Tag Archive | "blacks"

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Romney, the Flawed Candidate

Posted on 18 November 2012 by mdepeine

Republican leaders are still in denial as they attempt to assess their “beating” by the Democratic Party in the 2012 Presidential Elections.  Barack Obama and his team clearly connected with Blacks, Hispanics, women and the young; while the Republican Party remained committed and connected to its base, white, older males.

I have read and heard Republicans say that Mitt Romney was “painted” as a plutocrat, a wealthy executive who outsourced businesses, and was disconnected with the average American.  These Republicans are convinced that Romney was “painted” that way.  However, the realty is, Romney was really an outsourcer of jobs to China.  He made tons of money from what many perceived to be heartless and ruthless acts against failing businesses; businesses that had average wage earners.

Romney did not help his case when he was recorded making the comments about the “47 %” of Americans who support President Obama and do not want to take responsibility for themselves.  He further complicated things for himself and his image when he spoke about women in such a detached way when he referred to a “binder full of women.”  Romney alienated a lot of young people and older ones when he threatened to cut funding for PBS and he even mentioned Big Bird!  His stance on immigration came across as heartless when he said that the Hispanic immigrants should “self deport.”  Romney, in an article titled “Let Detroit go bankrupt,” stressed that Detroit needed to seek private investors when there would not be any to be found (2008 financial crisis).  Finally, after the election, he said that President Barack Obama won the election because he gave more “gifts” to minority groups.  Here are more interesting comments (http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/mittromney/a/Mitt-Romney-Quotes.htm) that Romney made to “paint” himself as out of touch.

No, the Democrats did not wrongly “paint” Romney as a wealthy, detached businessman; they simply highlighted those characteristics.  Romney, himself, cemented those ideas in America’s mind by being “himself.”  He could not get away from who he was.  No matter how much spin he tried to put on his campaign, no matter how much “flip flopping” it was clear who Mitt Romney really was.  He was not in touch with the American people and his campaign illustrated that.

To say that Romney did not effectively rebut Barack Obama’s attacks is not enough.  Most of Romney’s campaign was like a man attempting to use his hands to seal several leaks in a pipe with just his hands; plug one hole and rush to another one, and then back to the original one.  Romney helped to confirm the attacks just by “being Romney.”  The truth was spilling out of Romney even when he didn’t want to admit it or tell it.  Romney was a very wealthy politician who was clearly out of touch with the average American, plain and simple.  No amount of spin could have overcome that glaring deficit!

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Voter Suppression in Florida, Pennsylvania and other Crucial States (Election 2012)

Posted on 25 September 2012 by mdepeine

How is it that in the year 2012 we have elected officials all over the United States devising ways to keep people from voting?  There is a presidential election occurring on November 6, 2012 and Republican politicians are “bending over backwards” to suppress the vote.  They have claimed that there needs to be provisions put in place to prevent voter fraud (less than 1% cases documented).  This could not be further from the truth!  Millions of Americans, mostly blacks and hispanics, are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote because of these last minute changes made to suppress the vote.  Here are some of those restrictions:

1.  The requirement of a state issued photo Identification card at a cost (in Pennsylvania, alone, that affects approximately 800,000 voters).  This change should never be allowed during a Presidential election year!  It takes years to correctly implement such new changes, not a few weeks before an election.

2.  The reduction of early voting days (in Florida, they had 15 days of early voting in 2008, this year, it has been cut down to only 8 days) will create even bigger lines than what we saw in 2008.  Our elected officials should be looking for ways to expedite the process, not create extreme “bottleneck” and regression to “days of old” when only the “privileged” got the “right” to vote.

3.  Most government agencies could not produce the volume of ID cards necessary to allow all eligible voters to vote in time for the elections.  A situation was created that makes it physically impossible to make the new IDs that would be necessary to allow all voters who wished to, the opportunity to vote.  This is grossly unfair!

4.  In some cities, Florida will have a voting sheet that will be as long as 10 pages per voter (with several referendums to decide on)!  Imagine the extra long lines that will create and the discouragement and frustration it will cause to many seniors and people who cannot afford to miss hours of work (poll tax?) to wait to vote.

How could a party that seems to pride itself on protecting the US Constitution create such scenarios to disenfranchise so many Americans?  This smells of extreme hypocrisy and a gross lack of patriotism.

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Taboo: Speaking on Behalf of Blacks and other people of Color

Posted on 30 August 2012 by mdepeine

When something is considered “taboo” it is something that you dare not mention or bring up.  A common response to you mentioning something that is “taboo” would be “Don’t speak of it!”  When something is “taboo” everybody around “knows” that only a fool would bring up the “taboo subject” in a public setting.  You don’t blurt out such subjects when you are in a crowded room.  You don’t bring them up when you speak from the podium.  You don’t mention these “taboo subjects” at a cocktail party.  You only discuss them in the privacy of your home and in your bedroom with someone you trust.

