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….and America rejoices. I’m tired of writing about it, thinking about it and even dealing with it. I don’t know how not to normalize without driving myself insane. I read about it, I hear the pain from the family’s voice after they lose another member and justice as always isn’t served. I’m just tired. I’ve had many words that I wanted to write but at this point I’m not even sure if it matters. So…I’ll just let Philandro Castile’s mom say it. Because she expressed my anger and disappointment better than I can right now.

 

I love America. Kinda. I mean I love what America is supposed to represent. I don’t like real unedited America. The problem with America is its full of shit. It’s so full of shit – it doesn’t even recognize it. The United States are the Kardashians of the World Stage. On the outside we look glamorous and when the edits and lighting hits us right we look amazing. If you look a bit closer – we’re average like pre-surgery Kylie. Not the ugly duckling but definitely not the belle of the ball like our other older and more attractive sisters. We looked ourselves in the mirror and asked “WWKJD” (What Would Kris Jenner Do) and the mirror responded: fake it.

In 2004 America went to the booth and received a nose job, face lift and most importantly new boobs all called Barack Obama. At that moment – that was the time for America to drop the most epic sextape of all time. And it did – an African American president with charisma, who was smart and not the scary black man that would scare people in Iowa. There was liberal and centrist splooge from coast to coast. We could not get enough of this ‘well-spoken African American’ (because you know they are rare). But like the Kardashian’s people hated him just for the fact he existed (I see you alt-right). Unlike that California Clan he actually earned his spot in the spotlight.

As time passed we became once again the shining beacon in the world. Granted Israel didn’t really like him because he asked questions and didn’t shuck and jive like they expected Negroes to do. We all know Putin didn’t like him because he’s smart. Usually dumb bullies hate the smart kids. Except in this case, President Obama had ‘tons o guns’ so Putin had to play his position.  President Obama kept the façade up of American Exceptionalism abroad while countless African Americans were being murdered in the streets by police officers. But hey we still had an African American president so things can’t be that bad, Right?

The luster and shine began to wear off on President Obama. He wasn’t doing enough for black people. He wasn’t doing enough for the far left. No one was quite happy with him. The reality of the lack of American Exceptionalism started to show through the cracks of the façade. Police officers started murdering black people at a record rate. African American unemployment rose. This post-racial America that was promised was falling apart day by day. Like all shows that are jumping the shark, what’s a producer to do? Introduce a new character that is diametrically opposite to the main character.

Enter Kylie Jenner Donald Trump

The United States didn’t want the smart guy if he was Black.  It didn’t really want the better politician if she was a woman. The United States wanted a star – they wanted Kim. But Kim was busy so they settled for Kylie. America went to work on President Orange he was their person. He was pure white, a celebrity, and most importantly a man. He didn’t have any particular intelligence or any talent. His talent was his white maleness. They cleaned him up, tailored his suits a bit better, toned down his orange tan, strutted him out with his family and voila – he’s presidential. The core of who he is still remains – a very small, insecure man with who has no idea how to do his job. The problem with this is our president is all flash and no substance. In between chants of “fake news”, early morning tweets and many policy failures — he’s doing what most spoiled rich white men excel at, being mediocre. At least Kylie is good at being famous. Maybe she should run for president next.

Few question the valor of those who serve in the military. Even those who disagree with American foreign policy recognize that soldiers don’t have the luxury of choosing their missions. As such, for having the guts to risk the ultimate sacrifice for their country, they are held in high esteem.

Similarly, no one can question another’s personal truth – including what it means to those who carry the weight of combat experience.

I spoke recently with a friend, a veteran who saw action overseas, who knows first-hand that freedom isn’t free. The cliché, rooted in truth as commonly understood, has unique significance for him.

This man, who we’ll call Mikey, recently completed serving a two year sentence in state prison for growing and distributing marijuana. But he didn’t walk out before he stood up in a courtroom and diagnosed the brutal reality of a paradox in plain view. His conclusion left the courtroom stunned.

“The government sent me halfway around the world,” Mikey said. “Carrying a gun for them, I was considered a hero. Then I grew marijuana. And the government kicked my door in and locked me up. If you had told me when I was nine years old, that one day I would have two jobs – one where I shot human beings that never killed anyone, and another one where I grew a plant that has never killed anyone – and the second one would make me a criminal, I would have told you that you were crazy.”

The judge nodded. Others in attendance cried. In the collective silence, there was agreement: It was crazy.

As Mikey put it, he was “ahead of his time” in North Carolina, where marijuana is illegal for any purpose. Yet one in five Americans now live in a state where marijuana is legal. A clear majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use and even more favor legalization of marijuana for medical use. The only real question is when, not if, marijuana will be legalized from coast to coast.

