Volume 7, #12
“Yo, the Abstract with the Mighty Mos Def
White folks got it muffled beneath they breathe
“I didn’t say it..”
But they’ll say it out loud again
When they get with they close associates and friends
You know, sneak it in with they friends at the job
Happy hour at the bar while this song is in they car
And even if they’ve never said it, lips stay sealed
They actions reveal how their hearts really feel”-Mos Def 1:15-
Say it ain’t so, Kramer.
Reason # nine million and seventeen why we can’t get caught up in fame and celebrity. When the cameras, smoke and mirrors disappear we find that everyone has their own demons.
On November 17 at Los Angeles’ Laugh Factory, Michael Richards had the misfortune of his demons being exorcised publicly. And believe it or not, we’re all better for it.
Dude is an idiot and a bitch. It’s a shame that he didn’t make his comments around any real niggas rather than the negroes who screamed “this is unfair.” He wouldn’t have made it out of the club unscathed if that had happened in Chicago, word to God.
But I digress. Bigoted, small-minded idiots like dude make for good fodder. But his meltdown has far more significant implications for our society.
I was not as caught off guard by Richards’ rant. This is nothing new. The fact that white folks don’t call us niggers to our face anymore just makes us believe that racism is dead, but that is far from the truth.
Good ole-fashioned racists like Southern segregationists Orville Faubus and George Wallace forced America to face its evil legacy of white supremacy square in the face. It’s hard to paint foreign enemies as evil and undemocratic when public officials are denying its citizens the most fundamental of rights. But after they shot Martin, Medgar, Malcolm and my comrade Fred Hampton Jr.’s daddy; we all became too nervous and polite to talk about white supremacy.
So since then racists haven’t gone away, they’ve just hidden their sheets and hoods deep in their closets.
They’ve put on suits and power-red ties, smiled for cameras, talked politically correctly, even found a few black acquaintances to take photos with. They’ve run for office. They’ve become district managers. They’ve become sitcom icons. They’ve become police officers.
Michael Richards is a washed-up, flash-in-the-pan comedian who time shined on brilliantly for a moment. He has no real power. No real influence. He can’t impact any legislation. He isn’t employing anyone. These are not the racists that should concern us.
The racists that worry me are those like the New York City policemen who put 50 bullets in Sean Bell the night before his wedding.
Richards does not represent any real threat to black folks. What he does represent is the need for white folks to examine how white supremacy has impacted them.
It can be no surprise that there are individuals like Richards who walk around harboring private hatred for blacks, and an unyielding belief in the absolute superiority of their own culture and values. White people have been trained to think this way for five thousand years. Those white folks who have escaped the shackles of this mentality have not just woke up and mystically been freed from the limitations of white supremacist ideology, but have had to make sustained, concentrated, conscious efforts to meticulously chisel it away. They had to battle with themselves, they had to question, they had to put themselves in someone else’s moccasins.
When I have addressed matters of race here, I do not do so to attack white people, but rather to attack the ideology of white supremacy. This should be something that is important to black and white people. Black folks have suffered plenty from white supremacy like being hung from trees with forks put up our asses, to give but one example. But white people have suffered from white supremacy as well.
Many have been socialized into false facades to uphold white supremacy. And that kinda shit is just plain unhealthy. More than a threat, Richards looked and sounded plain crazy. He clearly had been walking around with a ponderous amount of hatred and bitterness that was just dying to ooze from his pores.
But he is far from alone. Many white folks probably share his sentiment. Almost all black people inherit a healthy distrust and skepticism of white people at best; and frequently downright hatred at the furthest extreme. Like any relationship, this is not one that will improve by not talking about it, hoping our problems will just go away on their own.
It was encouraging that many whites present that night in the Los Angeles comedy club where Michael Richards terminated his career seemed to be sincerely appalled at his actions. This is what must be done outside of public forums if we are to eradicate this ideology once and for all. We have to all be appalled by lack of human respect whether it be to a black person, an Arab cat after 9/11, gay cats in the Bible Belt and women on Wall Street. We have to correct our grandfather when they make an anti-Semitic remark at the dinner table. You have to stick up for your gay friend at Bible study. Let your homie know that calling Asian people oriental is offensive. You can’t front when you see a white girl with a real big ole ass.
But to get here, we have to open this discussion up for our collective therapy. Otherwise -much like Michael Richards’ act- shit will boil over. And in kind, that will be nothing to laugh about.
Peace and God bless,
November 06 – Volume 7, #11
“Chopped and Screwed”
“Whose world is this?
The world is yours. The world is yours” –Nas 1:4-
“Who are we to give up on anyone?
Let he that is without sin first cast the stone
Judge not lest ye be judged with the same judgment” –Donnie 1:4-
On September 27 of this year, a depraved freak entered a Colorado school, sexually assaulted several girls, killed one and then took himself out. This story was broadcast throughout the nation, perhaps motivating a 15-year-old student to up thing and blast his principal just two days later. On the morning of October 2, Charles Carl Roberts IV kissed his wife goodbye before casually strolling into a school where he molested and killed five young Amish girls before taking the coward’s route to retribution and killing himself.
Shocked and awed, I lil flipped my remote control from CNN to BET and found that niggas had amassed so much dough that they could throw it carelessly at the camera and fan themselves with it when it got too warm. Where was I at when Fat Joe was letting it rain? In an unrelated story, the Mothers of Civilization shook their asses in the background.
Days later, I accidentally stumbled onto Jerry Springer where I saw that in addition to all the other contrived madness on the show, they had actually added a stripper’s pole to the studio which guests lobbied hard to get to display their talents on. Flashing a titty or a penis usually was sufficient for lucky contestants to guarantee their three minutes of fame on the strippers’ pole. Surely their children will be proud when this runs on syndication and DVD for all of eternity.
I’m not sure if this is what the Roots or my man Sly Stone meant when they said that everybody is a star. The vipers have us so caught up on celebrity; on party & bullshit, that everyone is jockeying for their 15 minutes of fame. People who are devoid of talent, and any other even mildly remarkable characteristics, have adopted the most shocking and distasteful behavior if America will shower them with a few moments of the attention, love and adoration that they didn’t get from their parents. Since they see that we are easily amused and distracted, people are doing whatever they can to get some shine. Even these murders; who are the most sick and depraved of our society, know that they are guaranteed to live in infamy when they take others’ lives. Celebrated like Oliver Stone’s natural born killers, Mickey and Mallory. Even the most sadistic loner has become media savvy enough to recognize that CNN, Fox, MSNBC and all the major outlets will be quick and ready with their cameras when they fly off the handle. Hoping to get some actual blood if they’re lucky, but they won’t insult you by showing the rows of caskets being flown from Iraq on the daily.
It’s this same fascination with the bizarre that makes cats like John Mark Karr so eager for fame that he even tried earnestly to volunteer for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Larry King was quick to reward this non-newsworthy figure by devoting an hour to Karr while a few more babies were being killed in Darfur. To be sure, a book deal and CBS movie of the week can’t be far behind for Mr. Karr. And if he’s really big, he might yield a reality TV show.
But whose the fool? John Mark Karr or us?
We have empowered these morons and buffoons. Jerry Springer and other ludicrous, self-defacing nonsense wouldn’t be as powerful if we didn’t allow the most shallow, unspectacular, plain dumbest and weakest people in society define our values.
We think these things are unrelated to the fact that kids from Europe and Asia are routinely beating the shit out of American students in every academic category, and in dodge ball because we’re too fat to get out of the way. We don’t recognize how bad behavior is so accepted that government corruption has become normalized to the point that people barely blink. But everything is relative according to Einstein. None of our daily individual, actions; from large to minute, are conducted in isolation with no effect on the condition of our fellow man.
The landmark film “What the Bleep Do We Know” goes as far as to suggest that human beings are so connected that we are not really separate at all; but rather are different components of a single all-encompassing matrix that contains all the cycles of the universe. Every component in that matrix plays an absolutely essential role and one malfunction in even the smallest part can set the universe off of its finely tuned balance.
We don’t only have to turn to the news media; which capitalizes off of messages of doom and gloom, to see that this world of ours is vastly off balance. It is the duty of every world citizen to figure out how we came to this sad state of affairs and how we can all play Atlas and get the globe back on its proper axis.
My defense for all this madness that has been allowed to persist in recent years is that the people just didn’t know any better. Like an abused wife who tries to explain her husband’s routine bouts with alcoholic rage, I wasn’t sure if I fully believed this, but was protective of outsiders judging my people.
