Did Kaepernick help us understand freedom any better? Probably not

I cringe when I see this but respect the right of the American doing it.

I cringe when I see this but respect the right of the American doing it.

When we consider freedom, we usually first think of the many sacrifices of those who’ve fought and died in order to protect and preserve this most coveted of all our rights.  Truth is we tend to minimize the actuality of “living free”.  Often, the expression appears with quotation marks as I’ve done, signifying special attention or worse, something slightly altered from what it seems to be.  In that way, living free has become a caricature of itself.  It’s that satirical change that empowered the nation and induced the majority to gang up on Colin Kaepernick.  At least, that’s how it was in the

beginning. Continue reading

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As good as it gets

At a rally in Akron, Ohio, in an attempt to court Black and Latino voters and cast off his handily built persona of a thoughtless, misogynistic and intolerant bully, Donald Trump made this passionate and honest entreaty to minorities concerning the promise of his hopefully impending administration.  He said this,

Look, it is a disaster the way African-Americans are living, in many cases, and, in many cases the way Hispanics are living, and I say it with such a deep-felt feeling.  What do you have to lose?

“What do you have to lose?”  I ask myself how can one not be moved and impressed by such an uncomplicated and unembellished appeal for votes from someone seeking the Presidency.  In a world that routinely gives us politicians overpromising and under-delivering, it’s political correctness so astutely preposterous, under the circumstances, that it becomes the antithesis of itself.


Yet, it’s that same give-it-to-you straight quality that exposes Trump’s still present liability in gathering the votes this late in the game of those he finally realizes he needs.  It lends a question to the candidate, is this as good as it gets?

Unfortunately for his campaign, it might be.  His issue is no different from the one that’s plagued Republicans for at least the last 25 years; how to connect to an ever-growing minority voting bloc.  And one that almost unswervingly votes Democrat.  If this is what Ben Carson has called, “prepping the ground for what’s to come” I’m uncertain if we’re ready for it.

So far, the new Trump has only surfaced at mostly white crowds.  If Trump follows through on his promise to ride the campaign trail through some of America’s rougher hoods, imagine what happens if he unleashes his version of social truth onto the darker congregation. As sickening the prospect of Race Relations 101 with Professor Trump is it’s something the minority community should gird her loins for.  It’s coming, at least on paper.

That’s because it’s the only thing left for him to do.  What we’re about to witness is a suicide effort and a clash of ideas, temperament and power.  On the one hand we have Trump’s new staff, coming in and immediately trying to soften the candidate and broaden his appeal to include Blacks and Latinos.  And then there’s Trump, who’ll only be softened to the extent that we’re seeing, which doesn’t begin to filter out as much as it should.

Then again, it’s a question of understanding and connections.  The Republican Party on a whole doesn’t know the minority community (Trump questions if the Democrats do, another tidbit of horrible truth); at least not as much or in the ways that it should.  And its running discourse provided by popular pundits does little to educate or enlighten their constituents.  Nevertheless, you know they’re cringing at the thought of a serious discussion on race with Donald Trump leading the way as the only participant espousing conservative values.

Hey, we wanted a conversation.  And we just might be getting one real soon; courtesy of the unlikeliest of sources.


Washington Post Quote: Wash Post; Phillip Rucker, Robert Costa, Jenna Johnson; Inside Donald Trump’s new strategy to counter the view that he is ‘racist’; 8/23/16

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Filed under Commentary, Politics and Government, Race

How Easily We Become What We Hate

Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane (left) and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, John Doar (right) of the Justice Department, escorting James Meredith to class at Ole Miss.

Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane (left) and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, John Doar (right) of the Justice Department, escorting James Meredith to class at Ole Miss.

I know it’s not as simple as all of that.  I know that there are nuances to the transformation; distinctions spurred by current events, gradations brought about by fear.  Yet, when I read what’s happening at the Claremont Colleges in Southern California, where African-American students are boldly asking for POC-only spaces and POC-only housing, I can’t help but wonder exactly what they see is different from the manner that they’re acting and the way whites discriminated against blacks in the past.     Continue reading

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What’s the plan?

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

 Aldous Huxley

I had talked myself into thinking that writing this was unnecessary and that Trump just might be mellowing and trying to put together some sort of cohesive campaign here during these last few months; still crazy but quieter and less volatile.  I prayed that his devotees would mellow also.  Then, I read about two Muslims shot in the head after Saturday prayer and I realize that my initial thought is still the same; as much as Trump is a problem, he’s not the biggest problem.  That distinction falls on his followers.  So now I’m right back where the bleep I started, wanting to ask Republicans a simple question.  What’s the plan?  Continue reading

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Are There Chitlins in Heaven?

The question hung out there becoming one of those inadvertently spontaneous queries you blurt out and in retrospect immediately wish you could take back.  That’s because people today just don’t understand; especially during these times.  You talk about food is one thing.  You add heaven to the mix and they might start thinking you’re some sort of terrorist martyr chasing a celestial epicurean reward.

Being posed between two friends made it no less strange.  We were talking about childhood foods, our mother’s recipes that were missing in our present day, very-much-grown-up adult lives. Things, both sweet and savory.  Things like my Aunt May’s chocolate fudge cake with an icing vaguely suggestive of coffee.  That’s what it was.  It all took me back to my mom’s kitchen while she made chitlins. Continue reading

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Filed under Cooking and Cuisine, Life and Society