participation in the DKE fraternity — a group of young men who were notorious for assaulting women on campus, and a fraternity that eventually got kicked out of Yale after their members chanted “NO MEANS YES! YES MEANS ANAL!” outside of the Yale Women’s Center. Brett even proudly carried a flag made of women’s panties. They were privileged white men from wealthy white families vowing to look out for each other, and promising to put themselves in positions where they can keep tilting the scales in their favor… To preserve their Power and their Privilege. Or, as this perfect tweet pointed out…

In a statement, Georgetown Prep condemned the treatment the school has gotten in the wake of these allegations, saying, “The image that has been presented on social media and in various news outlets depicts recklessness, illegal conduct, and lack of respect for persons. Worse, many blame these faults on institutional indifference.” “INSTITUTIONAL INDIFFERENCE.” THANK you!That’s exactly the phrase I was looking for… There existed (and still exists) a systemic, institutional indifference to the evils that were perpetrated by young, white men under a heading of “Boys Will Be Boys.” We have failed our boys…

And before you spend any time Not-All-White-Men-ing me, or explaining to me how the problems of abuse and general assholery are not limited to White Men, let me assure you: I’m aware. There are abusive, broken people everywhere… But the REAL problem is the combination of abusive people with Wealth and Power and Privilege. THAT’s when things get dangerous. And when the one’s with the the Wealth & Power & Privilege start stacking the deck in their favor (or in their kids’ favor) and funneling their kids into positions of power after a lifetime of never being told NO… Well, THAT’s when injustice thrives.

There is a powerful group of people in the world who feel like teaching our sons that they can’t “take what they want” is some sort of feminization of boys which will end up destroying the country. They look at empathy and compassion as weaknesses. They look at cruelty toward women as some displaced sign of strength. They scoff at accusations of “Toxic Masculinity.” And that same group of people looks at the Equality women are seeking as a THREAT to their power and privilege. They are starting to feel cornered… And when animals feel threatened and cornered, they make faces like this:

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He’s either feeling cornered, or he is got a huge loogy going… If you haven’t seen the comparisons of Brett’s faces to the faces of angry opossums, you definitely should. They are on my FB page.

I went to a small, private high school in the early 90’s, and I can’t even begin to list all of the things I said and did while I was in high school for which I now feel ashamed. I am a completely different person NOW than I was in high school. I’m sure there were COUNTLESS times and ways that I said things which dehumanized people who were LGBTQ+. I’m sure the words “Faggot” and “Retarded” passed my lips on a daily basis. I know I made jokes about minorities. I can’t imagine all the ways that I demeaned and objectified young women. There were certainly times in high school and college that I put sexual pressure on girls to do things they weren’t ready to do. PEOPLE CHANGE. In so many ways, I was an unbelievable ass hole in high school. I don’t believe that every man who was an ass hole in high school deserves to sentenced to a life of only being allowed to work at a gas station…

But if someone I grew up with came to me and told me that my immaturity in high school… my 80’s consciousness… my gross Toxic Masculinity… my brokenness… If someone told me that these things HARMED them while we were in school together, I sure the hell wouldn’t be making the face of a cornered animal. I would be weeping. I would be asking for forgiveness. I would be making the face of a man who was focused on the righting of wrongs.

I didn’t drink in high school — I saw what it did to my father’s life — so I remember most of the things that happened (probably because I wasn’t treasurer of the “Keg City Club”). Brett Kavanaugh might be telling the truth about not having any memory of his assault on Christine Blasey Ford… But I guarantee you he remembers drinking to excess on multiple, multiple occasions. And his lies about this fact disqualify him from sitting on our nation’s highest court. There was INSTITUTIONAL INDIFFERENCE to him and those other young boys — by the high school, by the college, and by their parents. They let those kids brag about their drinking in a CATHOLIC SCHOOL YEARBOOK, for crying out loud… And there was and is Systemic, Societal Indifference to the TOXICITY of the definition of manhood we taught and teach our boys — especially white boys. And that is something we ALL will have to atone for… 

 

HEY! THIS PAGE IS FREE… Can you believe it? What a deal, right? If you’re feeling like you want to support my work and my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON. If you are particularly fond of this one and want to boost in on Facebook, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, follow me on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER. And for the love of all things good and holy, VOTE THESE JACK ASSES OUT OF OFFICE!

I other news, I messed up and initially spelled Kavanaugh with a “C.” One of the drawbacks of WordPress is that if you change the title, it doesn’t change it on the preview that people share. I apologize to those of you who got three notifications of a new blog post in your inbox… (so to speak). I’ll try not to let it happen again…

Posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Here Is What People On Fox”News” Had To Say During Dr. Ford’s Testimony

I have spent the morning in tears. This testimony has been devastating. Heartbreaking. Hearing her recall “the laughter” of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge as she was being sexually assaulted… Watching her being forced to relive this life-altering trauma… Witnessing the cowardly way that the all-male republican senators hand over their time to a female prosecutor, like a doctor handing the needle to a nurse… Seeing her bravely do something that obviously terrifies her… It’s almost too much for me. But I feel like I owe it to her to listen…

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One thing that made viewing her testimony slightly more bearable was seeing comments pop up with words of encouragement… Things like We believe you” and “Thank you for your bravery” and “You are strong. You can do this!” But then I though about the fact that I was watching the live video on a news outlet which is more on the “liberal” end of the spectrum, so it would stand to reason that the people viewing would be more likely to make comments voicing their support. Which led me to ponder, “I wonder what people are saying below the Fox”News” live video feed.” SO I took some screen captures (of which I’m not going to edit out people’s names, because they made their shameful comments on a public forum). Here you go — Please read…

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If hell were real, yes… That’s where you would go.

Many people had things to say about her appearance….

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You’re an awful person, Bob.

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Glass houses, Nina…

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There are few things more vile than a person who wears glasses to read… Or has HAIR!

There were people who were convinced of a vast conspiracy…

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Right wing playbook: When all else fails, blame everything on Soros.

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Lorraine knows, because she has spoken in front of many Senate Judiciary Hearings.

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Because, as we all know, if she reads a prepared statement, she can’t possibly be telling the truth…

There were people who were critical of her skills as a psychologist…

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Maybe she had a headache, Jodi.

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“TO” is a preposition signifying direction. “TOO” is an adverb we use when the word can be replaced with “ALSO,” or when we’re talking about a great amount of something. For example, “This comment is TOO dumb to post.” Get it?

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If only psychologists could solve being an asshole…

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Physiology is something different. But something tells me you’re not a person who is too concerned with getting the facts straight…

There was a plethora of really gross victim blaming…

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Maybe she was 15, ashamed, and didn’t want to get in trouble. You horrible person.

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Apparently, if you go on to any future success, you can’t be a victim of sexual assault.

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“She was drunk, the rape was her fault. He was drunk, the rape wasn’t his fault.”

There were a whole lot of people saying, “Meh… Get over it!”

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The inability to imagine how someone else could have a problem with something you didn’t find difficult is a hallmark of conservatism. 

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“Roughhousing.” This is a woman who roots for the wrong side when watching The Handmaid’s Tale.”

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Maybe they survive by figuring out they have the power to stand up and say, “This happened to me, and it wasn’t okay.”