More significantly, the corporate vultures provide the people with few choices on how we can empower ourselves, and keep us too busy trying to survive to have time to recognize all the new ways that they are routinely discovering to fuck us with no Vaseline.
I still hold this skepticism about the power elites who rule this country and the world, and I am quick to attack those who try and use some of the deficiencies of the masses to obscure how they are complicit in our state. But I am not sure I can safely say that we truly don’t know any better.
I think maybe we do know better, but we choose (whether conscious or otherwise) not to do better, and this concerns me greatly.
I don’t judge. I just document the facts and try to separate the game from the truth. I understand, brothas and sistas. It’s hard to do better and there’s a lot of work and responsibility that goes with that. It’s a very challenging, ongoing process and it’s never good enough. Never. So it’s difficult. But to accept that the working class people of this country aren’t capable of more is to accept that we’re all as stupid as the Bushes, Kennedys, Redstones, and Greenspans think we are. I’m not sure I’m ready to accept that.
We have to stop behaving as if our actions are done in isolation and that we have no accountability for the choices made available to us. We have got to continue to demand more of the power elite who pull our strings like puppets, but we have also got to seriously demand more of ourselves.
I, and no one in my crew, can sit on Mount Olympus and look down on the masses. Please believe, we all have demons of our own. I certainly contribute to the gross exploitation of the planet. My love for sports constantly nags at my revolutionary spirit and hatred for capitalist excess. I hate merchandising naming rights for stadiums such as Minute Maid Park, Tropicana Field, PETCO Park, Gillette Stadium and Conseco Field House, but I don’t turn off the broadcasts that come from those stadiums when my teams are playing in them. I’ve even shown direct patronage to Chicago’s United Center and U.S. Cellular Field more times than I can remember. I can’t stand the way these universities prostitute “student” athletes for levels of profit that is matched in few industries. And then try to say they pay them with a free education by sending them out with a degree in Communications – if they graduate at all. But best believe I’m going to be in front of my TV screaming for months on-end when Carolina tips off this November, and won’t stop until early April. I support the unnecessary slaughtering of the cow that loses his life for every four leather basketballs that are produced. I’ll have to deal with my complicity in this satanic system, and I will be held to account by the Most High judge. But when the evidence is brought before me, I won’t be able to ignore the role that I played in the exploitation of all living things on the planet. Yep, even some flagella.
But while far from perfect, I sleep well at night because I have taken some small efforts to personally do my part to try and bring some balance to all these self-destructive images that are decaying our nation and world. But I also wake up the next morning knowing that the shit I did last night wasn’t good enough.
We didn’t set out to save the world with Illanoyze, well ok maybe we did. But more than that, we want to demonstrate that people have more power to take control over their lives than the idiot box would lead us to believe. We want to encourage people; through our own actions more than our words, to stop waiting for someone else to fix all the problems that are killing us softly. Don’t wait for a handyman that’s going to overcharge you and do a half-ass job. Start patching up the holes in this planet your damn self!!!
So sometimes I know shit is entertaining, and I know you don’t want to be left out of the water-cooler talk in the morning when everyone’s raving about the season finale of “Flava of Love,” but know that you are directly contributing to some of the things that are making your children even dumber than slave-children who never left their plantation a day in their life and had no formal education whatsoever. Know that you sanction the practice of politicians giving more attention to being entertaining rather than knowledgeable, so debate over serious issues is simplified to easily processed lines and clichés. Like the hooks in rap music that have come to replace the complex lyricism from the music of my youth.
We have to begin to check ourselves and see how we contribute to our demise in our daily actions. The b-boy who rushes to the dancefloor when Lil John commands the hoes to get low, but complains that he can’t hear Little Brother on the radio. The mother who doesn’t want her children to get addicted to drugs, but feeds them processed foods chop-full of high fructose corn syrup for dinner every night. The girl who hates the way women are portrayed in media but sanctions these images while she kicks it to “Dem Jeans” at the club. It may not be your intent, but your taking part in these activities makes them appear to be ok. And a lot of shit ain’t ok.
We’ve got to do better and know that when you don’t, I will personally be right there to call you out on it. And if you love me, I hope you will do the same. And if enough of us begin to hold ourselves; and each other, to higher levels of accountability, maybe we can restore the love and moral order that is in such great need in this world.
But we have got to stop waiting on Jesse. Or Farrakhan. Or Obama. Or FEMA. You’ve got to do it yourself.
Black folks in particular have long prided ourselves on our resourcefulness. Putting water in cereal when no milk was available. We get free cable. Even my suburban ass has prepared many a syrup sandwich in my day. We claim our cousin from down south’s kids on our taxes. Niggas have gotten to the NBA from the milk-crates they were forced to put on a pole in the alley because Reagan took away all the parks in the ghetto. Even in Hurricane Katrina, cats was using refrigerators as rafts when it was clear that the cavalry wasn’t coming to rescue them.
So we gotta lean on this kind of creativity to fend for ourselves in the face of continued neglect. And my poor white people who haven’t yet gotten the memo that America is cutting them off, are welcome to join us. But first we gotta get out of our own way.
Peace and God bless,
October 06 – Volume 7, #10
“Gone Til November”
Election time is upon us people, and I know that many of my fellow b-boys and b-girls are highly disinterested as the issues and concerns of young people were dismissed again in 2004 with the re-selection (not re-election) of George W. I hope that you have not become totally disheartened because this year’s congressional races are the most important of our lifetime.
There are 33 senate seats up for re-election and hopefully President Bush’s low-approval ratings will help sweep the 55-44 (with one independent, retiring Sen. Jim Jeffords from Vermont) Republican majority out of office though I’m skeptical of these prospects to say the least. There certainly would be historical precedent, most recently in 1994 when Republicans took advantage of unpopular ratings for President Clinton to claim the current Republican majority after 42 years of Democratic control of Congress.
If you live in states like Arizona, Nebraska and Wisconsin odds are that if you’re unhappy with your senator you may be stuck for a while as the incumbents there should easily be re-elected.
But for the rest of you there are several key senate races with plenty of spice that are heating up as the temps begin to drop nationwide. Here is a sample of a few of the more strategically important races and why they might matter to you.
Minnesota is a state that political pundits, junkies and downright nerds like myself will keep an eye on with thoughts of the 2008 presidential election. The state is so vital that liberal Minneapolis was chosen as the site for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The Democrats have allowed this state that elected Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura to public office in 1990 and 1998 respectively to become a battleground state. I knew it was trouble for John Kerry in 2004 when polls showed the state was a tossup a few weeks before the election. Kerry eventually won out in the state by a margin of three points, but with as weak as Bush was on Iraq, energy and honesty, the race shouldn’t have been that tight.
The race for the senate between Republican Mark Kennedy and Democrat Amy Klobuchar is expected to be equally close. The Democratic candidate has to get from under the stench left by incumbent Mark Dayton who resigned after one term in office after a series of bizarre behavior including closing his Washington office in October, 2004 because of a potential terrorist threat, though no other elected official took similar action at the time.
Unlike many of his Republican counterparts, Kennedy does have some sound ideas about America’s “oil addiction” such as temporarily suspending federal taxes on gasoline, and eliminating tax credits received by the oil companies to fund initiatives relying on hydrogen and ethanol.
But it’s business as usual on other issues as Kennedy is decidedly pro-life, wants to pass legislation that recognizes English as the official national language, and wants to extend the work requirements for welfare.
His opponent Amy Klobuchar takes a similar stance on energy issues but differs with him in regard to the economy, Iraq and some aspects of “No Child Left Behind.” She calls for universal health care but is not terribly specific about how this would be funded. Klobuchar is given props for evoking the Bush administration’s incompetence in its handling of Hurricane Katrina, an issue which Democrats have stupefyingly let Bush off the hook for. If there was a Democratic president in office during this tragedy, we’d see all types of Republican campaign commercials with crying children and dead bodies floating in the water. I’m not one for capitalizing off of misery, but what was the tragedy of New Orleans for if those unnecessary deaths don’t serve as a constant reminder of the changes that are needed in this system? It would be politically wise to reference this failing on behalf of the Bush administration, and it actually highlights an issue that’s more relevant to most Americans than stem cell research. Though Klobuchar shies away from the institutionalized racism linked with the consequences of Katrina, she is to be commended for her political foresight in exposing exactly what Republican family values produce.
