Wednesday, August 7, 2019

GAINS SOME PERSPECTIVE AND COURAGE




So you are upset about Antifa?  Not our President calling Mexicans rapists, Muslims terrorists and a white guy driving 600 miles to kill Mexicans embolden by the words of our President (invasion, gangs and rapists).  A white guy killed 22 innocent people.... 19 of whom were American citizens and what sent you over the edge is Antifa? The President's staff (and most likely Trump) conspired with Russia to influence an election.... numerous people were sent to prison for their roles and you are upset about Antifa? The wound you see has always been here.... in fact... it used to be bigger but now with social media we are more aware of the chasm. Things are much better than they used to be.... you posted last week about the astronauts going to the moon... a great moment in American and World history. What you did not remember is the year before MLK and RFK were gunned down.... killed by racists and haters. Three years before Malcolm X was killed.... two years before that JFK was killed. You and I had to hide under wooden desks because Russia might launch a nuclear attack.... people built underground bomb shelters. This time does not remotely compare to the horror and stress of that time. Cities were burning in race riots. Blacks were lynched. George Wallace stood in the door of the Univ of Alabama and refused to allow blacks in. Blacks were stopped from voting. Women had little rights.... could not get a divorce or a loan. Times were much worse then. Now we have a Gulf War which last 15+ years and produces 3,500 dead American and a million dead innocent Middle Easterners. The war was based on a lie and America are the invaders and the terrorists. Back when we were kids.... we had the Vietnam War.... we lost 58,000 Americans and killed 3 million Asians..... also over a lie and fear tactic called the Domino Theory. Truth is that time was much worse. It is shitty now.... and we should have come much further... but we haven't. We still have a lot of work to do.... and pretending things were better back then does not help. Denying the obvious shittiness of some of our people, politicians and systems does not help.
So now you cling to your religion and the flag.... but you are grown man.... you know your religion is a fairytale.... you know your country was full of shit from day one (All Men are Created Equal... there were slaves outside). It does not mean we have not done great things.... but we could have done greater things. Remember LBJ's Great Society.... it never happened because of the Vietnam War. We chose war over a great society. So now you long for the warmth and comfort of the Jesus you knew as a kid.... the flag which gave you pride... you long for the feeling of an ignorant, optimistic, hopeful child. Things were shitty when God was in the school.... and black kids weren't. But it made you feel better because you believed God had your back because you were oblivious to the horrors outside your classroom. Bad things happened in far away places.... when far away was outside your neighborhood. While you were proudly saluting that flag.... millions of Asians were dying for no reason.... young men were dying by the tens of thousands right outside your classroom door. Cities were on fire. The National Guard shot and killed college kids at Kent State and Jackson State. Things were much worse then.... but your focus was the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa... because they were real. But they weren't. The time of your childhood was not better... you were simply ignorant to reality and did not have the stress of adulthood. 

We owe it to this generation to be honest.... shit was worse then... not better. Trump is a racist.... as was his family... it is documented. His statement are racist statements. He incites violence at his rallies and in our streets. It seems some young politicians and young people are not having the shit anymore.... they want to know why you can't have health care.... why corporations don't pay taxes.... why you try to force your religious beliefs on others.... why America does not live up to its promise? Its about fucking time.... I remember when the hippies asked the same questions. I am with this group of young people.... I would take a bullet for them. It is time America practiced what it preaches.... for the first time in our history.

Friday, October 5, 2018

THE COMFY EMBRACE OF FEMALE VICTIMHOOD

     I am old enough to remember women burning their bras.  I remember the Women's Liberations movement.  I remember the long hair, the bell bottoms and the bra-less-ness.  I watched it on television with my mom.  She was a housewife.  She married at fourteen.  She was gorgeous, compassionate, intelligent.... and spineless.  She spent her days ruled by my father who was not half the person she was.  My father was a selfish bully who was not giving up any of the power he believed he was entitled to.  I watch the women protesting the Kavanaugh nomination.  The organize, they carry signs, they scream, they screech, they protest.  They want their stories to be told.  They want their stories to be heard.  I am certain my mother wanted my father to hear her.  On occasion she told me her story.  Her dreams.  Her aspirations.  But my father wasn't listening... primarily because he was too busy talking.  And when he wasn't talking, he wanted quiet.  This is what these old white men in Congress want.  They just want the women to go away so they can sip a beer and watch the game in peace.  And you know what?  Eventually they will get just that.  Eventually, as always, the women will pack up their signs, put their bras back on and head back home.  As they always do.
     I am infuriated and disgusted by the women shrieking for men to hear their stories.  As if a man hearing their story validates them.  As if a man acknowledging their existence underlines their existence.  Like a dog waiting dutifully for a pat on the head before lying down at the feet of their master.  This attitude is the primary reason women are not in power.  Women are the majority of this country but beg for a voice, beg to be heard by the minority.  Women could rule this entire country.  Congress should be majority female.  But it isn't because of this attitude.  Black people needed the support of white people during the Civil Rights era because black people were a small minority.  Gay people need the support of straight people because gay people are the minority.  Yet women continue to beg and plead with the minority group, men, for their right to be heard.  It is utterly ridiculous.  Much of society ridicules Trump supporters because they vote against their best interest.  Women continue to vote against their best interest.  Orrin Hatch shooed away the sexual assault victims at the elevator and told them to "grow up."  He's right.  Grow up.
     Women are the majority.  Women have all the power yet the refuse to exercise it.  Women had rather the big, strong man dole out power to them like a master doles out treats to his pet.  Grow up!  If women exercised their power as the majority it would be old, white men begging to be heard in the hallways of Congress.  Women comprise 52% of the American population and hold 19 % of the seats in Congress.  This is not the fault of men.  This is the fault of women.  Old white men vote old white men into Congress.  Why can't women vote women into Congress?  You could.  But you don't.  Evidently you can take the heat of the kitchen but not the heat of Congress.  Women had rather whine for better sexual assault laws, equal pay and reproductive rights to the men in Congress, "Senator Grassley, I heard a noise outside will you get up and check it out?"  I can understand men ruling the country when physical strength was a requirement... men have that advantage.  But no one is wrestling a bear in Congress.  Those days are gone.  Come on women.... you don't think you can take out Senator Hatch or Graham or Grassley in a fight?  They can barely walk to their Congressional seat.
     But that's okay you keep crying to be heard.  You keep begging for the powerful men to give you some of their power.  I am sure that plan will be successful.  Look how well it has worked over the last fifty years.  Women can't get insurance coverage for birth control while the old white men are eating Viagra like candy on the insurance provider's dime.  Yeah, that plan is working well.  Fact is... some people are spectators in life.  Many are best equipped to Monday-morning quarterback the players in the arena.  Evidently many women are more than happy to wear the jersey to the game but few are willing to don the helmet, snap on the chin strap and take the field.  Despite the fact they have more people on their team.  It's disgusting.  It is truly disgusting to watch women beg for scraps when they could be the majority sitting at the table.  I remember the women screaming for equality as they burned their bras.  Turns out some of them found they were more attractive to men without a bra and abandoned the cause.  If women want true equality you are going to have to first play by the rules men established.  You are going to have to stop crying.  You will have to ball up your fist and strike at the ballot.  Then you can change the rules.  But stop crying you look weak.  And you are crying because you are weak.  It is your fault.  Yes.... I am victim-blaming.  Women are powerless because they refuse to exercise their power of the majority.  That is not only weak... it is stupid.  Women have helped create the country which holds them down.  I am sure some of you are crying that I am mansplaining the issue. That makes me want to cry.
     I always knew my mom was the better person and parent.  It was not even a close competition.  My mom, who married in the 8th grade, would go on to get her high school diploma.  She would go on to get her college degree.  She would go on to enter the workforce as a teacher and eventually become an assistant principal at her school.  Yet everyday, for the last fifty five years, she returns home for her treat... at the feet of my father... her master.  And we all suffer.

