Archives for category: misogyny

I’m pleading with you. Please do me this solid! Today is perhaps the most important day in the life of our nation. Just as today, we need women and blacks and latinx and millennials to stand up for democracy, we need you. We need you to come out in droves to vote your conscience. I know I have debated, and I have been snarky, and I have been crude…but today I am begging: Please do me this solid.

Please vote our values:

On Immigration…

I appeal to your conscience, please do me this solid. Please, please don’t accept the lie that caravans of terrorists and gangs are storming our borders. Please decry the notion that brown people are a threat to white people and want to take our jobs and rape our women. Please vote on the side of the poor and destitute. Please give those poor and exploited South and Central American men, women and children the opportunity to find a better life. Please fulfill the Matthew 28 mandate by going out to vote for those seeking asylum and refuge to be allowed the basic dignity of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Please go out today and vote against ripping children out of the arms of their parents. Jesus would never be for this, but has indeed damned anyone who would harm these little ones. Please do me this solid and vote not against immigration, but for comprehensive immigration reform…for asylum seekers, for refugees, for the thousands of undocumented Americans who have not other country to all home…that they might be grafted in to the blessings of our great nation.

On Racism…

I appeal to your conscience, please do me this solid. Please, please don’t align yourselves with this vile and racist rhetoric that is coming out of the most powerful seat of power in the world. The God of love resents and resists white supremacy. Christ died for the sins of racism and bigotry. Jesus was literally killed because of religious bigotry. The Christian gospel is what freed the slaves. The Christian gospel is what empowered the Civil Rights movement, that God in the person of Jesus sees no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, the Roman citizen and the Palestinian Jew, between the White American and the African-American. Please do me this solid and vote against nationalism, antisemitism, and white supremacy. Please do not allow your vote to be counted among the hateful, but on the side of love.

On Women…

I appeal to your conscience, please do me this solid. Please, please don’t align yourselves with this misogynistic impulse to silence the voice of victims of abuse. Those who find the courage to speak their truth in the face of power, skepticism, risking their own reputation, ought to be believed. We have witnessed a historic breakthrough in the willingness of women exploited in the workplace to speak their truth to power by holding those accountable, who misuse their power for the sake of sexual conquest accountable. Also, we have seen credible accounts of sexual abuse by our president go ignored. Please do me this solid by being on the side of the marginalized and oppressed by standing up for victims, as Jesus did when he refused to allow the woman accused of adultery to be shamed by her accomplices. Please vote against this shaming of woman and victim blaming.

On The Poor…

I appeal to your conscience, please do me this solid. Please, please vote for the poor. According to Jesus, taking care for the poor is a kingdom credential. To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, and give a drink to the thirsty are what identifies us with the ministry of Jesus. In an era where the eight richest men in the world hold more wealth than 50% of the rest of the world’s population, the wealthy should not have been given a historic tax cut. In the United States, 47% of Americans are living below the poverty line. Poverty is not a sin and most who are poor are poor due to no fault of their own. Please do me this solid and vote in protest of this Trump tax cut. The poor are not asking for a handout, but to simply be allowed to meet their own needs in an economy that rewards wealth while punishing poverty. Please vote against economic injustice and vote for health care, nutrition, and housing.

On Freedom of Religion…

I appeal to your conscience, please do me this solid. Please, please vote against any legislation that privileges your faith over the faith of others. All people have the right to worship however they want. Please do not allow your faith to be exploited for political gain. Please don’t allow politicians to write legislation against women, LGBTQ+, Muslims, and Palestinians in the name of Jesus. Please resist the temptation to legislate morality in the name of religion. Please allow the preeminent ethic of grace to be the testimony of Jesus and not law. Please do me this solid and do not allow our Christian faith to be a tool of harm. The Word of God teaches, “they will know we are Christians by our love.” Please do not let hate define your faith.