There was the occasional “Who HASN’T sexually assaulted a few people?” 

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As always, there was no lack of concern for our SONS being accused of sexual assault…

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It IS terrifying to think your son might grow up to be a rapist. Also, I think she meant “Ford.” 

And there were a disgusting amount of people bringing God into it…

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It comforts me to know that the god you people believe in doesn’t exist.

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Dear eight pound, six ounce baby Jesus… Where do all these people come from?

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HEDGE OF PROTECTION!!!

And if someone displayed the occasional show of support, that person was quickly attacked…

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Stay strong, Deanna, and know that you are not alone.

 

There were over 30,000 comments at the time I published this, posted by people ranging from confused to afraid to ignorant to deceived to downright cruel… Usually a combination of all of these. But one thing all these people have in common: They are all going to VOTE this November. If you are disgusted by this sham hearing, if you are disgusted by the treatment of Dr. Ford, or if you are disgusted by these comment, there IS something you can do: YOU CAN VOTE. Vote them out. Look at how many of these comments were made by women… Women defending sexism and misogyny. Women of character and compassion, we need you now more than ever. To quote Madeleine L’Engle’s Mrs. Whatsit: “Stay angry, little Meg… You will need all your anger now.”

 

My eyes are red and my beard is damp. Today has been a shit show. Give someone a hug or an act of kindness today… They probably need to get it, and you probably need to give it. Here’s how to BECOME A PATRON. Here’s how to LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Here’s me of FACEBOOK. Here’s me on TWITTER. I love you people.

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If You Don’t Believe Online Conversations Change Anyone’s Mind, Then WHY ARE YOU COMMENTING?!?

My Facebook page is home to some controversial and sometimes contentious subjects of conversation. In addition to my own comment-inducing posts, I have also surrounded my online persona with many people who feel very strongly about things (political, theological, and otherwise), so it’s not at all uncommon for me to comment on other people’s controversial/contentious posts. Inevitably on these posts, there will appear a strange creature: “The Person Who Believes No One Ever Changes Anyone Else’s Mind On The Internet.” This creature feels compelled to inform you (and the other people involved in an online conversation) of the futility of trying to change someone’s mind on the internet… And yet they seem blissfully ignorant to the fact that they’re trying to change your mind about this topic …[wait for it]… ON THE DAMN INTERNET!

This makes about as much sense as being really passionate about believing that “Nobody Can Read Something Written In Invisible Ink!” while trying to convince people of your belief by writing your argument down IN INVISIBLE INK.

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I know online interactions can be frustrating, but please stop before you get to this point…

“The Person Who Believes No One Ever Changes Anyone Else’s Mind On The Internet” usually shows up in one of two forms: 1) The Fly By — A random person not involved in the conversation who feels like they need to let people know how fruitless time spent debating online is, and 2) The Secret Agent — A person who has spent significant time trying to change someone else’s mind in an online conversation, who then (usually after their argument has been found lacking) suddenly REVEALS himself to be a true believer PWBNOECAEMOTI. And again, just as a reminder, both of these forms are peddling their beliefs and trying to convince you of something …[wait for it again]… ON THE DAMN INTERNET!

In a lot of ways, discussing things in written form is BETTER than talking about it in person. Of course, there are drawbacks. You can’t interpret TONE as well when you are responding to text… Especially with people who are not very good at writing. Sometimes — especially when things get more emotional and heated — things which were meant to be benign can come across as mean or sarcastic. And it’s easier to forget that you are talking to an actual human being when you aren’t discussing things face-to-face. But there are advantages too. You can read things over before you post them. MANY times I have asked my wife to read a comment I was considering posting, and she talked me out of it… That’s something you can’t do in a face-to-face heated discussion. And when discussing things in person, sometimes people have differing recollections of what was said… In online conversations, you can just go back and READ what was said (unless people start deleting their comments, which is SUPER annoying).

Face-to-face conversations are more temporary and less shareable. I’ll find myself trying to remember something amazing someone said earlier, but the words are gone. But text is different. Sometimes there are tweets or a Facebook statuses that are distilled down to such pure Truth that hundreds of thousands of people recognize it as such, and they SHARE it… Something so true that gives off a sort of self-evidence… Something so true that it ENDS ARGUMENTS. Not every argument has this sort of answer available to it. But SOME do. And this is one of the amazing things about the internet: It has algorithms which allow the cream to rise to the top, and by so doing, it allows more people to witness those bits of distilled truth which other people have spent time working out.

I think many people believe that social media interactions “aren’t real.” For some, there are people who TALK, and people who DO. Which brings us to another creature who sometimes rears its peculiar head: “The Person Who Acts Like Talking About Things Is Worthless.” This related creature is the Very Pious Person who discounts the value of words compared to actions, and feels the need to let you know that THEY are the sort who DOES something about issue instead of just talking about them online. Ugh. As if speaking up isn’t an action… And as if they aren’t talking about it online.

Yes, actions speak louder than words… But this doesn’t mean words make no volume whatsoever, right? I mean, great — You’re going door to door trying to register people to vote, and there’s a good case to be made that this action is more important than talking to people about their need to vote. But just because we need people doing the good work of registering people to vote DOESN’T mean we don’t also need people doing the good work of convincing people it’s worth their time to vote. Or exposing the hypocrisy of one of their voting choices. Or sharing stories showing HOW they should vote if they care about Women’s Rights, or Racism, or Immigrant’s Rights, or Not Having Our Country Be An International Laughing Stock…

This is not to say I believe anyone’s mind can be changed… With some people, it is readily apparent that they are YEARS away from being able to hear the things people are trying to say to them. But even then, there are many times I have dedicated my time to an online conversation — not to change the mind of the lost cause I am directly involved with, but to expose the flaws in their argument to the people who are reading along without commenting. And believe me: There are MANY of them. I can’t tell you how many real life conversations I’ve had with people who talk to me about a discussion or an argument I’ve had online like THEY were right there in the thick of it… But they didn’t comment at all. Not so much as a “Like.” We don’t always stand up to the bully because we think he’s going to change — Sometimes we stand up to the bully because other kids are watching… And we’re trying to show them that bullying is garbage.

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You can’t change everyone’s minds… But if you believe you can’t change ANYONE’S mind, you should probably not be trying to convince other people of that.

I’m not sure why some people are so convinced that online interactions are hollow and ineffectual… But regardless of whether you believe that face-to-face conversations are a better means of communication or not, if you truly believe that social media interactions are worthless, either shut up about it online, or post your cynical comment and publicly acknowledge that you are a hypocrite. Because that is what you are if you are if you are using social media to preach the pointlessness of social media.

This phenomenon is nothing more than Cynicism and Pessimism dressed up as “realism.” What these people are REALLY saying is that no one has ever changed THEIR mind through an internet interaction or an online conversation, and so they can’t imagine the sort of mind who might let another person cause them to reexamine their own firmly-held beliefs. We all get that YOU, PWBNOECAEMOTI, have lost any hope of changing anyone else’s mind… What we DON’T get is why you feel compelled to proselytize your gospel of cynicism to US. Anyone wanting to find a reason to be cynical need only look at the news. We are living in a world where 62 million people actually voted for Donald Trump. We are living in a world where a political contest between a spineless shill like Ted Cruz and an eloquent person of integrity and character like Beto O’Rourke is actually a CLOSE RACE. We are living in a world where this the world’s journalists are forced to act like THIS NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT isn’t a complete moron. Cynicism sells itself right now. Go sell your hopelessness somewhere else… I’m trying to quit.