Monday, September 17, 2018

WHITE FRIGHT (The "Coloreds" are Coming)

    
"Them Niggers is lazy!"  My grandmother would yell at the television as we cheered her favorite football team, the University of Alabama, on a sunny, fall Alabama afternoon.  Puzzled, I would respond in my meek ten-year-old voice, "Grandma, the black guys are running circles around the fat white guys."  Oblivious to my keen observation she would continue, "They're animals. They ain't got normal sized human brains.  They’re dumb."  Undaunted I politely proclaimed, "But Grandma those black men are in college."  My grandmother, a fifth-grade graduate, leered at me as she spoke, "I liked football better before they allowed them Porch Monkeys to play with them good, Christian, white boys."  As I sat innocently on the worn, smoke-filled sofa of my grandmother's living room, under the watchful eyes of numerous Jesus renderings, it was obvious my grandmother was having difficulty adjusting to the integration of her beloved University of Alabama football team a mere four years earlier in the fall of ‘71.

     My father was military.  He had left he and my mother's hometown of Anniston, Alabama two years before my birth in 1965.  I was raised on military installations.  I began Kindergarten in Italy.  The only two racists I knew were my grandmother and Archie Bunker.  They both amused me.  They seemed to be cartoon characters.  My grandmother struck me as a racist Wil E. Coyote always chasing, but never capturing, the Roadrunner.  Of course, my grandmother would have reasoned the Roadrunner evaded capture because he had the extra thigh muscle Jimmy the Greek spoke about.  My family spent a couple of weeks a year with my grandparents.  I looked forward to these visits as it was the only time I could spend time with extended family.  It was also the only time I could stuff my face with Moon Pies and RC Cola.

     I loved spending time with my grandfather.  He spoke with you instead of at you.  He was kind-hearted and compassionate. He allowed me to sit in his lap and steer his '55 Chevy through the neighborhood streets.  My grandfather counteracted my grandmother's statements with a whisper outside her presence, "You got your good Niggers and your bad Niggers.  Just like white people."  My grandfather was a Garbage Truck Driver for the city.  He drove a taxi part-time.  He was suspended three days from his city job one exceptionally cold winter for allowing the black men to warm their self in the heat of the cab of the garbage truck. My grandmother cautioned me about my grandfather's views on race, "He barely finished the third grade."

     During summers my grandmother would sign me up for Vacation Bible School.  I presented the argument if I was forced to attend any kind of school then it could not be referred to as a vacation.  This ungrateful statement was met with prayers for my heathen soul.  My grandmother's Baptist church was traditional... in that it did not allow black people.  When I questioned this tradition my grandmother explained, with the help of Jesus' unconditional love, black people did not go to the same heaven as white people.  As my Grandmother so deftly explained, "Niggers go to Dog Heaven.  You know when your dog dies and it goes to Heaven?  That is the same Heaven Niggers go to."  When my facial expression tipped my grandmother as to my disbelief she reinforced her argument, "Sweetheart, how would it be Heaven for white folks if it’s full of Niggers?"

     My father's last military duty station was Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I would attend Robert E. Lee High School (yes, there was a statue in front of the school).  This period would prove to be a pivotal time in my life as I was given an intensive education... in racism.  Within a few weeks it was clear this school would be vastly different from the schools I attended on the military installations.  At this point in my life I was infatuated with basketball.  To my surprise I discovered I was the only white person who ventured across the playground to play with the black kids.  I made the trip across the blacktop because the basketball skills of the black kids were vastly superior to the white kids.  I considered myself a pretty good basketball player so I wanted to play with the best.  I quickly discovered my skills were lacking.  I was always the last kid picked, “We’ll take the white boy.”  A few of the kids took the time to help me with my basketball skills.  By the end of the year I was no longer the last kid picked.  I was also fortunate to catch the eye of an exotic young lady.  She was half Hawaiian and half Black.  I quickly learned the racist kids considered this All Black.  They expressed their displeasure with our interracial relationship by bullying me every day at the bus stop.  I was unable to defend myself so I became accustomed to daily beatings.  Toward the end of the school year, I vividly remember my white tormentors deciding to expand my daily beatings to my physical education class.  They ambushed me on the way to the gym.  A few punches were thrown before my basketball playing friends turned the corner to find me bloodied and bruised.  They informed my tormentors I was one of “them” and subsequent beatings would result in retribution from all the basketball players.  The daily bus stop beatings ceased.  My sophomore year of high school was punctuated with an enlightening and sobering event.  A black friend and I were competing against one another on an English paper.  When the papers were returned I had received and “A” and he a “B.”  When I reviewed his paper, I found it was barely legible and bordered on illiteracy.  After class I approached my elderly English teacher and questioned how my friend could be awarded a “B” for such poor work.  She escorted me to a corner of the room with a smile on her face and kindly whispered, “If they graduate illiterate it keeps the Niggers in their place.” 