Beyond the legal context, another aggravating factor was tougher to stomach. Mikey said he was conflicted about the rationale for his incarceration in contrast to many of those around him.

“Some of these guys had done bad things – hurt people, killed people,” Mikey recalled. “But for some of them, they had this sense of peace about being locked up. They accepted that they were being punished for something they knew was wrong.”

Lying down to go to sleep each night on a thin mattress in a metal bunk, Mikey could find no such comfort.

“I still stand strong with love in my heart,” he announced in his first social media post after being released. “I’m still not sorry. At all.”

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?

The eyes of the law are human eyes — yours and mine — and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be evenhanded. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices, so until that day we have a duty under God to seek the truth, not with our eyes and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts — where we don’t know better.

Now I wanna tell you a story. I’m gonna ask y’all to close your eyes while I tell you this story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves.

This is a story about the President of the United States. He welcomes foreign enemies of our nation into the Oval Office. Upon greeting them he divulges highly classified information. His reckless admission not only puts lives and already jittery international relationships with allies at risk but magnifies doubts about his administration’s essential competency. Anyone but the President to commit such a colossal blunder would be subject to criminal charges.

Can you see him? I want you to picture that President. Now imagine the President is Black.

The defense rests your honor.

Why did the raid of a Republican consulting firm with ties to former Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort take place on Friday afternoon? Because the night before the President went on television to volunteer a sterling case against himself for obstruction of justice in the Russia scandal.

Since then, many have noted a marked shift in mainstream media coverage: From language describing the investigation in terms of intelligence-gathering to framing it in terms of eventual criminal prosecution.

“The FBI has started pulling that string,” said former Republican Congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. “And they are still pulling that string where it leads is not just an election issue, it is a criminal issue – and Trump knows that.”

Contrary to the President’s hopes, Comey’s dismissal has actually propelled the investigation into its next phase – publicly, at least. It had already been confirmed that grand juries have been impaneled to consider evidence related to the investigation. And there are as-yet unconfirmed reports that those grand juries have generated dozens of indictments under seal with many more to come.

Sources outside the traditional media – most notably Louise Mensch, a conservative former British Member of Parliament now working as an independent journalist in New York – have been ahead of the curve on Trump-Russia. It was Mensch who broke the FISA warrant story just days before the November election. That information was eventually corroborated by mainstream media reports but not formally confirmed until Comey testified publicly in March.

The same day the FBI descended on the office of the GOP consulting firm, Mensch reported the existence of a New York state-level racketeering and corruption (RICO) case against the Republican Party. The raid was coordinated between the FBI and the Eastern Virginia District Court of Virginia, overseen by Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance are conducting their own investigations into Trump campaign associates’ business dealings.

Like any criminal investigation, to topple powerful people – especially in the highest positions of government – even overwhelming evidence may be insufficient to get convictions. To take down the big game requires nailing lower-level actors and flipping them to work up the food chain. And when the threat of executive power looms, the order of operations and inter-agency coordination becomes even more essential.

Also vital is a critical mass of public pressure on the Republicans to place country before party. For that to happen, a scandal that is complex and hard to understand needs to be distilled into a plot busy people can readily follow. Reagan never went down in the Iran-Contra affair for many reasons, but a major one is that the public never quite knew who did what wrong.

Two years ago, in covering the “Bridgegate” scandal that embroiled Chris Christie and his associates, the New York Times’ Jim Dwyer quoted the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Aregood in citing a basic law of politics that the New Jersey Governor violated:

“Never do anything crooked or evil that the average person can understand.”

By going on camera and bragging he canned Comey because the Russia investigation was based on a “made-up story,” Trump not only violated a basic law of politics, he confessed to violating the law of the land. He will learn in disgrace, as Richard Nixon did, that he is not above it.

French President Emmanuel Macron reminded Americans what intelligence, class and youthful exuberance looks like in a leader.  The French opted against the nationalist wave by electing Macron. They took a stand for globalism and against xenophobia. While the people stood strong waving their French flags in joy, Macron’s speech to environmental scientist was reminiscent of one hip hop’s most notorious figures Suge Knight 1995 Source Awards acceptance speech.

This video is from 3 months ago but because of President Macron’s win its gaining new life.

 

Everybody. Minorities. LGBTQ. Elmo. Poor Christians. Ja Rule. Females. Bobby Brown. Poor people in general. The list is really exhaustive.

Let’s start with the facts the ‘repeal’ of Obamacare is not a health care plan. It’s a tax plan. That’s one of the few things that both sides can truly agree on — this has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1%. The problem with the GOPs tax plan is that they went out of their way to screw the majority of their constituents. Luckily for them their constituents are one issue voters (abortion) so if they lose their coverage or if it skyrockets it doesn’t matter because Emperor Orange and inept merry men will eventually strike down Roe v. Wade.

