This is politics such as it is. We had a choice between two candidates neither of whom represented what was best for America, and so, once again, we were forced to choose between the lesser of two evils because once again, we found ourselves caught up in the embrace of the partisan political process as if it were out only hope for change. And so it is as long as we are foolish enough to surrender our potential power to one man. I have said this before, and I will say it again. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us much about using our power collectively to bring about real social change, and yet we have forgotten the lessons. King placed little faith in the partisan political process. Instead he showed people how they could work together to make the changes they wanted. It wasn't easy and it didn't happen overnight, but he showed that it was possible. Our hope does not lie with any single person. It does not lie in laws, elections, or ever Supreme Court decisions. It lies in our collective will to do what is necessary, and unless we are willing and take action ourselves, we will fall into the despair of the outcome of elections, and we will wait for another four years to pass so that we can expend all of our energy and squander our faith on the possible outcome of an election. Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different outcome. And so here we are writing a tale told by idiots. The rest is silence.
The day Trump won the highest office in the land is the day the country officially went bats**t crazy. Forget his bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, narcissism. This is a 70-year-old man who stays up all night tweeting replies to everyone who gets under his thin orange skin. That should be enough to disqualify him from office.
But no. Not in 2016. Not in the Year of the Crazy.
Obama brought class, intelligence and reason to the White House. Trump brings tantrums and anti-intellectualism. Gonna be a long four years.
But I'm with you, CE. I'm resolved to battle this blowhard clown all the way down to the wire. He didn't win the popular vote. He didn't even win a majority of Republican primary votes. He's a con man and carnival barker who slipped through the back door because the Establishment couldn't open its eyes long enough to develop a winning strategy against the worse presidential candidate in history.
Trump is not my president. He's just a temporary tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I'm resolved to demand that the opposition party and media keep a laser focus on all of Trump's shady deals, shady connections, and shady friends and colleagues. I guarantee something will come up -- something YUUUUGE -- that will send him out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on his a88.
Stay strong. Stay focused.
>> I am not pleased with the two candidates of choice.
There are more than two candidates. The third, two-term Governor Gary Johnson, is the only one committed to scaling back the War On (Some) Drugs.
@Emine Wright Yes diva it is sad that folks care more about broken windows more than broken bodies and spirits. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
@Tony Tony Stark OMG please can the sister with the big hat and formal voice read your note during the church announcements right after letting people know that the young adult singles ministry will now meet in the other building since the couple that facilitates it is going through a messy divorce....lol Thank you as always for your insight and cultural tone.
Brilliant article as usual Charles!
Yes, the #PrayForCharlotte is generic & impersonal, and (in my opinion) only floated by local news outlets AFTER the first night of protest (on the first night it was #CharlotteProtest). On the second (and following) days, local news media started floating #PrayForCharlotte and #OneCharlotte when they were reprimanded by Pat McCory (who I am hoping will soon be the Former Governor of North Carolina) for continuing to elevate the situation with their local & social media coverage. And Yes, the Facebook prompt was completely annoying, as if we were under some “terrorist attack” rather than citizens utilizing their rights. (I shared a few written words to Facebook about that as well).
Here’s the thing though: Social Media is a generic, impersonal, and a non-compassionate form of communication, and it is incumbent upon those that truly care about us (friends, family…etc) to reach out personally to see: ‘how we are truly doing.’ This exact same thing happened in Milwaukee, WI in August (where my sister lives) and I called her, just as she called me last week because I live in Charlotte. BUT…guess who Did Not reach out to me personally (nor did I them): The ‘so-called’ professionally assimilated and ‘accepted’ Black men and women (that I know) that work at great jobs with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, TIAA-CREF, Carolina Health, etc. You know why we did not personally contact each other (and still haven’t) …it’s because we know that NONE of us were down there protesting.
You see, we (the ‘professional blacks’) have deemed Ourselves as the “special black people” because we are college educated with good jobs, and we are not about to join a protest with “those” black people. Because we’ve worked too hard to not be perceived as “those black people,” …we are different. You see, we “different/special Blacks” have the distinct, “mutant ability to smile, swap sugar and "bless your heart" into a false sense of normalcy and content. Each syrupy exchange, however, can be laced with a cold, biting dose of unspoken truths.” -Charles Easley.
We disassociate Ourselves from ‘the blacks’ (and ‘their’ issues) that live in disenfranchised communities like Beatties Ford Road, Central Avenue and Freedom Drive: Because we (“different/special Blacks”) now live in Ballantyne, Dilworth and/or Myers Park, and we ‘wear a special cape over our bodies that disguise all the prejudice that comes with our skin color.’ You see, we (“different/special Blacks”) just wait for liberal-hearted White People to stand up for those “other blacks” that we disassociate from. The only role we (“different/special Blacks”) have to play now is to Tweet and/or Facebook the arbitrary sentiment of, “Praying for Ya’ll.” (#PrayForCharlotte). (I hope you get my satirical point and the capitalizations are on purpose).
As for Kaepernick, I would like to know what well-thought out RESULTS he initially wanted from his National protest (besides all the attention he is receiving)?? I would also like to know what civil rights activism that he has been ACTIVELY a part of before he decided to ‘take a knee??’ Was his entire point that; ‘America disrespects Blacks, so I am going to disrespect America?...
A great Biblical Proverb as quoted by Philosopher-Friedrich Nietzsche: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster...”