     My junior year of high school I quit varsity sports to work full-time.  I took a fast food job at a McDonalds next to our school.  I, and a female manager, were the only white people employed at this location.  I never had a problem with anyone and they never seem to have a problem with me.  I made many good friends.  Following high school graduation (the first in my family), I attended Auburn University in Montgomery for a year before joining the Air Force.  Upon discharge from the Air Force I regrettably returned to Montgomery to complete my college studies as the state VA paid for college tuition and books only if I attended an Alabama state college.  This left me with no reasonable alternative but to return and attend Auburn University. 

     During this time my mother was substitute teaching and she relayed to me she had taught at an all-black public elementary school.  I informed her this was impossible as the state schools had to be integrated.  She insisted this was fact.  I decided to research her claim.  I found half of the elementary schools in Montgomery had one black kid enrolled.  The other half had one white kid enrolled.  Legally, the schools were integrated but this was a close to segregation as the schools could be.  At this time (1988), I was enrolled in a college speech class.  I decided the subject of my speech would be the de facto segregation of the Montgomery elementary schools.  This speech earned me an “A” and it also brought me some attention as I was referred, by my professor, to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Shortly thereafter I was contracted to help research and write a book which chronicled those who had died in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960’s.  I could not have been more enthusiastic as I had always admired Dr. Martin Luther King, his followers and their determination to change society.  The book, designed for school-aged children, was to accompany the unveiling of a monument to the courageous people who died in the Civil Rights struggle.  The monument, designed by Maya Lin of Vietnam Memorial notoriety, was to stand in front of the new Southern Poverty Law Center, as the original had been firebombed by the KKK. 

      During my research I learned the tragic stories of some very brave men and women.  I was able to interview, both in person and via telephone, many of the surviving relatives.  I decided to speak to my Anniston relatives regarding this period in American history.  I remember making a visit to my Uncle’s home.  His home shared a property line with my grandparents.  They had purchased the home for him.  My uncle was a lifelong drug addict.  For as long as I could remember I had never known him to hold a job.  He had two separate families on different sides of his small hometown.  It was assumed he had numerous other children about town. He spent little time and even less money on his offspring.  Early in his twenties he had killed a vehicle full of passengers in a drunk driving accident.  He was the sole survivor.  He had been cut up by the knife-wielding brother of one of his baby’s momma while he slept.  Miraculously, he had survived.

     When sober my Uncle was soft-spoken and avoided eye contact.  I caught him on his porch one afternoon and mentioned I was researching the Civil Rights era.  I asked if he had any memories of that time.  I specifically questioned him about the attack on the Freedom Riders in nearby Gadsden.  He raised his head and his eyes twinkled, “Yeah, I remember it.  We scared the shit out of them Niggers.  We’d a burned ‘em all up in the bus if we could have.”  This cool, southern afternoon I would learn my Uncle was one of the white people involved in the attack on the Freedom Riders.  He could barely contain his pride.  He spent nearly an hour regaling me about relatives and locals who had participated in the attack as if reminiscing about a high school championship football game.

     Despite providing money and housing for my Uncle, my grandmother was more than willing to discuss his shortcomings.  She could detail every failing including dates and times.  I vividly recall one night sitting on the porch with her when my Uncle became the subject of the discussion.  She detailed every character flaw one by one.  When she completed the extensive list, she punctuated her conclusion with a statement which I believe sums up racism in general.  She stated with certainty, “That boy has been no-count since the day he was born.  He has gone against the very laws of God and man.  He is as disgusting and a waste of a human being as a man could be.  His only saving grace… he’s not a Nigger.”  I developed an understanding of racism that night which had eluded me previously.  It is not the black skin the racist hates.  The black skin only serves to make the group identifiable.  Had their skin been green or purple or they had an extra finger or an extra eye in the middle of the forehead that would suffice just as easily.  The racist needs a group of people which stand out from the crowd easily.  In a white world black skin is easily identifiable. 

     When you are uneducated, poor and unsuccessful you are the bottom of the barrel.  You need someone who is below you on the social ladder.  You need someone to occupy the bottom rung.  And you need that bottom rung to be inaccessible to you despite your immoral, contemptuous, sinful, unethical, harmful and despicable actions.  You know you will never occupy the top rung of the social order, but more importantly, you must guarantee yourself, and those like you, they will never occupy the bottom rung.  Racism allows the creation of the bottom rung.  In America, we use the color of a person’s skin to identify that rung but we could have used other physical attributes such as hair color, eye color, height, etc.  We chose something easily identifiable… skin color.  Racists don’t hate black people.  They simply hate the people who are black.  If you aren’t white you are a Nigger.  A brown Nigger, a sand Nigger… but always a Nigger.  There are only two choices… white or not white… true or false… simplicity at it’s best for the easily confused.  You are either with us or against us. 

