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!” 

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Tennessee Is Requiring All Schools To Display The Words “In Allah We Trust.”

Of course they’re not… Can you imagine? People’s heads would literally explode. But what they ARE doing is requiring all schools to display the words, “In God We Trust.” So if you’re a Tennessee resident, keep an eye out for our state’s most recent step toward legislating and enforcing a theocracy when you drop your kids off at school this month — A law called the “Tennessee National Motto Act” (which passed quietly through the General Assembly this spring, and was recently signed into law by Gov. Haslam) requiring all Tennessee schools to “prominently display” the words “In God We Trust” in their buildings. My kids will be greeted by this sign in the front window of their school…

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“WE TRUST GOD! (but don’t leave your car unlocked)

The bill says that the motto must be displayed in an area where students are likely to see it, and it can even “take the form of a mounted plaque or even student artwork.” Schools might ALSO be lucky enough to find some bearded theocratic tea partier from the area who is willing to make and donate a handmade “In God We Trust” plaque to their local school… That is, if he is willing to take time away from collecting nazi plates and weaponry to make it in his woodworking shop.

This bill was sponsored by Susan Lynn. Representative Lynn — apparently unaware that Tennessee schools contain some students who DON’T trust in God — was quoted as saying, “I think it’s a good message that we don’t trust in GOVERNMENT. It’s not in government we trust… it’s in God we trust.” Of course, sometimes government can be the last line of defense to protect people from the sort of dangerous religious fervor which demands everyone believe the same things about God… Though it doesn’t seem so in this case. Susan Lynn also said, “We hang the Constitution, we hang the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents in our schools, why not the National motto?” Ironically, it seems to me that “Hang the Constitution” is an entirely accurate euphemism for what a lawmaker is doing when she is REQUIRING PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO DISPLAY RELIGIOUS PHRASES.

For the first couple hundred years of America’s existence, the unofficial national motto was “E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One”). It was on our coins, and it was on the Seal of the United States of America. Then in 1956 — in the middle of The Cold War and The Red Scare and McCarthyism, and as a way of distinguishing America from those godless Russians — “In God We Trust” was adopted as our official national motto. It first appeared on the two cent coin during the Civil War (to send a message to the South that God was on the side of the Union), but wasn’t on all money until 1957. Around this same time, they added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance (before that, we were just “one nation, indivisible”), and a bunch of states decided to adopt state mottos with overtly religious themes (like Ohio’s “With God, All Things Are Possible” — a direct Bible verse).

Listen… The sorts of folks who make it a point to “fight” for crosses on public property, the 10 Commandments at courthouses, and having “In God We Trust” prominently displayed in public schools are the same kinds of people who like to tell themselves that America is a “Christian Nation.” But the founders of our nation and the framers of the Constitution took great care in trying to prevent the mixing of “church & state” which led to the persecution that inspired many of this country’s original immigrants and refugees to flee to America’s shores. And as Stephen Colbert has said…

“If this is going to be a ‘Christian nation’ that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

These folks are the people who LOVE the 10 Commandments… But why are none of these people trying to get the Sermon on the Mount printed in stone outside of courthouses? You know why? Because they aren’t wild about what Jesus was saying on that mount. They want a Jesus with a sword instead of the Jesus on a donkey. They’re not interested in the “Love Your Enemies” Jesus… They want an “Eye For An Eye” Jesus. “Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS?!? Maybe if that “peacemaker” is an AR-15.” Imagine if they tried etching into stone the verse where Jesus says that if we want eternal life, we need to sell all of our possessions and give the money to the poor. For some reason, I don’t see people trying to make THOSE verses their state mottos… 

As a resident of Tennessee, I live in one of a handful of states whose legislatures are attempting to outdo each other with how much they can “legally” blur the lines between the separation of Church & State. This sort of thing is nothing new for Tennessee. Not too long ago, they tried to name THE HOLY BIBLE as the “Official State Book of Tennessee.” And I’m sure if that would have been signed into law, they would have tried to have all Tennessee schools “prominently display the State Book in their buildings” as well.

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One can purchase a T-shirt with this design at a place called “Patriot Depot.” I assume it’s a lot like Home Depot… Only with less lumber and much more nazi memorabilia.

We are living in a time where the president (along with Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice) is rolling out the “Religious Liberty Task Force.” We are living in a time where many people interpret it as an “attack on their religious freedom” when schools refer to it as “Winter Break” instead of “Christmas Vacation.” This is classic “Equality Feeling Like Oppression” stuff… and it leads to people trying desperately to defend their “right” to their Privilege. 

And this is very similar to the mindset that wants to protect the “right” of “christians” to bully LGBTQ+ kids under the guise of “religious liberty.” This garbage “Religious Liberty Task Force” is nothing more than an attempt to ensure and enforce Christian Privilege in this country for people who are accustomed to their privilege, and can only interpret attempts at equality as oppression. The government’s responsibility should be to uphold and preserve the rights of minority groups looking for equality… NOT to protect the privilege that white christians fear is eroding.

Imagine being a kid who has only ever known God’s name as “Allah” and having that sign remind you of the “real” name of America’s God (No, not “Money”). Imagine being a kid who doesn’t BELIEVE in God — A kid just looking for a safe space to learn — and having to look at that sign every day. Imagine being a kid who has been abused by clergy… Imagine being an LGBTQ+ kid who has been told by her church that “God” hates who she is. Imagine being a kid whose only knowledge of God has been seeing the people who call themselves “christians” while supporting a lying, philandering, narcissistic, misogynistic, sexual assaulter and wannabe dictator… and then thinking “I don’t think I TRUST that God.” Seriously try to imagine the national uproar that would take place if they required all schools to “prominently display” the words “In ALLAH We Trust.” People would lose. Their. Damn. MINDS! There would be calls to take up arms… people would pull out their trip-fold hats… and white people by the thousands would invoke the word “Crusade.”