 

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I regularly run into people who are trying to change people’s minds by convincing them that no one ever changes anyone’s mind, and I wanted something I could post the next time I encounter them online. Feel free to use it yourself. Also, if you value the stuff I write, and you want to support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. It’s fun and easy. Or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. That’s easy and sort of fun? Otherwise, just keep in touch on Facebook or on Twitter. Please stay brave, stay strong, and stay hopeful… Meanwhile, here is another GOOD THING TO READ.

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12 Kavanaugh Tweets That Prove Republicans Are Morally Bankrupt

I am so grossed out with the time we are living in. Every day it’s something new and horrible to observe… Something which — just a few years ago — would have seemed unthinkable, but is now tragically predictable. This GOP administration is one hot bowl of festering awfulness after another… And this whole Kavanaugh hearing is just amplifying the smell of the moral decay at the heart of the republican party. This past week has been brutal… And this week doesn’t look too good.

The way they speak about women… The way they circle the wagons, regardless of the clear hypocrisy and objective disgustingness of it all… The relentless sexism and misogyny of it all… It just makes me sick. And it’s not because I have daughters, or because I love my wife, or because I have a mother and a sister… And it’s not because I voted for Obama, or because I describe myself as “progressive,” or because I think “Social Justice Warrior” sounds pretty effing awesome… IT’S BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING. I am grossed out because I am human. It’s my basic sense of human decency that makes me wretch at the things I am reading.

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Your face is ALL of our faces, lady…

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has received medical attention for the trauma she endured at being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh. She is not “making up this story to keep a republican nominee out of the SCOTUS,” as so many have accused her of doing. She has been working through healing from this attack with her therapist for YEARS, and she felt compelled to send a letter to Senator Feinstein when faced with the choice between staying silent or watching her attacker get nominated for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. You can read the letter she wrote her MONTHS ago RIGHT HERE. Dr. Ford has repeatedly asked for an FBI investigation into the matter… A request which every republican has denied. The act of requesting an FBI investigation is not something which is normally done by someone who lying… Just as the act of DENYING a requested FBI investigation is not something which is normally done by people who actually believe the investigation will clear their person’s name.

And now more women have come forward (as is almost always the case), but they are forced to submit their painful stories to the sort of men who use terms like “Rape Culture” as a punchline… Men who think of “Making America Great Again” as a return to a nostalgic time when women weren’t so offended by getting spanked on the ass every once in a while… A time when they weren’t feeling so EMPOWERED to throw a fit over some “good-natured” sexual assault.

There are now THREE different women accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault or sexual harassment (possibly FOUR)… And he seems to think that a claim of virginity until after college absolves him from being guilty of sexual assault.

Is this the sort of legal mind we want deciding our most important cases?? The man accused of being in the room with Kavanaugh (who is still his good friend) while he attacked Christine Blasey Ford has written longingly about the “ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her. And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.”

And for those dismissing his actions at his prestigious prep school because he was only 17 (an age young men regularly get tried as adult), there are allegations of assault while he was in college. For goodness sake, there are pictures of Kavanaugh holding a flag made of stolen women’s bras and panties from his time in the DKE fraternity… A frat known for its rapes and assaults, and a frat which eventually got kicked out of Yale for chanting “NO MEANS YES. YES MEANS ANAL” in front of the university’s Women’s Center. Yes, you read that right… He belonged to a secret society known as “Tit & Clit.” And now President Pussy Grabber wants him making Supreme Court decisions about Women’s Rights…

It’s not just Kavanaugh’s actions that are so disheartening… It feels like it’s coming from every angle. Franklin Graham says that Kavanaugh “respected” Ford by not going through with the rape. A man (a white man, obviously — A black man would be in jail for a very long time) who kidnapped a native woman, choked her, and masturbated onto her unconscious body WON’T be given any prison time, because he says he feels bad about what he did. Lindsey Graham says that Ford’s testimony won’t change his vote — Essentially saying that he doesn’t care if it DID happen — and his main concern is with ruining the reputation of the man being accused, rather than justice for the woman he assaulted. MANY people seem very concerned about our sons being “falsely accused.”

FYI, “Suburban Mothers” is code for WHITE mothers. And as good and true as the response to this asinine tweet was, I am way more worried about my daughters being sexually assaulted than I am worried about my son being falsely accused of sexual assault. I don’t know why I’m surprised… These are people who heard audio of a man bragging about sexual assault — a man accused MULTIPLE TIMES of rape and sexual assault — and STILL voted for him. I doubt it would matter one bit if every allegation against Kavanaugh was proven true.

The only thing which gives me hope right now is the amazing strength I see coming from the strong, powerful women who are brave enough to tell their truth — even though they know the world is still so fucked up right now that speaking up will probably ruin their lives. It is inspiring to see, and it gives me hope.

If you are having trouble seeing reason to be hopeful in this dark, dark time — If it’s hard to see through the daily tears — focus your attention on the bravery and strength and eloquence of the women coming forward to stand up for justice and equality. When all you can see is how far we have to go, focus on how far we’ve come. Focus on the beautiful solidarity of the women in this video:

And focus on joining all these amazing women in VOTING this November. 

 

Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing this post. If you value this blog, please consider supporting it. You can do this by BECOMING A PATRON. Or by LEAVING A TIP. Or just by following me on Facebook and on Twitter. These are sad times. Like Mr. Rogers said, “LOOK FOR THE HELPERS.” I love you people…

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

Hurricane Florence and The Will Of God

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas, once again I am seeing posts all over social media about prayers — Prayers for safety, prayers for “calming the storm,” prayers that God would somehow miraculously change the course of the hurricane. At a church I used to attend, there were people known as “Prayer Warriors.” These were people who were “full of faith” who prayed boldly and fervently, convinced that God was not only listening to their prayers, but was POWERFUL enough to respond to those prayers with action. The foundation belief behind this is that 1) God is in control of everything, and 2) Our prayers can change God’s plans.

So if God sends a hurricane our way, if enough people petition The Almighty — people full faith — God is able to “move the mountain” that is heading toward us.

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This photo is obviously faked, because — as we all know — the world is flat, and satellites which take pictures from space are #FakeNews.

If you are a long time reader here, you probably already know how I feel about this issue. I have written about this general topic before (Prayer and God’s Will). A couple years ago, I wrote a post titled “God Had Nothing To Do With This.” If you haven’t read it before, you should. And after my wife was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote a post titled “Fun With Cancer” about “the God who CAN but WON’T.” It is also worth a read (if I do say so myself). You might be wondering why I keep coming back to this. You might be thinking, “What difference does it make? Why do you care? So what if people believe that their prayer circles are making people safer? Let people believe that their prayers have and actual EFFECT on the outcome of this storm. Let them believe in “The God Who Is In Control Of Everything.”