I pleading with you, on behalf of the radical, poor, resurrected Jesus, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy,” (Proverbs 31:8-9) by voting against a government that would:

  • Deploy its military against poor men, women, and children who are risking their lives to escape exploitation, poverty, and gang violence….and rip children from the arms of parents seeking a better life for them.
  • Use racist dog whistles as red meat to get white supremacist to the polls and harken us back to a time when blacks, Jews, and women were a subservient class to the rest of America….a time when many of them risked their lives exercising their right to vote.
  • Mock and ignore the credible claims of women and minimize the erosive effects of sexual assault.
  • Oppress the poor by filling the pockets of the rich, leaving them to fend for themselves by working low wage jobs, unaffordable housing, and lacking healthcare.
  • Exploit the Christian faith by misusing our call to moral wholeness to hurt those who live and worship differently.

The very foundation of our beautiful democratic republic is at stake. The testimony of your Christian faith is at stake. Please, please do me this solid…and vote your decent values…of love, charity, justice and freedom.

Please vote to make American beautiful again!

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Arrested for Justice!

They explained what to do and what not to do. Everything seemed so “organized.” It all made sense. I thought I understood how it was supposed to go. But my heart still pounded and my throat had a lump. They warned us about prior convictions. My mind kept wondering if I had any convictions…or even had been arrested. I couldn’t remember whether or not I had. My deep-seated distrust in the criminal justice system as a black, gay, HIV-positive man was beginning to show. All the reassurances in the world could not soothe the butterflies fluttering in my stomach.

Prior to today my record was squeaky clean, besides the traffic tickets that keep being hailed as the example of “no big deal.” But reminded me of all the times I thought I might die from a traffic stop. And all the times I thought I might be criminalized because of my sexuality. And all the times my HIV status has been used to dehumanized my black body. Yet, I chose to be arrested.

I chose to be arrested alongside the Missouri state delegate. He is a white, straight, food service worker earning $9 per hour. He is forced to chose between child support payments and healthcare. Because 50% of his pay goes to child support. He is forced to live without healthcare. Our lives could not have been further apart, but we chose to be arrested together today.

It wasn’t that bad. We chanted. We sang. We were warned. We surrendered. What I had feared all my life and sworn to avoid, was not that bad. And maybe that’s the problem. Just maybe the fear of being arrested keeps us from doing the work of justice. Perhaps the system is set up to keep the people just complacent enough to do nothing.

As I sat there on the grassy Capital lawn, behind police tape and steel barricades with like-minded strangers for justice, I thought about those who have not organized, those who did not know what to do. As I looked down at my plastic handcuffs, relieved that they were not real, even though they were….it was difficult not to act out. The meekness of the police was provocative. Their soft spokenness, their generosity of spirit up juxtaposed to the violence of state sanctioned poverty made it difficult to comply. The violence suffered by the least of these, created a deep-seated rage, prompting me to cry out.

What do we want? Justice!

When do we want it? Now!

If we don’t get it? Shut it down!

If we don’t get it? Shut it down!

If we – don’t – get – it?

Shut it down!

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I could blog about Kathy Griffin…or the Paris climate agreement…or another attack in London…or not blog at all since I just blogged my first blog since February, earlier today. But then I heard on the news that HBO’s Bill Maher dropped the “N” bomb on Real Time. After rolling my eyes and opening my laptop, I was aghast. Amid a milieu of dog whistles, populism, white working class self-pity, religious white supremacy, and #alllivesmatter, a white liberal male celebrity “ally” jokingly uttered the phrase “House Nigger.”

So here we go. What to say? What to say? I could say nothing, but to do so would be to ignore the reality of whiteness in America. I’d rather say nothing, than to deal with the definite progressive revelation of liberal ignorance that will surely be revealed in the anticipated comments that will be posted by white “friends” on the Book of Faces once the blog is drops. So here goes nothing or EVERYTHING.

Most blacks understand the implications of existing in a civic reality in which white supremacy is pervasive. We know that whether our collar be white or blue, gold or platinum, we will always be black. In order do survive such a maddening fate, we have adopted coded terminologies that, when used amongst ourselves,  provide a sense of humor, healing, and hope in eager anticipation of that “great gittin up mornin,” that holy expectation of the “already, not yet.”

Co-opting the term “House Nigger,” which originated in the antibellum south, to use amongst ourselves was our way of expressing self-awareness and social consciousness. For whether I am Lebron or Tiger, Serena or Michael, Obama or OJ, white supremacy will always deem me a nigger, whether living in the White House, confined to the Big House, or subjugated to cleaning the Out House. Understanding this, for better or for worse, has always been the first step toward embracing black liberation.