This week, after my son had been displaying some pretty serious selfishness (a lot of the “Me first” stuff, along with the hypocrisy and budding narcissism that often comes with male adolescence), I tried to do my part to intervene, and hopefully nip any toxic masculinity in the bud. During part of our very long discussions, I had him write down rights that OTHER people are entitled to. Initially, he was having some trouble coming up with things, and I said, “Here’s an easy way to think of it: Think of the rights to which you believe YOU are entitled… And then just figure that other people believe THEY are entitled to those same rights.” All of a sudden, he had a very long list. It’s a basic exercise in human empathy. You “put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” and you ask yourself “How would I feel if I were them?” 

But it seems we have moved far away from being a country of immigrants… A country which views its diversity as its greatest strength… A country of “E Pluribus Unum.” We become something less. We have become a country overrun with fear and ignorance… A country that forces its athletes to stand instead of kneeling to protest racism and police brutality… A country that enforces and legislates the name of the God of the majority being displayed in its public schools. And that’s a shame…

If you value this blog in your life, and you’d like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. Or if you love a blog post and you just want to leave a tip or want to help boost a post, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, just follow me on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER… or simply share this post with the people in your life. One the thing you CAN do — especially if you’re a Tennessean and you don’t appreciate these stupid signs in schools — is this: DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP. Talk to the administration at your area schools, Voice your displeasure. Call your representatives. Don’t make it easy for them to take steps toward theocracy and fascism. Oh… also, I love y’all.

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“Stand Your Ground” Laws Are Simply Legalized Lynchings

That’s what they are… They are laws designed to make it legal for white people to kill black folks when those white people feel threatened… And there are few things more threatening to white people than Blackness. It happened when George Zimmerman legally murdered Travon Martin. It has happened many times since then. And it has happened yet again with the legal murder of Markeis McGlockton by a man named Michael Drejka. Here is what happened…

Markeis McGlockton, along with Britany Jacobs and their three young kids, pulled up to a convenience store, and he parked in a handicapped parking spot. Markeis and their five year old son went inside while Britany and their two younger kids waited in the car. While they were waiting, Michael Drejka approached the car and started yelling at her about being parked in a handicapped parking spot. The yelling escalated. Someone went inside to tell the cashier about the argument outside, and Markeis came outside to see a man yelling at the mother of his children, so he pushed him. He didn’t continue toward him… he didn’t start hitting him… He didn’t pull out a weapon… He pushed him down. Moments later, Michael Drejka pulled out a gun from his waistband and shot Markeis in the chest. Shortly after, he died from the wound… as his 5 year old son watched him die.

The shove and the murder were captured on video. Here it is right here…

That was it. No arrest was made. Markeis shoved a man who was yelling at his girlfriend, and for that, Drejka is legally allowed to send a piece of lead tumbling through his vital organs. A black man shoved a white man who was aggressively yelling at the woman he loved, and for that he received a death sentence… And it’s all legal. In the words of Britany Jacobs, “He was a good man, and all he was trying to do was protect his family.”

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I’ve gotten shoved down many times in my life… Turns out I would have been justified in killing the people who shoved me.

This isn’t the first time that Michael Drejka has gotten into arguments over parking spots at that particular Florida convenience store. The store owner said that in the past he has had to call the police before over Drejka confronting people over their parking at the store, and other patrons who frequent the store have reported angry encounters with Michael Drejka where he has picked fights, used racial slurs, and threatened to kill him. It seems like picking fights with People Of Color was something of a habit for this man.

If this upsets you, congratulations — You have a functioning sense of justice. Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws are inherently insane. I’ve written about the crazy injustice of SYG laws multiple times before (“If You’re Black, ‘Standing Your Ground’ Will Get You 20 Years,” “Trayvon Martin and Dutch Ninjas” and “There’s No Such Thing As An Unarmed Black Man” to name a few). These awful laws have been used to successfully defend people who walked to their car to get their gun, as well as granting immunity to a man who shot a mentally ill acquaintance for making a verbal threat. In the case of Trayvon Martin, they allowed a man to stalk an unarmed 17 year old through a neighborhood, and then when THAT teen defends himself (standing his ground), the killer is legally “justified” in using lethal force. In this current case, a man is allowed to aggressively verbally accost a woman in a car with her kids, and then when the father runs to defend her, the killer is “justified” in shooting the man defending his family. 

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Stand Your Ground laws have never been about Justice… They have ALWAYS been about power.

It probably won’t surprise you to find out that these unjust laws disproportionately affect People Of Color. In a STUDY BY THE URBAN INSTITUTE, they found that in SYG (more than half of the states in the U.S.) cases where a white person shoots a black person, the action was found to be “justifiable” in 17% of the cases… While in cases where a black person shoots a white person, that same defense is successful only 1% of the time. In Stand Your Ground states, white-on-black homicides are 354% more likely to be ruled justified than white-on-white. Please read that sentence again… And then ask yourself what the likelihood is that a Jeff Sessions-led Department of Justice will investigate the reasons behind this disparity. NOT too damn likely. This is why NFL players take a knee. And this is why it desperately matters who you vote for.

There will be more black fathers who leave behind scarred kids when terrified white people — emboldened to “shoot first” out of hatred, fear, and lack of consequences — take the lives of men whose very blackness has been weaponized. These laws are unjust and immoral, and they have to be changed. Think about it… If Markeis McGlockton had been armed, it would have been legal for him to shoot Michael Drejka. “Legality” is not a very good indicator of morality. Someday in the future, our grandkids will look back at these unjust murders in the same horrified way we look back at the “legal” lynchings during slavery and Jim Crow. We must come to our senses. It MATTERS who you vote for.