     As the unveiling ceremony approached I could barely contain my excitement.  I was employed as Director of Industrial Rehabilitation at this time having earned my therapy license earlier in the military.  I had mentioned the upcoming unveiling ceremony to my patients.  One calm afternoon, a couple of weeks before the unveiling, I was approached by a friendly and hard-working patient. He entered my office and closed the door.  He seemed uneasy.  I asked how he was feeling assuming maybe his injury was acting up.  He eased my mind with his response.  I followed up, “What’s on your mind?”  He leaned forward in his chair so only we could hear his words, “You got something to do with that monument their building, right?”  I proudly responded, “Yes, I do.”  He then surveyed the room before offering up his heart-felt warning, “I wouldn’t go to the unveiling if I was you.  It could be dangerous.”  I promptly responded, “I ain’t afraid of no racist hillbillies.  They aren’t gonna push me around.”  He nodded his head knowingly, “I knew you would say that. Look I’m just trying to look out for you.  You been great to me.  You are good people.  But there are groups of people out there who ain’t as understanding as I am.  They wouldn’t think twice about causing harm.”  I responded defiantly, “I’m not gonna back down from the KKK or anybody else.  I’m don’t care what they do to me.  I’m going.”  He took a deep breath as he stared at the floor, “They ain’t gonna go after you.”  He then recited the names of both my parents.  He included their address and the makes of their vehicles.  He identified their employers.  I collapsed into my chair.  He continued, “They won’t come after you.  They will come after your family.”  Breathless I queried, “How do you know this information?”  He sheepishly looked up from the floor, “I go to the meetings.  I guess I’m one of them.  Been one as long as I can remember.  I could get in a lot of trouble telling you this but I have to.  You been great to me.  You been great to all of us.  You treat us all the same black or white.  You care for us all the same.. like family.  I consider you my friend and my brother.  I don’t want nothing to happen to you or your family.  I’m real sorry.”  He rose from his chair and extended his hand, “I just had to tell you.  I hope we are still friends?”  I rose from my desk, shook his hand and thanked him.  I did not attend the unveiling. 

     My parents, unlike my grandparents, never expressed an opinion on race.  I never heard them say the N-word or make a racist statement.  We watched All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Sanford and Son in our household unlike one of my girlfriend’s father who could not watch the Cosby Show because, “Niggers aren’t doctors!”  My half Hawaiian/half Black girlfriend as well as all my black friends were welcome in our home.  The only statement ever made regarding my girlfriend was, “Be careful, some people aren’t going to like it.”  Over the years I have been chased home by racists.  I had the windshield of my car broken on an occasion or two.  I have almost come to blows on a couple of occasions with a few loud-mouthed racists.  I have had the N-word whispered to me more times than I can count because, regrettably, I look like their kind.  Racism never went away or diminished.  Racism simply became more politically correct.  We replaced the word "Nigger" with the word "Thug."  We replaced the term "Colored People" with the term "People of Color."  We removed the "colored" vote by gerrymandering.  We painted the black man who peacefully protested by taking a knees as unpatriotic and removed him from his profession just like we did fifty years earlier with Muhammad Ali.  We claimed black men would not die at the hands of law enforcement if they simply cooperated like Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner who were killed at the hand of law enforcement fifty years earlier when they cooperated.    We claim all are treated equal under the law as we fill our prisons with black men doing decades of time for drugs and white men walked free for the same crimes.   We watched law enforcement walk free after killing one unarmed black man after another... just as they all, law enforcement and white citizen, walked free fifty years earlier.  We claim "I didn't own no slaves" as if those who encouraged and benefitted from slavery were not equally as guilty.  As if America didn't hold the Nazi SS guards who emptied the trains at the concentration camps as guilty as the SS guards who dispensed the gas.  We told the "coloreds" to get over their past as whites re-enact Civil War battles and proudly wave the Confederate flag.  White Americans are not any less racist than they were fifty years ago or a hundred years ago.  It's simply a kinder, gentler racism... if you're white.  One of the perks of White Privilege.  Priceless.

     I was sitting at the comedy club with a fellow comedian a few nights ago.  He is a black comedian from New York.  He is a highly intelligent, compassionate man of my age.  We were discussing the racial divide.  He stated, “White people have no reason to feel threatened.”  I quickly responded, “Yes, yes they do.”  White people see the writing on the wall.  Their White Dynasty is ending.  Over the next few decades whites will become a minority in this country.  It is why they are fighting back so fiercely.  Donald Trump is Custer’s Last White Stand.  We all knew Bill Clinton was friendly with the Blacks.  Luckily, white people got a break from that mess by killing a bunch of Brown people (Sand Ni**ers) in the Middle East.  But Lord have mercy that was followed up by an actual Black man as President.  If that wasn’t bad enough he had a terrorist name given him in his Kenyan homeland.  White people were not prepared for a smooth transition.  What happened to the Race War?  In response, white people amassed and organized disguised as political groups and concerned citizens and stopped the scary, Black, Muslim President from turning America into Wakanda.  In 2016, they gathered up all their fears and hatred and swept one of the most privileged white men in American history into the office of President.  This man had nothing in common with them with the exceptions he is white and obese.  This man blew the racist dog whistle and they howled as if they had been held in cages, awaiting euthanasia, by the “coloreds.”  It did not matter this man had avoided military service.  It did not matter he violated their sacred commandments.  It did not matter he had never done an honest day’s work in his life.  It did not matter he had failed in business repeatedly.  It did not matter he was friends, both personally and professionally, with America’s enemy of more than half a century.  He was white and he was racist and that was all that mattered.  He was the second coming of George Wallace.  Sure, he may have an uneducated, foreigner wife but at least she was white.  And we knew she wasn’t a man because we had all seen her naked pictures with her coochie in full view.  Trump is the male version of Paris Hilton and white racist America was willing to ignore this because he would get rid of the Muslims and the “coloreds.”   Make American Great Again!  Take us back to Mayberry where we could sit a spell with Andy and Opie and dine on Aunt Bea’s homemade apple pie under the security of a trigger-happy Deputy Fife who reserved his one bullet for any of the “coloreds” who might mistakenly wander into town.  Who do you think killed Opie’s mom?  An illegal, of course, probably MS-13.  White people longed for a better time.  A day when things were black and white…. photographs, televisions…. water fountains, lunch counters.  Back when America was great again…. for white men.

     Truth is white people feel threatened like the white baseball players of the forties/fifties, the white basketball players of the fifties/sixties and the white football players of the sixties/seventies.  White people lost all those good games to the “coloreds.”  I remember when Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, George Mikan, Bob Cousy, John Unitas and Joe Namath dominated their respective sports.  They were the best that ever played the game… if you excluded the “coloreds.”  Turns out the Babe, the Mick, the Coos, Johnny U and Broadway Joe may have all been benchwarmers if every American had been given equal opportunity.  But we can turn back the clock under Trump.  Look, the New England Patriots have a white coach, white quarterback, white running back and white receivers.  See… we can still do it.  We can Make America Great Again.  We can all be Patriots. 