Here’s why it matters: Because “The God Who Is In Control Of Everything” is a MONSTER. And the more powerful God is, the more monstrous God becomes.

Imagine that I threw a football at a little kid… Imagine that I threw it pretty hard. The more control I have over that situation, the more awful I become. If I’m just throwing balls in random directions, and one just happens to hit a kid, that’s one thing… But If I’m able to throw with pinpoint accuracy, and the football smashes the kid’s face, that’s on ME. Now imagine I am ABLE (fast enough and powerful enough) to run while the ball is in the air and stop it from hitting the kid’s face… Imagine I hear people — both friends and parents of the child — PLEADING with me to change the ball’s course (something I could easily do) but I just decide to NOT intervene. What does that make me? I’ll tell you what it makes me… It makes me an asshole. And what the people pleading with me SHOULD be thinking about is this: Why in the world are they expecting a last-minute intervention from the one who threw the ball at the kid in the first place?

And that is why it matters. That is why I want to rain on people’s churchy parades every time I see them post stuff about “Prayers for safety” for people in the hurricane’s path. Because the god you’re praying to is the same god who threw the damn storm at those people! And when you mix this Bad Theology of A Monstrous God with the unwavering belief that God is GOOD, you can see how easily we can end up with confused people who believe that Monstrous is “Good.” Cancer? God’s will. Terrorist attack? God’s will. Trump? God’s will. Deadly hurricane? God’s will. People so desperately need God to be in control of everything that they are willing to turn God into a monster to have it. And when people believe that Monstrous is “Good,” it has real world consequences.

People want to believe in control. Chaos is scary. And if THEY’RE not in complete control, at least they can believe that God is in complete control. But this illusion of control is a cop out. If everything that happens was “supposed to happen,” then we have less responsibility to PREVENT things from happening. If school shootings are “God needing another angel,” we have less responsibility to pass laws which regulate killing tools. And if a hurricane is some sort of judgment because of gay marriage or abortion, we have less responsibility to change the human behavior which warms the environment and makes these storms more and more common.

This issue is one known as “Theodicy.” Theodicy is often thought of as the question of why God permits evil… But even the word “permit” presupposes that God is in control of everything (evil, cancer, hurricanes, etc…). Theodicy is the attempt to vindicate divine Goodness with the existence of evil and the notion of divine providence. Prayer is inexorably tied to theodicy… Especially prayer in the face of destruction and natural disasters. And how we attempt to reconcile these things determines what kind of God we believe is at the heart of things. Is the unifying force in the universe a benevolent Goodness and Love? Or is the unifying force in the universe an All-Powerful Indifference  who CAN, but WON’T? Because either God is Good and less strong than most people think… Or God is Omnipotent and Monstrous. And at times like these — with a giant hurricane heading toward our eastern shoreline — I choose to believe the FIRST one is true. I find it both more comforting, more consistent, AND more beneficial to society as a whole.

 

Hi there! If you value this blog, and you’re feeling generous and cool, you can help support it. You can either BECOME A PATRON and give a little bit every month, OR you can LEAVE A TIP on PayPal. I work at a restaurant, and people give money all the time for bringing them some food or a bottle of wine… I guarantee I worked harder on this than any server worked bringing for food. Either way, thank you so much for reading this. You should follow me ON FACEBOOK and ON TWITTER. And if you want to shake the cage a little, share this post as a comment when people are inadvertently crediting God with the destruction that is about to hit the Carolinas. Take care of each other… and for the love of God, VOTE!

Posted in 1) Jesus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

If You’re Looking For What’s Wrong With The World, Chances Are Good It Has A Penis

When my kids were little, I used to help out in the nursery at church. The church we attended had a policy that men were not allowed to change diapers. Don’t get me wrong… I am in no hurry to change some kid’s poopy diaper. But at the time, this seemed to me like I was the victim of a GREAT INJUSTICE. My fragile feelings were hurt… “Here I am, volunteering in the nursery, and I’m being treated like a second class citizen and kept away from the kids’ diapers, JUST BECAUSE men are statistically WAY more likely to molest children,” I told myself. “This is like I’m being racially profiled, just because I’m a man!” Yup… That’s what I told myself. Then I thought about if I wanted some DUDE in church anywhere near my daughter’s diaper area… Nope. No thanks. Okay, I get it. Men are way more likely to be creepy, abusive criminals than women. I don’t fault anyone for knowing how to read a graph.

When it was discovered that Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was a Mexican immigrant, the republicans grossly, racistly, and fear-mongeringly used that fact to push for their border wall (though if the killer were Canadian, I doubt whether they would have called for a wall on our Northern border). But when she went missing and they were looking for a suspect, do you think they were looking for a male or a female killer? Who did YOU think did it? A woman??? Not likely…

After white nationalists used Mollie’s murder to fan the flames of xenophobia, a member of her family (cousin Sandi Tibbetts Murphy) posted a scathing status on her Facebook page (along with an aunt who wrote “Remember evil comes in every color”). She has since made the post (and her profile) private — And I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that it had something to do with the responses of toxic men online — But you can read her powerful response in the screen captures below.

She doesn’t places the blame on immigrants or Spanish-speaking people with brown skin, but instead squarely on the shoulders of Male Entitlement & Toxic Masculinity. The thing is, if it was actually TRUE that More Immigrants meant More Crime, we could have a conversation about that… But as you can see in THESE TWO CHARTS, the opposite is actually true. Immigrants — both legal AND undocumented — are far LESS likely to commit crimes. And the more immigrants an area has, statistically the less violent crime it experiences. But do you know what data we DO have?

  • 89.5% of homicides in America — MEN
  • 96% of homicides Worldwide — MEN
  • 90% of murder/suicides — MEN
  • 12 times as likely as women to perpetrate abuse against children — MEN
  • 98.9% of rapes — MEN
  • 98% of the mass shooters since 1982 — MEN
  • 94.4% of serial killers — MEN
  • 80% of the murders of kids under 5 years old not killed by their parent — MEN
  • 80.4% of all violent crime arrests — MEN

When Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was identified as a Mexican immigrant, Latino people all over the country felt it. If a bomb goes off somewhere, or if someone shoots up a mall, or if someone drives a truck into a crowd of people, Muslims all over America are praying, “PLEASE let this person not be a Muslim.” But the common denominator of violent actions is NOT religion or ethnicity… It is SEX. And yet, when news of YET ANOTHER school shooting comes in, I — as a person with a penis — am not sitting around worrying about the gender of the shooter because I’m going to be experiencing fresh fear hatred and discrimination if the shooter turns out to be male. Do you know WHY? BECAUSE THE GENDER OF THE SHOOTER WAS NEVER IN DOUBT! It was ALWAYS going to be a guy who did it. When a man murdered 59 people from a hotel room in Las Vegas, if the shooter had been black, it’d been a race war… If the shooter had been hispanic, we’ve got to Build That Wall… If the shooter had been a Muslim, it’d be terrorism… But since he was a white guy, it was obviously mental illness. But make no mistake: It was ALWAYS going to be a man.