Stay hopeful, my friends. Thank you again to my Patrons. If you value this blog, and you’d like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. The other way you can help support me (or any writer) is just to share the stuff you love. Share it on FACEBOOK. Share it on TWITTER. Share it wherever. Stay active. Stay angry. But most of all, stay hopeful. And VOTE.

 

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3 Things About “Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos”

Maybe you have seen this blog post floating around Facebook… The one titled “Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos.” It’s on a blog called “The Transformed Wife.” And like me, you might have even taken taken a few blindingly infuriating minutes to read it. Chances are good you’ve at least seen it — It has approaching 100k Facebook shares (which is a lot), but the hopeful part of me — the part that enjoys my sanity — insists that the VAST majority of those shares come from people who share it in the way someone might share a picture of two people being married by a minister in a KKK hood… or a story about finding an actual live stegosaurus living behind a Pizza Hut. You know, shared with a kind of Horrified, Hilarious, Outraged Fascination… Shared in a “Would you get a load of this crazy shit?” sort of way.

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One thing is for sure: “Debt-Free Virgin Without Tattoos” would look great on a T-shirt. Also, my favorite response to this craziness has been “Running out to get a tattoo now. I think I will charge it.”

Certainly, though, there are a good number of people who shared it because they actually agree with what the author was saying. The post was accompanied by a stock photo of an attractive, young, lily-white woman (whom we can only assume is debt-free, tattoo-free, and as virginal as the day is long), but the woman who wrote it is actually a grandma named Lori Alexander, who describes herself as a “Christian Minister and author.” And she has over 77,000(!!??!!) people who have liked her Facebook page. I, on the other hand, only have about 6000 people who have liked mine (which, by the way, you should like if you haven’t already. It’s RIGHT HERE). This fact alone feels like a direct attack on “the hopeful part of me that enjoys my sanity.” And again, maybe SOME of those 77k people might be there for the occasional horrified laugh… But no doubt there are plenty of people in the world who think the way this woman thinks, and whole-heartedly agree with her message.

I am not one of those people.

So here are three things I’ve been thinking about since I dipped my toes into the craziness that is “Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos.”

1) DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME
Here’s the thing: Anyone who is mired in a stage of human consciousness which allows them to read that article with anything but horror and hilarity and outrage is not going to have their mind changed by any sort of rational argument. The sort of person who agrees with an article like that (or the sort of person who WRITES it) is literally and necessarily YEARS away from the shift in their thinking and understanding that would allow them to comprehend how utterly asinine an article like that is. Trying to “debate” someone like that into rational thought is a waste of time. There are YEARS of work for them to do with deconstructing and deprogramming their harmful ways of thinking about who God is, what the Bible is, what it means to be human, and even the definition of a word like “Goodness.”

If you’re going to spend your time having a conversation about purity culture and misogyny and complementarianism, save it for someone who has shown you some signs of the ability for higher level thinking. When dealing with a person who has spent their whole life being brainwashed in a cult, screaming at them doesn’t help them. It’s a LONG process of getting them to a place of mental health where they can examine the foundations of their own flawed thinking. And when groups are interested in keeping people brainwashed, education is the enemy. Which leads me to Number 2…

2) THE REAL THING SHE WAS SAYING
When she talks about men wanting women who are “debt-free,” she’s really saying that men want UNEDUCATED women.
You know, women who are unsullied by college and higher education and liberal ideas of “gender equality.” In the article she writes, “The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.” And since most women can’t go to college without some sort of college loans, men want “debt-free” women (though something tells me she would not be in favor of free college for all). Basically she is saying that women shouldn’t educate themselves because men prefer submissive wives who they don’t have to go through the trouble of reprograming. Again, if the harmfulness of this sort of worldview is not self-evident to someone, you’re probably not going to be able to “Rational Conversation” your way into convincing them.

And that’s not even mentioning the harmfulness of the “Virgins” part of it. The title reads like a search on a porn site. I mean, you can literally only have sex with a virgin ONCE… Then she’s no longer a virgin. And this fundamentalist focus on virginity (or even lack of tattoos) is nothing more than fetishizing an unblemished offering to the man. And what THAT does is it teaches girls that sex is a blemish… Instead of something natural and beautiful and good. Then, women are forced to make the often very difficult switch from “Sex = Bad” to “Sex = Good.” This whole “Purity Culture” process is just more reinforcement of the lie that it is what we DO which makes us worthy, rather than the truth that our worth comes from WHO WE ARE — The inherently infinitely beloved children of a benevolent creator, broken and beautiful, and pulled toward goodness… Not out of fear of punishment, but out of the recognition the Image of God in ourselves and in all things.

3) THIS WOMAN IS THE VICTIM OF ABUSE.
One last thing to think about: The woman who wrote that post is the victim of ABUSE. Imagine the years and years of programming… Imagine the layers and layers of shame and self-hatred she was marinated in… Imagine how deeply ingrained a sense of misogyny and second-class-ness a woman must have been forced into in order for her to be capable of writing something like that article. If you look at her (and the people who believe the tripe she is passing along) as people in BONDAGE, it makes it a lot easier to not hate them. Because that is very easy to do. But a conversation is way more likely to be successful where the goal is not in “proving someone wrong,” but instead in SETTING SOMEONE FREE. And wow… There are so many people in the world right now who need to be set free.

