Posted on | September 10, 2011 | 1 Comment
All you hear from the Tea Party is that if you raise taxes on businesses it will make the economy worse. So why don’t we just stop pussyfooting around with this issue. If cutting taxes on the wealthy is the answer to all of America’s financial woes then why not just say that if you make over 5 million a year whether you are a company or an individual you don’t pay a dime in taxes. We should be recession proof from here on out, right? There should never be another lay off of anyone, anywhere for any reason. Opening up your locker and finding a pink slip at your job should go the way of polio and just be something that we tell our grandchildren about. But no one suggests this because of one simple fact. Greed. No politician is going to stick their neck out on the line and say that if corporations didn’t pay any taxes that any of that extra money would trickle down to anyone else. I for one have never gotten a raise at my corporate job just because the stock was doing well but I sure as hell have faced the threat of layoffs when the stock was in the toilet. Why wouldn’t that extra money just go to where it already goes, to the shareholders and to the exorbitant salaries of the corporate executives? Can someone tell me when people stop being greedy and start admitting that they have more than enough? Does anyone say that anymore? Actually Warren Buffett did. He wrote a one page OP-ED piece in the New York Times citing that he pays a smaller percentage of taxes than anyone else does in his office. So, I guess in all fairness, beside Warren Buffet, does that line even exist for anyone else? When you talk about raising taxes on the wealthy and conservatives in Congress openly boo, whose interests exactly are these people representing in Washington? Or am I totally missing the point of life here. Is the point of living to accumulate as much as humanly possible for as long as you have time on this planet and be damned to everyone else?
Posted on | September 10, 2011 | No Comments
How come there aren’t any liberals out there pointing out the obvious to conservatives that the wildfires burning in Texas today are God’s wrath for how conservative they are? I mean, anytime there is any disaster, manmade or otherwise anywhere else in the country people like Glenn Beck, Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have always made a point to remind us that we are suffering because God is unhappy with how tolerant we have become as a country towards liberal ideas.
Well damn, couldn’t it be just as plausible that God is burning Texas up because of how conservative they are? Wait, why is that funny? I’m serious.
Why isn’t anyone pointing out that in the Bible when God was angry at Egypt he created a drought? This is his M.O. isn’t it? Texas is enduring the driest 7 month span on record. Texas is so conservative even their Democrats are Republicans. And as punishment for their conservative ways I have heard from credible sources that God has been deliberately withholding water from Texas to make sure that they wouldn’t have enough water around to put these fires out. God can be callous like that.
Had San Francisco been in a drought for over a year, you better believe they would’ve connected the dots directly to the gay community there. Why did God allow those planes to hit the world trade center again? Wasn’t it feminists, tolerance toward homosexuals and abortion rights?
So where are the liberals connecting the dots to this one?
Let me be blunt. God is burning up Texas because you lead the country in executing convicted criminals, you all walk around packing heat and you treat Mexicans like shit. There I said it.
Posted on | June 8, 2011 | 7 Comments
I remember listening to an interview with Tupac Shakur where the interviewer described Tupac’s war of words with former friend, but then rival, The Notorious B.I.G. as a “battle to see who will rule the Nigga Kingdom”. Tupac seemed to be amused by the phrase “Nigga Kingdom” and agreed almost proudly that he was in a battle to be the king of the Nigga kingdom, like being king of the Niggas was something to be.
I entitled this essay the Nigga Identity because that is what those who identify themselves as “Niggas” call themselves.
I believe that the vast majority of African-Americans have at least some aspects of the Nigga Identity polluting their Identity to various degrees, which is completely understandable. The experience of slavery was and continues to be the basis of the psychological and cultural foundation of the African-American world view. The Nigga Identity is an unbroken ideological descendent to the Slave Identity that was internalized by the enslaved African here in the United States. Consequently, this definition of self has been passed on to their children and to their children’s children for generations and sadly, it continues to be passed on to this day.