And for some reason, we don’t feel like all of us men should be held accountable for this steady stream of male violence. Because that would be “unfair.” That would be “discrimination.” These people want to use the fact that Mollie Tibbetts’ murderer was an immigrant to discriminate against ALL immigrants, but they recoil at the “unfairness” of talking about the fact that over 19 out of 20 of ALL MURDERS are committed by men. Just like me, as a young father in that church nursery, feeling the sting of “unfairness” at being told that men weren’t allowed to change any dirty diapers. Well… Get over it, snowflake. Maybe Feminists aren’t “Man-Haters.” Maybe they are just people who know how to read a graph.

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I love Louis CK’s comedy… But this man has not made amends. Until he does, he needs to go away.

Yesterday, Louis CK showed up unannounced at the Comedy Cellar. It was the first time he has performed since admitting to sexual misconduct (which is a nice way of saying admitting to masturbating in front of female comics whose careers he had the power to destroy, while using that same power to black list women who came forward to talk about what he did). He received a standing ovation. It had been all of 10 months since he said he was going to “take some time to listen.” Weirdly enough, it is VERY difficult to find someone defending him who is NOT a white male. How strange…

In Oklahoma last week, a 14 year-old girl was repeatedly stabbed by a 14 year-old boy. He moved behind her during a “Welcome Back” assembly, he stood up without saying anything, he pulled out a four inch folding knife, and he stabbed her about 10 times in the upper back, arm, wrist and head. He said he did this because she rejected his advances for a closer relationship… She just wanted to be friends.

This past week it was revealed that Catholic priests sexually abused, molested, and raped over 1000 kids in Pennsylvania, and that most of the abusive priests were moved around rather than being reported to the authorities, their acts covered up by the highest levels of the Catholic Church. This is just yet another chapter to the story of the worldwide epidemic of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It would be foolish to attempt to simplify the deep, deep problems within the Catholic Church down to one issue… But the fact that their leadership is ENTIRELY MALE is not unrelated to the Catholic Church’s systemic sexual abuse. You know what? Maybe the Bible wasn’t using the word “man” as a gender inclusive pronoun… I’m starting to think the writers MEANT IT when they wrote stuff like “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

When I write something that pisses people off, and I imagine some crazy person killing me for writing it, it’s not a woman I’m worried about. Want to know who the absolute WORST people online are? Men. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule (I’m looking at you, Ann Coulter. Where do you think YOU’RE going, Tomi Lahren?), but by and large, if you run into an truly awful person on Twitter — A person who STUNS you with their grossness and depravity — that person is going to be male. The worst people in the world are men. That’s just a fact. If you compiled a list of the 100 worst people in the world — the most dangerous, the most capable and willing to do vast amounts of harm, the most greedy, narcissistic, abusive people on the planet — how many out of 100 do you think would be men? It would HAVE to be in the high 80’s at least, right? Low 90’s? MID 90’s??

You’re probably thinking, “ALRIGHT! We GET it… Men are shit. What do we DO about it?” Two things: 1) I’m not saying all men are shit. I’m a man, and I don’t think I’m shit… At least not complete shit. It’s just harder for me to UNLEARN the many shitty things the world has taught me about what it means to be a man. And 2) The problem is not masculinity. It is TOXIC masculinity. Toxic masculinity doesn’t mean all masculinity is toxic, just as strawberry yogurt doesn’t mean all yogurt is strawberry. Toxic masculinity is a narrow view and practice of what it means to be a man, and it focuses around aggression, violence, dominance, sex, status, subordination of women, etc… It devalues and dismisses empathy and emotion. Here is a great tweet about it:

Here is another amazing tweet. Please read it a few times, and think about how true these words are: “Once you have been taught to dismiss your own emotions, it is a simple step to dismiss those of others.”

It is “Boys don’t cry.” It is “Be a man.” It is “Throws like a girl.” It is toxic, it is harmful, and it is EVERYWHERE. Our sons are marinated in it. It’s what draws people toward the misogyny of Jordan Peterson. It is rationalized supremacy. It is the evil necessitating the #MeToo movement. It is the beating heart of abuse in the world. It is the engine of war. It is the enemy of equality and peace. And it has got to go.

So HOW? Four things: 1) We have to acknowledge it exists. 2) We have to call it what it is: Immorality. Just because you think something has “always been this way” does NOT mean that it is natural or good. 3) We (especially men) have to speak up when we see it (see the video at the end). And 4) We have to do a better job raising our sons. I have two daughters and a pre-teen son, and let me tell you something: It is my experience that Male Entitlement is a very real thing. And left unchecked, it can become toxic. I don’t know if it’s something we messed up on as parents, if it’s societal, or if it’s biological. I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, but IT IS THERE… Regardless, it’s something my wife and I, as parents, have to WORK to educate him about EVERY. DAY. Whether you are raising boys or girls, whether you work with kids or you’re a teacher, or whether you are barely ever around kids at all, we MUST teach people that Toxic Masculinity exists, that it is wrong, and that we need to ALL call it out when we see it. And maybe the next generation will someday teach THEIR sons those same lessons…

If you are interested in learning more about Toxic Masculinity (and the role of the male bystander), this video is a really good place to start:

 

 

If you care about what I do, if you enjoy my writing, and if you value this blog and my voice in your life, I’d like for you to consider supporting it. BECOME A PATRON. A kick ass woman named Melissa just did, and I am so grateful. Or, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. And if you want me to use that tip to boost a certain post, just let me know. You can also follow me ON TWITTER or ON FACEBOOK, or you can just share this post with the people in your life. Stay hopeful… The future is female.

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Enticing White Supremacy Of Jordan Peterson

You know who LOVES Jordan Peterson? NAZIS, that’s who. Hmm… Why do you think that is? I’ll get back to that shortly.

Now, undoubtedly some of you are thinking to yourself right now: “Who the hell is Jordan Peterson?” And for those of you thinking that, also undoubtedly — just like when you buy a new car and then suddenly seeing that same make/model all over the place — you will start seeing his name pop up. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He’s written a couple of books. And he is SUPER popular with white people right now… Especially white people who feel really uncomfortable with terms like “White People.” Or terms like “White Privilege” or “White Guilt” or “White Fragility” (This “uncomfortableness,” by the way, is a great example OF “White Fragility”).

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In his book, Jordan Peterson holds up lobsters as “evidence” that patriarchy and capitalism and the sexual binary are perfectly natural. Watch as an actual Marine Biologist kicks him in the crustaceans…

And for many of us white folks who are uncomfortable with terms like “White Privilege” (like I used to be), I think our discomfort usually comes from a very genuine, well-meaning place. We’ve been taught that it’s not right to put people into groups based on the color of their skin. And initially, that’s what this feels like. I remember feeling all “Wait… Are you saying that ALL white people are a certain way? That’s ‘judging a book by its cover!’ We’re supposed to by judging people, ‘not by the color of their skin, but by the CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER!!’ MARTIN. LUTHER. KING. JUNIOR! That sounds like REVERSE racism!!!” Etcetera, etcetera…

It’s hard having conversations about these things when people have different definitions of what is meant by Racism… And these conversations are made even harder by white folks wanting to tell people of color what is and isn’t Racism. But please keep in mind that the dictionary definition of “Racism” is woefully simplistic. Dictionaries were written by white men (as were almost all of the “important” writings of Western Culture), and concepts like this cannot be summed up in a sentence. Racism is MORE than just “not liking someone because of their skin color.” It is more than being prejudiced. It’s more than “They’re all the same.” Racism is systemic. It is a dangerous dance of  Power and Privilege and Prejudice and White Supremacy… Even when that supremacy is subconscious. It can be as subtle and pernicious as “I’m not racist. I like PLENTY of black people… I just don’t like THOSE kinds of black people.” And in this country, Racism and White Supremacy are woven indelibly into the fabric of our nation.