Thank you so much for reading. If you believe in my mission to set people free, and if you value this blog as a place that gives you encouragement, and if you’d like to support it, I have some good news for you: YOU CAN! You can become a patron on my PATREON PAGE. You can LEAVE A TIP on PayPal (and you can specify a post you’d like me to promote on Facebook). Or you can just support me by sharing my stuff on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER or as a response when you see that awful blog post pop up. Either way, stay brave, stay hopeful, and stay sane. Love you all…

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Not Everything Is Crap. I Promise.

I know it can feel that way. I feel it too. It can be easy to focus on all the things that are horribly wrong with the world. Supreme Court Justices and demonizing immigrants and immoral, corrupt leaders… It can all feel like too much. I know we HAVE to focus on those things sometimes. But if that’s ALL we focus on, it can make us lose hope. And people who have lost hope are way less likely to vote. People who have lost hope stop trying. And when don’t vote and we stop trying, oppression and injustice and hatred thrive. So I just want to share a couple things to remind you that not everything is crap.

First, this video. In a game deciding which team would go on to the state tournament, pitcher Ty Koen struck out the final batter of the game… Who happened to be his good childhood friend Jack Kocon. Please, PLEASE watch this…

Sometimes the world can feel like it’s filled with videos of people falling down on a patch of ice, or guys getting hit in the nuts, or an overweight person breaking a porch swing, or some other garbage. People park their kids in front of a TV watching “America’s Funniest Videos,” and those kids are taught that the loss of human dignity is “funny.” But in the midst of that darkness, videos like the one above shine even brighter. Friendship is more powerful than any rivalry. One act of compassion is stronger than 100 acts of “win at any cost.” In an interview about that hug, Jack said that “Twenty years from now, I will think back to that game, and I will not remember the score, but I WILL remember what Ty did for me, and that’s really all that matters.”

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So that’s one good thing. And the second good thing I wanted to remind you of is Mr. Rogers. This year for HER birthday, my mother-in-law took our family to see the documentary about the life of Fred Rogers called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” I seriously cannot recommend this movie highly enough. This movie, much like Fred Rogers’ life, is an extraordinary act of goodness and hope. If you have ever trusted anything I have ever said, please trust me when I say this: You NEED to go see this movie. EVERYONE needs to see this movie.

There is a scene in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” where Mr. Rogers meets Koko the gorilla. Last week Koko died. She knew over 1000 words in sign language, and understood over 2000 words. There is a story about how once Koko tore a sink off of the wall in the area where she lived (which is really nothing for a gorilla). When her handlers asked her about what happened, Koko blamed it on her kitten, Ms. Grey. She signed the words “Cat did it.” And as if that story wasn’t enough to make you smile for a very long time, listen to this… Koko was a huge fan of Mr. Rogers. His show was one she was allowed to watch. So when she got a chance to meet him in person, she hugged him and told him she loved him. There is a scene in the movie where she takes off Mr. Rogers’ shoes… Just like she had watched him do so many times before when he walked into his house. I honestly can’t tell people about that scene — with Koko hugging an old man and taking his shoes off — without tearing up with happiness. And I’ve tried many times.

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One last thing about Mr. Rogers, as we all look for light in the darkness and ways to stay hopeful. You may have seen the footage of Fred singing “It’s You I Like” with a little boy in a wheelchair named Jeff Erlanger. If you haven’t, you definitely need to watch it. But even if you have, please take a couple minutes to watch it again…

The love and attention and compassion displayed here are just extraordinary. Here are the words to the song “It’s You I Like,” written by Mr. Rogers himself:

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

Jeff went on from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to grow into a man who was an advocate and activist for the rights of people with disabilities. And when Mr. Rogers was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, Jeff was there to congratulate him. His appearance was a surprise for Fred. Watch as an old man leaps onto a stage to greet an old friend and neighbor… And then listen as Mr. Rogers emanates wisdom and kindness and goodness and light and life and love in his speech.

Both of these men are gone now… Memories of goodness. And as I think about a Supreme Court Justice being nominated by a uniquely immoral and broken man, I feel like I’m looking around for a hero. But in times of great darkness, Fred Rogers reminds us to “look for the HELPERS. Because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there is HOPE.” And as we look for help, the words of a good neighbor speak from the past:We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. ~ Fred Rogers

Please do yourself the favor of watching “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” It is self care for the soul. And then ask yourself what is is that you can give this world that no one else can. Because we desperately need the things you have to offer. As Mr. Rogers reminds us, “You’re the only one who can be you.” Anne Frank wrote “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” Be that single candle. Look for the candle in others. In times of great darkness, acts of love and light shine even brighter. We have got some hard work ahead of us. And we cannot do the work that needs to be done if we don’t have HOPE. My hope is not in the church… At least not the church in the way it looks today. My hope is not in moral heroes like Fred Rogers. My hope is that we can show the world that goodness is more attractive than selfishness and discrimination and hatred and bigotry and fear. My hope is that Love wins.

Stay hopeful, friends. Thank you so much to my Patrons. If you value this blog, and you’d like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. The other way you can help support me (or any writer) is just to share the stuff you love. Share it on FACEBOOK. Share it on TWITTER. Share it wherever. But most of all, stay hopeful.

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Calls For “Civility,” and Other Bullshit

When a woman asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her restaurant, people were so upset by the lack of “civility” you’d have thought the restaurant owner had gotten up in front of the nation on a daily basis and lied to the American people in defense of an objectively immoral, narcissistic, racist wannabe despot who regularly refers to the press as “the enemy of the people.” THEN, when Representative Maxine Waters suggested more of the same — That people “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere” — people were so angry at the lack of “civility” you’d have thought she stood behind a podium and encouraged violence against protestors by offering to pay for their legal fees if they got arrested.

