Run For The Border

There is a man in a wheelchair, he cannot walk.  He met another man who is pushing him the entire way.

There is a sixteen year old boy who has never been to school due to gang violence in his town, he wants an education.  He is traveling alone.

There is a woman who put her two children on a truck.  The truck pulled away as she was trying to climb on.  She lost her children.  A woman along the way noticed the children traveling without their mother and took them into her care.  She splits rations intended for her two children amongst all four.

This not a hustle.  It’s desperation.  And as horrific as it is, it must be better than the life they are leaving because…why else on earth would they do it?

That a president decides to meet this desperation with armed forces leaves me flabbergasted.  A constant truth in this administration is that privilege begets entitlement begets contempt for those who are not privileged.

Do better.

 

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…And One More Thing About Ferguson! (Then I’m Back To Shutting Up)

Let’s be clear. Arresting the officer who killed Michael Brown is not justice. Sure, it’s a pound of flesh…but you gotta rip that flesh from an 800-kb gorilla.

There is no such thing as justice for the family of Michael Brown. Prosecuting the officer who shot him is a necessary but arguably punitive measure that may bring about satisfaction or a sense of fairness but should certainly not be mistaken for justice because justice presupposes a sense of moral rightness. And in a place like Ferguson, MO…that just ain’t gonna be possible for everybody just by arresting one trigger happy cop.

 The 1990 census reports that blacks made up 25% of the population of Ferguson. By 2010, just 30 years later, that demographic grew to 67%. Yet, all the powers-that-be in Ferguson remain white. The mayor’s white, the chief of police is white, six out of seven city council members are white (that other one is Latino,) 6 outta 7 school board members are white (the other one IS black…so make a wish!) and all but three members of 53-member police department are white.

The last time I saw that much white, I was at a snow-covered ski resort in Liechtenstein on a polar bear rug eating mayonnaise on Wonder Bread with the NFL Wives’ Club. Oh yeah…or apartheid. I also saw it in apartheid. [uncomfortable silence]

The cop in question is a pawn in an entire system that oppresses black folks in Ferguson. And black folks have been playing along. The power structure will try to close ranks around him but make no mistake, he is nothing but a speed bump on the road to pacifying a people who contribute the majority of the economic base yet do not exercise or have the ability to exercise  (the jury is still out…but the jury is prolly all white, too) a voice in how they are governed and who will govern them.

 Black folks in Ferguson, and many towns across America that look like Ferguson, have been living under this 800-lb gorilla for the last 30 years. And by “living with” I mean, “oppressed by.”  And truthfully, oppression is as a deadly as a gun.  Certainly, the criminal act of murder must be prosecuted and punished. But sitting that cop in jail and returning to business as usual is not justice.  Justice for the community of Ferguson requires an insistence by the people that they be governed and policed by qualified people who look like them AND have as an agenda the best interest of a diversified community.  Otherwise, that community risks becoming a killing field for anyone…ANYONE…who is feared or misunderstood.  Death by gunshot, death by missed opportunity, death by lack of resources, death by an unsuitable education.  (Damn…ok, that’s kinda dramatic…but I’ma leave it in cuz I kinda need this point made)

 Without this change at this point, there can simply never be justice for the people of Ferguson.

Got that, Al Sharpton?

In The Beginning, There Was…Um…Uh…What The Hell IS This?

Our own beliefs can be strong intoxicants and I, my friend, am a cheap date.  All I needed was a couple shots of conviction and an internet chaser and before I knew it, the stream of consciousness in my head was loosely organized and presented to you in black and white.   And Kimchi And Collard Greens was born.

But when my buzz died down (wow, this broad can beat a metaphor to death, can’t she?) and I was left with the posts, I didn’t always like what I read.  In fact, as shit played out, I sometimes found myself disagreeing with myself.  And that conflict was difficult to manage because, my treatment of the above metaphor notwithstanding, you know I can’t fight.

As the posts piled up, I discovered two of my major belief systems have evolved since I started this blog and if I don’t explain the changes to you, I’m gonna sound good ‘n crazy going forward.  (Wasn’t that a candy bar back in the day?)