More than any other factor, this definition of self is the blueprint of many, if not all, of the problems that plague the African-American community including generational poverty, crime, self-hatred, the undervaluing of education, high unemployment, and even chronic disease.
When enslaved Africans were brought to the New World to spend the remainder of their lives as slaves, the conditions during the journey were simply horrific. During the journey enslaved Africans were confined in claustrophobia inducing compartments. While in the belly the of these slave ships they were ravaged by diseases such as amoebic dysentery, scurvy, smallpox, syphilis and measles as a direct result of the unsanitary conditions they were being held in. So it’s no surprise that when the opportunity presented itself, many thousands of enslaved Africans chose to leap to their deaths into the cold Atlantic waters rather than face the fate that awaited many of those in the belly of those ships. In fact, 2 out of every 3 enslaved Africans never survived the journey from Africa to the New World. So, by some conservative estimates 2 million Africans died before ever stepping foot in the New world. Slaves were worth a lot more money alive than dead so procedures were put in place to improve mortality rates. Those who were in charge of managing the slave cargo routinely brought the dead on deck to toss overboard in an attempt to cutoff the further spreading of diseases. So many dead were tossed overboard that the seasonal migration patterns of sharks which roamed in those waters actually changed to take advantage of this new reliable source of food.
Those who didn’t succumb to disease or have the opportunity to leap to their deaths in the cold Atlantic had yet another horror awaiting them called seasoning. Seasoning was a process intended to introduce the enslaved African to what the expectations were of him as a slave in the New World. Enslaved Africans were made familiar with almost daily physical and psychological torture in these seasoning camps in order to get them to break. Again, some of the mortality rates in these seasoning camps where reportedly as high as 50%. So in essence, two thirds of enslaved Africans died on the way to the New World and of that surviving one third, half would die at the hands of those trying to force them to internalize the identity of a slave. The point I am trying to make is that the enslaved Africans, who leapt to their deaths in the cold Atlantic are NOT the ancestors to the African-American. Those enslaved Africans that died from diseases in the belly of those slave ships are NOT the ancestors of the African-American. Those who were killed in these ghastly seasoning camps that awaited them after they arrived in the New World are NOT the ancestors of the African-American. African-Americans are the descendants of those who miraculously survived all of that only to then choose to adopt and internalize the identity of slave rather than die. This is very important to understand.
When I speak of identity I am referring to how we define ourselves. There are many aspects of who we are which make up our identity. I am a son, a father, a husband, a brother, friend, a writer etc.
We all carry within us a multitude of identities that help define us. Bundled inseparably within those identities are expectations of how others should behave towards us and how we should behave towards others. However, not all of these aspects of our identity carry equal weight. Each of us places each aspect of our identity in a slightly different hierarchy. Whichever aspect of our identity is at the top of that hierarchy is what I call our Core or Root Identity. I call it that because this is the aspect of our identity that affects all of the other aspects below it in the hierarchy just as the gravitational pull of the Sun affects all of the other objects within its orbit.
For many enslaved Africans being a slave was a Core or Root Identity. Being a slave affected the expectations of every other aspect of their identity. What it means to be a man to the slave is not the same as what it means to someone who has his freedom. The expectations of what a man is had to be distorted to fit the expectations of a slave.
It must be understood that you don’t create a slave by chaining them up to something and telling them to work. A slave is created when an individual internalizes slave as a definition of self. This means that it is possible to have two people standing side by side, both owned by another human being as property, both forced to work without compensation, and one be a slave and the other not.
Relationships in our lives with others are always easiest when the OTHER defines us as we define ourselves. The greater the distance between how we define ourselves and how others define us, the more stressful our relationships will be. The enslaved African who kept slave at or nearest to the core or root of his identity had the best chances of surviving.