So now republicans are worried about a lack of civility. The party of “Fuck Your Feelings” is worried about civility. The party who is still chanting “LOCK HER UP!” a year and a half after the election is worried about civility. The people who dismissed it as “just locker room talk” when an immoral man admitted to sexual assault, claimed his accusers were too ugly to assault, and bragged about being able to “grab ’em by the pussy” are worried about civility. The folks who support a man who responded to athletes peacefully protesting racism and police brutality by calling them “sons of bitches” and calling for them all to be fired are worried about civility. And the people calling for “civility” are also the ones who voted for the man who did this…

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“And then a whole bunch of white people calling themselves christians went on to elect him president.” ~ A teacher, someday in the future, explaining the death of “civility” to students.

“Civility” is just political correctness for people in red hats. But — again — this post isn’t simply about pointing out republican hypocrisy… People who can’t even see that Trump is the villain in literally ANY story you could write are probably not very likely to be able to see their own hypocrisy. Anyway, it’s not just republicans who are worried about civility… Many democratic leaders are expressing concern at the lack of civility being shown by people. We wring our hands as Michelle Wolf jokes about how much of a liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders is while she sits right next to her. Many liberal voices are calling for more civility while tone-policing people who are rightly angered by the continued immoral actions of this GOP administration. But imagine someone taking your child, and then when you start screaming “GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING KID!” people start saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa… Calm down. There’s no need for that kind of incivility.”

These calls for some etherial concept of “civility” are wielded as weapons against people who would stand up to ACTUAL incivility, immorality, and inhumanity. This GOP administration has a strategy of doing things that are intentionally outrageous, and then acting as if people are “uncivil” when they respond to outrageous acts with OUTRAGE. The party in power is taking steady steps toward genocide, and then when someone says “Fuck genocide, fuck Trump, and fuck you for voting for him,” people are more offended by the word “fuck” than they are by the steps toward actual genocide. “Whoa, whoa, whoa… We can disagree without being disagreeable!” Well, YOU might be able to… Not everyone can.

For example, the man in the video below might be able to stand there and calmly take being taunted and insulted by a racist old woman… Other people might have already reached their fill of being demeaned and dehumanized, and they might decide to yell. Or call her a name. Or both yell AND call her a name. A name that rhymes with “schmignorant schmacist schmunt.”

 

The people calling for “civility” are the same sorts of folks who were calling for “patience” when People Of Color were demanding their civil rights. In a 1957 interview on Meet The Press, Jackie Robinson was asked if African Americans should be more “patient” in their struggle for civil rights. Here is what he said:

“When they say that the NAACP is moving too fast, you know, I heard that… when I was out in Pasadena, California trying to get into the YMCA. ‘Take your time.’ ‘Be patient.’ Patience is fine. I think if we go back and check our records, the negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens. ‘Be patient,’ I was told as a kid. I keep hearing that today. ‘Let’s be patient. Let’s take our time. Things will come.’ It seems to me that the Civil War has been over about 93 years. And if that isn’t patience, I don’t know what is.

It’s like when a man beats up his wife, and the pastor tells her to forgive him. Because forgiveness is good, right? WWJD? Jesus told us to LOVE our enemies, and divorcing your shitty, abusive husband isn’t very “loving.” And then imagine a woman with a black eye and an arm in a cast for the second time hearing that, and finally saying, “What a crock of shit. I am LEAVING that fucking asshole.” And then the congregation says, “We know that it’s not nice of your husband to beat you up… but it’s ALSO not very nice of you to use that sort of language!” Insisting that a person who is vulnerable, oppressed, and being abused needs to “turn the other cheek” isn’t love. It is simply more abuse. Turning the other cheek is an act of power and choice… These people have neither.

Patience… Forgiveness… Civility… These are all good things. But if you are using these good things to excuse or prolong abuse, you are doing it wrong. So. Very. Wrong. Don’t let people lecture you about being “divisive.” The goal is not unity… The goal is MORALITY.

I work in a restaurant. I serve people all the time who are Trump supporters. I serve people with rebel flags on their shirts, MAGA hats on their heads, racist bumper stickers on their cars, and hatred in their hearts. But if someone got on TV every day and LIED about the restaurant owner’s family, I’d be willing to bet you the owners would tell that person to find another place to eat. If a person was paid to spread lies designed to harm people whom the owners cared about, few would fault them for saying, “You are not welcome here.” So I guess the question is this: Who do you consider “family?” Who do you care about? Who is your neighbor? Do you care about immigrant families enough to tell a woman who lies to hurt them that she is not welcome in your restaurant? Do you care about families born on THAT side of the border as much as you care about families born on THIS side of the border? Do you care about people who speak Spanish as much as you care about people who speak English? If you did, you might tell a person (who knowingly lies to protect an awful man while doing actual harm to people you care about) “Sorry, Sarah… We don’t want your business.”

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You want civility? You want peace? Start treating “their” kids like they are YOUR kids.

 

Listen, I get it… I know what it’s like to feel bound by expectations of “civility.” There was a time, not so long ago, when I couldn’t bring myself to share articles from “I Fucking Love Science” on my Facebook page (no matter HOW cool or interesting they were) because of the presence of the F-word.  There are many, MANY people who won’t share this article simply because it has the word “Bullshit” in the title. I cringe when I see people yelling “Shame!” while someone is trying to eat a meal. But if anything, there is too MUCH civility in our reactions to the continued abuse and harmful rhetoric that oozes from this administration. There is a fine line between Civility and Complicity. And as Elie Wiesel once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

We cannot be neutral… We cannot be silent… Even if our refusal of neutrality and silence comes across as rude or angry or uncivil. “Civility” allowed Mitch McConnell to steal a Supreme Court seat. Anyway, I’ll leave you with one more example of sweet, sweet incivility…

If you haven’t already, please read the amazing article by Michelle Goldberg titled “We Have A Crisis Of Democracy, Not Manners.” She handles this topic with a grace and eloquence unavailable to me. Also, if you believe I’m doing something important with this blog and you’d like to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. It’s safe, fun, and super easy. Otherwise, if you’d like to leave a tip on PayPal, you can do that RIGHT HERE. And again, you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter for even more Jesus, Politics, & Bathroom Humor. Thanks again for reading and sharing!