In America, I realize that “race, racism, prejudice” are “taboo subjects.”  These subjects usually come up when a “victim” of racism or prejudice wants some expression or justice in relation to what they have experienced.  Then and only then do I see these things become almost “acceptable” to discuss openly.  For example, race was discussed openly when we saw what happened to Rodney King.  It was also discussed openly when we saw what happened to Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Chavis Parker and a host of other black men who were killed  by the police.  Other than these extremely publicized cases, it seems that the topic of race, racism and prejudice goes back on “the shelf” until needed again.

Another taboo subject in America is a person’s color.  There seems to be this collective consciousness that says that “We are all the same and we need not make distinction about color.”  Ideally, that is where we would like to get to as a country.  Realistically, however, that is not where we are.  There are too many examples that “scream” of inequality.  Too many blacks, yes, I used the word, live in poverty. Too many blacks are not getting a quality education (elementary, secondary and college).  Too many underperforming school districts are being “ravaged” by bureaucrats in the name of “school reform.”  Too many black men are in prison and have no possibility of parole.  Too many blacks are in and out of jail and don’t even have the “right to vote” any more.  Too many young black men are being brutally killed by police and other security forces in the name of “justified force.”

Yes, God has created all of us as human beings.  We breath the same air.  We drink the same water (H2O).  We bleed the same way.  Our bodies get the same sicknesses and have the same organs.  Genetically speaking, Science has linked all humans to one common mother they call “Eve.”  So, we are all the same, but when you look at the history (include slavery), we have not all been treated the same.

So, I want to shatter this “taboo” and freely discuss race, racism, prejudice and skin color (all shades) freely for the purposes of highlighting a problem that must be addressed so that lives can be improved.  The non-victims of race don’t care to discuss race.  For the victims who daily navigate this society with the understanding that the dominant (white) race barely “sees” them or cares to “hear” them, this is a true reality.  Sometimes it is more real than the air that they breath, if that were possible.

Somehow, in America, it is wrong to speak up and say that “This was done to him/her because he/she is black.”  Those of color KNOW more than anybody when they are discriminated against.  An “outsider” can never define that for them because the “outsider” does not know what it is to really experience that racism or prejudice as a minority.  Yes, a white person will experience racism and it is wrong, but even that “offense” is a lot different from the person in the minority experiencing that offense.  The person in “power” who experiences racism could say, “Well, that’s your problem if you don’t like me because of my color, I control things anyway, you will still need to come back to me.”  On the other hand, the person who is not in “power” does not have the luxury of saying what the dominant, white person can say.  The one in the minority can say “Wow, another reminder of what I have to overcome to get somewhere in this country, I hope that he/she doesn’t close too many doors for me.”  This is just a glimpse of the thoughts that people could have.  One person sets the conditions for racism, one person is forced to navigate through those conditions.

Those who are afraid to address racism in America will call anyone who points out these trends a “race monger.”  They may call anyone who wants to bring to light these issues a “racist.”  The reality is, they don’t want to open up this “can of worms.”  But those who are daily victims of it, live in the “can of worms” every day.  They just want the “can of worms” to be addressed constructively as a country, as a nation.  Lots of good was done in the 50s and 60s during the Civil Rights Movement, but still a lot more needs to be done today, in the twenty-first century.

I believe that all Americans, Christians and non Christians, should put in the effort to address this issue of race.  The funny thing is, our best churches and fellowships are afraid to tackle this issue thoroughly, even though it exists there as well.

Let’s shatter the “taboos” of race discussion.  Let’s discuss what really is there and not speak from a point of view of only what we wish was there.  You can’t confront and fix a problem that you won’t acknowledge is there.  The first step is “admitting that you have a problem.”  So, we don’t have to live by those “fake rules” that say:  Don’t mention black or white, don’t mention racism, don’t talk about slavery and its impact on race relations today, don’t talk about reparation, don’t speak up for blacks, don’t help the poor, don’t talk about trends against blacks, don’t talk about inequality, don’t talk about the contributions of slaves, and a host of other don’ts.  You fill in the rest.

We must bring race relations in the United States to the table and confront it.  It affects every facet of our society and our daily lives in an adverse way and we pretend that it doesn’t.  Barack Obama spoke about it four (4) years ago in 2008.  That was the last major attempt to address “race in America.”  Tons of books have been written about the subject and hundreds of millions of people are adversely affected by it in this country alone.  Yet, can we continue to stand by and ignore such a big PROBLEM?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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