Sunday, March 29, 2015

It has to stop.

By April V. Taylor

...Common, (click here) who won an Oscar along with Legend for their song “Glory,” recently spoke out about racism, taking a much more passive tone in his statement on an episode of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” The rapper says that Black people should “forget about the past” regarding racism and extend their hand in love to white people. Many people, including rapper Charles Blow, were perplexed about why Common would choose to gloss over the issue of racism and insinuate Black people just needed to love white people more when Black people lose their life, health and freedom because of racism.

Legend addressed the comment in a recent Associated Press interview in which he says that he identifies with Common’s statement to the extent that ending racism is about people being able to see “each other’s humanity and learning to love each other.” However, Legend takes a firmer stance stating, “I think it’s not enough for us to extend the hand of love. It’s important also that we look at policies we need to change as well.”

Rev. William Mathis touched on the same dynamic discussed about the French.

Rev. Mathis stated nearly the same exact problem as the article of the French. He said, "I think it is both historical...within a political cultural economy...where that community are in connection to the larger sphere...."

I am more than confident he and the author of the French article have never met, yet, they are both touching on a form of cultural isolationism. In the USA it is sometimes called segregation, but, is it more than that?

March 27, 2015
By Ed Stannard

NEW HAVEN - Americans of all backgrounds (click here) need to look at the events and issues of our time “through the lens of race” if we are to get beyond our divisions, according to the Rev. William Mathis.
Mathis, who met with the New Haven Register editorial board this week, said responsibility for a conversation about structural racism and bigotry lies with all groups, and should not happen just when a racially charged incident occurs.

Mathis is pastor of the Springs of Life-Giving Water Church on Sperry Street. He also runs a nonprofit called WLM Ministries, has worked with U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and graduated from Harvard Divinity School. He is former director of Project Longevity, a federal, state and city program to reduce gang violence, which he said he left because of “philosophical differences.”

“I’m challenging all of us in our individual lives, in our collective lives, in our professional lives, to begin to view the experiences and issues of our time through a lens of race,” Mathis said....


Teacher. Poet. PhD Candidate at Harvard University. Mario Kart Champion.

1) Individualistic Fallacy: Racism is perceived as only being interpersonal, ignores systemic, structural realities (ie underfunded schools)

TED@NYC · Filmed July 2014 · 4:18 Clint Smith: The danger of silence (click here) 

Racism or simply a poor choice of analogies.

March 12, 2015
By Armando Tinoco

Rodner Figueroa (click here) has been fired from Univision where he hosted multiple shows like "Sal y Pimienta" and "El Gordo y La Flaca." The Venezuelan-host was let go following comments about Michelle Obama. Figueroa made remarks about the First Lady of the U.S. saying "she looked like she was from the 'Planet of the Apes.'" Javier Ceriani posted the video of the moment, which you can watch down below. Figueroa's biography does not appear on the Univision "talent" section and his link redirects to the general "talent" page. "At Univision there's no space for racist comments," an executive told People En Español....

This incident opened up some sole searching for the Miami Herald.

March 28, 2015
By Brenda Madina

...Some people (click here) were not surprised by the incident and saw it as a public eruption of a common practice, particularly in Latin American countries, where the perception of race is different than in the United States.
“In the United States, the idea of race is very black and white. The problem with that is that many Latinos are mixed race and the reality of race is much more complex in Latin American countries,” said Michelle González Maldonado, a professor in the University of Miami’s Department of Religious Studies. “That does not mean that there is no racism. There is. But it’s a type of hierarchy of color. I call it a pigmentocracy.”
In Latin America, the sentiments are manifested in popular but racist expressions when referring to people of African or indigenous origin. In some countries, curly hair is called “bad hair” and the word “Indian” is a synonym for “fool.” They also use phrases such as “to whiten” or “improve the race.”...

Pigmentocracy is not as unusual in the USA as some would like to think. It exists within communities. 