Another race that will gain national notice for its presidential implications is Ohio, Bush’s Florida of 2000. And you can take that exactly how you want it.
Anyway, this face-off features Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown trying to unseat Senator Mike DeWine (R) who is seeking his third term to office. DeWine has an uphill battle against the politics of perception. The governor is embroiled in a corruption scandal in Ohio that has damaged the party statewide. Additionally, after his success in Ohio in 2004, President Bush has become increasingly unpopular and DeWine is perceived to be in lock-step with the president.
Of course, like many perceptions, there is some reality to support them. DeWine has voted with President Bush on tax cuts, the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice, and stem cell research.
Sherrod Brown was opposed to War in Iraq from its inception, voting in Congress against House Resolution 114 that authorized the use of force against Iraq in 2002. He has fired up the Democratic base and those angry at conservatives by linking DeWine to Bush and a culture of conservative corruption. But he seems altogether light on other issues and has had some questionable votes in Congress including his support of the No Child Left Behind Act.
A victory for Brown would be a tremendous shot in the arm for Democratic presidential prospects in 2008. Sherrod Brown has information on his campaign at http://www.sherrodbrown.com/ and Mike DeWine’s positions can be found at http://www.mikedewine.com/
I have long since conceded the South to the Republicans and have lobbied for them to be allowed to form a confederacy – minus the slaves and all. But while they are still part of the union, Howard Dean and the DNC are determined to try and battle for it, a move opposed by Democratic Congressional Committee chair and Illinois representative Rahm Emmanuel who has lobbied for more funds to be used in competitive swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
One senate seat in particular that the Democrats are hoping to fill is the one being vacated in Tennessee by Bill Frist who is planning to launch a bid for the presidency that will fail miserably.
The prospects are similar for Ford, who in addition to being a Democrat in the South, also has the double-whammy of being black. Ford, who comes from a political family with a long and murky pedigree, has been politically astute enough to not make race his cornerstone issue without hiding from his blackness. Dude’s a cool brotha who does well on TV, but it will not be enough to overcome former Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker who is championing typical red neck, I mean red state issues like white people’s right to bear arms so they can hunt niggers, making Bush’s tax cuts for the rich a permanent fixture of our economy and opposition to gay marriage.
Ford has tried to shift the conversation to issues that really affect all Americans like energy, education and good-paying jobs with secure benefits, but these sort of matters have not historically been prioritized by the good people of the South. We’ll see how it turns out in November.
You can find more information about Harold Ford at http://www.haroldfordjr.com/index.
And more about Bob Corker’s position and background can be accessed at http://www.bobcorkerforsenate.com/
Virginia is another state where Democrats have reason for optimism in the South.
This wasn’t the case in late July but Republican incumbent George Allen opened the door for his challenger, Jim Webb with a series of baffling and totally unnecessary political missteps.
The first was a racial slur caught on tape at a campaign rally where Allen referred to an Indian member of the Webb campaign who attended the function “a macaca,” a species of monkey. The comment seemed to have immediate effect as Webb closed a gap in campaign funds of about $11 million and narrowed a double-digit deficit in the polls to four percentage points.
More recently has been the bizarre revelation that his mother has Jewish roots, which is not a big deal in and of itself except that Allen vehemently denied the report originally before coming on TV a few days later crying and admitting his Jewish-born mother rejected her ethnic roots for fear of persecution.
Webb has had to defend against labels of insensitivity as well. As Navy Secretary in 1979 he wrote an article opposing female involvement in the military calling it “a horny women’s dream.” Webb has since recanted and apologized for his comments but it’s still pretty unsettling nonetheless. Webb tries to show that he is comfortable outside of his own culture by including a photograph on his website’s homepage of he and Barack Obama, a true sign of the changing political times. A white politician actually trying to use a black man to gain favor with southern voters.
Webb has some good ideas on Iraq that acknowledge the importance of diplomacy. The fact that he is a military brat with roots back to the Revolutionary War, and was himself wounded in Vietnam, makes it difficult for Allen to paint him as soft on defense. Webb also acknowledges the existence of social class in America, something politicians have been loathe to do over the past twenty years. Webb says that the wealthy in America have it better than they ever have, the middle class are struggling more than ever with bills seemingly coming from everywhere and a permanent underclass is being created with no potential for escaping poverty. Allen responds in the Orwellian fashion, which has become typical under the rule of Bush, that there is just one America.
Webb also gives complexity to the immigration issue, correctly separating it into three different matters: border security, undocumented immigrants already in America and President Bush’s guest worker plan. Most of the news media has followed the bait hung out by Republicans and only focused on one at a time, so this is a welcome change presented by Webb.
Webb also makes a political stroke of genius by including information on his campaign website in Spanish and Vietnamese in addition to English. It is these type of moves that have been all too absent in the modern Democratic party. It’s inviting communities that will have increasing importance in future elections without overtly pandering. People of all backgrounds can find out more about Jim Webb at http://www.webbforsenate.com/home.php
Before his recent slip-ups George Allen, son of the 1970s Washington Redskin coach, was viewed as a viable presidential candidate in 2008. Now those prospects seem to be dashed and that may be a good thing as his election could have meant George W. Bush lite, as he has voted consistently with Bush.
Allen supports minimum wage increases, but only if it means tax relief for business. His answer to high gas prices is to allow states to search for their own energy resources, an idea that could potentially catch on to disastrous results. More of Allen’s views can be accessed at http://www.georgeallen.com/site/c.hgITL5PKJtH/b.1434575/k.BEAC/Home.htm
Fortunately, George Allen has done enough self-inflicted damage to eliminate virtually any chance that he could gain the GOP nomination. The question remains if he has done enough to forfeit his senate seat. This would be a major coup for the Democrats.
In Washington state Sen. Maria Cantwell is involved in a tough race with Mike McGavick. Some of the major differences between the candidates are their approaches to border security where Cantwell favors improved use of technology to prevent threats before they begin, and McGavick adopts the machismo of the Bush doctrine of swinging first and asking questions later. McGavick also is a little too business friendly in his concerns for the environment that try to balance was best for planet Earth with what’s best for Fortune 500 CEO’s.
Cantwell is a liberal’s liberal as she has been active in issues related to the environment, campaign-finance reform and opposes both the Patriot Act and Constitutional bans on gay marriage. She also is one of the few politicians who have explicitly made addressing the genocide going on in Darfur a part of her platform. And in a chamber where most members resemble hobbit-like trolls, Cantwell has been frequently noted in political circles as a bit of a hottie, a point that may help in this era where TV is so dominant in electing public officials.
Conrad Burns, once touted as a chic GOP presidential candidate in 2008, is seeking his 4th term in the Senate. He is up against Jon Tester. Burns has been dogged by allegations of ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff whose campaign donations and fringe benefits (like all expenses-paid trips to the 2001 Super Bowl) translated into a series of political favors.
Other than hammering Burns on his ethics, Tester offers nothing spectacular, though his platform issue of health care does list preventive care as a measure of driving down medical costs. This is an issue that a new generation of politicians will have to address as there is great profit in keeping people just sick enough to live and pay continuous doctor bills. I believe there is much that can be done medically to stop people from getting so sick in the first place so it will be interesting to see what concrete measures Tester would take with this initiative if he were to get elected. Tester also can point to his record in the Montana state senate as support for his commitment to finding energy sources alternative to gasoline. Find out more about Jon Tester at http://www.testerforsenate.com/
Burns on the other hand has shown his interests in protecting big business such as his support of legislation making it more difficult for Americans to file for bankruptcy to the delight of the credit card industry who helped author the bill in 2005. He also toes dangerously close to redefining the 1st Amendment with discussions about decency. Burns wants wolves to be declassified as endangered species so Montanans can resume hunting them without penalty. But while all of this is enough in itself, it is likely Burns’ ties to Abramoff that have him slightly trailing Tester at the polls at the time of this writing. Burns surely will not go down without a fight for the position he’s held for over a decade and more information on his campaign can be found at http://www.conradburns.com/
In New Jerusalem, Republicans are trying to pick up a seat with a familiar name, Thomas Kean, Jr.
Kean, Jr. is the son of longtime governor, Thomas Kean, Sr. who served from 1982-1990 and has received renewed national notoriety from his role on the 9/11 Commission.