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The Republican Party Is Morally Bankrupt. And If You Vote For Them, You Are Too.

It’s just the truth. I know people “don’t want to make this about a political party.” I know people want to be all “Not All Republicans.” I know that people want to say that “Saying stuff like this is how Trump won.” But it’s the truth… And if there is ever a time to speak the truth, it’s RIGHT NOW: The Republican Party is morally bankrupt… And if you vote for them, you are too.

If you find out that someone is racist and you still support him, that makes YOU a racist. If you discover that someone is sexist and you still contribute to his campaign, that makes YOU a sexist. And if you figure out that a president and the political party which embraces him is utterly and hopelessly immoral and you still vote for them, that means YOU are morally bankrupt as well.

And please know, it didn’t have to get all the way to “Taking away the children of people seeking asylum, and putting those kids in baby jails in an attempt to pressure democrats to vote for funding a wall” in order for me to make a statement like this… It has BEEN the truth. It’s not the truth just because the stuff that is currently happening is particularly awful… If there is one thing this GOP administration can be trusted on, it’s that they will soon do something even worse — Something so awful it will make “Forcibly separating kids from their parents and keeping babies in cages” seem like a time when things WEREN’T so crazy. It’s the truth because “morality” means something. And what we have seen these long last 18 months of this GOP Administration AIN’T IT.

If you’re like me, it probably seems like everyone hates Trump as much as you do… But that is not the case. There are many, MANY people who were cheering when he started his campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists and murderers,” they were cheering as he chanted “Build That Wall!” at his rallies, they were cheering when he talked about “many fine people on both sides” after a racist murdered a protestor at a white supremacist rally, and they’ve been cheering as he continually fans the flames of xenophobia and bigotry. There are MILLIONS of people in this country for whom these sorts of atrocities and human rights abuses are EXACTLY why they wanted a “President Donald Trump.” And sure, some out there might genuinely not know any better because they probably only watch the network that portrays these detention centers as “summer camps.” But for some of you out there, you are starting to question whether “an anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice” or “tax cuts for the wealthy” was worth the price of what supporting an objective monster like Trump is doing to your soul.

And here’s something important to consider: How shitty is it that it took tearing families apart and building tent cities with 20 kids per cage and literally imprisoning people for a MISDEMEANOR for you to finally say, “I think that’s a bit too far?”

I hear people getting upset about Robert DiNero saying “Fuck Trump” because they feel like that is just going to upset people and push them further away. But honestly, I don’t know how someone can look at the news and NOT feel a giant “FUCK TRUMP” well up inside of them. PLEASE read this whole thread of the tweet below…

And if you are one of the people insisting that calling Racism and Bigotry and Hatred and Injustice and Immorality by their NAMES is “how Trump is going to win a second term,” I’ve got some news for you: If someone is so blind to the clear immorality of this president that they are swayed to vote for a racist, lying, dictator-praising, free press-attacking, sexual-assaulting, pussy-grabbing, pile of narcissistic immorality like Donald Trump (or any of the rest of the spineless legislators afraid to lose their seats for calling evil “evil”) just because people like me weren’t “gentle” enough with them when we pointed out how utterly repulsive it is to support these republicans, then THEY WERE NEVER GOING TO DO THE RIGHT THING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Imagine being so fragile and vindictive that you would vote for a monster like Trump just because someone used the F-word or pointed out your racism…

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This is one of the cartoons that got Rob Rogers fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after working there for 25 years… for being too critical of Trump.

Because he IS a monster. He is a horrible monster. If a person could end this “zero tolerance policy” at the border with a phone call, and that person chooses NOT to, that person is a monster. And just about every legislator with an “R” behind their name is supporting that monster… Other than a few folks who feel “emboldened” enough by their planned retirement from politics to actually be critical of a man who criticizes Justin Trudeau while praising a brutal, murderous dictator like Kim Jong Un.

Last night, Rachel Maddow broke down in tears while trying to read about toddlers being detained/imprisoned in something called “Tender Age Facilities.” Here is the video:

The reaction you just saw is an appropriate reaction for a human being to have when they hear the term “Tender Age Facilities.” 

And people are rightly focusing on the inhumanity of what this does to the kids… but it is also horrific for the adults who were seeking asylum. Once, when my oldest daughter was just a little kid, I spent roughly one full minute thinking someone had taken her. I had just read The Shack, so my imagination was on full Worst Case Scenario mode. We were at a playground/park with a bunch of people at it, and I thought my daughter was with my wife. When I walked over to my wife, she asked me where our daughter was. I immediately ran around the playground twice, yelling her name the whole time. There were maybe 60 seconds where I didn’t know where she was or who had her. It turns out she was hiding in one of the tube slides… But I can tell you that that terrified feeling of being separated from someone I love and not knowing if I’ll get them back is as close to an actual hell as my brain can imagine.

You might be thinking that you don’t want to share things like this post because it’s “too divisive” or because “you don’t like getting political.” Well, “not getting political” is a luxury people have who don’t have to worry about THEIR kids being forcibly taken from them and put into “tender age facilities.” You might feel a deep sense of “What’s the point? Everything sucks.” I feel that way sometimes too… But we must not lose hope. We must stay vigilant and committed to the truth. We must call immorality and hatred and cruelty buy their names. We must speak up for people whose voices are silenced. And please hear me: WE. MUST. VOTE. We must overwhelm the polls with people committed to getting rid of the immoral people who support the broken, immoral man who currently leads our nation.