One has to realize the lack of immigration reform is definitely racist. The Republicans would like to mask it with members such as Rubio or Cruz. But, the Republicans refuse. It is not as though every effort is not made to end the porous southern US Border or find balance in the reality of Undocumented opposed to the USA's legal immigrants. 

The truth of the matter is the USA has not been much of a friend to Mexico realizing our Undocumented were putting their lives on the line to make it north to where life is very different. Had the USA been reactive to the impoverishment of the Mexican people and not sent helicopters for "The War on Drugs," both they and we could have been way ahead by now. 

The only real answer to any Undocumented immigrants coming to the USA is to solve their problems to prevent them from leaving in the first place. The facts are obvious that in the past decades since Ronald Reagan no one bothered to enforce the law. That reality includes Reagan himself, George H. W. Bush, Bill J. Clinton, George W. Bush and now Barack Obama has been working harder at it than ever before.

The USA has allowed many Undocumented into it's borders over the past 28 years and it is simply immoral to ask these people to leave or to relearn their citizenship to a country they don't remember or don't know at all. The USA has a responsibility to these people. There is no reason standing in the way except the politics of hate. There are too many excuses to set aside the reality that 'good enough' isn't good at all in regard to border security or the educational achievements of Dreamers or a hardy thank you for the work Dreamer's parents have conducted in the USA.

The USA did nothing to improve the quality of life of the people to it's southern border. That is racism. Mexicans are dismissed as close and trusted friends. It just seems so obvious to me. 

Read more here:

Religious identity may be as permanent as any genetic race. Treating it as a choice may be a mistake.

In the 21st century are we giving religion the same reverence as race? Should we?

History shows religious difference brought every bit of anger as race, so where are we at today? Do we know for sure we are as open minded as we think?

March 28, 2015
By Mellisa K. Byrnes

...The state’s official colorblindness (click here) not only forbids collecting data on race and religion, but it also refuses individuals the right to any identity beyond Republican citizenship. This doctrine has heightened the social tensions it sought to prevent. Exclusion and xenophobia flourish under these circumstances — a strong caution to those who would have the U.S. embrace a new “post-racial” paradise.

France is undeniably a multi-cultural society, and the notion of Frenchness must be renegotiated by all of its members. The first step — in France and in the rest of Europe — is to admit that racism and discrimination are real, and central to the daily lives of minority citizens. Nothing excuses the cold-blooded murders of recent months. Likewise, no one should abandon strong commitments to the ideals of free speech and open society. Yet, refusing to address persistent inequalities only feeds into the alienation, desperation and anger that often trigger these tragedies.

To address the deep divisions in their citizenry, the French need to start telling a different story about France itself. At the moment, the only voices to speak openly of France’s difficulties in accepting minority populations come from the far-right Front National. This is not a debate for which one wants Marine Le Pen to set the terms. Until others dare to discuss cultural difference, she will do so — and gain votes in the process.

There have been instances when France has embraced its diversity. From the rapturous celebrations of the multiracial World Cup team’s victory in 1998 to the outpouring of support to grant citizenship to Lassana Bathily (the Muslim Malian migrant who protected shoppers attacked by Amedy Coulibaly in January), the French have proven themselves capable of honoring Muslim and minority members of their society.

This openness has its own deep legacy in the French tradition — consider the Revolutionary decisions to grant citizenship to free people of color in 1791 and to abolish slavery in 1794. French leaders must harness the glory of these moments to create a context in which exceptional bravery and prowess are not the only ways for Muslims and other minorities to be recognized as vital members of the Republic....

Where in the USA is hate sanctioned with the property tax bill?

March 28, 2015
By Paul Brooks and Jeremiah Horrigan

PINE BUSH – The barbs are sunk deep into the Pine Bush School District, and they sting.

Anti-Semitism. Anti-American insults. Bigotry.

Mention them outside this sprawling collection of 33,000 residents and listen to the murmurs of “What were they thinking?”and “When will it stop?”...