     So please do not tell me the white man should not feel threatened.  They see the numbers game is coming to an end.  Of course, it may be quite awhile until they lose the power game but that end will come also.  Do not tell me the white man should not feel threatened.  He sees the obvious.  The White Dynasty is ending.  Which brings us to the last question.  Why are the white people frightened?  This is a simple answer also.  The white man fears minority status in America because the white man is well aware what they did to the “colored” minorities.  The white man gave the “colored” minorities blankets with small pox.  They bought and traded Black folks like baseball cards while working them to the bone, raping their wives and separating their families.  White people made Black people property.  The white man is frightened when the “coloreds” get a majority and seize power, along with the race traitors, the “coloreds” will respond in kind.  This is the unbridled fear which has white people blowing their racist dog whistles and flashing their White Power signs.  This is the White Man’s Little Big Horn.   

     I wish my relatives and my fellow white people could put aside their fears.  What do most of them have to lose?  They don’t have an education.  They don’t have money.  They don't have power.  They don’t have peace or happiness.  All they have is fear.  I wish they could see we all, black and white and brown, our in the same boat and the boat is sinking as the wealthy watch from the lighthouse. What they will find if they let go of their racist grip on fear is…. Freedom…. and the Dream we all heard about…. but never realized.  We will all be free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we will be free at last.  It will be just what the Doctor ordered.


Monday, March 5, 2018

MAKE AMERICA MAYBERRY AGAIN (MAMA)

     

     
     I was raised in a dysfunctional home.  Maybe, all of us were to some degree.  My home was filled with tension, harsh words, anger, threats, fear and physical punishment.  I felt perpetually unwelcome.  I would often lose myself in dreams of a better place.  A friendly, welcoming place where words produced laughter not pain.  To this end, I never missed a rerun of the Andy Griffith show during my childhood years.  Mayberry became my happy place.  Mayberry represented family and a better existence, a better America.  Baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.  A cold coke on the porch as the autumn breeze brought another pleasant day to an end.  Maybe Uncle Andy would break out the guitar and we would sing a few tunes. No matter the events of the day it would end with a kiss on the forehead as Andy turned the bedside lamp out.  The town would rest easy, doors unlocked and windows open.  I dreamed of a weekend car trip in the police cruiser to Mount Pilot to watch Aunt Bee compete in the County Bake Off or to watch the new picture show.  Mayberry was grassroots America. 
     To this day I find it difficult to resist an Andy Griffith episode.  I haven’t spoken to my family in over a decade but when Andy starts whistling I’m gonna have to sit a spell… for old times sake. Mayberry hasn’t changed a bit.  Everything is the same.  The only thing which has changed…. ME.  Fifty plus years on this Earth can open one’s eyes to things a child could not and did not see.  Some of us may remain a child inside.  Our youthful enthusiasm may persist but we have grown emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.  We have evolved.   While others have not… some continue to see Mayberry as the idyllic setting.  The America which was great… the America we want to bring back again.  But the Mayberry I see as an adult is vastly different than the Mayberry I saw as a child.  Do you see what I see?
     Opie was a well-mannered, precocious child… raised in a broken home.  Opie did not have both parents.  His family was absent a mother.  Andy was a widow.
     No one ever mentioned how Andy’s wife died.  No one ever mentioned where Andy’s girlfriend from the first year disappeared too?  She just stopped working at the pharmacy.  Maybe they are both buried in shallow graves somewhere in Mount Pilot?  Maybe it’s why Andy didn’t carry a gun?  He was deadly with a shovel!
     Aunt Bee had a “friend” named Clara.  They spent their time turning cucumbers into pickles.  Need I say more? 
     Gomer and Goober were both special needs individuals with idiot-savant mechanical abilities.  Gomer was the smart one.  He scored just low enough to qualify for the Marines.  He wasn’t that bright but, golly, he was smart enough to kill yellow people when Sargent Carter ordered him too.
     Otis suffered from alcoholism.  What did his friends do?  Enable him.  They did not have an intervention.  They did not send him for treatment.  They allowed him to “sleep it off” weekend after weekend as his internal organs shut down and his mental abilities diminished.
     Opie was bullied at school.  Why?  Because he didn’t have a mother?  Because he was ginger?  Because his father was having sexual relations with that woman, Opie’s teacher, Ms. Crump?  Because his father was a potential serial killer?  No one knows for sure… but we do know Andy and Barney encouraged Opie to fight his bully.  Evidently violence was a solution in Mayberry.  These violent tendencies would result in Andy sending Opie to live in Milwaukee with Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham.  The records have been sealed but one can only imagine the tragedy which would require relocation and a name change.
     Barney was a hot head with a badge.  Quick to lose his temper and pull his gun.  Low on self-esteem and self-worth.  A powder keg waiting to explode on any foreigner or colored who might pass through town with a broken taillight.  And what happened to Barn’s first girlfriend from the local diner, Juanita Beasley?  Illegal?  Deported by ICE because she wouldn’t bend to Barney’s aggressive sexual desires?  Or was she a fatality in the Mayberry Moonshine epidemic?
     Ernest T. Bass clearly suffered from numerous undiagnosed learning and emotional issues.  Evidently an ADHD child who refused to take his medication and learn appropriate social skills.  He was a stalker and a sexual predator.  He had no respect for women or the law as evidenced in his pursuit of a betrothed Charlene Darling.  No doubt he would have shot up a school… if he had attended school.  Ernest T. Bass was the closest the town came to an African-American resident.  Ernest loved to rhyme/rap, was constantly being pursued by the Sheriff and was saving for a gold tooth.
     Floyd the Barber…. gay.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
     Sweet, innocent Mayberry.  Turns out it was never that sweet or innocent.  It was I who was sweet and innocent.  I was inexperienced in the ways of the world.  Na├»ve to the issues which were clearly present just below the calm, happy, shiny surface.  As I matured the truth was readily evident.  And I did what many do not do…. I accepted it.  I changed my beliefs.  I changed my feelings.
     America was never like Mayberry.  As Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife discussed their fishin’ hole trophies, American boys invaded an Asian nation and took the lives of innocent civilians in the Vietnam War which was intentionally prolonged to allow Nixon to take office at the cost of more young lives on both sides.  As Otis battled another hangover in his finely adorned jail cell, young black men, women and children faced the fire hoses and German Shepherds of Bombingham’s Bull Connor.  They were denied admission at the University of Alabama as the Governor blocked the doorway.  Civil Rights workers were buried in a Mississippi earthen dam because they had the audacity to try and vote.  Women were forced into back alley abortions and we watched JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X fall to assassin’s bullets.  Mayberry was a figment of an innocent, young boy’s imagination.   A friendly, loving, white place which crime or reality never visited.  No problem was so big it couldn’t be solved in thirty minutes with a slice of Aunt Bee’s award-winning apple pie.
     Some of us grew up to be adults.  We accepted the world with it’s joys and pitfalls.  With it’s good and evil.  Some of us pretend Mayberry really existed.  We try and rebuild a place that was never built.  We long for a day that never was and never will be.  We live in a fantasy world with our eyes shut to the obvious.  We live like a child with ignorant beliefs… all the while pretending to be adults.
     Before we leave the neatly-trimmed yards and spartan streets of Mayberry, we should mention one last aspect of the once (imagined) and great America.  Some Mayberry citizens had a single shot rifle.  Only one citizen had a revolver.  And that citizen, Barney, only had one bullet.  Because in our fantasies…. we inherently know… a semi/automatic weapon does not belong … in our happy place.   