Oh, I feel it too. I want to give up. It’s hard to keep caring when there is a tidal wave of despair every day. All I can say is THANK YOU SO MUCH to the people who support me on Patreon. It is such an honor and encouragement to have people who care enough about this blog to help pay for it. If you want to BECOME A PATRON… If you want to LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL… or if you want to follow me on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER, that would be just fantastic. Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing.

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Leave Ivanka Alone!

Samantha Bee has gotten herself into a bit of trouble this past week. While just about every person in the world who is both minimally informed and also possesses an ounce of compassion was flipping out over news of Trump’s abhorrent and inhuman policy of separating children from their parents at the border, Ivanka Trump displayed either a truly startling degree of tone-deafness or an act of intentional heartlessness, and chose that particular day to post a picture of herself holding her child. So Samantha Bee pleaded with her to ask her dad to stop tearing families apart. And as she so often does, she did it with a combination of passion and anger and humor… Here is what she said:

“You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say –one mother to another — do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt. He listens to you. Put on something tight and low cut and tell your father to fucking stop it… Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes, OK?”

And with that, millions of people who had no problem voting for a man who bragged on tape about how his fame allows him to “grab them by the pussy” suddenly became very offended at a comedian’s use of a naughty word.  People who voted for the man who told Howard Stern that he didn’t mind him referring to Ivanka as “a piece of ass” were offended. People who voted for the man who grossly “joked” that he might be dating Ivanka if she weren’t his daughter were offended. People who voted for the man who has been accused by MULTIPLE women of sexual assault, and dismissed some of those accusations by insinuating that the women were too ugly to sexually assault were offended.

But I suppose different people find different things offensive…

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the word people got really angry about wasn’t the word “feckless.” And now, people within this GOP administration — still smarting from the news that their racist hero Roseanne Barr lost her job — are calling for Samantha Bee to lose hers. Once again, the hypocrisy is just more than anyone should have to bear: The folks who called for the firing of an NFL player for protesting racism and police brutality by respectfully kneeling during the anthem are the SAME folks defending the “first amendment” rights of a woman who made blatantly racist comments comparing a black person to an ape… The same Roseanne Barr who did this to the anthem, finishing her farce by grabbing HERSELF by the pussy, and spitting on the field:

It appears their hypocrisy knows no bounds. This same outrageous, now unforgivably-offensive “C-word” used by Samantha Bee was used by Ted Nugent in reference to Hillary Clinton not too long ago, and all it got HIM was an invitation to the White House for a photo op with Donald Trump, Kid Rock, and Sarah Palin… A photo so dense with awfulness that if awfulness was gravity, it would have formed some sort of black hole.

But if I’m going to be writing about Republican hypocrisy, I’ll be here all day…

If you’re anything like me, you might have Googled the definition of “feckless.” It’s an adjective describing someone who is “lacking initiative or strength of character,” and the synonyms listed are “useless, worthless, incompetent, inept, and good-for-nothing.” In contrast, the word “cunt” is simply a vulgar/slang way of referring to a woman’s genitals. And listen… if I’m choosing between being known as “feckless” or being known as a “cunt,” I’m going to go with “cunt” every time. Or, as two-time Best Actress Oscar winner, Forrest Gump’s mom, and American hero Sally Field reminded us…

And as my grandmother always used to tell me, when you find yourself absolutely owned online by Gidget and The Flying Nun, it’s time to hang up your Twitter and disappear for a while. No she didn’t…

Honestly though, I really don’t think it’s fair for people to pile on Ivanka like this. For some reason, she has taken on the role of “the conscience” of the Trump family. But I really see no evidence for her having any sort of better understanding of right and wrong than the rest of her family… And I especially see no evidence of her actually ACTING on that perceived moral clarity. Anyone who has the ear of Donald Trump and is not telling him on a daily basis that he is a villain who is actually working to hurt already vulnerable people is COMPLICIT in the harm he is doing. If I ever get within earshot of the man, I can guarantee you “cunt” will seem pleasant and proper by comparison.

Give her some credit — The fact that Ivanka Trump is even able to FEIGN compassion with that man as her father is actually very impressive. After only having had to deal with the horribleness that is Donald Trump for a couple years, I already feel a bit crazier, more hopeless, and like a significant part of my soul has died… IMAGINE HAVING TO SPEND YOUR WHOLE LIFE AROUND THAT SELFISH, AMORAL MAN. Imagine having Donald J. Trump as your image of what fatherhood looks like. Imagine having to deal with that level of narcissism on a consistent, life-long basis. Imaging what something like being publicly and persistently sexualized by your own father can do to your own moral compass. And then maybe give Ivanka a break… She’s had to deal with having a perverted, lying coward for a father.

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“Ivanka needs to know that people love her handbags, you guys!”

But also, for the love of God, please stop acting like she is somehow the member of the Trump family with a conscience or a sense of morality. There is no evidence for that whatsoever. She only appears compassionate when contrasted to an epically narcissistic megalomaniac. And it’s clear that she has no interest in stopping the all-out attack her father’s administration has waged on both morality and truth. Ivanka is not the solution for Donald Trump’s awfulness… She is a casualty of it. And she is as inconsequential as her stupid handbags. Leave her alone. She’s not going to “talk sense” into her dad… She’s part of the problem. And the way to solve a problem like this is to VOTE. THEM. OUT.

