The Blues on my Left

The Blues has always been totally American
As American as apple pie
As American as The Blues
As American as apple pie
The question is why?
Why should he Blues be so at home here?
Well, America provided the atmosphere
– Warren G, Do You See

Listen y’all… I’m gonna make an impassioned plea for y’all to get wise and stop all of this foolishness goings on regarding this election. Let’s not spread foolishness and fuck shit… please.

1. We can decide we will vote for the Democratic candidate and STILL decide who that nominee will be, or better yet won’t be. We can do both. There is nothing that says I must vote for a racist and sexist vile human being on either side of the ticket… because he’s Democrat. Nope.

2. We can be honest about who these candidates are and what they stand for during the primary, when we are supposed to do just that. Debating about who is better does nothing to fuel the incumbent. Nothing.

3. The rules are different for minorities (hence why we have ZERO on the ballots as of today) and women. Period. There are two women running for the Democratic ticket, no minorities. Inclusivity and diversity are buzz words with no real meaning it seems.

This is America! It is a White Patriarchy. It is born of racist ideology. It’s patriarchy is promulgated by its sexism. It justifies its sexism and racism by implementing policies and systems that keep women and minorities on the lower end of the wealth spectrum thus forcing women and minorities to rely upon them to get a piece of the pie. But women rising up to realize their full potential risk and power is a more dangerous premise for White men. Especially White women.

Hear me clear. No longer satisfied simply being his mate, when she is now interested in doing for herself and controlling her own outcomes, that’s a huge problem for many rich White men. I’m sure you are thinking… nawwwww it’s Black people over everyone that he wants to see fail. Well, I would venture that he doesn’t care much about us at all to even consider us… we often are not considered as a whole. But “his women”… oh he cares. He cares a lot. So much do that he will sabotage her success to have her remain by his side where he believes she belongs.

That truth plays out on the national stage in politics. First, the two women running both have a long history in politics and frankly are wealthy. Kloubachar has a hefty investment portfolio and has been in politics since she became a prosecutor in Minnesota in 1999. Similarly, Warren has made about 8 million from book deals and started her political career in 1998 when he work as a bankruptcy professor led to her heading many congressional committees and establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011. Compared to a male in the race who has been polling and doing better in the caucuses and primaries than either woman, Pete Buttigieg. He has been a mayor since 2011. That’s the brunt of his experience. It’s very telling.

Let’s go back… Hillary Clinton 2016. She was accused of actually criminally, regarding something that many Secretaries of State had done before her. Yet she spent a whole campaign trying to overcome it and it likely is what cost her the Presidency. Meanwhile her opponent had filed for bankruptcy several times, been sued for breaking contractual agreements, and had charges pending regarding his sexual assault of women… even stating on camera that he sexually assaulted women. Yet we talked about her pantsuits and emails. But her pantsuits. But her emails!?!? AND he was elected.

Women in politics face much harsher standards than men. How they dress, their hair, their voices. How they handle frustration, anger, disrespect, and abuse. How they respond to blatant sexism. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (AOC), Ayanna Presley, and Rashid Tlaib, all American minority women were told to go back where they come from by the incumbent. Michelle Obama’s clothes and their cost were picked apart like she loves me not flowers. Similarly, a now deleted tweet by Washington Examiner conservative columnists Eddie Scarry commented on AOC’s attire saying she “[doesn’t] look like a girl who struggles.”

I guess if we dress well that’s a problem, if we wear pantsuits that’s a problem, and if we don’t dress well enough or our skirts are too high, those are problems too. FOH with your inequitable scrutiny and standards.

In a recent Facebook discussion, I noted that five out of the six Democratic candidates have criminal justice violations in their past, except Elizabeth Warren. I affectionately call her EDub because she’s a gangsta. Anyway… I was met with an article by the questionable Washington Examiner that stated, “Elizabeth Warren’s new campaign racism scandal…” which was a bunch of sensationalized fluff over a few minority women who had quit her campaign in light of mismanagement and lack of diversity initiatives in her Nevada campaign group. Definitely an issue, but not a racism scandal. But this is the same media force that lives to berate her with articles titled :

“Elizabeth Warren is over”

“Elizabeth Warren wins that debate-for Bernie Sanders”

“Elizabeth Warren is ruining the case for a female president”

The same paper that boasted:

“Why won’t Hillary Clinton just go away.”