Thursday, February 22, 2018

SADDLE UP... WE'RE HEADED TO SCHOOL


How can a child shoot up a school?  The answer is obvious.  Bad parenting.  Parents don’t want to hear this reality.  We all know the parents who have the kid who we all know is going to shoot up a school or find another way to end up in prison.  If you don’t know those parents and those kids…then you are probably that parent and they are your kids.  The kids you see hitting their parents.  More likely to shoot up a school.  The kids you see cussing at their parents.  More likely to shoot up a school.  The kids you see throwing a tantrum in the store as their parents stand idly by.  More likely to shoot up a school.  The kid calling his mother by her first name.  More likely to shoot up a school.  The kid who has a list of prescription medications which is exceeded by his parents.  More likely to shoot up a school. 

     I spent more than twenty-five years as an Occupational Therapy provider.  I posses Bachelors Degrees in Behavior Modification and Clinical Psychology.  I have a Masters Degree in Counseling and Human Development.  I worked with children in a clinical setting and in a classroom setting.  In the classroom setting I specialized in behavioral problem children.  I have provided therapy/counseling services to children since 1985.  Is there a difference in ten-year-old children from 1985 and ten-year-old children from 2015?  Absolutely.  The children are much fatter.  Why is that?  Because the adults are a lot fatter.  We will come back to that point later.  To place the blame on the children is to ignore that which created this vast difference in children over this thirty-year span… the parents.  More specifically, parenting styles.  Even more specifically, lack of parenting style. 

     In 1975, I was ten years old.  I was raised in a manner which would most definitely be considered child abuse by today’s standard.  Physical violence, in the form of a spanking, was a semi-regular occurrence.  I vividly remember being struck in the head by my father’s hand for behavioral violations.  On occasion I would take the brunt of his high school graduation ring to my skull.  Which was quite confusing because my father had a GED.  To think my father bought a pawn shop high school graduation ring to hit me with not only made me fearful but made me feel special.  Even more disturbing is the fact while my father was striking me he would be screaming, “Boy, you’re gonna learn!”  Which I found highly amusing from a man who possessed a GED.  I am familiar with the pain of restriction, loss of allowance and loss of entertainment devices.  I remember these events well because they taught me a lesson.  I can rarely remember the behavioral infraction where violence was dispensed upon me.  For those occasions where loss of privileges or freedom were deemed necessary punishments, I remember them well.  If you have an idiot for a kid you are probably going to have to hit him.  And if you hit a smart kid often enough he will become an idiot.  I am not a fan personally or professionally of hitting a child.  It should be a last resort for emergency situations.  But I am a supporter of popping a kid in the mouth for disrespectful responses or snatching their ass off the floor to end a tantrum.  A parent’s task is to train a child.  Some parents will argue their job is to love the child.  It’s very simple… if you love a child, you will train them. 

     Often the question is, “How do I learn to train them?”  Again, this is a simple answer.  Watch the Dog Whisperer.  The techniques to train a child and a dog are eerily similar.  First and foremost, the parent must be the Pack Leader.  That’s right… you gotta, at least, act like you know what the fuck you are doing.  This is very important.  A child does not need a parent who is overly emotional, looks perpetually confused and seem totally overwhelmed.  Those children need to be taken to the fire station.  Give someone else a chance.  I know the rumor is the fire station will only take babies.  What are they going to do if you drop off a ten-year-old?  They are not gonna leave the child out in the cold.  If you are dropping off a sixteen or seventeen-year-old make sure they do not follow you back home in your other car.

     I am sure some you are thinking you were not taught the specifics of raising a child.  You also weren’t taught ten ways to have an orgasm but your sure as hell read that article in one sitting.  So, head on down to the bookstore and get you a copy of an effective parenting guide.  To save you a couple of bucks here is the jest of the child raising movement… CONSEQUENCES.  That’s right…. CONSEQUENCES.  One more time…. CONSEQUENCES.  The key to raising a productive, non-mass shooting child is CONSEQUENCES.  A child’s behavior must result in CONSEQUENCES… good and bad.  In fact the preferred ratio is 4:1.  For every one behavior you punish you should find four behaviors to reward.  I know some of you are thinking it is going to be hard to find my child performing four good behaviors.  As you are laughing that reality off remember it is your shitty parenting which has brought you to this point.  I would stop laughing… it’s sad.