The late African-American comedian Richard Pryor, known for his colorful language and his unsparing use of the word Nigga in his standup, said to his audience on his Grammy award winning comedy album Live on Sunset Strip that he wasn’t going to use the word Nigga anymore. Pryor explained to his audience that the reason he wasn’t using the word Nigga anymore was because he had recently visited the continent of Africa and it was only after he was there for a few days that he realized that he hadn’t said the word Nigga once. He said that he hadn’t used the word because he “hadn’t seen any Niggas.” The reason Pryor didn’t see any Niggas was because Africans are not the ideological descendants of the enslaved African who became the African-American. There is a considerable difference between an African-American that defines himself as a Nigga and an African-American who defines himself as a human being. What Richard Pryor had observed were Africans who defined themselves as human beings.
Now what do I mean when I say Africans define themselves as human beings? Am I saying that Niggas don’t think of themselves as human beings? Of course they see themselves as human beings in the physical sense of having two eyes, two ears, two arms two legs etc. When I say Niggas don’t define themselves as human beings I am speaking in terms of expectations. Think about it. What are your expectations of life if you are a slave? As a consequence of a slave’s total loss of freedom the expectation of many things that a human being should expect merely by reason of being human had to be erased.
African-Americans didn’t cease to define themselves as slaves after they were emancipated in 1865 any more than one would expect a dethroned King to stop thinking of himself as royalty after being removed from the throne.
In the years immediately after the enslaved Africans were emancipated from slavery there was an unprecedented amount of hope and optimism within this new African-American community. They were optimistic that now that they were free men and women they would become full fledge Americans, recognized by law and able to enjoy all of the rights and privileges therein. However, this unprecedented optimism and hope was met with fierce resistance from southern whites, who we must understand had their own identity and expectations regarding their relationship with the African-American. As soon as Union soldiers returned to the north after Reconstruction, southern whites began to pass legislation that recreated an oppressive environment which legally reestablished the expectations of many whites regarding their relationship with African-Americans. As a result, many African Americans readopted their slave identity as their environment became uncomfortably similar to what they were familiar with as slaves.
Carter G. Woodson recognized this problem of identity in his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, published in 1933 when he wrote, “If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”
I believe it is correct to say that those who hold the Nigga Identity as their core aspect are simply displaced slaves. The Slave felt powerless to change his environment, and he was encouraged to believe this, so the slave focused his attention on surviving within his environment rather than changing it. Niggas, being simply displaced slaves, think in exactly the same way.
Simply wanting something different for yourself than what you already have requires you to see yourself differently than you currently do. Wanting is only a first step. I wish people would stop believing that you can achieve anything in life if you want it bad enough. We all want things that we never get. Even knowing what it takes to get something different is not enough to get it. Getting something different in your life requires you to alter your definition of self so that it feels natural to have it in your life. It must feel so natural in fact, that you expect it to be there. When you expect it to be there you automatically, consciously and subconsciously, begin to DO the things that it takes to bring what you expect into your life.
To alter your definition of self requires you to examine and ask yourself if these definitions serve you. Notice I didn’t say examine to see if these definitions are real because if you believe them, whether they are lies or not they will seem real to you. All of the choices that we make in life are based on what we believe is real. So if you believe you are worthless then your life will reflect that you’re worthless. There isn’t anything mystical or metaphysical about it. If you believe you are worthless you will make choices consistent with someone who believes that they are worthless and those choices will create experiences that are also consistent with someone who believes that they are worthless.
Since we always make decisions based on what we believe to be real, anyone can look at the choices that we make in our lives, particularly when those choices form an identifiable pattern, to see very easily how we define ourselves. This doesn’t require our acknowledgment. It’s right there for any and all to see. You don’t need to look any further than how African-Americans stand up statistically in certain categories to see how the Nigga Identity serves as the blueprint for their experience.
• African-American women are 15 times more likely to get HIV than are white women. African-American men are six times more likely to get HIV than are white men. African-Americans get nearly half of all new HIV infections in the U.S.
• 72 percent of black mothers are unwed compared to 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics.
• Fewer than half of all African Americans that attend college graduate.
• According to the Bureau of Justice, African-Americans make up only 11% of the population of the United States but 60.1 % of the prison population. 43% of all murder victims in the United States in 2007 were African Americans, with 93.1% of them killed by another African American.
