All posts in Recent Events

Message to Trump Supporters

I know it is early but here are some questions Trump supporters should ask regularly. “How will this improve my life?” He cannot get rid of corrupt politicians because you have re-elected them. His bans on immigrants do not keep you safer because few immigrants commit crimes against Americans. Immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Immigrants didn’t take your job automation did and will continue to do so. The few jobs he prevented going abroad (and there is great controversy over how many that is and whether he had anything to do with it) do not mean

Where do we go from here?

The marches and demonstrations against Trump have been successful and they should continue, but what else should we do. If the outpouring of concern stops with the marches we will not have effectively resisted Trump. Remember the Occupy movement. We must take continued action to either rebuild the Democratic Party to get back to its FDR concerns for the common man, or we need to build a new party that will. As our guiding vision I think we need to go back to Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. preached concern for others and standing up for what you

Could MLK’s Methods Work in the Time of Trump

Martin Luther King would have been 88 years old this year. Next year will mark 50 years since he left us. We should ask are his methods and strategies still the right ones? King was a man of great optimism and faith in human beings. His strategy reveals that. King’s method had two components. The first was an appeal to white moderates. His tactic was to bring the violence inherent in systems of oppression down upon himself and fellow demonstrators, to make it visible. Such examples of undeserved suffering and dramatization of the problem, would convince people to make a change. Those

Trumps New World will be the Old World redux

Okay folks we need to have our period of mourning, but then we need to get back up and figure out what our next moves are. The first thing to figure out is why Trump’s message was so appealing and Hillary’s wasn’t appealing to enough people. Trump’s support was wider ranging than most of the pundits predicted and are now acknowledging. Yes there were the racists, white supremacists, and nativists to whom Trump appealed with both actual appeals and dog whistle politics. The upsurge in racial, anti Muslim and anti-immigrant incidents following his election are signs of that. His supporters

Bury My Heart at the Fish and Wildlife Building

My social media accounts are burning up with comparisons of how the armed white occupiers of the Oregon Fish and wildlife building are being differently treated than unarmed black folks who have been shot by authorities. People mention the media calling them “militia” instead of “terrorists” or “thugs”; the police waiting them out instead of going in guns blazing as people assume they would in a comparable situation with black protesters.   No one has to convince me that police see young black men as potentially dangerous “thugs” because of the racial fears rampart in our society. It does not matter

What do Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Have In Common?

The two surprises in this early presidential election season have been the strength of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It is much to early to tell if these showings will end up in the forgotten footnotes of presidential politics like the candidacies of Howard Dean and Herman Cain to name just a couple of surprisingly strong early campaign figures in recent history. Or, will one or both end up as an insurgent candidate like Barack Obama upsetting all the pundits and prognosticators? They could not be more different from each other and disagree on most any issue you could name:

The “Mother of the Year” in Baltimore

I spanked my child only one time.  It took me about a week to get over it.  He was 2 or 3 at the time and he started to run out into the middle of the street. I rationalized that this was a life or death situation and he was too young to have a rational discussion about this.  He had to learn not to do this if he were to survive and he had to learn the simple equation that running into the street was a no-no, that it was associated with pain. I was reminded of this with the

Little Ado About Torture

Three things strike me about the release of the Senate Committee’s report on torture by the CIA. First there is the limited extent of outrage by the general public at what the CIA was doing in our name. Partly this is about limited media coverage of the outrage and partly the timing of the release.  People are certainly caught up in the materialist consumer frenzy that is Christmas and with the unrelenting revelations of white police killing unarmed black people at will.  There is only so much outrage to go around. We are experiencing outrage fatigue. On a deeper level

Books That Were Important To Me

A little while ago there was a Facebook challenge circulating among my friends: quickly list 10 books that were important to you without thinking about it too much. Not being one to be constrained by the rules I wanted to do it but with some thought rather than quickly and not necessarily with 10 books. My list is considerably different from those of my friends and colleagues but I always was an odd duck. The first book is one few will have read but many will have heard of: Moby Dick. I read it for the first time when I checked

The “It’s Their Own Damn Fault” Argument

Recently a friend sent me this Chris Rock video and asked me what I thought of it.  She was appalled by it but many of her friends and acquaintances liked it. Admittedly humor is a multi-leveled thing and viewers take different things out of it. This is the problem with ironic art.  This is especially true of African American humor where a subordinate (the fancy word is subaltern) hides their criticism of the dominant culture in code or behind masks. On the surface this is about how black behavior either one’s own or that of a companion may precipitate police beatings.