A Republican hasn’t been elected to the senate from New Jersey since 1972 but incumbent Bob Menendez has opened the door for that to change this fall. Menendez was appointed in January after John Corzine left to fill the governors office after James McGreevey was forced and shoved out of the closet in 2004. Menendez’s campaign has been stifled by charges of corruption though he has never been officially charged with any wrongdoing.
Like President Bush, Kean seems to have not read much of what his father recommended in the 9/11 report as he is closely aligned with Bush on many issues, a matter which nets him few friends in the Garden State as polls show that the president has a disapproval rating as high as 64 percent according to Quinnipac.
He has tried to distance himself from this by acknowledging that mistakes have been made in Iraq and calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Both candidates are in favor in abortion rights and stem cell research, but differ greatly in regards to troop withdrawal from Iraq, the minimum wage and tax relief for business.
Losing New Jersey, a state assumed safely Democratic as long as I’ve been alive, would be a harsh blow to Democrats that could offset some potential gains in some swing states. It is unfortunate that Corzine couldn’t run as he would have likely easily defeated any Republican challenger, but the governor’s chair will be a better launching pad for a Corzine run for the presidency in 2012. Or 2016 if Hillary wins in 2008. You can find information about the candidates at http://www.menendez2006.com/ and http://www.tomkean.com/
The Connecticut general election for senate is primarily a battle between two self-proclaimed Democrats, with the Republican Alan Schlesinger not likely to contend. Democratic incumbent, and 2004 presidential candidate, Joseph Lieberman lost his Democratic primary in August to relative political novice Ned Lamont but has re-entered the race as an independent, a move that has upset Democrats nationwide.
The move is seen as the latest in a pattern of political maneuvers that seemed designed more to promote the Bush Doctrine than the leftist principles that he says inspired his entering public service. Lieberman has come under heavy fire for his continued and unwavering support of the War in Iraq, but he has been in Bush’s pocket on several other key issues such as his vote for the confirmation of Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State and Albert Gonzalez as Attorney General.
Republicans are enjoying the infighting between Democrats as it allows them to portray the party as fractured and confused in regard to the War on Terror, as opposed to the “stay- the-course” posture of the GOP. This image is so vital that the National Republican Committee has not even endorsed its own party’s candidate, with chairman Ken Mehlman saying they will follow the will of the political process in Connecticut.
Lamont appears soft on issues besides Iraq, choosing instead to follow a practice all too common in modern politics of simplifying public policy and gaining office off of superficial layers of one issue. The War on Iraq is important, but there are other issues. And Republican criticisms are fair that the Democrats have failed to offer a coherent position. They aren’t offering to cut and run, but Democrats need to accept the fact that American troops will be based there for at least another decade. That is, if they know what’s good for them. Lamont is off base in calling for immediate troop removal. That wouldn’t be cool at all and it wouldn’t be intelligent foreign policy.
Nonetheless, I don’t care if he was campaigning to ban pussy. Just about any Democrat is better than having Joe Lieberman’s punk ass in there. Find out more about Ned Lamnot and why Joe Lieberman’s whole style is chump at http://nedlamont.com/ and http://www.joe2006.com/
While it is unlikely that the Republicans will lose the 231 -201 majority they currently hold in the House of Reps, there are a few races that have certainly gotten the attention of Ken Mehlman and the National Republican Committee.
Much like in the Senate, many of the Congressional races where Republicans are threatened are being posed as referendums on George W. Bush. This is true in New Mexico where Democratic challenger Patricia Madrid is linking 1st District Congresswoman Heather Wilson to the president on everything from gas prices to high costs for prescription drugs. My feminist voters out there will be happy to note that Madrid chose to keep her maiden name after marrying, though this will win her few friends among more conservative citizens. Voters in New Mexico can find out more about Madrid at http://www.madridforcongress.com/
Wilson has countered attacks from Madrid by labeling herself an independent, a common tactic of GOP incumbents who are trying to get as far away as possible from any connections to the Bush administration during this election season.
This will be more difficult in the 22nd district of Texas where Republicans not only have to deal with the specter of an unpopular president, but also the trail of corruption left by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. After being indicted last September for receiving illegal corporate campaign contributions, DeLay finally put down the façade of denial and resigned his office in April. His resignation came too late to remove his name from the ballot so Republicans launched a write-in campaign for Shelly Sekula-Gibbs, a former Houston city council member. More can be found out about Shelly Sekula-Gibbs at http://www.sekulagibbsforcongress.com/home.php , and her opponent Nick Lampson at http://www.lampson.com/
The 18th District in Ohio became open when six-term Republican congressman Bob Ney got his hand caught in the cookie jar in his shady dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Previously, Ney was most known for his 2003 efforts to rename French Fries, “Freedom Fries” after the French failed to support U.S. actions in Iraq. Ney’s seat is being vied for by Democrat Zack Space and Republican Joy Padgett. Find out more about each candidate at http://www.zackspace.org/ and http://www.senate.state.oh.us/senators/bios/sd_20.html
A cloud of corruption also looms over the 2nd District of Louisiana where Democrat William Jefferson is trying to hold on to the position he has held since 1990 after the FBI raided his office in May for allegations of bribery. Even with many New Orleanians dispersed, Jefferson should be able to emerge victorious in the race but the situation is a headache the Dems certainly could have done without nationally.
Jefferson’s vulnerability has lead to 12 candidates challenging him for the position so you’ll have to be on your own in finding information about each respective candidate.
North Click; home of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball champions, features an interesting race with a sports twist of a different kind. Former Washington Redskin bust Heath Shuler is the Democratic challenger in North Carolina’s 11th District. Shuler is a political newcomer who is capitalizing off of his name recognition and increasing opposition to the Iraq War in the district. Shuler’s hoping this doesn’t go the way of his football career that lasted just 19 games after the University of Tennessee quarterback was chosen as the number three overall pick in 1994. One fan; in a move that I must admit made my eyes moist as a mildly passionate sports fan myself, is so bitter over Shuler’s career in Washington that he has devoted an entire website to ensure that Shuler doesn’t return to the nation’s capitol and sabotage the Redskins. Diehard Redskin fan Jason Woodmansee’s campaign to prevent Mr. Shuler from going to Washington can be found at http://www.stopshuler.com. The other website devoted to stopping Heath Shuler is from eight-term Congressman Charles Taylor at http://www.taylorforcongress.com/
And Shuler has his say at http://www.heathshuler.com/
Here at the crib, Illinois’ 6th district is having an open election for the first time in 31 years with the retirement of longtime representative Henry Hyde. Hyde garnered national attention for leading the impeachment against Bill Clinton for his indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky, though Hyde himself had extramarital affairs that were made public shortly after the hearings began.
Hyde has represented one of the state’s wealthier districts with a median household income of $62,460 and 35 percent of residents holding college degrees, figures that make it not all that surprising that Republicans have held on to this seat for several decades.
Tammy Duckworth is optimistic that she can end this legacy which former Hyde aide, and state congressman, Peter Roskam is trying to carry on. A lot of national money has been thrown into this race which the DNC views as critical for their prospects of reclaiming Congress for the first time in over a decade.
The retirement of Hyde is enough to make this race a fascinating one, but Duckworth herself is a compelling figure that may make her a serious political figure in future elections of larger consequence. Duckworth is a veteran of the ongoing Iraq war and lost both of her legs in a 2004 attack on the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting just outside of Baghdad. The Thailand-born Duckworth already had the prototypical American biography before the tragic attack on her legs, but her fighting spirit after such a horrific event can’t help but to inspire voters regardless of their political affiliation.
Like an increasing number of military officials, Duckworth has several qualms with the Bush “strategy” in Iraq, though wisely she does not support immediate troop removal. And unlike pussies such as John Kerry, the prosthetic legs that propel Duckworth throughout the district makes it tough for Roskam or Karl Rove to paint her as soft. Find out more about Roskam and Duckworth at http://www.roskamforcongress.com/blog/ and http://www.duckworthforcongress.com/
As usual some of the more relevant issues for our audience such as the institutional racism that lead to the neglect witnessed when the levees broke after Hurricane Katrina, gas prices and global warming are not addressed on the platforms of most of the major candidates. Here is a very brief summary of some of the issues that most of the candidates are addressing and the general position held on the issue by each major party.
Immigration was a major issue that dominated the news for most of the year when President Bush proposed his guest-worker program. This move was met with fierce opposition from Bush’s own party in the House of Representatives.