“Hillary Clinton: Why?”

and “Hillary Clinton should definitely keep talking” regarding the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee. It’s not just conservatism, but sexism. The paper simply does not attack, disregard, and disrespect men in the same manner. Interestingly enough that same FB person who was backing Bloomberg… a Black male. A Black male backing Michael Bloomberg? Say it ain’t so…

Yep, Michael Bloomberg! This guy is like a painting of Trump during Picasso’s blue period… that mofo is still racist despite claiming to be a Democrat. Racism knows no loyalty. Yet he has been doing oddly well in the polls, despite being the partisan twin of the incumbent. For all of Trumps “my Blacks” and pussy grabs, he can see dudes racism and raise him sexism.

He’ll see you: “Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. …The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the wall and frisk them.”Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Aspen Institute, 2015. And raise you… In 1989 when a male salesperson at Bloomberg L. P. was getting married, Bloomberg said to the female salespeople, “All of you girls line up to give him a blow job as a wedding present.” In another 1989 incident, he asked a female saleswoman he was unhappy with… “if the clients asked you to lay down and strip naked so they could fuck you, would you do that too?”

Despite being beaten like he stole something by EDub, called out as a racist and sexist by EVERY other candidate… he didn’t drop out after getting molly whopped on fight night. He won’t. He won’t have to. He’s a White man… he deserves all the things right? He’s the most qualified because he’s rich, right? He must be smart, right? His acts are egregious, sure… but clearly not egregious enough for there to be total outrage and rejection of him as a potential candidate. This is America. He’s the worst of what there is to offer. But he’s a man so his suits, hairstyle, or morals don’t matter. With all of their Blacks, women, and gays matter rhetoric, even many Democrats don’t stand behind their claims. But blue is not only for boys.

When we, especially women, claim that a woman can’t win… we strengthen the systems that make us believe that very thing. Women are astronauts, pilots, professors, coal miners, coders, mechanics, professional football coaches, CEOs, and Presidents in many many countries across the world. Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghani, Isabel Perón, Corazon Aquino, Benazir Bhutto, and Vigdís Vinnbogadottir were all female leaders of countries in the 1960s and 1970s. This is America… we can make and raise your babies but…

Still waiting.

Told me I was fit to wear a crown…and then you let me down. –Billie Holiday, You Let Me Down

Boston Tea

Y’all know I love a good tv series, and The Handmaids Tale is one of my faves… TO WATCH yo! I had no idea when I started this show that in a short time America would start to look a lot like Gilead in so many ways. Just a few short years ago, Black people were wearing their natural hair in droves, there was a Black President, the first in this country’s history, and people of color were experiencing unprecedented wins. BHM was lit every year, and we were joining together with allies to protest our inability to do basic shit… drive, walk, talk live, breathe while Black. Black girls were being celebrated for our magic and our skin care routines. We were winning awards we earned and they (they know who they are) were finally saying Tupac instead of Two-pack.

What a time to be alive.

Today, we live in but a shadow of that world. Let’s see, where do I start… we have a President who brags about assaulting women, uses social media as his own bathroom stall wall, won’t release his taxes, and is guilty of all sorts of crimes against the republic. We have federal courts stacked high with young, white, ultra conservative men who are against abortion, public education, and personal choice and for big business and white supremacist ideals. Just last week Alabama passed, through both houses of their legislature, a ban on abortion with no exception for even rape or incest. Check that out…a man can violently violate a woman’s body, impregnate her, and this woman will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term or face jail. WHAT?!?!? We are going to further abuse a victim legally?

What a bad time to be a woman or minority… or any person who cares about justice, fairness, and humanity.

****

Let’s play a game. I got 11 and a possible.

In 1773, residents of the American colonies protested British taxation on tea by dumping tea into the Boston River. In 2009, American conservative politicians formed The Tea Party during the Obama presidency to protest what they called big government. Interestingly enough these were conservative white politicians and it wasn’t BIG government but BLACK government they were against. They feared the Black guy would gratuitously give positions to women and minorities like they had been doing for one another since they columbused the land we call America. And with this started the fleecing of the middle class minority.

