A Little Discussion of Political Rhetoric

They Don't Speak English, But They Understand Hate

Image from FreeSpeech TV. Full text of the article is available here: https://www.freespeech.org/video/radical-anti-immigration-protesters-show-worst-american-spirit

I’m going to say this: conservative Americans in the 1950s and 1960s understood one thing, scenes like this make great recruitment propoganda for your enemies. They weren’t right, they had some serious issues. But, they understood the power of a good visual, and a strong message. Hell, why do you think the government pilfered ad execs from companies like Coca-Cola and Proctor and Gamble for some of their political campaigns of the era? Conservatives today do NOT get this, at all.

If you really believe that America has enemies that are out actively recruiting, what do you think they do with newsreels like this? Remember this fact: all good political propoganda is 90% true. It’s verifiable through several sources, it appeals to the intellect of the intended population. If you think that America has enemies, then you have to know that they are interviewing the people on that bus, and translating it into as many languages as they can for media saturation outside of this country, and some spaces within it. If you are set on a mission to convince people that America will never accept people that look like them, that speak with an accent, that have different cultural values and the only solution is to exterminate Americans, what would you do with a reel like this? No matter who steps to the mic after this, they will not be able to refute the message, or the imagery. It’s available through too many sources. This image will be just like those water hose images of Bull Connor from the 1960s. 

I’m not conservative. I’m not a Republican. But, if they paid me to advise them, I would tell them: get this crap out of the media, as quickly as possible.

I Stand With Jada

So, this happened:

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Can I be honest? When I was this child’s age, I was horribly judgmental. I would have had a dozen reasons why it was her fault that she was raped. From drinking at a friends house, to what she was wearing, and a million other things. But, time has a way of changing your mind on somethings. And, thank God that I know better.

Her peers are learning. And, they have heard all sorts of judgmental things coming out of the mouths of grown folks around them about rape and the survivors of rape. I can’t fix what they say. But, what I am going to do is this: I’m going to be an adult that says it wasn’t her fault. And, her rape, no rape, is ever funny. 

Ironically, I’m not scared for Jada. It takes a lot of courage to come forward and say what happened. The fact that she is willing to say, “I have nothing to lose. I’m a survivor,” means that she has what it takes to overcome this and more. She’s a brave and honorable young woman. She’s put her name out there, when even her parents won’t. She’s taking a stand and not accepting the shame that people want to put on her. I believe that she will come out of this with dignity. 

Now, this is going to be messed up, but heres the truth: I’m scared for her rapist. I’m scared for that young man because he’s unable to stand on his own two, thus far, and he’s reaching out to his friends and his cronies for support. Unfortunately, none of those people who are giving him daps, now are going to be with him in the jail cell that he may go to. I’m scared for this young man because he doesn’t understand consent. That means he’s out there having sex without understanding some very, very, fundamental basics. What does this mean he knows about protection? What does this mean he knows about the resources to get treatment for STIs? I’m scared for this young man because he published a felony to social media, and thought he would get away with it. I’m scared for this young man because he’s going to be thrown in a jail system that doesn’t care about what’s best for him or rehabilitating him into someone that could do good in his community, and if he’s prosecuted he’s going to be in the most efficient and effective voc/rehab program known to modern man – prison. 

Share, re-blog, and start talking to the young people you have access to. Start talking about how rape isn’t a joke. Start talking to young women about how there is no shame in living to fight another day. There is no shame in surviving. Start talking to young men about consent. Tell them about making good choices. Start talking loudly, you don’t know who needs to hear you. 

Karma Is Only A Bitch If You Are

This is going to be an interesting post because it deals with the law of reaping/sowing, but it deals with it in a very raw, unchurchy way. I don’t define profane in the same way a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ might, and y’all should know by now that I say what I want to say. So, you’ve been warned.

So, I watched a video on YouTube, and I have to say that I love this sister because she drops science bombs. Here is the link to the video, so that you can go watch it, if you would like some context. 

But, her comments/vlog made me flash back to a statement that I read on the comments on a news story, “Karma is only a bitch if you are.” And, it’s so true. If you deal with people from a place of loving, honoring intention, you have nothing to fear from karma. What you should expect to receive, in abundance, is loving, honoring intention from others. 

Why should you expect it? You should expect it because it is a spiritual law. Whether you know it as “you reap what you sow”, karma, the law of attraction, reciprocity . . . . this is a spiritual law that reverberates over and over again, through generation through generation.

But, do you give like this is a spiritual law? When’s the last time you thought to yourself? Hmmm . . . . I need a little money, let me give to this gofundme? Or, hmmm, I could use a promotion, let me mentor some kids, or a young co-worker and sow that seed right quick? 

That’s the test of what you really believe. How you act when the pressure is on, and the stakes are high. Don’t tell me that you believe that you will reap what you sow when you gossip about your friends. (Side note: Don’t get mad when it turns out that the one you were gossiping with is gossiping about you.) Don’t tell me that you believe that you will reap what you sow when you’re cheating with someone on their spouse. Don’t tell me that you believe that you will reap what you sow when you sit back and determine who is worthy of your gift. No, you don’t. Because if you did, you would sow a better seed more often than you do. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m talking to myself, first. If it helps somebody else, then great.)

If you truly believe that you reap what you sow would you be quick to laugh at, or make fun of, someone else’s misfortune? If you truly believe that you reap what you sow, who would you pray for differently? Who would you be praying for like, “Lord, help them to sow a better seed because if they keep doing like they’re doing . . . . ?” What do you do now that you might have to pass up, if you really believe that you reap what you sow.