The Democrats, as is typical, played it safe. Careful not to offend minority voters by siding with the Republicans, but also not wanting to appear on the side of the corporations that President Bush was serving with his proposal.
The Republicans turned to their usual standby and were successful in scaring poor white and black people that all the Mexicans were going to steal their jobs so the issue was off the political radar for most of the summer after conflicting bills passed in the House and Senate.
Immigration and terrorism has so dominated headlines in 2006 that some of the moral issues that have been so vital to Republican success during the Bush dynasty have received diminished attention but are continuing to play important roles in local elections. Gay marriage will be on the ballot in six states including Tennessee, and in Missouri Jim Talent (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) have made stem cell research a major distinction between themselves in their senate campaigns, an issue that analysts says may spur heightened voter turnout. And legal analysis nation-wide are looking at South Dakota where the nation’s most restrictive abortion measures will be put before the voters. The vote could speak heavily to the future of Roe v. Wade with a right-leaning bench in Washington at worst. And if the vote is successful –which it almost certainly will be in pre-historic South Dakota- then other states will surely follow suit and try and pass similar measures that will make it difficult to get an abortion without even having to change the law in the federal courts.
For better or worse, the Democrats have almost permanently been labeled weak on defense & crime and as big spenders. Nothing the Democrats have done over the last 40 years has allowed them to escape this moniker. The missteps of a Republican-lead White House, Congress and Supreme Court with the War on Terror and a national debt that’s totally out of control has provided the DNC with a historic opportunity.
While some misguided and misinformed souls may try and connect the two fronts and make them one: terrorism and the War on Iraq are two very different issues. And if they are wise – a huge leap if ever there was one- the Democrats will be quick to point this out all fall. The daily carnage emerging from Iraq has made it where the media has been forced to finally take note so no issue probably will affect this election more.
Iraq is a bloody mess and there’s no two ways about it. No issue better symbolizes the complete ineptitude of Republican leadership more than this one which comes into our living rooms each night. The inefficiency. The lack of foresight. The lies and contradictions. After originally saying the war expenses would be $87 billion, the cost has come to exceeded that several times over with no clear end in sight.
It took them a while to see what we here at Noyzes have been writing since the war’s outset, but most people in America are finally opposed to this war. The Democrats must take advantage of this.
Of course this is difficult because so many Democratic incumbents are on record of approving all this shit Bush and crew have tried to do in recent years.
But don’t be Bushwhacked. The politicians will convince you that your safety is most important, but that’s just to make it where you’re too scared to focus on how little money you have in your pocket. The real tragedy of Iraq is how many other priorities get swept to the backburner.
The minimum wage continues to be an international joke after the Senate rejected an increase from $5.15 to $7.25 in June of this year. The GOP has hid from such realities by pointing to the fact that 5.5 million new jobs have been created since 2003 and unemployment is at 4.8 percent.
But this obscures matters like health care, cost-of-living increases, and a flat housing market. I know much of the news that people see everyday makes them feel like they are powerless to change the realities of our modern society. And I can’t front, we do have a steep, uphill battle. But we have virtually no chance of changing things if we don’t participate in every arena where we have an opportunity. The electoral process certainly is far from perfect, but it also is not one that young people can afford to neglect.
This information here is a starting point for many complex issues impacting your present and your future. True comprehension of all these matters will be gained by taking initiative of your own. One place where you can find out where your congressmen and senators stand on many of the issues that are important to you is at http://clerk.house.gov/ and http://www.senate.gov/reference/office/secretary_of_senate.htm
I’ll see y’all this November at a Republican-rigged voting booth near you.
Peace and God bless,
September 06 – Volume 7, #9
The recent skirmish in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon has dominated the news in recent weeks, showing again the media’s inability to focus on more than one topic at a time. Despite all this attention, the media continues to obscure the many layers to this conflict that go far beyond Beirut and Haifa.
While I personally think that Israel’s response to two of its soldiers being kidnapped; and eight others being killed on July 12, has been greatly overstated, they are not the primary culprit here.
Israel’s response makes rational sense in this age of knee-jerk, cowboy diplomacy. After 9/11 when the world’s last great superpower began to launch bombs and threats at any nation who gave even the slightest appearance of an affront. The shining symbol of this diplomacy came with the invasion of Iraq. Not for its role in any attack or threatening of valuable resources, but for what it might do.
This short-sighted action opened up a dangerous Pandora’s box for any other nation that felt threatened to respond by launching full-scale war against often invisible enemies.
Similar to the American legal system, much of international politics is guided by precedent. So when the world’s self-proclaimed most civilized nation behaves like an immature, scorned, teenage lover, what is to be expected of countries that have more actual threats and a more intimate relationship with war and violence?
Trigger-happy Israel saw this as an opportunity to permanently solidify itself against its many regional adversaries. Since a cease-fire was declared with Palestine in February of 2005, they had been looking for a reason to set it off for a while and the kidnapping by Hezbollah gave them the reason they were searching for.
I am not arguing here against an Israeli response, but the terrorism they’ve launched in killing a reported 1,150 civilians only helped to make Hezbollah more popular in the Middle East, and send the world further into a cycle of violence that sees no end at present.
The average, reality-TV-watching American; who can only pay attention to global politics if there’s an airplane sitting in their lap, may believe this is merely a conflict between Israel and Lebanon, but State-side, there is blood on our hands as well. And not only because of America’s military support of Israel, which the U.S. Congressional Research Service estimate at $2 billion annually since 1971. The New York Times reported on July 21 that after the airstrikes had begun, the U.S. was “rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs” while Bush and his brass condemned Syria and Iran for involving themselves militarily in the conflict.
But beyond providing direct aid in this extermination, on a more abstract level America has also used its global leadership to guide the world in this apocalyptic direction. A world where dialogue is seen as weakness. A world where more terrorism has been created by the Bush doctrine, not less.
This bloodlust makes it downright laughable to hear Americans talk about the horrible atrocities committed by Fidel Castro as if these vipers give a damn about human life. When Fidel Castro announced on July 31 that he was temporarily ceding power to his brother Raul in wake of his recovery from surgery for intestinal bleeding, the American vultures began to swarm with visions of luxurious resorts, cruises, casinos and other capitalistic ventures dancing in their heads.
For other more sensible people, and for people who don’t believe that happiness equates to having seven flat-screen TV’s in your home and five cars the size of tanks, Castro’s potential demise produced different emotions.
I am no big supporter of Communism. I think it’s a really good idea on paper, but I believe that people are too greedy, selfish and lazy to make it work as it should. My critique of capitalism is that it produces a society where a few have everything and most of the rest of us are forced to fight for scraps amongst ourselves. But I am unaware of any society that does not have a small group of elites that have more access to a nation’s resources than the masses. Cuba is no exception in this regard, power is just measured more by political affiliation and patronage than economics.
But what Castro represents is a last stitch hope against a society motivated exclusively by greed and narrow self interest. Cuba certainly is not without its problems. But they have been able to provide people with bear necessities like education, healthcare and security. The outcomes for Cuba’s youth are not all the same, but there is a much more level playing field than what we see here in America. Critics will argue that even the worst American schools and hospitals are comparable with some of Cuba’s best. But the fact that Cuba has been able to thrive with limited economic infrastructure despite genocidal isolation is an asset, not a negative.
Imagine what could be done in a nation with the opulence of the United States if the people truly had the will to redistribute the wealth in a more equitable manner. And while the U.S. tries to play the moral authority with non-democratic Cuba, all Cuba has wanted over the last 40 years is to be left the fuck alone. It has been America that has been perceived as the chief threat in the world, and that has launched aggressive acts of imperialism in every corner of the globe. Whatever becomes of Castro, America should proceed cautiously with Cuba, as even Stevie Wonder could clearly see that enforcing democracy abroad has not been working out too well.
And who says that Democracies work best anyway? Anyone who believes that our current democracy is functional is a damned fool. Almost half of the population routinely doesn’t even participate in the arena where they can have a small voice in voting in local and national elections every couple of Novembers. There’s no reason to believe this coming November will be any different.
And the democracy that Bush and crew have been so eager to spread to the world is institutionalizing many of the problems they sought to smoke out. The Lebanese government has limited flexibility in dealing with Hezbollah, for example, because the group is a democratically elected part of the government. In Iraq, over a hundred thousand people showed up on August 4 to protest the Israeli action with many chanting “Death to Israel, Death to America” and “With God’s help, the Mehdi Army and Hezbollah will be victorious.” So much for that liberators thing Dick Cheney talked about. And these are people who will exercise their views at the polls for generations.