... "We're not a bunch of bigots," said Joanne Keillor, the Town of Crawford historian. "And we're not as controversial as people think. We're really a very sweet place."

But Pine Bush is also a place that has history with the Ku Klux Klan and whose population is overwhelmingly white and English-speaking....

...How the district got to this point is clearer.

First, there was the reaction to a development aimed at Orthodox Jews in the Sullivan County Village of Bloomingburg. Windows were broken. Native residents pushed to dissolve the village. Voter registrations were challenged. Lawsuits blamed the reaction on religious bigotry.

Then, parents of some students in the district said Nazi swastikas were being displayed in the schools. Bigoted insults were hurled at the kids, the parents said. When complaints reached the district administration, the response fell short, the parents claimed in a lawsuit. Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed the district. The federal government weighed in. The district denies it did too little. It is fighting the allegations. It has ramped up diversity education and anti-bullying efforts. The case has yet to come to trial.

The string of bad news might have ended there. Other districts have weathered lawsuits and scandals. Just a few years ago, the former superintendent of Middletown was convicted of sexually abusing a student.  

Next came the Pledge of Allegiance being recited in Arabic.

On March 18, a student at Pine Bush High School read the Pledge in Arabic as part of National Foreign Language Week; it was as if a bomb had exploded in the district.

The story went national. Then international....

It is safe to say the school has an identity crisis. Perhaps it needs to change the name to "The National School of Continuous Stupidity. Sorry no College for You."

Why is it hate is the last fig leaf to fall?

The sign says, "Bed & Breakfast; No Irish; No Blacks; No Dogs"

09 January 2007 
From "TheGirlFromMarz" Blog

...Angela Eagle MP and Lord MacKay (click here) were asked on to talk about the Northern Ireland legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services. Religious groups have organised a demonstration tonight outside Parliament to protest against the bill becoming law in England and Wales. To be clear, this is a bill that stops discrimination (it doesn’t promote anything), that means you can’t put a “No gays” sign in the window of your shop. It means you can’t refuse to allow a gay person into your bar or refuse to take a booking for a civil partnership ceremony if you also do heterosexual ceremonies. It also means that gay clubs can no longer refuse entrance to straights, which is an example you don’t hear so much about. And, the one example that every opponent of this bill has mentioned so far, if you own a B&B, you can’t refuse to allow a gay couple to share a double room....

Ah, come on, the Republicans are just setting the scene for 2016, It's all in good political fun, right?

March 27, 2015
By Kristen Inbody

HELENA – The Montana House killed with a 50-50 vote (click here) a bill that aimed to put before the voters a constitutional referendum supporters said protected religious freedom and opponents said paved the way for discrimination.
Sponsor Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, said his House Bill 615 echoes the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, adopted in 1993. He called his bill an "exclamation point" on religious freedoms already in the national and state constitutions.
Rep. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, asked his fellow legislators how many times they have ever had to consider how close they sat next to their significant other out of fear it would change the way people treated them — or even whether they would be served.
"I could be refused service because of who I love or fired from my job if I put a picture of my partner on my desk," he said. "I could be kicked out of my home because of someone's religious views."...

People of conscience are as outraged as ever.

March 27, 2015
By Debbie Elliot

Southern Baptist (click here) leaders were supposed to be talking about bioethics this week at a summit in Nashville, Tenn. That changed in December after a New York grand jury declined to return an indictment in the police choking death of Eric Garner.
When Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, sent out tweets expressing his shock, there was pushback. Should the church get involved in a divisive political issue?
Moore says it's an old argument: "In the 19th century, when Christians would bring up the question 'how can you claim to own another human being made in the image of God?' slaveholders would say 'that's a political issue — let's stick with preaching the gospel.' "
Race long has been a thorny issue for Southern Baptists. The convention was born from the nation's divide over race — breaking off as a denomination in favor of slavery and slaveholders in 1845.
The convention renounced its racist past and apologized 20 years ago for supporting slavery and segregation. Since then, it has drawn more diverse members and elected its first African-American pastor as president....