Spoiler alert — It’s not happening.

The issue with health care is one of the few things in America that transcends race and cuts to the heart of America’s problem — class. I’m lucky enough to work for a large company and my premiums hasn’t really been impacted except for small increases but that’s to be expected. I have friends that opt to roll the dice with their health because they can’t afford coverage. The problem with the whole health care discussion is it was dishonest from the onset. This battle had nothing to do with coverage for Americans.

It had EVERYTHING to do with President Obama’s legacy. The administration is doing a systematic dismantling of it. This is what happens when the dumb rich kid wins.

It’s exhausting. That’s the goal of the administration exhaust the smart people so they stop caring. Nah B, I’ll pass.

 

PS. Outside of passing the HOUSE — Obamacare has not been repealed. Our president failed Civics and keeps forgetting that the bill needs to go to the Senate. But let’s not stop the victory lap.

 

Donald Trump is who we thought he was. A bumbling idiot who was rich enough to convince people that he was smart enough to do the job. As almost every media outlet known to man have spent this last weekend reflecting on a mostly tumultuous start to his administration with little to show for it. His only accomplishment is the fact that he could get a conservative justice on the court but is that really something he should hang his hat on? It was a partisan effort, it’s the equivalent of having a 4 on 1 fast break in basketball and scoring. It would have been more impressive if that one person could have stopped them but if they score, that’s what they are supposed to do in that situation right?

I’ve been scouring conservative websites to see how they are spinning the obvious implosion of this administration and its comical at best. Fox News lists him speaking to the NRA as an accomplishment. Wow, keep scraping kids.

He’s signed 30 Executive Orders in comparison to President Obama at 19, Bush with 11 and Clinton with 13. I’m sure he sees this as a positive because everything the anti-Einstein aims to do is to bigger and better than his predecessors. Because he is a spoiled rich kid with no sense of how government works he thinks more is better and his sycophant followers are agreeing with him.

He has the lowest approval rating than the last 3 presidents settling in at a 42%. All this winning is sooooo boring.

Let’s talk about the unemployment rate — a measure that he lambasted on the campaign trail as being fake. Now he wants to take credit for but again because he failed civics he’s still under the President Obama fiscal year so these are the former president success.

Let’s talk about his successes — the travel ban? Wait, no that’s still being upheld in the courts. Even though his head lawman doesn’t understand how ‘an island in the Pacific’ aka a State can affect policy.

Build that wall! Build that wall! Where are we with the wall? Nowhere. Just to be fair — I didn’t expect anything to be done regarding the wall except have an actual plan for funding already moving through Congress. The fact that this hasn’t happened yet is a failure. This administration does not understand foresight, planning or ideas that make sense. Let’s talk about where the proposed wall is planning to be erected. The government will have to use eminent domain for American citizens which will place some Texas residences on the other side of the border. Which will make them Mexican citizens oh the irony. Also, that district went to President Bunker. 

He vowed to destroy or at least have a plan to destroy Isis within 30 days of him taking office. Yeah about that… The only thing he has accomplished is dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb in US History. Clap for him. Now he’s not even sure how to destroy Isis — which is something his predecessor and every defense specialist has been saying. This is where his inability to understand nuance affects your ability to lead.

He continues to take L’s on his big-ticket items such as repealing and replacing ACA and tax reform. You remember when this genius said repealing and replacing will be done within hours of each other and happen quickly. It’s literally like he doesn’t understand how not only government works but life. Once you give people something, even if it’s not perfect, you are going to have to fight to take it away from them. If you give me an 84 Yugo and then 6 months later come to take it from me we’re going to have words and probably fists to match. Because while that Yugo isn’t a Benz, its mine, and its possibly better than what I had before.

Where are we 100 days into The Trump administration? Not too far from where we were in January. This administration is gearing up for wars on everything old white men hate. Which I guess is the status quo for America. 

We have all heard of the 5 stages of grief and loss.  Some of us may even be familiar with the stages set forth by the Kubler-Ross Model.  What the model tells us is that there are 5 stages a person may go through when they have had a great loss.  The loss could be of a loved one or even of the loss of a dream.  These here United States of America were predicated on a dream.  Since the formation of this great country, there have been several dreams and there is room for them all.  This land is your land, this land is my land….

There may be need for a quick history lesson here…

This land was taken from the Natives, and because of that, everyone else was therefore, an immigrant.

That’s the end of the lesson which of course brings us to the first stage of grief or loss.  It’s important to realize that not everyone will go through all the stages when experiencing a loss.  For everyone it is a deeply personal journey.  Stage one is denial and isolation.