There are more things built into our national identity: The belief in Hard Work… That our success is determined by our effort and our ability. The belief that We Are Good… That we are moral and on the RIGHT side of things. And the belief in American Exceptionalism… That there are other good nations out there, but WE are the best. And in many ways, these foundational beliefs seem tailor-made to stand in the way of combating Racism and White Supremacy.

Take as an example White Privilege. When people refer to “White Privilege,” they’re not talking about “All white people are the same,” even though that is what some people hear. White Privilege is simply acknowledging that there are advantages white people enjoy which we didn’t have to work for. And the other side of that coin is that there exist DISadvantages and barriers to success for People Of Color (due to Systemic Racism). Both of these things conflict with The belief in Hard Work. We want to believe that we EARNED everything we have with hard work… and we want to believe that ANYONE, with the same hard work, can be just as successful. But acknowledging White Privilege is not saying you didn’t have to work hard for what you’ve got… It’s saying that the color of your skin was not something which made you have to work even HARDER.

It is very difficult to give up this Myth of Meritocracy. We are rugged individualists. It’s hard — as white people — to deal with both the fact that we have access to things we didn’t have to work for, as well as the fact that the playing field is NOT LEVEL for people of color. As we become more educated about the abuses that happened and still happen, we may experience something known as “White Guilt,” where we feel guilty about the very real harm that has been done and continues to be done… Though many times White Guilt is more interested in being forgiven than we are in making amends or working to change the injustices we see. At the same time, so many of us have grown very accustomed to the Privilege we enjoy… And seeing OTHER groups take steps toward equality feels like steps toward our own oppression. This is where White Fragility come into the picture.

It is the fragility that comes with the perception that our privilege is eroding… And it is mixed with the deep belief that we are a good people. Think about it… Most people walking around today were rasied on a steady diet of “Racism Is Bad.” So coming to terms with our inherent racism is in direct conflict with The belief that We Are Good. We desperately want to hold on to the belief in our Goodness… But when someone points out that we are complicit in Systemic Racism (and as we all know, Racism = Bad), sometimes all we can hear is “You are bad.” But that’s not necessarily what is being said. Sometimes what is being said is, “You are confused.” Or “You are deceived.” Or “You are better than this.” Or “You are ASLEEP.” Or “Wake TF UP!”

Also, hearing that America is racist is in direct conflict with the belief in American Exceptionalism. “If racism is bad, and America is hella racist, HOW CAN WE BE THE BEST?” (#BeBest) At every turn in the process of recognizing Systemic Racism, it seems America’s foundational beliefs are ready to push back against healing and atonement. Not to mention how easily — since America has been mostly white — one can slide from “American Exceptionalism” into White Exceptionalism… a.k.a. White Supremacy. It’s a big mess.

So what does Jordan Peterson have to do with this big mess? For many, many white people, dealing with this whole “White Privilege” thing has come along very fast. Social Media has increased the visibility of Systemic Racism. Many white folks have been dealing with a lot of White Guilt for a very long time… And when Obama was elected, they thought, “Finally, THAT’S over!” And then Black Lives Matter comes along, and messes with our belief that We Are Good. And where white folks wanted forgiveness and absolution and assurance that it’s all behind us now, what they got was more White Guilt, more Fragility, and more talk about Privilege. And the Guilt is turned to frustration. And frustration can turn to anger. Some are so angry that they pick up their Tiki torches and start marching. But the vast majority of white folks are still playing by the “Racism = Bad” rules… And along comes Jordan Peterson, telling white people they have nothing to feel guilty about. Hallelujah, right?

Jordan Peterson believes in the supremacy of WESTERN Culture. And sure, Western Culture has always had White Males on the top of the totem pole… But Peterson stops short of preaching the supremacy of WHITE, MALE Culture (because Racism = Bad). He just leaves us to figure it out on our own (In a “The cream rises to the top… White people are on the top… You figure it out” sort of way). He rejects the idea that White Privilege is real (or at least that it’s any more significant than any other bit of privilege) because he believes it turns people into “victims” (And in the psychology of human improvement, there is admittedly not much usefulness in thinking of one’s self as a victim). And with this, they can once again believe in The Myth Of Meritocracy. And their success is earned by refusing to see themselves as victims… While the failure of others is solely due to their inability to rise above their circumstances. And when the playing field becomes level again, then Hard Work wins out… And we are Good again… And America is Great Again.

But it’s not just weary, well-meaning white people — tired of being told they “don’t get it,” and frustrated by the constant reminders of inequality — who love the philosophy of Jordan Peterson. White Supremacists and Nazis LOOOOVE Jordan Peterson. And even though he has publicly distanced himself from the White Supremacists and Nazis who love him, Jordan Peterson’s denial of the reality of White Privilege and Systemic Racism necessarily leads DIRECTLY to a belief in White Supremacy. Let me explain how…

Racial disparities exist… Disparities in wealth and housing and healthcare and education and criminal justice. In America, whites are 77% of the population, but they control 90% of the wealth. On the other hand, blacks are 13% of the population, but only control 2.6% of the wealth. And as only 13% of the population, blacks make up 40% of the prison population. Blacks with college degrees are TWICE as likely to be unemployed than all other groups. Black home ownership is at an ALL-TIME LOW (42% for blacks, compared to 72% for whites). There are SO. MANY. EXAMPLES. of these disparities between races.

But here’s the thing: Either these disparities are due to the existence of White Privilege and Systemic Racism, or they are due to one group just being naturally “better” (otherwise known as “White Supremacy”). You can’t argue that White Privilege isn’t a reality while claiming to “not be a white supremacist.” If the playing field is level and our team keeps winning, it’s because “our team” is just BETTER. When you can clearly see that disparities exist between blacks and whites, but you keep arguing that it’s not because of Systemic Racism and White Privilege, you might relieve your sense of White Guilt… But in essence you are making the case that it’s the fault of black folks that they have so much less. And that’s why nazis love Jordan Peterson so much: It is the Social Darwinism of the Nazi Party. They believe racial disparities aren’t the result of Oppression… They’re the result of some sort of moral or intellectual deficiency on their part or some natural supremacy on our part. “They didn’t try hard enough.” “They are seeing themselves as victims.” “They’re weaker.” (Incidentally, this is ALSO why misogynists and anti-feminists love Jordan Peterson so much… He allows them to believe men are in power because men are just BETTER).