My girl’s word on that video, though! I’m telling you now, I have things to pray about y’all. But, I’m going to leave you with a positive note: what have you forgotten about that you should be expecting a harvest for? I was taught that God gives richly to all without finding fault. So, why do we not go boldly to God expecting that He will replenish us on our journey because we have sown some good seed somewhere? 

Let me tell you a true story that still blesses my socks off.

I was walking downtown in my little piece of the rock one winter morning, and there was a man with a guitar case open playing for change. Now, you have to understand that in my town there are homeless people that perform for money, there are students that perform for money and then there are folks with a day job that perform for money. It’s a cottage industry here. In this case, this guy was homeless. But, I had money in my purse. I rarely carry cash, and I had just come out of a period in my life where I would have needed every last cent, for something. As a matter of fact, the fact that I hadn’t counted it, nor had a plan for the money was a testament to where I had come from. But, on this morning, it just struck me that I wanted to give to this guy. I up-ended the coins from my wallet into his case. His first question to me was, “So, what church do you go to?” I was a little taken aback by his question. But, we talked for a little bit. I told him about how I was coming out of a rough patch, and that my sole motivation for giving was that it felt good to be able to give. That it just felt good to not be stressed about that money and what I needed it for. He congratulated me and he thanked me and I went on my way down the street. )He actually was a nice guy.) The next store I went into I was looking at perfume. (I have a thing about scents. Honestly.) To keep the story short, the salesgirl bought me a bottle of Chanel perfume. Not Eau de Toilette . . . . Parfum. Do I think the two things are related? Yes. Absolutely. I can’t prove it. But, I believe in my soul it is true. 

So, my lovelies, give like you believe that you will reap what you sow.

VIDEO WITH TRANSCRIPT :: Every 28 Hours 2012 Report: Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes

“. . . . . roughly about 40 percent if you add it all up, were folks whose basically family members or they themselves were in some form of distress and called the police seeking aid for someone who was disturbed, off their medication, dealing with some health issues or health-related crisis.”

Book Review :: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When I was in graduate school, I pretty much quit reading for pleasure. There was so much mandatory reading that I had to do, that I had no interesting in reading for reading sake. As a matter of fact, in what spare time I had, I would rather do anything but reading. Which is exceedingly sad because I grew up a reader. I loved reading and writing.

It isn’t that I haven’t read before now. It’s just that I stuck too a type of literature that I affectionately christened, “Brain Candy”. The sort of thing that you may enjoy, but that isn’t going to win any book awards. Quite frankly, I tend to not like a lot of book award fodder. 

Then, Americanah happened . . . .

It is critically acclaimed, it’s by a very “on-trend” author, and it’s all the things that, on paper, should equal strong dislike for me.

But, Adichie wins you over by the plain spoken, straight forwardness of her style. It’s not that she’s not descriptive – the book is absolutely lush with description. But, the style comes across as a plain spoken candor that helped me settle in and really develop a rapport with the characters. Personally, I identified very strongly with the novel’s protagonist, Ifemelu. This, in spite of her story starting continents away, in cities that I’ve never seen and in a culture that is very different. Adichie writes Ifemelu in ways that make her easily relatable. 

If you have read, and liked Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, the love story between Obinze and Ifemelu will tug at a lot of the same heart strings. Don’t get me wrong, their story is very different. And, in some ways, it make me question my idealism about romantic life. But, for me, just like the story of Tea Cake and Janie made me smile, and made me idealize Tea Cake, the story of Ifemelu and Obinze made me idealize and admire Obinze. In my estimation, Ifemelu is his one vice. 

Adichie also tackles race, more specifically, how she feels that as a non-American black people navigate within and outside of the American construct of race. What it is like to be “other”, to have an accent, to be, as some might put it, skinfolk but not kinfolk. Americanah doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, or any answers for that matter, but Ifemelu is quite frank in her observations. And, often the observations are astute enough to make you stop and think about why things are a certain way. 

I’m now in a mad search for more books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I will let you know what I find. However, in the meantime, pick up this book and read it with friends. It would be an awesome book club book. Hope you enjoy.

Video

Who Told You That You Were Naked?

This was too good not to share. I hope it helps you, family.

Video

“Keep Shining”, by Shad

I have a commute to work these days, like a lot of folks. And, one of the struggles of my commute is that the radio stations that I prefer come in and out of reception. So, radio isn’t the best option.

Add to that, I hate radio commentary and commericals. I just want music. Please and thank you.

Compounded by the fact that I think songs like “Bury Me In The Gucci Store”, “Paranoid” and “Loyal” should only be used to induce vomiting in persons suspected of having food poisoning.

So, I gotta bring my own beats. And, I’m definitely trying to keep what goes with me on my commute in a positive bend and in a positive light. I want music that feeds my spirit, somehow. I either go with straight up gospel/Christian, or I go with things that are more generically uplifting.

This is a song that has been in my disc player for a minute. And, I love this artist. He’s a Kenyan immigrant to Canada. His name is actually Shadrach, but he raps under the name Shad. And, his music is thoughtful, positive and inspiring. I like his music because it is art that doesn’t neatly fit a single genre. Shad speaks his mind, and sometimes it’s on church-y subjects, but often it’s not. He’s definitely not your “poppin’ bottles in the club, chillin’ with my b#@$!3$” type rapper. Politics, feminism, naps . . . . all topics in his raps. He’s a regular guy that just also happens to be a pretty good MC.

That said, here’s a line from this song that I hope that you take with you: “The world turns and there’s clouds sometimes but there’s no such thing as a setting sun. It always keep shining.”