RAMBLING THOUGHTS ON A SCRAMBLED BRAIN: I AM BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN; BUT I AM STILL “SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED”.
It was more than 2 months before I sent my editors a new column for publication on Room Eight New York Politics (www.r8ny.com); and now, over the last week I have submitted two columns for publication: so I am back in the saddle again (so to speak).
I must admit that over that period I did consider walking away from writing here or anywhere. I stayed because I have always refused to end this blogging thing on anything but my terms: thus I will be sticking around a bit longer, since the last blog-flare up left me more convinced than ever, that there have been elements committed to chasing this audacious black Caribbean-American man off the NY blogging-scene: and that’s not going to happen. I presume it will be much to the chagrin of my “haters” for now.
I also stayed since I am compelled to monitor both “fourth” and “fifth” estates as a lecturer in marketing, politics and public communication. Intermittently, I also have to keep a few clients informed as to my observations, analysis and projections. And yet, I will be lying if I didn’t admit to being totally frustrated with contemporary politics and contemporary political-journalism. And no: it wasn’t about the attacks on me from my detractors on these here blogs; that’s mild stuff. Despite much anger towards Gatemouth’s childlike irascibility (at times), I will always respect his knowledge of NYC politics and the fascinating history therein. Needless to say, I totally laud what all the regular writers here on Room Eight New York Politics (and also The Daily Gotham, Politicker, plus the other consistent local political blogs) are trying to do: educate readers in political areas where mainstream mediums generally refuse to peregrinate.
After all these years in NYC, you would think that I would be inured to the repeated revelations which perpetually expose me to the reality that most people get into politics for the absolute wrong reasons (corruption, ego-needs, materialism, greed, imprisoning-ambition, self-aggrandizement and the like). Or that too many people change after they become elected officials. And worse yet, when they stay elected for too long (more than a dozen years in the same office), too often they evolve into entitlement-sweethearts, truly believing their re-election hype(s), and their prolific embellished public relations-media-releases. So why do I get so bent-out-of-shape when another elected is felled by corruption? Why is it so painful to watch corrupt electeds do their thing without conscience? There is something consistent about the behavior of too many electeds, which suggest we should consider ways of raising the standards for admission to that select group. There are too many riff-raff elected officials: they just don’t get it. They have no idea as to their true purpose and/or functions.
If truth be told, most electeds offer very little in terms on new ideas, imagination and creativity; and they hardly ever solve problems. They hardly ever contribute to policy-formation debates. They are mostly selfish, self-absorbed egomaniacs. They are way too often dishonest and crooked. They will lie like a toupee and call it natural hair all the way. Many of them are despicable as humans go. It is time for us to look at other ways of representation. Maybe we need to flirt with the idea of collective representatives? Or maybe we need to limit the numbers of people who represent us at the legislative branch of government to a bare minimum.
If you don’t agree with some of my assertions here, then check the number of electeds who have been tried and convicted over the last decade (alone). And we have many many more waiting in the wings to be indicted, tried and convicted. And we have others who are untouchable because DAs and AGs are too compromised by associations and ties. In some legislative bodies others are protected by affiliations, partisanship, seniority and such. It is so shameful it’s not even funny anymore. We have created too many classes of legislative crooks, itching to get their slimy claws on our hard-earned dollars. It is time to do something about this.
Used to be a time growing up in the seventies, that we thought one was drawn to public service based on a strong sense of justice, community involvement, idealism, brotherhood, sisterhood and fraternity. We felt that the ideals of equality, liberty, empowerment, inclusion and opportunity for all, compelled us to do things outside the pale. We learned to make sacrifices for the greater good. We joined all types of organizations aimed at making the world a better place. We all wanted to be problem-solvers and tackle hard issues.
Where have all the flowers gone now? Graveyards apparently.
Recently, we entered another era of extreme partisanship in legislatures all over the nation. Fortunately, it allows us in many ways, a first-hand view of the vulgar peep show that Democrats and Republicans (Repugnicans) have been running for years: the one that shows how both political parties have decimated true democracy with their domination of the electoral process and the rules of engagement. They have done illegal, immoral and unconstitutional things over the years -all aimed at entrenchment- which in reality has led to a relatively illiterate electorate. One that is easily fooled; one that is easily manipulated and devoid (bereft) of any ideological/philosophical underpinnings to its political aims, views or values: an electorate that allows for media manipulation and propaganda almost unconsciously. In the gold old USA, political audiences nowadays, seem to display an inability to analyze things deeper than the proverbial millimeter: in other words they are shallow.