“Hey Blacks, the Democrats have failed you. These programs have kept so many of your people poor, BUT YOU… you have pulled yourself up. To continue to climb you need to demand the poor among you get it together. Oh and Obama will fail you, but your white savior will rise and fix it all…”

So we reject the message publicly, but alone in our circles we debated some of its points. Obama didn’t personally deliver our mule and 40 acres. We been hoodwinked. We considered that perhaps our President didn’t paint the White House Black, he only invited Beyonce and Stevie Wonder and had a few soul food nights. Bamboozled. He was perhaps, just as bad as they said he was. Led astray. Then as we saw the now President gain momentum in the 2016 election, the same way we doubted Obama, we doubted a woman. We latched on to her past mistakes, while Trump was fondling women and grabbing their privacy in real time. They got foreign hackers to continue their fleece… and it worked. We were run amok.

They sipped tea…

We got boiled.

But we burned ourselves. Yep… I blame you. If you said anything about your vote not counting, voted third party, sat your ass at home, or did any other thing BUT voted for your interests… this is your fault. All of it.

As a result of our personal dracarys, they are gutting public education. There is an Uncle Tom brain surgeon running the department over HOUSING and Urban Development. The very nigga who has tried his best to disassociate from all that is urban. Immigrant children are being held in gated cells and separated from their parents. The President is being allowed to withhold his taxes despite being accused of having multiple illegal financial dealings with foreign governments. He and his team worked hand in hand with foreign government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. He has elected and seated several conservative judges with a history of racial and sexual abuses. They want to push us back to a time when there was no means for the non-working to have health insurance, and undo Obama’s historic health care reform. Formerly minority populated cities are being gentrified to push out residents (Black and Brown folks) who helped build the city after white flight… and costs raised well above what area residents can afford. But lemme tell you what we really cannot afford… not to vote.

In 1964, three men were shot and buried by police and the KKK for registering Black voters in Mississippi… the tragic Mississippi Burning case. Even though the 14th Amendment granted Black men the right to vote in 1870, Black women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920… and these amendments were not enforced until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Gerrymandering has created a system where state legislators determine how to “draw” congressional districts to get their desired effect by allowing politicians to pick their voters. Lies about voting laws are printed in newspapers and blasted on television, leading to voter suppression. Every vote we withheld by sitting at home, could have gotten us a decent human being in office. Obama won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. About 75,000 voters who sat their asses at home won those states for Trump, many of us with 313 area codes and 482xx zip codes in my beloved Detroit … out of the 136 million votes cast. But your vote doesn’t count Beloved?!?

Our ancestors died to vote. We owe it to their sacrifice to show up. Our Black ancestors and our female ancestors were beaten and killed in the name of the vote. Yes, voting is not an exact science. But if we use our votes collectively to elect state legislators who make state rules that benefit us in federal elections, and then elect federal legislators who share our interests and not just names we know and are used to, we can change the game. Congressional districts and electoral votes and any other confusing shot won’t matter if we show up at polls. In fact, we can influence those confusing rules in those same polls. If we show up, we bust their districts up like dynamite and get people into these roles that will represent us, not big business and their whites only policies. It is simple shit.

If we vote EACH and EVERY time, we get to…

…in Boston, Detroit, Philly, New York, Houston, wherever. It’s a necessity at this point, as we see America turning back the hands of time. We have never been post-racism or post-sexism but in 2019 to have women potentially facing jail time for taking control of their bodies and Black men, women, and children slain while unarmed means we are definitely in a time warp. Those of us who regularly vote need to push for same day registration, and support those who don’t vote in understanding their power. We need to show up in record numbers in 2020, get our game faces on, bid our hand,

…and run a Boston on these fools!

Catch that tea!

Caught You Slippin Up

Do you know where you live? You see, we have not been hoodwinked, bamboozled… we hoodwinked and bamboozled ourselves Black people!