America is proving itself not even to be good imperialists anymore. If they really wanted to reshape the Middle East to fit its own image they should have done like they did in previous decades. Kill whatever leader that was talking some pussy shit about nationalizing land or something, and then put in some puppet dictator whose strings could be pulled from Washington.
Worst of all, is that this focus on warfare will lead to more neglect and death of American children and elderly that will never go noted. The American masses won’t be brought before death squads like they claim was done routinely after the revolution in Cuba, but Gandhi says that poverty is the worst kind of violence. And the current course of American foreign policy will provide unprecedented levels of poverty on both sides of the Atlantic.
But we don’t concern ourselves with these disturbing details, easier to point the finger at Castro for not liberating his people to be paid $3 an hour to serve American tourists and businessmen.
America has tried everything over the past 45 years to try and bring a virtual reality of theme parks and Happy Meals to Cuba, and Castro has stood tall against it all. The real reason Americans fear Castro is because the bourgeoisie middle class fear that they will face the fate of some of Cuba’s safe elite that capitalized on the bones of their countrymen.
This is a rational fear, especially since the exploitation by white male elites in America has a long list of victims who have silently bottled their rage for generations. But let’s keep it real, America doesn’t really care about freedom and liberty. If they did, they would have danced in the street when Ronald Reagan was on his deathbed, not Fidel Castro. Reagonomics has been the bane of the existence of most of the world citizens in the last 25 years, not communism.
Peace and God bless,
August 06 – Volume 7, #8
“Under the Borderline”
While I was on sabbatical, one of the issues that pissed me off most was some of the national commentary regarding Mexican immigrants. I almost had to chain myself down to stay off of my keyboard and weigh in on this one.
As usual, the mainstream media totally missed the boat by accepting the frames of politicians who have pawned poor people of color to obscure unfathomable corporate greed. So as is typical in contemporary America, the elites shaped the debate as one of illegal immigration rather than what it really is: corporate exploitation.
It is not surprising that many working-class white people have drunken from this Kool-Aid with an all-too-familiar flavor. Many are angry and feel the ground slipping up from under them, and are always eager for someone to hate. Niggers, towel-heads, gays, wetbacks. It doesn’t really matter who the right wing parades out.
But what was more disappointing was that some poor Black people took the bait and believed this nonsense that the talking heads spew about illegal immigrants decreasing wages and taking away American jobs.
The greedy corporations are the motherfuckers decreasing wages and taking away American jobs. And your local, supreme-court selected politician is working with the corporations to fuck all the poor people in the ass irregardless to race, creed or color…again.
There is nothing new about this magic trick; keeping the working class quarrelling among themselves. But it has become downright embarrassing how short the memory span of the average American is.
Black people in America don’t have the luxury of having short memories and we should not view the Mexican community as an enemy. In fact, we should take strength, pride and courage from their ability to organize and mobilize.
Following waves of marches on May 1, polls showed decreased support for illegal immigrants. This means that white people were frightened by what they saw, and that’s never a bad thing. Fear is the only thing that gets these cats’ attention.
But as usual, these cowards were scared for the wrong reasons. While the Mexicans are not going to invade their houses and machete them to death, they do represent a very real political threat. Regardless of what laws they pass, and how many Mexicans they shoot in the head on the border, these dudes are here to stay. And they will represent a very powerful political force.
Some Blacks have complained; in cities like Chicago for instance, that Mexicans (which for many means Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Venezuelans and Brazilians) have taken over “our” communities.
We can’t be mad at these cats. While pointing the finger at capitalistic invaders, many of us (and please believe, I can speak to this first hand) don’t support our own. And many Mexicans do support their local community businesses. And they have done this without the same level of exploitation and manipulation that Arab and Jewish businessman have historically dished on the Black community. And they have lacked the institutional power to discriminate too heavily against us.
And institutional power is what it’s all about in this society. There is no heroism in taking on the powerless. And no brains in it either for Black people.
For both groups it makes too much political sense for Blacks and Latinos to form alliances. This will involve implementing new strategies for both demographics, making some concessions and melting some egos.
I understand the trepidation in the Black community. Mainstream America generally has proven to have the attention span of a 4-year-old space cadet, high on Ritulin. If attention is given to one oppressed and marginalized group, the issues of others get neglected.
This is why it is necessary to form a strong institutional base to ensure that the parallel issues that are of concern to Latinos and Blacks like fair wages, health care, improved schools, safety and community business development are made constant issues on the national stage. Not just when we march or riot.
Until this happens, the fascists and the spineless Democrats will continue to abandon the fight for poor people in America. There have been several times in this nation’s history where the poor have had an opportunity to unite in mass to bring about some real structural change to America, most notably at the beginning of the 20th Century.
At that time, however, white, ethnic immigrants like the Irish, Italian, and Polish decided to assimilate into whiteness rather than unify politically and economically with poor Black workers who were fresh out of slavery.
The corporate and political elites of that time did what they have done now: launch a massive P.R. campaign of fear, hatred and paranoia to divide the poor. For centuries, Blacks have been victims of this kind of bigotry. With first-hand knowledge of the effects of this kind of systemic mean-spiritedness, we are worst than our oppressors if we follow in their footsteps in demonizing the poor and exploited Mexican immigrants who scrape beside us for crumbs at the master’s table.
Peace and God bless,
July 06 – Volume 7,#7
“A Vagina Monologue”
“It’s not natural if it goes against God
Her truth is not hard” – KRS 10:10-
“Mira understood – what young woman does not?- that to choose a husband is to choose a life. She had not needed Jane Austen to teach her that. It is, in a sense, a woman’s first, last, and only choice. Marriage and a child make her totally dependent on the man, on whether he is rich or poor, responsible or not, where he chooses to live, what work he chooses to do. I guess this is still true; I don’t know, I’m a bit out of touch, but sometimes in my car radio I hear a song that seems to be popular now. It’s pretty, but it’s lyrics go something like this: “If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady, would you still love me, would you have my baby?” It asks the woman to “follow” her man, in whatever condition he chooses to live, as if a man alone could be a substitute for a life.” (Marilyn French 1977, 26)
“It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you
Without a strong rhyme to step to
Think of how many weak shows you slept through
Time’s up, I’m sorry I kept you” –Eric B and Rakim 1:4-
“Can it be I stayed away too long?
Did I leave your mind when I was gone?
It’s not my thing trying to get back
But this time let me tell you where I’m at” –Jackson Five 1:9-
In the few minutes a day where I turn on my TV to see recreational sports of all types I have come across a lot of clever advertising spots that attempt to reclaim manhood for a nation of men who feel the impacts of the increased femininization of society.
Fellas in a Dial Body Wash for Men commercial proudly sing “I’m a man, yes I am.” A Burger King ad features a man running away from a fine cuisine place with portions fit for Kate Moss, and runs to march in the streets with other men who are celebrating their lust for meat. Miller Lite recently instituted Man Law, which aimed at setting some fundamental ground rules for men who seem increasingly confused about proper standards of masculinity.
While these spots are quite comical and play on the most extreme stereotypes, this represents a quiet, yet growing and very real movement for men to reclaim their manhood.
Now, don’t get it twisted. We still live in a world dominated by men in every aspect, and there is without doubt a great need for more actual feminine (as opposed to what Dan Brown and I feel the power elites have defined as feminine) ideals in our society.
For example, it would have been great if George W. Bush had tried to openly talk about his feelings and emotions before choosing to engage in a pissing contest with the Middle East that he doesn’t have the length or the balls to win.
And while competition is good, our winner-take-all mentality makes the cooperation and group-centered thinking that is more characteristic of women very difficult to attain in America.
But the meaning of life is balance. The roles that men and women play are different, one is not better than the other. Ideally, the creator places us both here to help provide balance to the universe and each another.
Presently, our society is very much off balance because too many women are trying to act like men, and too many men are running for their skirts, capris and mascara.
If we’re lucky, we’ll have a female president when I write the Noyzes in July, 2009. If this comes true –and I am highly skeptical about the prospects- many pundits will mark this as a landmark event towards gender equality in America, ignoring the fact that if Hillary Clinton wins she will most certainly have to adopt many masculine postures during the campaign. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s advised to grab her crotch area a couple of times during the debates.
Of course most men are so sexist that they would never consider a female president, believing that their role is best served in the kitchen and in the bedroom. But worst than that, Hillary probably won’t even get most of the female vote.