And this is why Jordan Peterson is so enticing to white folks… and so dangerous. He lends a sense of academic credibility to White Supremacy. He relieves their guilt. He tells them they earned it all. He tells them that oppression is all in the minds of people who have believed the lie that they are victims, and he allows them to believe they are good people… Not people taking part in some “imaginary” Systemic Racism. He tells them the ones pointing out their White Fragility are the REAL racists. And that feels GOOD to white folks. REAL good…

But this is what you are doing when you INSIST that you earned everything you have… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that black folks could have everything they wanted if they’d just work harder… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that you “don’t see color,” and dismiss race as an imaginary construct… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that White Privilege isn’t real… You are OUTING YOURSELF as a White Supremacist. And there is really no “seeing both sides” of this issue. When people claim they can “see both sides,” what they are really saying is that the disparities are there partly because of Systemic Racism, and partly because white people are a bit better. But either there ARE systems in place that advantage white people over People of Color (White Privilege), or the disparities exist because one side is just “Better” than the other side (White Supremacy).

Which do you think it is?

Here are some really amazing resources for folks who are struggling to understand White Privilege…
“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
“Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person” by Gina Crosley-Corcoran
“Patriotism is for Black People: Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump and the Selectivity of White Rage” by Tim Wise
“What I Said When My White Friend Asked For My Black Opinion On White Privilege.” by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
“The Case For Reparations” by Ta-Nahisi Coates

As well as a few other things I have written that are not nearly as impressive…
“Dear White People: Stop Whitesplaining Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“I Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Black Lives”
“13 Things White People Do When You Point Out Racism”
And “When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression”

If you would like to help support this blog (and with it, help support me and my family while I do the good work of writing) you can do that by BECOMING A PATRON. Or you can simply LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL to help boost a post. Follow my stuff on Facebook and on Twitter. Otherwise, please share this with the people in your lives. And here’s the really hard one (I’m looking at YOU, White People): DO THE WORK. Read the articles I posted. Seek out other ones. Examine the foundations of your beliefs. And then, after you get it, if you see other white folks struggling to understand this, HELP THEM UNDERSTAND. Things will get messy. Their White Fragility will flare up and defensively attack. People will unfriend you… So be it. But it is not the job of People of Color to explain how they are being harmed to the very people who are harming them. It’s OUR job. DO THE WORK.

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Our Political Climate Makes More Sense When You Remember That Most of These People Are Still Alive… And Voting.

In 1955, after allegedly whistling at a white woman, 14 year old Emmett Till was lynched. He was dragged from his relative’s home in Money, Mississippi in the middle of the night by two armed white men, beaten and tortured, shot in the head, and then his lifeless body was thrown into the Tallahatchie River, barbed wire wrapped around his neck and tied to a fan from a cotton gin. Emmett’s mother later insisted that his funeral be an open casket, so that the world could see what they had done to her baby. A few months later, an all-white, all-male jury declined to indict the two murderers, despite their own admission that they kidnapped the boy. A year later, with no fear of being tried again for the same crime, the killers sold their story to Look magazine for around $4,000, and admitted to murdering Emmett Till… Without any remorse. Both the men died of cancer before they could be brought to justice. Emmett Till would have been 77 years old this July.

Most educated people have heard of the story of Emmett Till’s murder. But many people look at this tragedy as a kind of racist historical footnote… Something tragic that happened when all the pictures were black & white, but something from which we’ve all moved on. But lynchings still happen in America… sometimes committed by people in uniforms. And those people can be caught on VIDEO shooting black folks in the back as they run away, and juries STILL “decline to indict.” Racism is alive and well in America.

And just like the sinking, disoriented feeling we had watching the results come in during the 2016 election, we are left feeling bewildered. Baffled. Dazed. We WANT to believe we’ve moved past this. We desperately WANT to believe that we are “better than this” as a country. Here in Tennessee, just one county over from Nashville, an election for Wilson County Commissioner recently ended in a tie. A republican candidate named Robert Fields blamed the tie on the fact that his opponent “kept quiet that he is a Democrat, an interracial couple, [and has] two interracial children.” As if being in an interracial relationship or having biracial kids is something a person should be ashamed of. But Fields is aware that — STILL TODAY — people finding out about “racial commingling” can cost someone an election. Especially in this part of the country.  Robert Fields was born in the South in 1948… Making him just seven years younger than Emmett Till would be if he were still alive today.

If you’re wondering HOW IN THE WORLD so many people can still support someone like Trump — an objectively racist and bigoted man — at this point in our nation’s history, this post might make it easier to understand. Our political climate today makes much more sense when you realize that the black & white pictures of our “racist past” are FAR from ancient history. Many of the people in these photos are still alive… And Voting.

Many of the college-aged men intimidating and harassing the protestors during the Nashville Sit-Ins in 1960 are still alive… And voting.

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Look at the expression on the woman’s face…

Many of these confederate flag-waving kids in these photos, angry about People of Color being allowed to go to “their” schools, are still around… And voting.

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“Hey Billy, get on my shoulders.”

These dip shits are probably in their late 70’s… And voting.

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Even back then, Clinton was part of the problem.

Hazel Massery, the young woman in this iconic photograph spewing venom at Elizabeth Eckford (one of the “Little Rock Nine”) is still alive…

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I believe the man in the hat is Hannibal Lecter from the end of Silence of the Lambs. And the woman carrying the folder just figured that out…

And women live even longer than men…

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“States Rights” has always been code for racism. Also, “All I want for Christmas is a clean, white school”? Is that what you decided on? 

This kid with a belt wrapped around his fist was probably taught to do that by his father. And many of these kids are still alive and kicking… And voting.

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“MY PANTS ARE FALLING DOWN AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY!”

And where many of these people have died, much of their hatred, ignorance, bigotry, and racism live on. They pass it to their kids, who pass it to their kids…

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Why do I feel like those dudes are going to start singing “Man of Constant Sorrow”? Also, there is something super creepy about that dude holding the flag…

These people are not only still alive and voting… They are business leaders. They are district attorneys. They are police chiefs. They are elected officials. They are running for office in a town near you.

And please don’t get me wrong… I know that not ALL of the people in these snapshots from our racist past are still as virulently, overtly racist as they were when these photos were taken. But MANY of them are. And you know what? They are voting republican. I realize being a republican does not make someone a flaming racist… But if you’re a flaming racist, you sure the hell are voting republican. Take as an example the two men at the Trump rally with the “I’d Rather Be A Russian Than A Democrat” T-shirts on. What most people DON’T notice or realize is that right behind them there is a man with an “88” tattoo on his wrist (just behind the man in the MAGA hat). This is a well-known symbol for nazis and white supremacists… all allusion to both the “88 Precepts” (a white supremacist manifesto on how to organize a white nationalist nation) as well as code for “Heil Hitler” (with “H” being the 8th letter in the alphabet”). These are the sorts of people going to these rallies… And we should be talking about why that is.

Anyway, back to Emmett Till. In an attempt to preserve and remember the past so we can learn from it, groups like the Emmett Till Interpretive Center work to educate the public about America’s past and current racism. One of the things they do is to put up historical markers, telling the story of Emmett Till’s life and lynching, and of the Jim Crow South. One of the markers they put up was at the site where his body was found. They have had to replace it three times. The first marker was torn down. The second marker was filled with so many bullet holes the sign was illegible. And now, just 35 days after a new sign was put up, that new sign has once again been riddled with bullet holes.

This. Is. America. This is who we are. It’s not ALL of us, but it is definitely SOME of us. We all want to believe that this stuff is in our past. I want to believe it, too. Yes, it’s part of America’s past, but it is ALSO a very real part of America’s present. The hatred that fueled the murder of Emmett Till is alive and well and thriving today… And that hatred is VOTING.