So here goes…

The first change was in politics.  After over twenty years in bed with the Republican Party, I am saddened to have recently conceded that they’re just not that in to me.  So, I am officially out, the paperwork process is underway. Politically, I’d like to put my support behind an organization that’s hot in the pants for me.  And if there are two things that don’t mix, it’s Republicans and hot pants.  Even with that visual, it was a hard decision to make because I have and will always have a heart that beats for conservatism (again, except for the slavery part.)  Not to mention, everybody knows I love Colin Powell like he birthed me himself.

The second change was in religion.  While I still believe religion is great, I think the vast majority of practitioners miss the point altogether.  As such, I am less inclined to give religion the “favored nation” status it once enjoyed in these posts.  I want to write more about that but I’d prefer not to be killed.  Y’all know how folks get in the name of religion.  Between that and asking what the hell happened to Ron Brown every now and again, I’m liable to get myself shot.

There you have it – two changes – not a Republican anymore; less sympathetic to religion.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we’ve got some issues to discuss.  Please refrain from sending me lithium when you see the new posts.

Romney’s Lecture To America

We’ve seen this happen a million times before and we will see it happen again.

Obama’s camp confused not likeable with not smart.  Essentially, they underestimated their opponent. 

Magic Mitts came out swinging, freshly nipped and tucked, relaxed and knowledgeable.  He stunned Obama with his first blow.  And while Obama got some good shots in (“big bold idea is never mind?”) last night we saw our Joe Cool President thrown off his game by an opponent who truthfully went into the debates as an underdog. 

Now, this is the first I’ve heard of a $248 million holding, 2 Ivy League degree having, former CEO being underdog.  But let’s just use that word for now.

This was a missed opportunity – a golden one, at that.  Obama needed to close the deal.  He needed to speak to unfinished business and plans that are half laid.  He needed to convince us that a new President would have to start over.  Cuz the one thing we don’t want is to start over.  It’s too painful.

Romney on the other hand had an easier goal – he needed to prove he is not a buffoon. 

Two men came in with a goal, only one man accomplished his mission.

Clearly, Romney won the debate.  It was obvious after the first question.  The first 30-minute question that the moderator was completely unable to contain…along with the rest of the debate.

But it ain’t over.

Let’s not forget, debates and rhetoric are Obama’s bailiwick.

Obama was on the defensive for most of the night.  Expect to see more aggression from him in the next debate.  Expect him to speak to the 47%.  Get used to that number because Obama’s camp will be repeating it ad nauseum.  He will have to fight a little dirtier because while he’s remaining above it all, Romney will swoop in and win over the undecideds.   He certainly got my attention last night.  Hell, he even looked better than Obama!

OMG, did I just SAY that?

(Side Note:  Has anyone awakened Jim Lehrer yet and told him it’s over and he can go home now? #worstmoderatorever)

Freedom Papers And Other Acceptable Forms of ID

I’ll admit it.  I’m easy to confuse.  I frequently forget where I’m going as soon as I’m en route and once I had to calculate my age on my own fingers. So, when I say I’m confused by the hullabaloo surrounding voter ID requirements, please take it with a grain of salt.

Back in the day, the old folks (i.e. my dad) used to say, “If you stay ready, you ain’t got ta git ready!”  That sentence always sits in the back of my mind.  Perhaps that’s why, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why in the hell there are grown ass people who will not be able to cast a regular ballot this year because they don’t have ID.

Now, I won’t even bother to ask why grown people don’t have ID just for G.P.  But I will ask…When did you learn that there would be an election in November of 2012?  Yesterday?  Last week?  Last month?  Cuz your man Obama has been talking about this election since the day after his first inauguration…so I suspect you knew it was coming.  May I ask why your ass didn’t get ready…and then stay ready?

Listen, I get it.  It’s the timing.  Let’s pretend for a moment that voter ID legislation has not been a constant visitor to the state legislative floors consistently for THE LAST TEN YEARS.  In that case, someone pushing to pass a law riiiiiiiiiight NOW would certainly impact those folks who are not ready today.  And that may indeed be unfair.  But let’s take a look at who actually would be impacted, shall we?

First, 20 states and the District of Columbia require no ID at all.  Just show your ass up at the voting location and do the do.  Now, that sounds dangerous to me but I’m all about states’ rights.  They like it, I love it.

Of the remaining 30 states, most allow registered voters with no ID to cast provisional ballots, sign affadavits or oaths in lieu of ID, provide ID at another time or have their identification verified by appropriate officials.  I say “most” although I couldn’t find one circumstance where the voter was just ass out.  But I don’t know everything, I just talk like I do.