     Behavioral consequences are the key to raising a well-adjusted child who feels they have some control over their environment.  This will prevent your child from spending their afternoons on the internet learning how to make an AR-15 out of cheese.  Consequences teach a child … when I do this… this happens.  This pairing of behavior and consequence brings order, stability and predictability to their world.  This child does not feel the world is an uncontrollable series of events.  They feel they can act on the world and it makes a positive difference.  They develop an Internal Locus of Control.  This helps builds self esteem and rational thought.

     Quite simply, undesirable consequences teach a child a behavior is unacceptable.  Desirable consequences teach a child a behavior is acceptable.  Let’s look at an example.  “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom can I have my phone?”  You give the child their phone.  The child learned if they irritate you by calling your name SEVEN times you will give them their phone.  “Mom, can I have my phone?”  “No.”  “But mom…”  “Go get your phone.”  The child returns with their phone.  You place the phone on the ground, step on it and break it.  Do you think the child will ask twice again?  NO.  I know you are thinking you spent hundreds of dollars on that phone.  Or you could spend thousands of dollars on therapy… or on ammo for his rifle. 

     Three, Two, One and a half…. This is the warning countdown of a shitty parent.  Give the consequences on the first trial.  The child will learn the appropriate behavior more quickly and you will not be tempted to drown the child in the tub.  The child knows what they did wrong.  On the rare occasion they do not know, they have time to figure it out while on restriction.  Make sure appropriate behaviors are outlined prior to release from restriction.  A child who is placed on complete restriction for two weeks after throwing a baseball through a window will be less likely to shoot his classmates because he has already experienced jail time.  This child understands their actions produce consequences, if to no one else other than their self.  Complete restriction means they do not play in the games or go to the recitals or sing in the choir.  This teaches them not only do they suffer but others suffer for their behaviors also.  This lesson may stop them from mowing down a room full of classmates. 

     Don’t get the kid a phone.  I know… I know… all the other kids have phones.  If all the other parents were letting their kid jump off a bridge would you let yours?  I know… I know… what if there is an emergency?  Are you a first responder?  Then shut the fuck up.  They will give you a phone call just like in the old days…. after they have pasted his head back together.  Then you can ask all the questions you want.  Remember when you broke your arm, you got a cast and you were cool?  Now we cut down the tree you fell from, your parents sue Mother Nature and the child goes to counseling for PTSD.  Parents are the problem.  Let me ask you a question… “Would you send your kid to school if you knew a rapist, a killer and a porn star were having sex with a horse in his class that day?”  When you send your kid to school with a phone that is who you are sending to school with them.  Not your kid?  Yes, your kid.  At least one of the kids in the classroom has this on his phone.  You know what they call that kid?  The MOST POPULAR KID.  This child is showing your eight-year-old daughter how to give a blow job on his phone.  This child is showing your son a drug dealer cutting the head off three different men.  Thank God you got them that phone… it keeps them out of your hair.  Keeps them busy.  You can keep tabs on them. 

     Quit buying violent video games.  Quit letting children watch violent videos/movies.  I know… I know… we saw violent images when we were kids.  Did we?  Cowboys got shot on television they grabbed their side and slowly collapsed to the ground.  Most of the time there was no blood.  Now we allow them to play video games where heads explode after being fired upon, usually with a military-grade rifle, and blood splatters everywhere as they collapse headless onto the ground twitching.  In fact, the more heads you can blow off the more points you get.  Kind of like the higher the body count for your mass shooting the more publicity you get.  Kid are being desensitized to violence, firearm use and death.  In the 70’s, I remember being startled when my Rockem Sockem robots head popped up.  GTF, Grand Theft Auto, a game played by many elementary school children introduces them to whores, guns, violence and death.  A child, even teenagers, do not understand the concept of death.  They do not understand the consequences and the permanence of such a decision to take their own life or another’s life.  It is a game.  Reboot it and start again with the same characters… there is no death in the virtual world.

     Stop mainstreaming “special kids.”  I know it sounds good to mainstream a special kid.  Makes us feel warm inside.  It doesn’t work.  Special kids belong in special classes.  Classes where their special behaviors do not disrupt the rest of the class.  Students should not be forced to function in fear they may be physically attacked by a special kid because politically correct adults want to pretend this is a productive idea.  It isn’t.  Imagine we take all the varsity basketball players who can dunk and place them on a team then we put one kid on that team who cannot make a lay-up.  Is that kid going to fit in?  NO.  Is that kid going to be ridiculed?  YES.  Might that kid become angry and resentful?  SURE.  Nobody wins in this scenario.  The special kid falls further behind.  The non-special kids are slowed and disrupted.  Special kids belong in special classes where they can find success.  We do not have Special Olympians compete against non-Special Olympians.  Nobody’s a winner.

     The fact is many difficult and potentially crazy kids are surviving childhood these days.  This is the result of childproofing.  In the 70’s natural selection took out many of these kids.  At least two kids a year were run over on the walk home because we did not have school zones and they refused to utilize the crosswalks.  A butter knife and an outlet immediately stopped many a behavior problem in their tracks.  Lead paint slowly worked its magic on kids who could not follow instructions.  The picky eaters slowly and quietly starved.  Back in the day, a small child was the airbag which saved the life of a parent in a vehicle collision.  Childproofing has allowed these difficult, unruly and potential school shooters to survive childhood.

     If your kid was allergic to bees would you take up beekeeping?  NO.  So, when you have a crazy kid …. don’t own guns.  Even if you lock them up…. don’t have guns!  Crazy kids are like safecrackers when it comes to unlocking gun cabinet.  And remember your kid does not have to be crazy.  We did not cure stupid or hardheaded.  Both still exist.  Do you really want to be the parents on television explaining why your obviously crazy kid spent weekends at the gun range with you before shooting up the school?  At some point we are going to start holding shitty parents responsible for the deeds of their crazy kids.  It is inevitable.  Don’t be the first set of parents to go to the electric chair because Crazy Timmy got a bag with no green gummy bears and had to murder his classmates.
     If your kid is on prescription drugs for behavioral/emotional issues he is more likely to become a school shooter.  We all know that blank, void stare of various school shooters.  This stare is drug induced.  It is the result of years on medication which blunt a child's emotions.  I know.... I know... your kid needs them or they are out of control.  Maybe what they need is an attentive parent, who is not on prescription drugs for their emotional problems, who doles out CONSEQUENCES.  Maybe some of these kids aren't bipolar and autistic.  Maybe some of them are tremendously confused both intellectually and emotionally because they have not received their daily dose of CONSEQUENCES.  It is much easier to shoot up a school when your emotions are muted.