• According to recent US Census Bureau data, 24.7% of all African-Americans live in poverty in compared to 8.6% of Whites, 11.8% of Asian-American and 23.2% of Hispanics.
• African-American women are two to three times more likely than White females to conceive during their adolescent years.
Need I continue?
For far too long, African-Americans have wanted to redirect the responsibility of solving the problems of the African-American community by blaming the white community for their problems. Again, this is logical, isn’t it? Why wouldn’t the slave want to blame his white Master for his plight? Who owns him like a piece of property? Who sells his children, his sibling, and his parents like a commodity? He isn’t even a legal human being in a country that claims that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights and that it is self-evident that “all men are created equal”.
We all know that it was European colonists’ desire to develop the land and resources in the Americas for capital profits that was the impetus of the creation of the slave identity that eventually became the Nigga Identity in enslaved Africans. That is unquestionable. However, this does not prevent us from abandoning the identity that came from it. We don’t have to have created an identity to abandon it. Ask yourself, if you don’t have control over how you define yourself, then who does?
The white man isn’t the one who makes you have sex without a condom leading to the group with the highest rates of teen pregnancy, HIV contraction and children being born to single mothers in the country. The white man isn’t the one who makes you live in a different household than your children. The white man isn’t the one who makes you have several children with several different fathers or mothers. The white man isn’t the one who is teasing your children about the complexion of their skin or supports a nine billion dollar black hair industry which essentially is dedicated to creating the illusion that you have a different textured hair than what comes naturally out of your head. The white man isn’t the one who makes you believe that taking your education seriously or correctly pronouncing your words makes you less black.
Geoffrey Canada, head of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, addresses the identity of the students in his school head on. The Harlem Children’s Zone mission statement is that they are “aimed at doing nothing less than breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families it serves. “ Even before school begins parents must attend the Baby College, which is a series of workshops for parents of children ages 0–3. Then there is an all-day pre-kindergarten that the children must attend. They are not teaching reading, writing and arithmetic in these classes but beginning the process of actively deconstructing the inferior Identity of the Nigga Identity that manifests itself as generational poverty.
Niggas, like slaves, feel powerless to change their environment therefore they place their focus on surviving an environment instead. They don’t even consider the possibility of changing or abandoning the environment. They are so sensitive to being told what they cannot do, that they have no interest in doing what they can do. For example, if you told a Nigga tomorrow that it was illegal for him to go get an education there would be nowhere else he would rather be than in school, but if you just open a school and don’t place restrictions on him he wants to be anywhere else but in school.
Any teacher in the field of education who works with young adolescent African-Americans have witnessed black children ridicule each other over the shade of their skin, tease other black students for “talking white” Who hasn’t heard black students ridiculing other blacks who care about getting an education by questioning their blackness, “What do you think you are, white?”
W.E.B. Dubois was raised as a free black in a very small free black population of Great Barrington, New York and was a student at Harvard in 1888. only 23 years after slavery was abolished in the United States. Dubois who was never a slave, nor was he born from slaves, was the first African-American to graduate with a doctorate from Harvard in 1895. Carter G. Woodson, known as the father of Black History, was the son of a former slave and earned his Ph.D. in history at Harvard University in 1912. Despite their different backgrounds clearly neither W.E.B. Dubois nor Carter G. Woodson defined themselves in a way that limited their pursuit of education. W.E.B. Dubois and Carter G. Woodson certainly don’t stand alone, they also don’t stand with significant numbers of others either. Understand that neither one of these men would’ve been considered “black” by Nigga standards.