So here are two things that you can do. 1) YOU CAN VOTE. Register to vote. Register other people to vote. Vote in primaries. Educate yourself on the candidates. Vote, vote, VOTE! People literally gave their lives for us to have the right to vote, and electing good leaders — especially women and minorities and People Of Color — is an important part of building a nation that actually values Equality and Justice. And 2) You can make a donation to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center. They are raising money to buy land near the marker, install cameras, set up a new marker, and create an app that helps people tour the locations of the tragic events that ended Emmett Till’s young life… Events which are widely regarded as the spark which lit the fuse of the Civil Rights Movement. You can donate RIGHT HERE. I did. They have raised over $36,000 so far, but they need much more. And something tells me they will be needing extra money to replace things that are shot up the next time.

So there you go… Vote and Give. Two things you can do. And show up. THREE things. Vote and give and show up. I was able to give to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center partly because other folks generously decided to support this blog. If my writing matters to you, and you’d like to support it, BECOME A PATRON. Or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. You can also follow me on Facebook or on Twitter. Or share this post. Vote and give and show up and share this post. FOUR things.

 

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“We Rise Together, Homie!” — The Love Song Of Antoine Dangerfield

OhMySweetMercifulCrap, you’ve GOT to watch this video! PLEASE watch this video. Are you feeling hopeless? Watch this video. Are you feeling powerless? Watch this video. Are you wanting to be inspired? WATCH THIS FREAKING VIDEO! A real quick set up first… This past week in Indiana, a few Latino workers building a UPS hub were unjustly sent home by a racist foreman… Causing the rest of the Latino workers to walk out in solidarity. The brave moment was captured on video in all its giddy, expletive-laden glory by a black man named Antoine Dangerfield. Here it is…

If you are reading this sentence and you haven’t watched the video, seriously stop what you’re doing and watch the video. Even if you’ve seen the video before, watch it again. I have watched it about 10 times now, and I can’t get enough. Here is what happened:

There was a safety foreman who was well known for being racist and discriminatory toward the Latino skilled laborers working on the job site (welders and conveyor installers and millwrights), and he was repeatedly harassing them and doing things to try to get them fired. The workers did not like this man at all. During a safety meeting, he asked one of the workers to translate for him (there were MANY Spanish-speaking people working there), and when the worker refused, the safety foreman got very angry and sent five or six workers home. After this happened, the other Latino workers (in Dangerfield’s words), “got together and were like, ‘Nah. We got families and kids. We’re not about to let these dudes just do whatever.’ So they took a stand.” And they walked out. They weren’t part of any union… They just said, “Nope. Not today.”

And Antoine Dangerfield captured it on video. The excitement in Antoine Dangerfield’s voice is palpable. And contagious. And beautiful. It is the sound of a man discovering that when he stands together with friends, TOGETHER they are powerful. It is the sound of hope and humor and dignity and justice. “This is what I’m TALKIN’ ’bout, baby. I swear to God… They got me geeked UP!” 

And within a few days, millions and MILLIONS of people have watched the video on Youtube and Facebook and Twitter. And for posting the video, Antoine Dangerfield got fired. The company offered him $250 to take the video down. He refused, and they fired him (a GoFundMe has been set up to help him and his son). In an interview with Jacobin Magazine, here is what he said about losing his job:

“It was life-changing to me to see that happen. Because it was like, dang, they really came together. And that’s why I’m not mad about the video, about getting fired. Because it’s five million people who saw that. And it might change their view on things. Empowering people. So me losing a job is nothing compared to the big picture. If we can get it in our heads that we are the people, and if we make our numbers count, we can change anything.”

The workers were not part of a union. It was just an act of solidarity. And I know that when there are instances of corruption in unions, the people who own the television stations MAKE SURE we all hear about it, so a lot of people right now have a messed up, negative view of unions, but hear me when I say this: IF WE ARE EVER TO STAND A CHANCE OF NARROWING THE INCOME GAP, REBUILDING THE MIDDLE CLASS, AND FIGHTING THE KLEPTOCRACY, IT IS GOING TO INVOLVE UNIONS. And that means people have to vote for folks who are pro-union. An imbalance of wealth is an imbalance of power… And when the wealth and power are consolidated in the hands of a few, corruption and injustice thrives. This is something the framers of the Constitution knew, and this is why they gave us the power that is the right to VOTE.

Many states have passed legislation to discourage and in some cases criminalize unionization. These actions work in tandem with efforts to disenfranchise people of color, and make the voting process as difficult as possible. It’s what was behind the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. It’s what is behind gerrymandering. It’s what is behind permanently taking the right to vote away from people who have paid their debt to society after committing a felony (disproportionately affecting the poor and People Of Color). And here’s why: Because people in positions of power do NOT want us realizing we have the power to change things. They want us feeling isolated. They want us feeling discouraged. They want us feeling hopeless. They want us focusing on the president’s unending flow of awfulness and immorality, instead of focusing on coming together with other workers to DEMAND our right to fair wages and human dignity. They want white folks blaming brown people for our shitty jobs and our economic immobility and the fact that we can’t afford to take vacations.

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UNIONS: The people who brought you WEEKENDS.

The people in power (almost exclusively white men) are not interested in educating our children… They are interested in creating good little workers who raise their hands to speak, walk in straight lines, and don’t cause “trouble.” They aren’t interested in us having educations that are paid for by the community… They are interested in us getting out of college tens of thousands of dollars in debt, so that we are forced to work for them. They aren’t interested in us having universal healthcare where everyone is covered… They are interested in funneling workers into certain types of jobs if they want coverage, while the poor among us lose our houses or rely on GoFundMe for our healthcare when we get sick. They aren’t interested in combating systemic racism… They are interested in fanning the flames of racism and bigotry and xenophobia, because if we’re all blaming the people who don’t look like us, we won’t notice that TOGETHER WE ARE IMMENSELY POWERFUL.

The struggle has never been about black and white. The struggle has always been between the rich and the poor… The haves and the have nots… The workers and the ones signing their checks and then laying them off so the owners can make more money by opening a factory in Indonesia, paying those people slave wages, and then using their extra money to get people elected who lower their business taxes while people talk about “America First.”

I understand that I am powerless. But WE are NOT powerless. WE can change the world. UNITED WE STAND; DIVIDED WE BEG! One last thing… Watch this video. Even if you’ve watched it before. We should be watching it at least once a month. It is made of hope and goodness and life…

Alright! I’ve got a new Patron tonight. His name is Fernando. I can’t convey how amazing it is that there are people out there who care enough about this blog to give a few bucks a month to help support me and my family. It is just beautiful. Thank you so much, Fernando. It YOU would like to be awesome like Fernando, you to can BECOME A PATRON. Or, if you’d like to leave a one time tip on PayPal, you can do that RIGHT HERE. Otherwise, just follow me on Twitter and on Facebook, or share this post with the people in your lives. “This is what I’m TALKIN’ ’bout, baby. I swear to God… They got me geeked UP!” 

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics, 3) Bathroom Humor, 4) All Of The Above | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments