Calling out Privilege, Sounding the alarm

So, I’m learning as I go. As one of those chick’s that posts the three inch Face Book comments, I thought it was high time to start a blog page.Well, my daughters got tired of me “liking” my own comments and writing chapters when it was supposed to be a sentence. I’m still figuring it out, but I’m glad that I got started.

First blog post
Last night, I watched one of my favorite  MSNBC news commentators, Lawrence O’Donnell. He was semi-covering the Presidential address/campaign rally in Phoenix. Did he

A. Extend deepest sympathies on behalf of the country to the service.           people who lost their liveson the U.S.S. John McCain

B. Extend heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the victims of the.            White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville, many of whom are still.            recovering from the act ofterroristic vehicular assault

C. Send out thoughts and prayers to t he African nation t hat                           experienced a recent national disaster


D. Whined about media persecution, praised a serial profiler charged by a court of law, and disparage both fellow Republicans (meh) and Americans exercising free speech and protest rights?

Need a hint? Phone a friend, use a lifeline- no need. We all know the answer by now. That’s because we are no longer surprised at how low this President will go. I had read somewhere that “Trump acts like what White People EXPECTED the First Black President to act”. Boom. And as usual, the truth is more the opposite than can be imagined. They say when a spouse is cheating, the first thing that reveals them is the obsession that their partner is being unfaithful. The human heart is trained to avoid lies, the mind gives subtle warnings and clear clues when the words said do not line up with what one knows the truth to be. All during the campaign, we heard 45’s accusations of Hillary Clinton not having the right “temperament” to assume the responsibility of the Presidency. Trump criticized President Barack Obama of playing golf excessively, making poor choices on foreign affairs, national politics, being foreign born. Now, with less than a year of the term completed, we are being painfully reminded that the lies he told about others was the truth of which he was guilty.

Uncouth,delusional, narcissistic pathological, there are a host of adjectives that could ne used to describe Trump. He has, in under one year, personified every stereotypical idea that people place on African Americans when they feel that Blacks have been hired (or elected) to a job above their stations, Trump has displayed blatant nepotism and cronyism, either appointing relatives with no past political experience or friends who have backgrounds are agendas in direct opposition with the Department they’ve been chosen to head. He has already exceeded former President Obama in “golfing and vacation” days, and the costs in which it is associated. He has admitted what has been painfully obvious to not only the rest of the country, but the entire world that he miscalculated his skills and mental prowess needed to solve ages old political problems.The rampant theories of President Obama’s being secretly associated with “Muslims” theorized, but never proved. Meanwhile EVERY OTHER PERSON, INCLUDING CABINET MEMBERS RELATIVES AND TRUMP HIMSELF, are being investigated to real, actual, verifiable links to Russia. How long have Boris and Natosha of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoon, been America’s enemies, either outright or suspected? Former President Obama had to, under political pressure, abandon his spiritual leader, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, because his sermons were feared to be anti American and too extreme. On the other hsnd, Trump has people in his Cabinet who have ties and comitted allegiances to White Nationalist groups. Imagine Obama being a Black Panther during his teen years or college days. Imagine his father being ties to and arrested at, an extreme Muslim hate group, like Trump’s father was at a Klan meeting.

If the shoe was on the other foot, ,,,. But it’s not. Because Trump has both White Privilege and the support and silent concensus of the Republican Party, he can on one day accuse an opponent without evidence of committing an offense that he turns around and embraces wholeheartedly! So what? “Yeah, I said it!” Where is the defense of equality for all if this man can so brazenly do this and not meet any consequences?

Most Republicans are complacent at best, complicit at worst, while Democrats seem stunned and stupified. Although, I suspect their silence would have been broken if Obama would have tried any of this mess.

Where do we go from here? How much is too much? How “low” can he go? This is just an example of things that go on every day in business and politics around the country. We can ALL name examples of someone getting a job or promotion without qualifications, education, experience or background. Or a person, maybe the one previously mentioned, making unprecedented mistakes, breaches and repeated violations of policy without the same reprimands or repercussions as a person of color. But, if concensus prevails, the complainer becomes a whiner and we are slowly acclimated to Privilege and learn to keep our heads down for fear of punishment. After a matter of time, this abnormality of equality becomes the norm. Just as the familiar add age that places the frogs in pots, one boiling, the other cool at first, then increasingly made hotter. Because the heat is slow and subtle, the second frog stays and dirs. Meanwhile, the first frog senses danger immediately and removes himself from the situation.

How are we feeling, Brothers and Sisters? Just a bit warm? Will you be the one frog to s ound the alarm? Or, do we all. Boil. Together?

Featured post

If you don’t have a plan for your tax refund, s omeone else does.

As sinister as the title sounds, it is the basis of capitalism and the way things run this time of the year. During the years that I conducted Financial Literacy classes, I informed my participants what part that they played in the financial food chain. As Consumers, their role was to purchase the goods that they were “convinced” through advertisement that they needed, we old bring them status, and would make their lives better. The Investors would benefit, owning the companies that mass produced these goods, their stock would gain value and their dividends would increase. This formula wI’ll be seasonally tweaked in order to gain the maximum purchase from the uninformed consumer, US. To prove my point, watch the commercials now and then three weeks from now. There WILL be more used car ads, furniture store ads, luxury family vacation ads, and restaurant ads. These are things that will now be in the range of income- eligible Americans, those families who will receive the maximum amount of tax refunds. WHAT YOU WON’T see is information and ads telling them to save for a rainy day, improve their credit, buy their own home, or purchase stock in the companies for which they show the greatest amount of loyalty. Although nearly every parent dreams of taking their children to Disneyland, few know the wealth building benefits of purchasing a home. This is wealth that can be borrowed against to fund college tuitions, small businesses, and the purchase of another property. Young families NEED this information NOW, when their refund dollars are the greatest, yet their financial knowledge and maturity is the lowest.