The entire country saw firsthand during Barak Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign how the African-American community made an issue about whether or not Barak Obama was “black enough”. Have you ever really thought about this? How does something like this even come about? This must look crazy to someone from the outside looking in. What does “black enough” mean? Who is this black standard bearer that we are measuring against? Working along the Nigga line of thinking let’s see if we can draw a mental picture of someone whose blackness would never be called into question by a Nigga. Since African-American children tease each other over skin complexion it only seems right that this standard bearer would need to be physically of the darkest complexion. Since black children get teased for coming from two parent households or having financial means to not live check to check, this person would need to come from a poor, fatherless household. Since we get ridiculed by Nigga’s for investing in our education and working to compete with others academically, he would have to have low reading comprehension and math scores. Since we are expected to thrive in athletics he would need to be the fastest running and highest jumping. Also, since our definition of manhood is so convoluted with being prone to violence and sexual prowess he should be the most violent, most sexual, most testosterone driven man around with children from multiple women so that his sexual prowess would never be questioned. There you have it, a caricature of the blackest man alive by the Nigga way of thinking, a black man whose blackness would be undisputed. Sounds eerily like the kind of enslaved African someone would want to buy at a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1700’s, doesn’t it? Young, none too bright, virile and strong as a buck, virtually indistinguishable from the same qualities someone might look for in a horse.
I believe what “Niggas” need more than anything is LOVE. I don’t mean love in some corny sense either. Niggas are not only sad but also dangerous to themselves and others. Because they have such limitations on how much they love themselves they are limited in how much they can love others which is evidenced by the high percentage of black on black crimes. The slave identity was not created out of love. It wasn’t created out of hate either. It was created out of unmitigated greed. Enslaved Africans were encouraged to feel helpless and powerless because it made men very wealthy for them to do so.
Whenever you love someone part of the act of loving is choosing to understand. So many people refuse to make the effort to understand others because they would much rather stand in judgment. Lower levels in particular prefer to stand in judgment of others because it makes them feel superior. But love is non-judgmental. Making an effort to understand someone is not the same as excusing their actions. You can still say that something someone did is wrong while at the same time understanding why someone did it. I often tell people that the difference between a reason and an excuse is that it’s a reason when it reflects what you want someone to believe and it’s an excuse when someone doesn’t want to believe it.
We do Niggas a disservice if we underestimate the depth of self-hate they feel for themselves.
The Nigga Identity should be viewed for exactly what it is, an unnatural way of defining the human spirit. It cripples the mind, spirit and soul of a person so that they can’t grow beyond its crippling limitations.
That’s how you get down to the core of the problems in the African-American community like generational poverty, and being disproportionately victims of crime and violence. The consequences of not altering your definition of self is that you do not change your expectations, so you don’t do anything differently and are doomed to recreate what is already there.
We as a community should take an interest in ridding the world of Niggas by teaching them to expect the same things out of life as any other human being. However, like anything else, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. You can’t force anyone to believe something that they don’t want to believe. You can only be there to assist when someone is open and willing to have faith that there is another way of looking at the world. My hope is that when there is someone who is ready to learn, ready to reexamine how he or she defines himself or herself, you will be there to selflessly give him or her all of the support that they will need to do just that.
Altering your definition of self is never easy. It is often a slow and deliberate process. It requires us to be authentic with ourselves and asks for a lot of self-reflection. It is about altering what someone believes to be true and that is never easy. As you begin to dismantle any aspect of your identity that doesn’t serve you any longer there is an adjustment period that is necessary to get comfortable with the new way of looking at yourself. Since it’s new, it is often uncomfortable to us initially, even if it’s healthy for us and there is a strong pull to return to what is familiar. This is exactly what happened to African-Americans after Reconstruction ended in the South and the Union troops returned north. There was a severe and harsh backlash against African-Americans and it was easier for many to return to the identity that they were familiar with.
As long as we celebrate the Nigga Identity and its values go unchallenged when they are paraded in front of us, Niggas will never question why their lives are what they are. They will continue to believe the sources of their problems are institutional; therefore they are helpless to change their definition of self or their environment and will continue to think only in terms of survival. To have a revolution means to tear down what is currently in place and replace it with something new. This can be done with anything, institutions as well as ways of thinking. We have to change the way we address these issues plaguing African-Americans because it isn’t the institutions which are the problem. This is evident with how African Immigrants come to this country and consistently outperform African-Americans in education, career advancement, economic prosperity etc. The problem is how we relate to these institutions. The institution of slavery was abolished in the United States and yet 150 years later we still have displaced slaves. Like Carter G. Woodson said in his book The Mis-Education of the Negro in 1933, “if there is no back door, our very nature will demand one.”