But what about Bill Maher? Why can’t he say it? First of all, as a straight white alpha male liberal celebrity, he can say whatever he wants. He can rap, or nah. He can drop the “F” Bomb on his own show, or nah. He can shoot hoops, or nah. He can cackle with white supremacists, or nah. And he can say “house nigger,” or nah.

The problem with Bill Maher is not that he jokingly labeled himself a “House Nigger” vs. a “Field Nigger.” The problem is that in so doing, he revealed his own lack of self-consciousness and social awareness. And in so doing he revealed that his pseudo-woke liberal progressive socio-political caricature has not liberated him from his own deep-seated racism and white supremacy, which we with melanin already knew.

The for real, for real is that Bill Maher’s self-designation as “House Nigger” reveals that he is just that…a pseudo-woke liberal progressive socio-political caricature propped up by Massa to capitalize on the false notion that white supremacy only exists on Fox News. Any white liberal celebrity who presumes he/she/they are not is just that, a House Nigger.

 

IMG_4626It’s June. June! It’s only June. Everyday since November 8 the news has been nonstop. From #pussygate to characters streaming in and out of Gotham Tower to #fakenews about crowds to failed attempts to ban Muslims to Spicers press briefing antics to crazy nonstop tweets to #fakenews about #Obamagate to failed Obamacare appeals to #Russiagate and on and on and on. It just hasn’t quit. It’s June. June! It’s only June.

It hasn’t even been six months, but already there is plenty of proof that we have been Trump-ed by traitors. A traitor is a person who betrays a friend, country, or principle. Traitors have infiltrated our government under the guise of piety and American Pie in order to rob us of our dignity for the sake of personal gain.

But the traitor is not Trump. Trump is who we have always known him to be, a self-interested, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist who will do whatever it takes to advance his own agenda. The real traitors are all 54 senators and 247 house leaders who are betraying American values by defending Trump’s self-interested, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist antics. The traitors are the white evangelical church leaders who are betraying American values by worshipping a God who is ambivalent to exhorbitant wealth, women’s rights, immigrants, refugees, extreme poverty, and racism. The traitors are the rust belt middle class pretending to be pitiful and poor to mask their fear of blacks, immigrants, refugees, and industrial progress.

These deep and subtle betrayals are what makes all this Trumpian chaos so horrific and unimaginable. Prior to November 8, I assumed I had friends who held differing views and values. Prior to November 8, I assumed I lived in a country with a constitution that states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Prior to November 8, I assumed that my interests were being served by a democratic government that would protect me from the wiles of authoritarianism, nationalism, unrestricted capitalism.

But since the election of Donald J. Trump, I can no longer be led by such ill-advised assumptions.  Since November 8 it has become clear that those who have voted for this self-interested, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist president are self-interested, narcissistic, misogynistic, racists themselves. While Donald J. Trump is indeed problematic, the real traitors are these treasonous wolves in sheep clothing who pretend to be pious and patriotic in order to carry out their own self-interested, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist agendas against the poor, the immigrant, the refugee, and the American who still believes in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for all people everywhere. Such values no longer Trump all.

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I get it. You were fed up. You couldn’t take it anymore. You’re tired of being told how to think, what to say, where to go, and who to love. You are fed up with being called a racist. You are tired of feeling guilty for being white. You are tired of being forced to pay for entitlements that your don’t want or will never need. You resent having to earn a degree in order to make a living. I get it. You are fed up. So you said, “Fuck it, I’m voting for Trump.”

I get it. You are fed up. You want to be heard. You must be heard. You will be heard! And I hear you. Actually, I’ve heard you all along. I’ve heard you all my life. I know what you believe, as you rammed it down my throat. I know what you think, because you forced me to learn it from your one-sided textbooks. You’ve actually been very outspoken about it, from the pulpit, the town square, and the football stadium. I sat silently on your couches and at your dinner tables and in your pews. I’ve overheard exactly what you think about blacks, Jews, gays, and woman. I’ve sat close by scared to disagree. Scared to tell the truth. I was skeptical of your skepticism, but wanted you to be true because you seemed so right. I wanted to believe you. I needed to believe you, but I knew you would never believe me. And when I shared my naked gay truth, you did not believe me. In fact, you rejected me.