Thank you for reading! If this is your first time reading this blog, I can assure you this will almost certainly be the most I will ever use the word “cunt” in something I write. At the same time, I hope the word “feckless” becomes a way more frequently-used addition to my vocabulary. It’s hard to imagine someone reading this particular post and saying, “You know, I want to help financially support that dude.” Maybe read some of my older, less C-word-peppered posts? Anyway, if you’d like to become a Patron, you can do that RIGHT HERE. If you like to leave a tip on PayPal, feel free to do that RIGHT HERE. Otherwise, follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for some stuff that is filled to the brim with feck. I love you.

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ISRAEL: David Teamed Up With Goliath, and Now The Oppressed Has Become The Oppressor

My kids use entirely too much toilet paper. I’m not sure if they just wrap it around their hand about 30 to 40 times, until their hand looks like a boxing glove, or what is going on in there (I’m a folder, myself), but we go through a lot of TP in our house. My kids are actually smart people… But you wouldn’t know it by how terrible they are at replacing the roll when they use the last of it. And so, every so often, someone sits down on the toilet and starts going without noticing that there is nothing for them to wipe with. In these situations, invariably someone will make the appeal to the universe, “WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME SOME TOILET PAPER?!?”

The other day my oldest daughter found herself in this situation while I was still in bed (I got home very late the night/morning before). My youngest HEARD her, but she was refusing to get her another roll. Finally, I yelled from the bedroom, “GET YOUR SISTER SOME TOILET PAPER RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!???” And yea, it was so…

Within literally the next fifteen minutes, the younger one was taking a shower. After the water stopped, she asked her older sister in she would get her a towel. I couldn’t believe my ears. “No,” was her answer. Not only “No,” but “No” followed by a long sermon about “needing to learn her lesson” and “personal responsibility.” And there is not much that gets me out of bed that early after getting home that late, but that kind of hypocrisy will do it. Next thing you know, I’m standing in the living room. In my underwear. Pissed. And pointing my finger at a child saying things like “You were just in this same situation” and “How DARE you” and “You know BETTER than this” and “So disappointed.”


From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the Spirit of God has spoken to humanity, “You KNOW what it’s like to be oppressed. You KNOW what it’s like to be the alien. You KNOW what it’s like to be mistreated and imprisoned and enslaved. REMEMBER! REMEMBER that feeling, and use that holy empathy to remind yourselves to treat others well.” So many times, the Israelites were reminded of how cruelly THEY were treated in Egypt, and reminded to not treat others the same way. Leviticus 19:34 says, “You must regard the foreigner who lives with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”

And just in case you thought this idea of us “loving our enemies” suddenly appeared with Jesus, you should know it’s all over the Old Testament. Exodus 23:5 says, “If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.” It is a continuous theme throughout the Bible. And when Jesus depicts God as being angry, it’s almost always when people KNOW what it’s like to receive compassion, but they don’t offer that same compassion to others. He tells a story of a ruler who forgave a man’s huge debt, but then the ruler finds that same man beating up someone who owes him just a little… And the ruler grabs him and says, “How DARE you! You KNOW better! You KNOW what it’s like! REMEMBER!!! (by the way, you’re paying me back every cent you owe me now)”

This week, thousands of Palestinian protestors have been injured and shot by Israeli SNIPERS. On Monday alone, over 50 protestors were killed, along with some members of the press. The protests marked the both the 70th anniversary of the day thousands of Palestinians were displaced by the creation of Israel in 1948, as well as the dedication of the new U.S. Embassy, moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. One of the people killed by Israeli snipers was a man named Fadi Abu Salah. He was misidentified as this man:

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If you can’t see David in this photograph, look a little closer…

But the man’s name who is swinging the sling is actually Saber al-Ashqar. The man who was killed, Fadi Abu Salah, was actually this man below:

I suppose it might be easy to get them confused… They were both about the same age, both had short, dark hair with trim beards, and both protestors were in a wheelchair because they previously had their legs blown off by Israeli mortars.

I don’t want to get into blaming Trump for this. There is way more to it than that. Besides, Trump couldn’t care less about where the Israeli Embassy is… The reason it got moved was because the Evangelicals who helped get Trump elected DEMANDED it. Because they believe it will play some roll in the apocalypse or the second coming of Christ or some garbage. But even the ones who know better are shockingly silent, as soldiers fire from a distance at men, women and children who are throwing stones… Though, the fact that he had his name in the same font size as “United States of America,” and LARGER than “Jerusalem, Israel” is just another example of how he is literally the worst…

Israel is a small nation. They deserve to have a country… But so do the Palestinians. The Jewish People have experienced some of the worst atrocities and oppression the world has ever known. But these are the actions of a People who have forgotten what oppression feels like. They have forgotten their stories. In the Bible, God was not on the side of Israel because of their name. Or their land. Or their DNA… God is on the side of the oppressed. Which is why, all through the Bible, God keeps telling them, “REMEMBER! Remember what it was like!” So now that David has teamed up with the Goliath Force of the United States Military, the voice of God is STILL crying out: “REMEMBER! YOU were once forced off of your land. YOU were once without a place to call home. YOU were once living in occupied territory. REMEMBER!” And there are few things that speak those words as clearly as the picture of a man with no legs, swinging a sling, throwing rocks at wall he could never climb. This week’s massacres are not the action of David… These are the actions of Goliath. And God has never been on Goliath’s side.

This post hit all three: Jesus, Politics, & Bathroom Humor. Well, maybe not “humor,” but at least there was a bathroom story in there. I just wanted to say again how deeply grateful I am to my Patrons. If you’d like to help support me and my writing, YOU TOO can BECOME A PATRON. Or, if you like to leave a tip of boost a post, you can DO THAT ON PAYPAL. Also, you can keep up with me on Twitter and on Facebook. Last but not least, I’ll leave you with this song by David Wilcox. Please listen to it…

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