There have been people who have successfully taught African-Americans how to change their lives without ever changing the institutions themselves. They accomplish this in many different ways but all of them have done so by understanding one very basic rule: alter how someone defines himself and they will expect things from themselves that are in accord with that definition and will make the necessary choices to bring those things into their lives. Therefore, if a system is built upon you thinking like a slave, cease being the slave and the system comes to a halt. That is when you will have a true revolution. Not a revolution of bloodshed, but a revolution in the way we think of ourselves. Everything that has been built on our back and continues to exploit this condition will have no choice but to fall.
Is being king of the Nigga Kingdom something to be? Only if you think that being the freest slave is something to be.
Posted on | October 1, 2010 | 1 Comment
Well he is…
Posted on | September 9, 2010 | No Comments
Just like in science fiction, whenever they show an alien race, have you ever noticed that the entire race only has one language, one hairstyle and one culture? Not only do they wear the same style of clothes but usually that style only comes in the one color! Aliens never come from a planet with 5 or 6 different climates; they always come from a planet with only one climate. Either they come from a desert planet or a tropical planet or a planet with a glacier all over it. Tatooine is all deserts. Hoth was all ice. Mordor was one big volcano in the center of it and was always covered in dark storm clouds ALL THE TIME! They didn’t even have weather in Mordor. When Klingons talk about their culture they speak as if they only have one. When aliens speak, they speak for all of their people. WE always paint whoever we are calling THEM with one broad brush. To me, this is indicative of how we think of the cultural OTHER as never having any variation within it. Acknowledging differences within a group is something we only reserve for ourselves. To the outsider looking in, all he sees is lazy, undeveloped caricatures.
Florida pastor Terry Jones and his 50 member congregation is no more representative of Christianity as those in Islam which think its ok to stone a woman for adultery. Sure those who are doing that are Muslim, just like terry Jones is a Christian, but so what? If I get in a car accident and the person that hit me is Asian does that tell you something meaningful about how well Asians drive?
Since when does everyone become an ambassador to every group we are a part of?
It’s just our lazy nature to say that everyone in Islam is representative of whomever or whatever makes the top news story. Just for once I would like to listen to the national news and have someone look directly into the camera and call this what it is. Ask yourself, how does someone with only 50 members in a congregation become a national headline? Has it been that slow of a week in the world of news? This is America; idiotic self-righteous assholes say and do things all the time because they have the right to do almost whatever they please. We, collectively as a nation, particularly our media, need to understand this and not give face time to every yahoo out there who does something to get publicity. It’s not Terry Jones fault if what he does on Saturday gets US soldiers killed or further tarnishes our image around the world. It is the fault of every news outlet that shows up at his 50 member church on Saturday and has their cameras rolling to cover this “story”.
What is news and what isn’t? If a volcano erupts in Alabama and kills 1,000 people, that is a news story. First of all, they don’t even have an active volcano in Alabama so that is a story in-an-of itself. Now if I decide to defecate on a picture of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in front of 40 of my friends at a barbeque that is not news, even if I put it on YouTube and get 100,000 hits. 100,000 hits on YouTube don’t make it news nor does it make it a fledgling political movement either. I am only an idiot with a YouTube video of me taking a dump in public. No more, no less. Typhoon kills 1,000 people, yes that is news. The US Economy falling apart, yes that is news. Naked man refusing to wear clothes until everyone in Congress admits that there are UFOs stored at Roswell, New Mexico… hmm not so much. Know the difference.