In case you forgot:

This time the politicians gathered together and decided to take back their majority interests in a country becoming much more like gumbo than chowder in the great American melting pot… Plymouth Rock didn’t land on us, we forgot about it. We forgot that while America is Apple pie, baseball, democracy, and freedom… it is also chitlins and Jim Crow caught a nigger by the toe bondage meets a grabbing pu**y President and kids in dog cages. It is racism, sexism, inhumanity, and rape culture. The vestiges of slavery. Freedom for some.

It’s a tale as old as time, WE know all too well. Yet we didn’t exercise all of our rights, the real dream and the hope of slaves. Instead we sat out of the ultimate game, the greatest show on Earth, the Great American race… and kept our votes like movie tickets from our first date, locked away, too precious to see the light of day. The Black vote declined 7% in the 2016 Presidential election, the one with the greatest potential impact. 765,000 LESS Black people voted in 2016 than 2012. (1) That is an outrage!

It was the worst of times. And we set it in motion, the more you pledged you wouldn’t vote, the higher the stakes got. You think they don’t care about us, they do, but only in respect to how low they will go to beat us at a game they were sure they rigged against us. Slavery, capitalism, gerrymandering, elections, the electoral college, and everything in between was a part of the big plan put into place to strengthen the big lie. Everything their ancestors learned, they learned at the feet of Egyptians. Pythagoras, Thales, Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Homer… all studied under Egyptian priests. Imhotep, an Egyptian architect, poet, mathematician, and astronomer was in fact one of the first philosophers and helped construct the pyramids based on mathematical formulas in 27B.C., long before Greece was thought of.  The underlying systems in this country are a big FU to that history. You dimply cannot be great if you are fighting to live, learn, eat, and have a drink of water. It was political prohibition. And the only way to dismantle it is to use the greatest tool of political power, the vote.

It was like we didn’t believe him. Like he was pulling our coattails.

“…they’re sending…drugs and rapists.” (Mexico)

“…she got schlonged.” (Clinton when beat by President Obama)

“…torture works…”

“The only card she has is the woman card.”

“Look at my African-American here!”

“He founded Isis” (regarding President Barack Obama)

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs…I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote”

Why didn’t we believe him?

Our “representational government” has been 80% white, 80% male, and 92% Christian since 2015. (2) Furthermore that top 2% we hear about, well 66% of Senators were in the top 2% and 41% of Representatives in 2012. (3) The American Dream… that whole premise was a fallacy. Come here and be all you can be… not.  While a few of us have broken the code and learned the secret password, we don’t broadcast it because we too have been brainwashed to think elevation is for the few and not the many. Wealth for the privileged is a birthright that buys them a position. We have to work for ours, 10 times harder. Systematic oppression is written into the laws. The only way to change those laws is to put people in office who truly represent your interests. Vote.

We failed.

So in a little over 500 days, we have watched a man ban groups of people from entry, break down Unions, withdraw from the UN, set in motion a plan to get rid of key government agencies, promote HBCUs (hahahaha…. he wants us out of State colleges and universities and especially Ivy League institutions), and allowing companies to hire H1-B non immigrant workers with less red tape, blurred the lines between church and state. He will get a chance to nominate two Supreme Court judges in under two years, setting off a plan to build a moat around Ruth Bader Ginsburg filled with the fountain of youth… oh the Supreme Court. In just a few weeks they have set out to reinstitute the travel ban, opened all your cell phone data to police, crippled labor unions, set in motion an overturning of Roe v Wade, and allowed voter suppression and gerrymandering that disproportionately affect people of color. Yep… all of that!

So where do we go from here… I don’t know. We fix the Democratic Party? We help as many of us excel as possible? We EACH register to vote, and vote every single time? We build for our kids so they in turn build for their own? We claim our worth in a system that constantly claims us unworthy? We stop trying to mimic and we live in our truth? We learn from others and history so we don’t repeat it? I don’t have all the answers but I know this to be true: we are here!! Texas isn’t gonna succeed and give us our own state. We aren’t all going back to Africa, or even to Canada. We have to participate in the process, or we shouldn’t be surprised when there is an Ofdonald, wearing nun wings, Melania is in teal with a tight chignon and dreadful disposition, and Gilead is real life.

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References

  1. Pew Research, 2017.
  2. The Washington Post, 2015.
  3. CBS News, 2012.