So, yes. I get it. You’re fed up. You are so pissed off with the liberal revolution surrounding  you that you voted for Trump. You chose him over me. Your friend. Your veteran. Your testament. You wanted to send the message that you are anti-abortion, anti-black power, anti-gay, anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I get it. Trump’s subversive rhetoric was refreshing. He told it like it is. He didn’t care what anyone thought. And to you, that was liberating. You were waiting for a world where you could be who you are and say what you want without impunity. As such, you elected a president who has done the same.

I get it. You are fed up. You are tired of being laughed at, condescended, silenced, and dismissed. That’s totally understandable. And now it’s time for the rest of us to shut up and listen. It’s time now for we liberal elites to listen and understand your pain…to empathize with your plight, now that you have elected a demagogue into the White House. It makes perfect sense. People suffering so much pain that can only be alleviated by a protest vote, deserve to be heard.

So, yes. I get it. You are fed up. You demand to be heard! But what you must understand is this: It’s really difficult to listen to your silent protest vote, when for generations you haven’t tried to hear mine. The futility of your argument rests in the fact that your vote alone is your pain elixir, while we fellow citizens on the left carry the deep pain of racism, sexism, and xenophobia that our sacred vote has yet to absolve.

donald“If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a DUCK!”

It’s been almost two weeks and I just can’t seem to shake it. I mean, really? Really? Perhaps I’m caught in a political death spiral. I just can’t believe this circus of a reality show that we are watching. With the unsurprising selections of Bannon, Flynn, and Sessions what we feared about a Trump administration has become frighteningly clear. Racism will be as central during the presidency as it was during the campaign! There is no further need to “wait and see.” It’s as clear as the nose on my face.  I just can’t seem to grasp how we as a culture are so blatantly laying aside principles for pragmatism, as if the two are somehow separable. How can we accept racist, sexist, and bigoted social ethics as the means to economic growth. Yes, I know, I know. The transatlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, and the industrial revolution were all built on the backs of white supremacy. But today, with eyes wide shut, we are witnessing the revival of targeted dehumanization as the means to economic growth. Blacks, Mexicans, Islam, Jewishness, women, China are all open game! It’s as if every group except European Christian male whiteness is fair game. I mean, really. I just can’t avert my eyes. Even as one well-schooled in the spiritual dynamics of race, class, gender, and sexuality, I still find this all quite astonishing. After years of research and study, dialogue and debate, dissent and reconciliation it’s still unbelievable to witness the blatant rabidness of racist rhetoric that is about to enter the walls of the White House. It’s so obvious that it’s proving difficult to diagnose, but we just need to call it what it is! I don’t care how prosperous our economy becomes or if the face of Isis is wiped from the planet. Any success accomplished on the backs of the most marginalized is destined for failure. Sure, short-term progress is possible or even probable. But at what cost? As Trumpism seems to be tramppling all over the respectable politics of human dignity and decency, it is becoming more and more clear that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a Trump!

I AM human. I AM black. I AM gay. I AM Christian. I AM devastated. I AM disappointed. I AM shocked. Yes. I knew it was possible. Which is why…I debated. I donated. I wrote. I posted. I preached. I prayed. I voted. I have always known the potential of hate and fear and ignorance. I have always suspected that people are less good than they appear. I have always reserved a sense of suspicion in the face of optimism. While others celebrate victories, I usually resist total jubilation. I was all in for Clinton because I knew President Trump could win. I resisted Bernie, because I feared President Trump would win. I know the depth of racialized hate in the United States of America in the name of God, because I have been called a nigger! I know the pain of homophobia in the heart of America in the name of God, because I have been called a faggot! I know the unbiblical hermeneutics that are used to construct a justification for the rage preached from American pupits, because I have been excommunicated! It is real. It is alive and well today. Say what you want about the economy…and jobs…and health care, but we all know that it is WHITE HOT RAGE that elected President Trump. It is the red-blooded hate that resists the unfamiliar. It is real. It is deep. It is ripe. It has always been here. We thought it was defeated, but it is back. I AM ok. I have seen and felt worse than this. I will heal. But I AM not sure America will, or even wants to.

Well done, President Trump.
Well done, United States of America.