Posted on | September 2, 2010 | 2 Comments
Let me get this straight, by eating an apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge, this somehow created a genetic predisposition in all of the children of Adam and Eve to sin. A genetic predisposition for sin that we have to be forgiven for by Jesus of Nazareth. Since Adam and Eve sinned in the first place, it would stand to reason that they already had the genetic predisposition to disobey God. There is no need to blame the apple for this. This means that God must’ve created Adam and Eve this way. So if we have a genetic predisposition to sin why would we have to be forgiven for it? You don’t ask a child with autism to ask for forgiveness for being autistic or a person with a genetic predisposition toward obesity to be forgiven for being obese. Wait, maybe you do. Scientists have just discovered that exercise can actually counteract the obesity gene. It’s true! According to a study published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, we can burn off 40% of our genetic predisposition to obesity by exercising! So if you choose to exercise you can actually counteract the genetic predisposition! Amazing isn’t it?
Since science doesn’t believe in the existence of a soul, since a soul can’t be measured by any scientific instruments currently in existence, everything we do and say scientists try to attribute to a measureable biological cause. If you kill someone there must be a murder gene or if you cheat on your math test there must be a cheating gene somewhere. Philosophers of the mind have even come up with the idea that ideas themselves are actually things called memes that infect our mind like viruses.
The problems with ideas like this is that they robs us of the responsibility that comes from making choices.
If we are responsible for our choices then we are responsible for our lives.
Whether you are religious or scientific in your leanings, chances are you are afraid of the idea of being responsible for your life because it is a common human condition.
So whether you screw up because you have a genetic predisposition for it or because Adam and Eve ate from a forbidden apple it serves the same purpose.
The truth of the matter is that Adam and Eve didn’t have a genetic predisposition to sin. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious perspective has gotten it all wrong. Adam and Eve had the ability to make choices, and when God gave these monkeys that he created in his image free will, he knew that there was a chance that there would be times when they would disappoint him, but there would also be many more times when they would make him immeasurably proud, and he was cool with that, because if they have the ability to make choices then they also have the ability to learn from their mistakes.
Therefore perfection isn’t expected and mistakes aren’t sins. Mistakes are simply part of the process that we all must go through in order to learn.
Maybe God’s fault in all of this was being an incurable optimist. Maybe he believed that as long as we can make choices, we can learn from our mistakes, as long as we can learn from our mistakes then there is no limit to what we can become.
Hell, for all we know, this is exactly how he started out. Maybe that is why he has so much faith in the process.
Personally, I think maybe he under guesstimated how long it would take some of these monkeys to learn anything at all.
Now get off your fat ass, go buy a puppy and go walk him around the block. It will do you both some good. Science says so. (Smile)
Posted on | August 29, 2010 | 1 Comment
Recently Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party presidential hopeful Sarah Palin appealed to a predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and to honor Martin Luther King’s message.
Wait. What exactly are these traditional family values they want to restore?
Martin Luther King’s life work as a civil rights activist was dedicated to changing at least one long standing American tradition… the denial of constitutional rights to African Americans.
When King was alive, not one single White American had ever been convicted of murder for the lynching of a black American in this country’s history, yet lynching had been such a part of the American cultural landscape that the term “Strange Fruit” had been coined to refer to the murdered, mutilated black’s often found hanging from trees throughout this country, not just the south.
And as much as Glenn Beck and his other likeminded far right conservatives would like you to believe that they are now standing arm in arm with Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights movement was opposed every single step of the way by the far right conservatives like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palins of their day.
So how does conservatism start out opposed to something and end up in support of it?
That is the thing you have to understand about conservatism; conservatives simply want to go backward… period. They are always afraid of the future, that is unless you can promise them that the future means going backwards.
At the foundation of Conservatism is a fear of the unknown future.
For example, Conservatives in the days of the American Revolution opposed ending their colonial relationship with King George.
Conservatives in the days before the civil war opposed abolishing slavery. Conservatives in the days of the civil rights movement opposed desegregation in public schools, they opposed admitting blacks into Colleges and Universities and even having the right to get a job or live wherever they wanted to live.