Why? Because Hillary broke an unwritten rule and accepted her husband back after his marital indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky.
Not only is this none of these hoes’ business, but thinking that it’s wise to end a marriage and break up a family because a nigga had some casual sex on the side is a very immature view of relationships and does not serve as a manifestation of love, but of greedy possessiveness rooted in selfishness. And this is not a bad thing always. I’m very greedy and selfish when it comes to those I care for, but it’s a mistake to link these emotions with the emotion of love.
If Hillary wanted to leave Bill because he lied to her, the country and the world; that would have been fine. Lying can erode trust, and trust is absolutely essential to any relationship. Without trust you have nothing, so Hillary would not have wanted to hold on to that understandably. But in most cases, this is not the issue for women. It’s the selfishness and greed and that shit is wack.
I am not saying Hillary should have taken this lying down, and though she didn’t have the public snap-fest that many women may have wanted, I highly doubt Bill’s deeds went without restitution. To this day, it may be possible that Bill may not have had but periodic sniffs at Hillary’s pussy. Or maybe he had to go the Kobe Bryant route and hit up New York’s Diamond District.
If Hillary is elected president it will show the wisdom of employing careful thought rather than reacting to the first emotion you feel all the time, and how it is important to consider more than our own selfish interests in forming relationships.
A divorced chick could never have gotten elected and this was not lost on Hillary. She probably did what she had to do for herself emotionally, but for the sake of her daughter, her country and her own blonde ambition she maintained. This was a difficult choice for Hillary, one I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to make in front of the whole world. So if Hillary is elected, she shouldn’t be a role model because she became president. Clearly, any idiot can do that. But she should also be a role model because she didn’t lose her fuckin mind when her man got some ass on the side.
Hillary’s lesson is particularly relevant in the Black community where we engage in a totally different; yet also troubling, gender politics that diverges greatly from Protestant, Anglo-Saxon sensibilities. The state of the Black family is in crisis. And as we sit here squarely on the crossroads here in the 21st century, it is high time that we examine all the options before us.
Well before their HBO debut, I have expressed privately what the show “Big Love” now ponders publicly: What are the benefits and challenges of a polygamous family in contemporary times?
I know this is a leap, but I feel utterly convinced that; by-and-large, monogamy is not a practical option for most men.
Now women, don’t be alarmed, this should not at all imply that as I write this your man is somewhere on the other side of town fucking some young lady (probably a good friend of yours) and getting his ass licked out by another. Most men actually prefer to be with one woman, and some have been fortunate to find all they want and need in one package. It is easier, less stressful and cheaper to be with one person. Most of you dames are totally out to lunch in the head, so any dude who has anything going on about himself is not going to be willing to invest a whole bunch of time in a random chickenhead just for pussy alone.
Additionally, modern concerns like AIDS, herpes, syphilis, crabs and gonorrhea brings caution to even the most stray of dogs. So most of us seek out the stability that comes with being with one person.
But we need to permanently kill the illusion that monogamy is a choice grounded in morality. Monogamy may be more practical than having a polygamous relationship for emotional reasons. It generally is a better choice economically, particularly when children are involved. And it is certainly the choice that conforms to the laws of the land. But God would not cast favor with those who chose a monogamous marriage over those who choose an openly polygamous lifestyle. Besides, it’s not like the American family could do any worse with 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce according to the National Census Bureau.
Many of these marriages are likely ended because of sexual infidelity, and this is not a good enough reason to separate children from both of their parents. Or to separate two people who genuinely love each other from one another.
For the most part the Black family has never been monogamous in the traditional sense, though most would have chosen that path if allowed because they would not have been able to economically provide for multiple wives.
But many and most of us; myself among them, have half-brothers and sisters all over the place. By necessity in many cases, we have consistently gone away from the American ideal of the nuclear family since our arrival in North America and certainly before.
It is unfortunate that we have the amount of out-of-wedlock children we do because the system penalizes this condition, and because it frequently results in disproportionately high father absenteeism. But imagine how low the Black population levels would be in America without some of these deviant unions.
What we need is a society that acknowledges and makes legal provisions for this kind of family that is more realistic than that “Leave It to Beaver” shit you see on TV. There are many good reasons for ending a marriage. Sometimes people have bad habits or addictions that endanger you and your children. A lot of times couples decide they are both better off apart because they no longer have (or usually never had) a whole bunch in common. But sexuality should not continue to be a reason for our relationships to fall apart.
I know ladies never want to hear this, but you’re going to hear it again. Monogamy it not in our nature, and to conform to it is to act against what God intended for us. And truthfully, she probably didn’t intend it for you either. But not having access to the female sex organ, I can’t speak directly on that for sure. But I can tell you as sure as I am that the Cubs won’t win a World Series in my lifetime, men weren’t designed for monogamy. I do not make light of the female sexual appetite being a force with few equals, but for men it is something that for some strange reason is hotwired into our makeup.
While the film may not get into it, one of the more important themes of the novel The Da Vinci Code was the premise that there is divine power found in the vagina. Dan Brown didn’t say it like this directly, but that’s the gist in so many words.
In all my life I have observed that this motivates men like nothing else. Miraculously, even more than money. Part of the motivation for money, whether stated or not, is to have easier access to pussy. And while it’s true that much of this is because we are greedy, simple-minded, one-dimensional, lustful pigs, it is a little elementary to think that’s the only factor.
Nope, word to the hard-on that greets me like a rooster every morning like clockwork and points to the sun, there is something at work in the vagina that is beyond our mortal grasp and control. Some men are able to control it, but generally in doing so behave against their natural will. And this sexual repression is frequently expressed in other ways, generally much more deviant ways than being true to thine own self.
It is not better for a man to be separated from his children because he had some casual sex. Nor is it better for an otherwise good man to be out of that woman’s life. The indiscretion is not a violation of love.
Now what should be opposed is dishonesty in a marriage. This is the problem at the heart of adultery, that people can’t be honest with who they are.
And why? Because God said you’re only supposed to have sex with one person the rest of your life? Ridiculous.
If we are to believe that God’s word is presented in scripture, there is much that contradicts any holy condemnations of polygamy. Monogamy emerged in the West for political and economic purposes that had more to do with power than divine law.
The politics of our times calls for a careful revisiting of our ideals of marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, I know some really wonderful married couples. Danny G and Joy and Steel and Yara are role models to us all. They really took the proper time I feel is necessary to ensure a long-lasting marriage. And the union of Halif and Shakira Muhammad has produced two golden children, before finally reaching that platinum status with their third output, and have been going strong for 41 years with no end in sight.
But these are the exceptions, not the rule. At least for half of those who say “I do.” And while batting 500 will get you a hellafied contract if you’re playing baseball or shooting a jump shot, it’s a pretty pathetic showing that does not speak well for the future of the country.
When our nation’s institutions have failed the people, we have changed them. This has not always been an easy process. Humans are creatures of habit so many have come to feel that the institutions of their lifetimes are ordained by divine law, as opposed to the whimsical and arbitrary laws of man. Laws that have more to do with economics and politics than any natural order.
But God gave us free will so that when certain institutions did not evolve as quickly as our ideas, the people decided the institutions had to reform. The country’s educational system evolved after WWII to ensure that America wouldn’t be outpaced technologically by the likes of Germany, Russia and Japan. Places of worship have taken more progressive views on women to allow for the possibility that if women think freely, they may not be a witch.
Though right wing fundamentalists have lumped God into our idea of marriage; with broken-up families all over this nation, there is little sacred about the American family nowadays. This is due in large part to the fact that people have a poor understanding of marriage.
Quite simply, marriage as we know it is a failed institution that is not in step with the realities of modern American life. It is time to reform this institution. It is time for us to evolve into a polygamous society.
White folks can feel free to tune out now if they want, though I hope you continue to read on. But a lot of these socio-political issues have not impacted you all as hard yet. For you all, traditional marriage may still be something beneficial. But for most Black people under the age of 30 to even consider getting married is bordering on clinical insanity.
One of the primary reasons divorce is so prevalent is that we base marriage almost exclusively on romantic love, that most arbitrary emotion. Love has only been a consideration in marriage since the 12th century, and is only accepted exclusively as an ideal in the west.
I know going to polygamy is a difficult leap for a society of women who feel that monogamy is the natural order of things. But history has shown that like most things we’ve passed off to God, this reverence of monogamy was a capricious decision handed down by hypocritical elites.