And you wonder how we could elect as presidents, Ronald Reagan or the last George Bush twice (though his father was well qualified to be president). And now on deck for the Republicans is another intellectual midget named Sarah Palin; a few pseudo-intellectual demagogues like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee; shallow-assed pretty-boys like Mitt Romney; irrational religious-freaks like Tim Pawlenty (and a few others). And don’t forget Dick Chaney’s bellicose daughter. Where is Chuck Hagel when you need him?
Generally, the Democrats in Congress may lack balls during tough votes, but the intellectual content of most of the members in their bullpen is of a much higher quality than the Repugs: no doubt.
And please don’t expose more fools in Congress: please! It’s a collection of clowns over there; bar (maybe) two handfuls of articulate, well-meant, well-informed individuals, who must be totally frustrated with their day to day reality. Why do you think Anthony Weiner is so well liked on many intellectual corners? He stands head and shoulders above most other members of congress: that’s why. Maybe he should stop appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program before they dumb him down.
And the Black and Hispanic caucus leaves us asking a question of ourselves daily: “can’t we elect higher-quality people than these?” Most of them can’t even chew gum, think a deep thought and walk straight at the same time. What a fucking disaster! What a joke! And they are as corrupt as any of the white boys. Some are even worse. You really want to tell me that Congress members Rangel and Waters didn’t see what they were doing as “problematic” for the least? Aren’t some of the things they are accused of doing just plain wrong: prima-facie? Well, I guess Congressman Reynolds was a choir-boy?
And soon enough some jackass (prominent black) will step out to mainstream media and assert that it is some vendetta against black officials, and that they are being unfairly targeted. BULLSHIT. If it barks like a dog it is a friggin dog. And where are the Barrons, Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons when it is time to come out and condemn corrupt black officials? Nowhere to be found: that’s where: invisible. But don’t let that “racial-ambulance” drive pass the corner store, because you will see them chasing after it like it was nobody’s business.
Day after day hard-working black people (the lucky ones who can find or create work) put good money into the social security system that they will never collect, since they will die before time to cash in. Check the mortality rates/tables if you don’t believe me. Who looks out for these folk? It is like back in the day when blacks paid taxes but couldn’t go to the universities, community colleges or high schools. It is like back in the day when some hospitals would rather let blacks die than render medical treatment. The same blacks that did all the dirty work in the society in order for others to not only function on the levels they did, but to also maintain the quality lifestyles they did.
And day by day blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities here face the racist justice system after making small mistakes while playing the edges of meaningful survival; mistakes that often haunt them for the rest of their lives. And you wonder why the prisons are so full of colored folks? Do you really understand how difficult it is to obtain meaningful employment with a felony conviction on your rap-sheet?
As blacks, we face serious serious issues: and not just in the area of crime. We make up about one in eight of the population but half of all murder victims. About one third of our young sons are in and out of prison. About three in four of our young high school males fail to graduate. Only one in forty black males graduate from college. Almost half our males are jobless on any given day; and so on, and so on, and so on. Only one in four of our black kids are growing up with both biological parents: do we really understand the implications of all this?
And where are the imaginative electeds with ideas for solving some of these issues? And where is the black intelligentsia besides selfishly enjoying the perks of their good luck and status (as limited as it may be)? And whites who see a few minority pro-ball players making money, refuse to acknowledge that the average white family is about ninety times wealthier than the average black family; and that since the Ronald Reagan days, the wealthy in this country have gotten wealthier, while most Republicans still call for institutional tax breaks/cuts for them.
And if you say to some whites: go read Randall Robinson’s book (“The Debt”), since there is a case for reparations for the descendants of former Negro slaves, they will look at you as if you just escaped from some mental institution. But how can black and Hispanic babies living on the periphery of survival ever compete fairly with trust-fund babies who are white? And you wonder why capitalism throws up uneven economic development modules?
In the good old USA (United States of Amnesia), and after 234 years of independence, blacks still routinely face discrimination in housing, health, education, employment, business opportunities, banking, insurance, etcetera, and etcetera. And guess what? It is so common place that it isn’t much of an issue anymore. And that’s because too many whites keep trying to deny the harsh reality of racism on a daily basis. The day most whites finally stop this, is the day we really and truly start doing something about changing all this.