You can’t look at conservatism as a set of core values because what are conservative values is always relative to what the values are in the present day.
Glenn Beck supporting Martin Luther King’s message in 1968 wouldn’t be conservative at all, in fact it would’ve gotten him labeled a good for nothing stinking pinko liberal by conservatives of that day.
The reason Beck can get away with embracing King today is because Martin Luther King’s vision of civil rights has been bounced around in the social zeitgeist long enough for them to acclimate themselves to it, so today they can safely embrace his message as part of this revisionist idea that he was always a part of their core values.
So again I ask you, what exactly are these traditional American values they want to return to?
The answer is simple. It all depends on what era the conservative is from.
Posted on | August 27, 2010 | 1 Comment
I am serious. I am asking. This is not meant as a rhetorical question. I just read that former President Jimmy Carter is expected to arrive in the United States Friday with a U.S. citizen who was imprisoned in North Korea after entering it illegally in January. This man was old when I was in the third grade. Since he left office he has been out an about building houses in South America , irrigating water to poor communities in Central America and now we can add negotiating the release of hostages on behalf of the American government to the list. What has George Bush (either of them) Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon ever done after they left office to help the world? I would add Ronald Reagan to the discussion (God bless him) but he was literally showing signs of senility by the time he left office. I’ll give him a pass. It’s like Republican Presidents have all of this gusto when they run for office to make the world a better place but where does it go once they leave office? All I have ever seen George Bush do since he left office is let Clinton do all of talking during a commercial asking for donations for disaster relief. For all the born again Christian, “what would Jesus do”, American values talk that you hear coming from the right side of the political spectrum you would think they would be more charitable with their time when they return to the private sector than they are.
Again, for me, it’s not what you say it’s what you do. I dont see christian goodwill out of the right, unless you call intolerance of non-Christians, standing up for their rights to carrying handguns and being judgemental of everyone that isn’t like them Christian goodwill. I am sure if you asked Jesus what would he rather do, fight for the right to carry a handgun in Church or go negotiate the release of someone being held hostage against their will, he would pick the latter.
Posted on | August 21, 2010 | 1 Comment
In an example of classic low level thinking, Sarah Palin who was calling for Rahm Emanuel to lose his job for using the word “retard” supports Dr. Laura for suggesting to a black woman that she needs to get a sense of humor after complaining that her white in-laws use the word Nigger freely.
Had Sarah Palin not had a retard child she wouldn’t be the least bit offended by Rahm Emanuel’s comment. She is classic low level in that she shows a severe inability to empathize with those who she views as dissimilar to herself.
If you listen to Sarah Palin, saying the word Nigger is constitutionally protected free speech (which it is) and Dr. Laura should “reload and not to retreat” but saying that someone is retarded isn’t?
Damn Nigga now that’s retarded.
Posted on | August 21, 2010 | 2 Comments
Democracy is at its best when the people have an unfaltering set of principles. Without those principles, democracy is nothing more than mob rule.
This is what happened to democracy of Athens. When times were difficult, and the future uncertain, any yahoo with an idea and a scape goat that sounded good at the time would find himself in power.
The ONLY reason America is who she is and has not fallen prey to mob rule is our adherence to the principles of our constitution. When the President of the United States can say he supports the American people’s constitutional right to Freedom of religion and its consider controversial we are in trouble.
Had the President said that he said he supported Constitutional protected Freedom of Press it wouldn’t have even made the news. Nor should it.
The Constitution is the backbone of this country. If we weaken any of it to discriminate against one group we weaken it for all of us.
You would expect that your president would support the constitution. But the problem is that we have factions in this country on the right and the left that don’t support the constitution as a whole. They want to treat it like an al carte lunch buffe… take what they want and leave what they don’t. Its hypocritical, its low level thinking and its un-American.
We must remember the goal of terrorism is not to kill us, but to change us.
If on 9-10 we supported freedom of religion but on 9-12 we don’t, that is how history will judge how successful those terrorist were in their efforts.