Again, brilliant article as usual Charles! And I am going to stop writing now before I write an entire book on your blog! Lol!
My favorite column of yours ever! This is real truth. For so much of Charlotte, the vitriol is against protesters, not police brutality; the care if for property, not lives. Call it out and keep going. The time has passed for trying to educate or convince others of our humanity. There much more urgent need to protect ourselves and our rights deserves our energy.
Sister Jones and that old deacon have me wanting to know if we should be expecting any others for comfort outside of those who look like the primary suffers.
I cannot help wondering how similar what we see today is to what took place centuries ago when people of color were being killed and there would be the same abiding silence. I think silence meant more than the absence of basic human cordialities then and I surmise it means more amid the noisy stillness today.
Perhaps we have been too difficult to reach, get in touch with, to contact. Perhaps we have not offered that we would like others folk to look in, see how we are doing. Perhaps we have not done a good job conveying that just because there have been nearly 200 African Americans killed this year --a great many unarmed --that it is okay if others who do not look like the victims and are openly aghast and outraged to come by and let us know. Sister Jones and old deacon usually don’t take too long with their petitions. Other looking folk are welcomed to follow them at our house or worship. Oh, if welcomed, we would gladly go to their churches as well.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we need to be, like these mounting killings, in plain view.
“America, you are most welcome and encouraged to join African American and others in prayer and expressions of loving care during this time of deep abiding anguish, sorrow, and distress that has witnessed scores of unprovoked African American deaths and killings. We would be most thankful for your prayers of healing and recovery for us and for our whole nation. We know as one indivisible nation under God this would be exemplary of our collective citizenship.
“And as we make this formal, we accept that you may not be free to join us until after you have comforted the offending police departments and law enforcement agencies or completed honoring our nation’s promise with a stoic hand over heart, stand-at-attention national anthem recognition. That is fine. What matters most is that you know you are welcome to still come by and see how we are doing. Forgive any previous oversight.”
Maybe that is all we need to make Sister Jones and Old deacons exemplary offerings more multicultural....
@SincerelySchan Thank you so much and I am very honored to have you as a fellow words smith now in my creative circle. Thank you for sharing.
@Marty I know we try to support in our spirits but in a time where so much is coming at us it is in those very times some basic old fashioned rich communication is needed so that we do not misinterpret silence as being dismissive rather than I belive some are just being pensive. Even if it is to say I do not know what to say but I see you and I care. Your heart always comes from an honest place my friend. Thank you for sharing.
@Will Brooks You have always been kind of an old soul man...smile. Those are some very valid observations you share and folks should take note. It starts with how we participate in the system and reaching out and checking on those that you care about is important. Thank you for sharing.
Your words are always so poignant...Through your transparency and honesty, I feel you and I've made a commitment to myself to not become desensitized, but continue to feel every emotions that is evoked. I appreciate and honor your words.
Perfect in many ways, Charles. I, too, become silent, not knowing whether my words are even wanted or accepted. I have been remiss with my friends but I am still here, listening, watching, and learning. I strive to have an open mind and heart, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are all God's creation. Ms. Miller is, as always, timely and wise.
High praise for this article from a former student of yours Charles. In any circumstance such as this I, like many others, can become distant due to the actions not happening directly to me or people like me, a white male in America. But what you said about how Martha was praying specifically for someone she knew(You) that could be affected or even is affected by the current circumstances of the country, I am brought to a familiar place. Now I don't love all black people, nor do I love all white people or any other people because I simply don't know them all. But knowing I have several brown and black friends whom I love like brothers, I am hit with a realization that I need to pray and put out a helping hand for not only them, but people alike.
Racism, institutionalized or personal, tends to become a reflection of how we see a certain group people. And that often times becomes null when we grow close to individuals. That's been the case with me. I know some great black and brown individuals and that to me is enough to know that no group is all this or that: black or white. Cheers!
Banning the public from access to police footage "promotes transparency"? Really, Pat??--and how exactly are you prepared to prove that? Once again, our so-called governor demonstrates that he is working from a completely different dictionary than the ones we learned to use in school. In PatLand, apparently, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance (of citizens) is strength (of NC GOP and its tools, including the NCGA majority and the elements purportedly sworn to "protect and serve" those both in and out of power).
As kid in DC, with my Mom, we would go to McDonald's and someone would always sit in the other part of the 4 top. I remember asking my Mom why people did that. IN suburban Virgina people would use social graces to ask if it was OK to sit with someone else. In the city, 10 short miles away, it was the opposite.
Elevation church is an evil cult.
"rates I worked hard to escape during my time in New York City"
LOL. The only kind of apartment you'd score for $1,200 in NYC would've come with 2 or 3 roommates. Plus in NYC the renter pays a broker a month's rent just to help them find a place.
And if you balk at paying a $149 app fee for an apartment, wait'll you see the fees associated with buying a house and taking out a mortgage. Oh, plus when the toilet clogs or the lawn need cutting, that's all on YOU.
@BrandonIamhiphop Man the struggle is indeed real....lol Thank you for sharing your journey.
The irony is that I literally just got my license reinstated after a brief 2 week suspension and my tags had been expired since the end of July. I just paid for that as well and it's only by the grace of God that no riff raft occurred so now I'm eagerly awaiting both new documents so I can get back to riding clean.
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