     Last…. know if you have a crazy kid.  How do you know if you have a crazy kid?  Do you lock your bedroom door at night?  Have household pets mysteriously died or disappeared?  Does your kid lose his temper easily over minor issues?  Has he seriously hurt any of your other non-crazy kids?  Do you cut his meat because you don’t trust him with a knife?  Is his best friend his imaginary friend?  Does he walk home from school by his self?  Are you scared of him?  Have you considered an exorcism?  Does he look crazy (ask a neighbor)?    If your kid is male.  If your kid is white.  If your kid is on medication.  If your kid is crazy.  You might be raising a school shooter.   

     It would seem the problem is people not guns.  It is true people kill people… but is much easier to kill people with guns, especially guns which fire quickly and do not require much skill.  I know… I know… you hunt with your rifle.  Killing another living being is a sport to you.  I would suggest you are one of the crazy kids, who did not shoot up a school, who grew up to be a crazy adult.  You kill a living being as a hobby… for a sport.  Not for survival.  For a fucking sport.  Sound crazy?  Some crazy kids don’t shoot up schools.  They grow up to be crazy adults who mass murder from a Vegas hotel window or a university tower or in the HR office at the post office.  Read what I am saying…. YOU KILL ANOTHER LIVING BEING FOR SPORT… this is crazy.
     Maybe I'm just shooting off my mouth.  But at least everyone walked away alive.

    

Saturday, February 17, 2018

COWBOY IN A WHITE HAT


Seventeen dead school children.  That’s a small price to pay so Americans can protect their right to play pretend cowboy.  We gotta be armed in case the Native Americans, Muslims, Atheists, Aborted Fetuses or the military of our great country decide to attack us.  Because let’s be honest nothing puts the fear of God in a Super Power military than a bunch of rifle-totin, frightened, hilbillies who weren’t smart or disciplined enough to finish high school but innately possess the strategic military skills passed down from their Confederate forefathers.  Sure God will protect us but only after we empty our magazine on a Ivy-league educated, communist-loving, constitution-hating, liberal-minded, atheist, half-breed, transsexual who will inevitably invade our double-wide to use the bathroom beside our youngens.

     I am a courageous American.  I have no fear.  Hell, it says it on the back of my pickup window, “No Fear.”  Sometimes I drive around town and don’t even use my blinker.  I’m a rebel.  I know no fear… which is why I hide behind a gun and a wall.  It is why I have an underground bunker…. not because I’m scared… but so I can be alone with my thought.  I want to ban immigrants from coming into my country and taking all the good engineering jobs… which I would have taken but I like to work with my hands and engineers don’t work with their hands.  And college is not for everyone…. especially someone who has a GED, ADD and loves the NRA and the USA.  The only way to solve the gun problem is more guns.  Like the only way to cure alcoholism is more alcohol.  It’s really simple if you think about it.  If you don’t want your child to be molested by a stranger at school then they are gonna have to take their pedophile uncle to school so he can protect them.  I don’t have no fancy degree.  I got my learnin at the School of Hard Knocks… which is not accredited… but that don’t matter none because I know how people think… especially people like me… who don’t think.  We feel.  We feel real scared all the time… the devil is after us, the Muslims are after us, the government is after us, cancer is coming to get me, theirs a boogeyman under my bed so I drink to calm my nerves.

     I don’t need no fancy book learnin… unlessin it’s the Good Book… which I really didn’t read but I let my high school graduate preacher man interpret God’s law just like Sean Hannity interpret the news for me.  They give it to me in little bite size pieces.. something I can easily digest.  They give me diluted facts wrapped in fear like the all-loving God demands…. Otherwise he just might kill you with a flood… cause he loves you.  I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost… and the Ghost is Holy because he didn’t wear his protective flak jacket down at the range.  Cause that is where real men are made on the shootin range.  A real man doesn’t use his mind and spend his time gazing into some faggety microscope trying to cure AIDS.  That women’s work.  I go out to the shooting range and fire off a couple hundred rounds and I can forget about my flaccid penis and my occasional attraction to some of the high school football players… I love sports that’s what that is. 

     And don’t quote me no statistics from England or Australia where they done went and banned guns and eliminated mass shootings.  First of all them countries are islands.  How they gonna get guns to islands iffin you forget about boats, planes and Amazon.  Island people aren’t like Americans.  I know island people I watched every episode of Gilligan’s Island.  What kind of red, white and blue-blooded American could be stranded on an island with Ginger and Mary Ann and not be accused of sexual assault at least once a day?  None.  Island people can resist unguarded vagina… hell… resisting the allure of a gun is cake.

     So, some kids have to die so I can pretend I’m a man.  Some kids have to die so I can feel powerful.  That’s a small price to pay.  It ain’t like there ain’t a silver linin to this cloud.  Now the class size is smaller and a few daddy’s no longer have to pay child support.  So, it’s not all bad.  What’s the alternative?  We give up our guns start drinking wine, eating cheese and having sex with other men like the French?  Sure, I am against cyber-bullying but real bullying with bullets … I’m all for it.  Why?  Because I am an idiot who wants to pretend I have some genetic connection with my cowboy forefathers who defeated the Indians who invaded this great country of ours in the Wild West days.  I can tell you this right damn now… I would have been one of them cowboys in the white hat.  Maybe that is what we could do…. give white hats to the good people who buy guns.  That way when the shootin’ starts we would know the good guys from the bad ones.  But we just wouldn’t give the white hats to anyone… they would have to go through some kind of background check to make sure they weren’t crazy or dangerous or a criminal or violent… cause you don’t want just anyone wearin’ the white hat. 

     Yeah that ought to solve the whole gun problem.  Give the good guys the white hats.  That would be the American way.  It would definitely solve the mass shootings.  Yep… how’s that for an old American country boy with a GED and irrational fears?