And then a few weeks ago a Republican operative shamelessly goes up on the net (and later mainstream media), and actually manipulates the speech of an agricultural official (black) of the Obama administration, to only further demonstrate that Fox News Network and its cronies have lost their humanity. And when this happens: what can be next? A wise man once said that anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Think of this as you watch Fox News Network folks.
Where is the public apology from Fox News Network for Ms. Shirley Sherrod? Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan and all the other loudmouth (talking loud saying nothing) black leaders, when a lady like Ms. Sherrod has been maligned, blasphemed, libeled, slandered, and publicly wronged beyond comprehension? And all this was done deliberately.
Shouldn’t we -as Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and decent people of all races and hues- have marched on Fox News Network headquarters, with a stern warning that the next time they “fuck-up” we will burn down their damn building -after giving them ample time to evacuate it of course. Anyway, before my detractors have a field day with this, let me say that I am talking figuratively: of course.
The point is this: where is the public outrage? Who will be Fox’s next Shirley Sherrod? What are decent Americans waiting on: an assassination attempt on President Obama, his wife, and/or kids, before they finally see what is really going on here? This is one of the saddest chapters in the history of US media.
Since the last presidential election, Fox News Network has blatantly attempted to render President Barack Obama illegitimate. Their partial-success in this regard has now created a dangerous climate for race relations in this country. Add to the mix a deep recession -which continues to befuddle most mainstream economists- and you see the potential for more trouble. Then further add to the mix the incendiary issue of immigration reform and you can see what’s lurking down the pike.
Rupert Murdoch could possibly be the most hideous human alive; and probably the most miserable one also; and anyone who works to spread his drivel is complicit and should be put on notice: and that includes any employee of his evil empire. Look, we are not going back to the bad old days of Jim Crow and company: never again. We as people of color demand our rightful and relevant places in US society and in the attendant decision-making that affects our lives in profound ways. We have to be vocal and vigilant. For almost two years now, we have stood by and allowed some folks to attack the first mulatto president in US history as if we are nothing but a bunch of pussies and wimps. This has got to stop. NOW!
As civility goes in this country, we are on a downward spiral folks. Look at the trajectory!
More hate groups spring up everyday. More absurd notions about race, class, religion and reality abound. More and more fools are denying the truths of the holocaust of World War 2. More and more imbeciles see gun-ownership as some sort of divine right without any kind of legal restrictions. One third of all Republicans think Barack Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, despite the fact that his birth was announced in the local newspapers a couple days later. In their mind someone hatched this plan over forty years ago to have this African become president of the USA in 2008.
All this ignorance is really threatening to me as a black man living in this country, and I am a person who refuses to turn the other cheek when my ass is being threatened. I really don’t mind fighting fire with more fire. That’s my prerogative.
More and more folks are tuning away from participating in the electoral process. More and more folks are refusing to intellectually engage the system. More and more folks selfishly demand more and more of government without any tingling of a conscience. More and more people are getting to that “me-first” or “me-only” place: the implications therein are scary.
Fannie Lou Hamer said “she was sick and tired of bring sick and tired” and I feel the same way today. What do you think these “tea-party” and “tea-bagging” people mean when they say they want their country back? Think about that for the rest of the day folks. That’s your home work on Room Eight today. Who are they taking back their country from? And what does “their country” mean?
Look, at the time in US history when there are unprecedented numbers of black electeds at all levels of government; and when there are more blacks than at any other time working in the three branches of government; why aren’t the pressing issues facing the black community not on the front burner for discussion and action?
Thank God for the hard working activists within the black community who run with the ball every day while our electeds disappoint us (in general). I am talking about the blacks who organize little league games weekly; the coaches working on youth development; the teachers going the extra mile to academically develop our youth; and people of the like. I am talking about the referees, and counselors, and social workers, and a few religious people (only a few), the scouts masters and mistresses, some clergy members (just a few), and all those who you know are making unsung contributions every day: contributions which hold this community together and keeps us from further metastasizing.
And over the years, too few black leaders have chosen to address the rappers and their hip-hop buddies, who glorify crass materialism, female degradation, irresponsible sexual activity, violence and debauchery. Too many have condemned our black youth to the darker corners of capitalism unchecked, under the guise of economic development via cultural entrepreneurship and creativity. And last week Bob Herbert showed us in the New York Times that the good old USA is no longer on the top 20 list of the most educated countries in the world. So, you see this great recession that we are currently experiencing: well get used to it, since it will be around for some time.
Stay tuned-in folks. I have been rambling around with many thoughts in this scrambled brain lately; if I choose to share some of them with you then maybe I’ll write some more. Maybe!
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