Finally, the qualifications for acceptable identification are so broad in some instances they are almost meaningless – utility bills, a note from your mama, student ID, a paycheck, gang tattoos.

So, let’s say in spite of all this concession, there are people who STILL can’t vote.  Please let both of them know that they have four years to rectify this situation so that they can vote next time.  One or two years if they are civic minded and would like to cast municipal votes as well.

Ok…now that I got that off my chest…can I just say we have a bigger problem?

What we really need to be focused on is low voter turnout.  There are 20 states and the District of Columbia that require no ID at all and voter turnout is still low in those states amongst the demographic in question.

I know, I know…it’s easier to fight the battle against “the man” and not the “brotha man” but if you really want to ensure Republicans don’t drive numbers at the polls, then get all eligible voters registered and out to the polls on Election Day.  The democratic process can be lovely when we all participate.

Let’s take some responsibility for our own shit.  The facts don’t support the premise that Republicans are keeping us out of the voting booth in any meaningful numbers.  What the facts support is that when folk get disenfranchised or disenchanted, we are less willing to make the effort to get out  and vote, despite all the shit we say on Facebook.  That’s the bigger concern.

For black folk – that’s just shameful given what our people have been through to even have that right in the first place.

Source:  National Conference of State Legislatures (www.ncsl.org)

Pee Diddy For President!

In an interview on the Today Show for Education Nation this morning, an interviewer asked Romney if he felt all Americans were entitled to the same $38,000 per year education that Romney himself received.

I’m disgusted by that question…that question and mayonnaise (but we’ll talk about that another day.)

Sometimes, we need to say some ugly things to clear the air.  So, I’ma go ahead and say it.

No, you are not entitled to a $38,000/yr education.  Romney received one because his parents had stacks.  Rich people get more stuff.  And that’s the truth, Ruth.

Let’s deal with the fact that as we watch more and more of our fellow Americans, family members and sometimes even ourselves slip out of the middle class – which in this country can just mean you can’t afford premium cable and Coach covers for your iPad – we are becoming more and more resentful of the wealthy.

Are we coming to believe that the wealthy are somehow obligated to share their wealth with those less fortunate?

Let me start by saying, I get it.  Excess can be vulgar in the face of suffering and need.  So, when we see Mitty and Kitty Romney with their Zegna suits and Hermes luggage, the injustice of it all can be a bitter pill.

But, I’m curious…why aren’t we mad at ‘Ye and Bey?

They do the same shit.  Those mofos are ballin’ outta control.  Yet, no one mentions their excess or even seems bothered by it at all.

When you think about it, Mitt is worth $248 million dollars so getting his ride-or-die chick (and you gotta admit, Kitty goes hard in the paint for her boo!)  a $20K handbag is not excessive.  Were we mad when Kim Porter tweeted a pic of her arm with not one, but two, Rolex watches on?  It ain’t trickin’ if you got it, right?

Now, one could make the point that Pee Diddy ain’t running for President (there is a God) so who cares if he’s out of touch.  And I would agree that Romney will never understand the day to day experience of people who are struggling against an economic force that has essentially put financial stability out of their reach.

But for me, the jury is still out on whether or not that affects Romney’s ability to lead us back to our vision – a restored America.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Romney supporter.  Neither, do I support Obama.  I’m still undecided.  Hell, I’m not even scheduled to make a decision for another four weeks.  Not scheduled to write about it for another three.  Not scheduled to think about for another two.  Not even scheduled to research for another one.

I’d just like to see both candidates assessed by facts and policy, not emotions and stupid questions.

Something Akin To Madness

Listen, don’t be mad at Akin. He’s just the one who is dumb enough to say it out loud. In this country, unless a victim is lily white and adequately demure, we’ve always suspected her of wanting it — in essence, “delegitimizing” rape. God forbid you are a minority, a powerful woman or just plain sexy. A little dick is probably all you need to mellow you out.

Fortunately for us, that’s just what most men have….*ahem*

A little humor (very little) to counterbalance the angst I feel when I realize that I live in a country where it is still okay to violate me physically (What?  You didn’t know I’m sexy?) …unless we are on the cusp of a presidential campaign.  In that case, you could practically suffocate in all the fake outrage.

Please!  Give me a break!