"Reaction to Eric Garner grand jury" by CBS News (click here)

Racism is real. It is the moral equivalent to hate. Churches have to speak to this. There is a moral obligation when a country has problems that cause the death of people unable to protect themselves.

"Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, 'Teacher, order your disciples to stop.' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.'" — Luke 19:39–40 (NRSV)

The United Methodist Church ought not and cannot be silent about race and racism. (click here)

The Historical Statement in the United Methodist Book of Discipline provides a history of Methodism's response to race/racism.

Sojourners magazine has described racism as America's "original sin."

We read: "John Wesley was an ardent opponent of slavery. Many of the leaders of early American Methodism shared his hatred of human bondage."

But we also read of the "separation" over slave ownership in 1844 that created the Methodist Church South. That separation ended in 1939 in a "Unification Conference” establishing the racially segregated Central Jurisdiction as a compromise for those who were willing to exchange their pro-slavery attitudes for pro-racial segregation practice.

Our Methodist history cannot avoid the fact that because of racially insensitive attitudes, black Methodists formed the African Methodist Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal Zion denominations.
Living the experience

I cannot be "silent" about my personal experiences of Methodism and race. My preacher father attended the Unification Conference that established the racially segregated Central Jurisdiction in 1939. When I became old enough to talk with him about Methodism, he expressed how hurt and wounded he and other black delegates to that conference were by the establishment of the Central Jurisdiction. 

The United Methodist Church (click here)

This is how deep the hurt runs. He is correct, this is a culture problem.

Sojourners magazine has described racism as America's "original sin."

This is from "Sojourner's Magazine." Ted Cruz is starting the old Republican rhetoric; "God is on our side." So, here we go again.

Abraham Lincoln was probably one of the most moral Presidents the USA has ever known.

...Cruz )click here) is the first serious candidate to officially throw his hat in the presidential ring. Because he quickly invoked God, it’s a safe bet that future Republican and Democratic candidates will also invoke the blessings of God the Almighty.

So, let’s talk God and politics.

There is a good reason that we aren’t supposed to talk about those two topics at the dinner table. It’s because of the human tendency to claim that God is on our side of the religious and political divide. And, if God is on our side, that means that God is against our enemies. In this sense, the term “God” is merely a social projection of group identity that pits us over and against a wicked “other.”

A God who stands with us over and against our religious and political enemies is no God at all. It’s an idol; a mere function of human social projection. I would rather be an atheist than believe in that God.

Fortunately, that’s not the God of the Bible. The human understanding of God in the Bible moves from being a tribal god to becoming God of the universe. This God is infinitely bigger than our rivalries of group identity; in fact, the God of the Bible is on a completely different plane than our rivalries over and against one another. As such, God subverts our tendency to form group identity over and against a wicked other. As James Alison points out in his book Undergoing God, the great Hebrew insight is that of monotheism....

It's Sunday Night.

This is an 'in your face' issue, too. This is better than a picture.

 "Original Sin" by INXS (click here)

You might know of the original sin
And you might know how to play with fire
But did you know of the murder committed
In the name of love - yeah
You thought what a pity

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
And wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams have washed away

There was a time when I did not care
And there was a time when the facts did stare
There is a dream and it's held by many
Well I'm sure you had to see
It's open arms

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
And wake up to a brand new day 

To find your dreams have washed away

You might know of the original sin
And you might know how to play with fire
But did you know of the murder committed
In the name of love - yeah
You thought what a pity

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
Then wake up to a brand new day

Dream on black boy
Dream on white girl
And waked up to a brand new day
To find your dreams have washed away

Dream on black boy 
Dream on white girl
And wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams are washed away

Dream on, play with fire
White boy, black girl

Dream on, in the name of love
Black boy, white girl

Dream on, white boy, black girl
Black boy, white girl

Dream on, the name of love - yeah
You thought what a pity

Original Sin

Jefferies wants the USA to posture to 1950s? He's a crackpot.