  1. For 8 years, our country was being run by a man that was greatly opposed by most of this country’s political figures.

This time, could, for some be considered the first step in the process of grief.  Regardless, he could make grand moves, even in the wake of all his opposition.  This everyday man, did not buckle under the immense job with which he was tasked.  That, in and of itself says a lot of his character.  Obviously, this was not a time for mourning as much as jubilation.

 

  1. Then roughly, 2 years before the end of that man’s 2nd term, emerged an unlikely candidate (2 depending on whom the question is asked). To most it seemed a rouse that this billionaire businessman would become president. I mean he had the ideas of a person that had yet to join us in these days and times. His ideas were set in the 40’s, the 1740’s for goodness’ sake. Yet, he would emerge as the victor of this battle.

November 8th, 2016 will go down in history as the day that a collective, soul-wrenching, heartbreaking sob could be heard around the globe.  The blogosphere went crazy with sincere notes of condolences for the greatest country in the world.  For many a preliminary mourning would begin. January 20th, 2017, grief became the new anthem for our country.  It showed in the dismal attendance for the inauguration to the many, many memes that would pop up on everyone’s timelines.

Within 48 hours, the new leader of the free world, would cement his place in history as the grim reaper for many of the ideas set forth by his predecessors. Enter the real beginning of the first stage of denial. Of course, there will never be 100% of the whole country that will agree or disagree but those on each side have drawn a clear line in the proverbial sand.  An extremely large group of our country and in other countries, have clearly begun the dissent into grieving.

Several people have yet to and have vowed to never refer to the seated president as president.  There is also a group that refer to his predecessor as their always president. This is clearly a country that is grieving for either the loss of the previous president or for the fact that the current president has taken away the security that was once taken for granted and considered a guarantee.  I am not sure how long the stage of denial will continue for those going through the mourning. For some, this may be the longest stage as there are so many that have chosen to either act as if life hasn’t changed or for those that have chosen to ignore and live in an ignorant bliss.  Where ever you may stand, the view is clear that what once was is slowly no longer and grief is new normal.  A country in mourning….

Truth be told — I’m the epitome of a sideline revolutionary. I make many bombastic statements online and in conversation but my Jordan’s aren’t on the ground and in the marches. I’m sitting on the sideline of history and watching the power of social media unfold into real world discussions and hopefully solutions. In Trump’s America, the screams must become louder that we and all minorities matter. BlackLivesMatter should transcend hashtags and become political agents. Conservatives mostly treat us a monolithic crime ridden community that needs to be extinguished from the planet and Democrats view us as a walking bank for there political contributions (i.e votes because collectively we don’t have wealth) to keep them in what little power they have left. Black’s in America are finding themselves in this political limbo that middle class uneducated whites found themselves in the beginning of the Obama years. The main difference is their limbo was self-imposed due to the systematic fail safes that is in American society. Enter #BlackLivesMatter. After the death of Trayvon Martin a viral hashtag created by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometti, and Patrise Cullors moved people to action. Any discussion about #BLM that does not begin with those women is not an honest discussion about #BLM.

What is Black Lives Matter really? I think it’s best for them to explain it in their own words

The problem with the above is that they never got enough of an opportunity to tell that story. Now there could be many reasons for that — the viral rise of the movement, the media butchering the message, and even to the detriment of BLM, not having a centralized/standard voice for the movement which lent itself to interpretation.

This is why #BLM is not the political force the Tea Party was when the political climate shifted. Unfortunately, they played a lot of defense early on by responding to negative stories in the conservative media. They allowed their movement to be co-opted by police officers and out of touch color blind whites with Blue/All Lives matter ‘movements’. The interesting thing about those ‘movements’ is that is exactly what America is built upon stealing/co-opting a black struggle — change it, make palatable for whites and immediately disregard said struggle which birthed it.

There is even confusion between what is a legitimate chapter of BLM which continues to add to the confusion.

The question always is always asked ‘what can I do?” From an outsider’s observation — there’s a lot you can do. One major thing is try to find your local BLM chapter and engage with them. Create a plan for yourself/family in what’s the best way to get involved. Ask people who are on the ground what their needs are.

Before you assume #BLM is just an excuse for black people to physically and emotionally beat on white people (oh the horror) understand that is not what BLM stands for. BLM is a voice for black  and other marginalized populations — not the voice — but a voice. It’s a voice that is severely needed. There is a need to figure out a way to move the energy from demonstrations to political capital. The first round of mid-terms is coming up in under 2 years. They need to continue to have the image of BLM evolve so that true political allies can evoke their name publicly and align with the visions. Black Lives Matter should be meeting with political operatives to increase their political voice to influence change. Start locally — one school board at a time, one sheriff’s race at a time. As a people, we should be more than picket signs, marches and RIP hashtags.