To fully understand this process, it requires a look to history. As Rome expanded its empire between 100 BC and 476, real challenges to their power developed that previous dynasties didn’t have to face.
Empires in Egypt, China and Western Africa had certainly conquered other lands before, but Rome had to incorporate many different cultures under its political rule. Through the alternative and strategic use of brute force and compromise, Rome would gradually get the masses in line. And this influence would carry on throughout the world to this day in much of the world’s architecture, fashion, economics, politics, language, social norms and mores.
After brutally abusing the rapidly emerging group known as Christians between 0 and 300 A.D, the leaders of Rome eventually saw that it was useless to try and stop this social onslaught. So rather than try to eliminate Christianity, the Roman leadership aimed to control the laws and virtues of the church to fit their own ends. Kinda like modern corporations did with hip-hop. They couldn’t stop that energy so they found some way to profit from it.
Anyway, much of this incorporation on behalf of Rome included integrating many of the pagan rituals that they had practiced for many generations. This union of church and state was solidified in the 4th century when Constantine declared himself a Christian, as well as first pope and ruler of the Christian church that he’d rename the Roman Catholic Church. Despite continuing many of his pagan practices; from Constantine onward the Roman Catholic Church would flourish like no corporation in the history of the world and still remains powerful today.
The Roman Catholic Church also used this time to reframe the holy scripture. Israel Lim writes of the period, “Due to the widespread illiteracy of the scriptures, especially that of the Gentile believers who were totally ignorant of the Torah, whatever the Catholic priests said were considered as God’s Law and divine truths. One area of total distortion was that of marital relationships. Surprising to almost all of us, it was common for Catholic priests to have multiple wives and mistresses. In 726AD, it was acceptable for a man with a sick wife to take a second wife so long as he looked after the first one. With concerns for protecting Church property from inheritance however, offspring could not inherit church property and it was later declared that all sons of priests were illegitimate. In 1022, Pope Benedict VIII banned marriages for priests (monogamous or polygamous). Finally in 1139, Pope Innocent II voided all marriages of priests and all new priests had to divorce their wives. All this was done to possess and protect money and church property. Making polygamy a sin and marriage unacceptable for a priest was a slow and purposeful process.”
During this time celibacy began to be held up as some Godly virtue, though much empirical data suggests that Jesus didn’t practice this himself. Sex was viewed as dirty and a sin, to only be tolerated in marriage for the sake of procreation. But it wasn’t to be enjoyed or engaged in beyond its functional purposes.
So during this period the church began to create myths like the ridiculous notion that a man like Jesus was conceived without any fucking going on. And that monks and nuns were somehow more pious and holy than all the rest of us because they didn’t engage in intercourse. A seemingly endless trail of child molestation in the modern-day Catholic Church shows that this notion is suspect to say the least. And this is just what’s coming out in the age of 24-hour media. Imagine the things that were probably going on the first 1500 years or so.
In this sexual environment, polygamy quickly became attached to immorality. And now it is seen as a sign of backwardness as Americans mock strange groups from abroad who practice this ungodly family structure. But God has divorced himself from the American, pretend-to-be monogamous, nuclear family some time ago.
My endorsement for polygamy does not mean that this should be for everyone. The overwhelming majority of people would still prefer monogamy, myself among them. Though plenty of dick, I don’t have the time, patience, or sensitivity to go around for too many women. I propose this family structure more for the welfare of the children than the man or woman who may choose to have multiple sexual partners.
A lot of good, strong women are raising their children alone and are doing a fantastic job. But it is always better to have multiple positive role models. Polygamy could make this a legal certainty.
Most men have comprehended this sometime ago, but have been forced to retreat and act against ourselves. Shit has gotten so fucked up that cats like Bill Clinton and Eric Benet have had to claim that they were sex addicts, going to therapy and shit. What kind of craziness is that? Men who don’t like to fuck a lot should be the ones in therapy, not those who do.
Bill was wrong to have lied to Hillary, but honesty was not a real choice there. We need to create a world where it is.
Hillary would have likely chosen not to have been with Bill in the first place if he had allowed her to make an informed choice, and that’s fine. But if she thinks she could replace him with a man who could be faithful to her under all circumstances she is sadly deluding herself. Like Chris Rock said, a man is only as faithful as his opportunity. The best we can do as men is make every effort to stay out of harms way. Most men love their women and want to be faithful but Big Willie and the Twins truly have a mind of their own.
With polygamy we have a better chance of returning honesty and openness to our relationships. There is nothing Godly in this kind of relationship grounded in jealousy and selfishness that feels threatened by casual, emotionless sex alone.
Lim sums this up, saying:
“Another reason for the quick popularity of monogamy lies in the exclusive nature of monogamy that is extremely appealing. But what exactly is the exclusive nature of this modern monogamy form? In real modern day practice, monogamy is but the exaltation of free love and the justification of self-love. Possessiveness is not only condoned, but glorified. That’s why it is so appealing. It readily satisfies the inner desire of a woman to possess her man exclusively, and the inner need of a man to please and idolize his woman completely above all other things, to be completely engrossed in her only. But essentially, this reveals that the elements of the Roman spirit are nothing but exclusivity, possessiveness and idolatry. And such elements are perpetuated as dominant factors into all aspects of modern life of monogamy culture and this is where the failings begin. God and others are eventually out of place, the two persons involved finally imprison one another, thus marriages of such kind are open to destruction. We can also see throughout the world that the more affluent, self-sufficient, self-centered, secular and individualistic the people are, the more romantically inclined and monogamous the society is. Monogamy as righteousness is hollow, a placebo, a false consolation and a false truth for the self-seekers and the uninformed.”
I have argued frequently in these pages that one of the great banes of the modern political process is that issues are always framed in a way that emphasizes my family over our families. This is not a productive mode-of-thought for such a diverse society. This line of thinking promotes self-interest of the most gross order. What I call for is a society that widens our familial ties and gives Americans a better chance of looking at the world outside of themselves.
Beyond the moral debates lies the real issue at hand here, that there is a crisis in the Black community. Black people, we are in serious trouble. Strong Black men are absent from our community, this is forcing Black women to either go it alone or search outside of their preferred demographic.
Without doubt; the systematic oppression of women takes on many forms, and your brothas who should be protecting you have often added to this pressure. But America has declared a genocidal war on the Black man that has been more successful than any campaign Karl Rove could think of. This war has left good, productive, heterosexual Black men in short supply. So for the sake of the Black species, some women may have to share a man for a generation or two.
History is not without such sacrifices. Larry O. Jensen writes for example, “On February 14, 1650, the parliament at Nürnberg decreed that because so many men were killed during the Thirty Years’ War, the churches for the following ten years could not admit any man under the age of 60 into a monastery. Priests and ministers not bound by any monastery were allowed to marry. Lastly, the decree stated that every man was allowed to marry up to ten women. The men were admonished to behave honorably, provide for their wives properly, and prevent animosity among them.” (Rev. Ed., 1980, p. 59)
Now fellas this does not mean free reign for some Hugh Hefner-like sexual free for all. In fact, in taking on these multiple partners it should not be grounded in sex at all.
You will have to take care of, support and consult with these women. They should not only complement and balance you, but the other women and their children as well.
Furthermore, multiple relationships should not -and can not- be an exclusively male practice. Men will also have to be willing to accept some of this as well: a far more difficult proposition because men possess even more greed and selfishness than our fair maidens.
But in some ways, economic polygamy is going on already. Many men have gotten with women with children, women who they eventually will reproduce with themselves. In many cases, the woman will receive economic support for the children from both men. And rightly so.
And some have even taken steps to combine both families with the understanding that the more positive adults children have in their lives –irregardless of the sexual relationships of the parents- the better off the children are.
And the women are better off as well. It’s lonely as hell in this cruel world and while I think that it is in our nature to be polygamous, I also believe that it is in our nature to spend our lives with someone.
Older women in our community got this a little bit better. This is why chics like Camille Cosby, Jacqueline Jackson and Hillary Clinton have not flipped all out. None of those situations were cool, but it is also not a reason to end a long-lasting relationship if it’s based on true love.
I think that women should be able to make an informed choice about whether or not they want to take on a man who feels that monogamy is a false choice. But first we need to be able to talk about this with some real candor, which is sure to wound some feelings on both sides. Hopefully, this essay was a good start.
Peace and God bless,