March 29, 2015
By Jane Onyanga-Omar

The leaders of countries in the 22-nation Arab League (click here) agreed to the principle of creating a joint Arab military force at a summit in Egypt on Sunday.
The decision was announced in the closing session of a two-day meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. It is currently unclear whether the force would be deployed in conflict-hit Yemen, the BBC reported.

This the reality. It is where the USA never went before. Get over it. The USA is not going to control the region, it will control itself!


Any country with nuclear weapons outside the five permanent nations has to get rid of them. Then the five permanent nations can scale back their capacity as well.

The 1950s is insane.  

"The United States has to be feared." that is nothing but stupidity. 

"The United States has to be THE WORLD'S POLICE." 

I don't think so. 

Jefferies might ask himself how we got collapsed skyscrapers in September of 2001. Could it be because the USA has been the global police and feared by all?

Idiots. The USA is lined with idiots. 

The Arabs don't even carry wallets. They simply walk into a room and everyone knows. Now. That. Is power.

But, we have interests in the region. Really? No clue. And the ruling powers have no control over those interests? Whether the military is at conflict or not if the USA holds power over another country it is called an OCCUPATION. 

The interests we have in the Middle East is NOT a sovereign right. It is TRADE RELATIONS. That is what oil is, it is a commodity, NOT A SOVEREIGN RIGHT OF THE USA in the Middle East. 

Idiots. Decades of idiots. They think with their wallets. And as a rule men sit on their's. The alternative is a wallet in their jacket pocket next to their heart. Women? Women have pocketbooks where wallets are mingling with every thing else needed in life, They are not personalized as jewelry.

Decades of idiots empowered by the USA's military that lead wars against unarmed American puppets. Sick. 

According to the Neocons puppeteers we live in a very dangerous world today. Right. And the NSA can't find cyberhackers either. 

There are currently SHI'ITES groups taken off the terrorist list. Imagine that. An entire ethnicity armed by those that will supply it in order to exist in the world. Decades of idiots. The USA could have annihilated the Shi'ites in the Middle East. Amazingly, it didn't happen.

Hamas. Oh, yes, Hamas. Israel's reason for settlements. The more settlements and taking of Palestinian land the more violent and desperate Hamas became. That worked out well, didn't it? The hate employed in US relations with countries is unbelievable.  

"Death to America."

"The US is the great evil."

Really? You might have a point. 

"Allahu Akbar" that was a new one. For the first time in US history the hate came in the words of a foreign language. I really got the feeling they didn't care what we understood anymore.

Then "W" and Cheney decided Shi'ite Clerics with newspapers and their Mosques came under fire and all of a sudden it all made sense. They didn't care what we understood. 

The American people have clung to the idea other nations were enemies we didn't deserve. 


Vladimir are you making in roads with Iran over Yemen? 

It is called the balance of power. It is good. It is healthy. It is necessary. There is no way the USA will ever have the entire power it needs to carry out domination of a global community. It won't happen. 

I think China has a bank it wants to promote. Last I read Australia is proceeding in an application to participate. 

Look, Iran is attempting to end the oppression of the Shi'ites in the crescent. It is defining that as domination over governments. Iran needs allies and comfort in those alliances, It doesn't need more war resulting in greater regional instability. 


If Iran takes it's leadership seriously in regard to being the guardian of the Shi'ites, the last thing it needs is nuclear weapons. The countries with nuclear weapons invites disaster. It becomes a target. Look at what Israel is saying. Iran is the Shi'ite homeland and it needs to act like it. 

That idea is not a trick either. It is recognition of the Shi'ite people and their need to be part of the region in a peaceful way. 

Daesh and any other genocidal regimes have to be stopped. For the same reason Iran is the Shi'ite homeland, the genocidal regimes have to be stopped. There is no trick in any of that understanding.