An electrifying experience: Black men as Superheroes in the age of BLM

We are truly living in a golden age of comic book-based television. From broadcast to cable to streaming, shows featuring an array of superheroes are everywhere. The CW alone could field a superhero show each night of the week now that Black Lightning, the network’s fifth DC Comics-based show from super producer Greg Berlanti, is […]

via ‘Black Lightning’ is the Best Superhero Show on TV — thenerdsofcolor

Using Tax refund dollars to reshape your Community.

Here are a few more things that are not priorities during tax time, but become important as the year goes on. Enjoy and comment!

  1. Buy a new calendar, then circle dates of importance. Birthdays, anniversaries (marriages and churches), annual fundraisers, i.e. Girl Scout cookies, your son’s little league drive throughout the year. Find neighborhood stores and specialty shops in your community to purchase their gifts. KeeP some funds for weddings, funerals, and baby showers.
  2. Then, list worthy causes in your community that you always wanted to support- public television, energy assistance, political races, PTA, church ministries or missionary drives, but were never able to find the cash. And if you advocate for these groups, press your friends to support them during tax refund time. This will change and increase the impact of the tax refund dollars present in your community at receipt, but travel in out of your community, zip code, and to corporate offices outside your state after you spend it.  Those dollars cannot leave your community WITHOUT your permission. You, your family, your friends and church members have the power to build your own communities with your tax dollars.
  3. Think of the families that will receive tax refunds this year in excess of thousands of dollars. Now, think of those families donating $50 to an agency or group that will help them or other families during the year. The feedback loop of positivity will have a tenfold effect. First, the agency, let’s say, food bank, will have more funds to buy supplies. Second, the grant funders will be able to provide matching grants to money raised . More staff will be needed to distribute thee increased amount of goods, and hours will be expanded. More people from your community will become employed, increasing tax dollars in t hat community.
  4. Be a Superhero. There are overdue lunch and book fees in schools right now, preventing children from receiving regular lunches and burdening parents with court costs and debt that will ruin their credit. Drop into a neighborhood school and ask to pay one child’s overdue lunch fees. The positive impact we I’ll be immeasurable.

3 Tax Refund tips for Friday

Greetings, followers. I’ve missed you all, but I’m back! Ready to sprinkle more knowledge and bring power to the people. January is the month of a dizzying variety of emotions; the letdown of after-Christmas and New Year’s,  the dread of returning to work, the joy of children returning to school, and the anticipation of TAX REFUNDS!!! Employers are required to mail your w-2 forms by January 31, but most jobs will get them to you before then. As a young parent, the thought that I had thousands in owed money on the way turned me into an eager child waiting on a present. Many want to go “wild” when we receive our tax refunds, indulging in things we have felt deprived of since last year: name brand fadhions, luxurious lunches and dinners, jewelry and trinkets out of our price range any other time of the year. But seldom do we think past the instant gratification of the next few weeks and give thought to making the year, or next few years, better. Here are 3 things that you can do that have lasting financial effects:

  1. Clean up your credit. Many of the costs that income eligible people face is because of their lack of credit. We pay more interest for high interest loans, lower quality items, and are not able to make life changing transactions, like home buying or smooall business expansion. Go to and get free reports from the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Take a look at the items that are holding you back. Seek the advice of a trained Counselor, (me) and move forward to repay, repair, and re-establish your credit.
  2. Put your money to work for you. You know what is better than you working for your money? Your MONEY working to make you money. Put off that consumer-driven purchase and invest more in your 401 (k ) plan at work. For tax refund season, increase your 401 deduction at work. Then, once the season is over, change it back to the usual deduction. Go to the bank and but a CD (Certificate of Deposit) for six to nine months. It will mature in July, just in time for summer vacation or back to school shopping.
  3. Make life easier. Pay double on rent, house payment, car payment, etc. Then, next month pay as usual. Best case scenario, you will have item paid early, worse case scenario, you’ll have a cushion when an unexpected emergency  arrives.                                      Check out my blog later for more details and more tax refund tips.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Once again, Arizona Senator John McCain has chosen to go against the grain of the Republican party’s wishes to pass the Graham-Cassidy Bill which is a last-ditch effort to pass a repeal and replacement on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The pressure is on; there are only a few days in which to pass this bill by merely a Republican majority of 50 vores . At the end of September, the fiscal year will end, and any bill passed will be subject to filibuster by the minority party, the Democrats, and need a 60 vote minimum to pass the Senate. That is the seemingly most important reason that this push is happening. But many other sources tell a more, cold, dispassionate, nearly sinister reason for the urgency. The GOP’s donors, who have funded the campaigns of the Republican party members, have grown impatient at the flaccid, impotent failures of the President, Senate and House, all one party, to affect any real progress in what should be an easy win. The multi-billionaires who have financed the politicians to protect their interests and lower their taxes have demanded that their benefactors press through with what has become the most unpopular healthcare reform bill to date. Not yet scored by the Congressional Budget Office, giving the public an  ideal of the financial impact the bill will have on American citizens; in comparison to the present system, who will lose benefits, who will retain them.

It has long been this author’s opinion that the disconnect between the generational multi millionaire, and now, billionaire politicians and the common ordinary American majority does not allow a true empathy of their struggles and concerns and, in fact, fosters a kinship instead with corporations and the mega rich 1% who seek to retain power. Many Americans were duped into thinking that Southern accented politicians who shed their  tailor- made suits and placed baseball caps on their heads had some type of understanding of their plights, instead of realizing, more often than not, they shared more in common with the corporations that had abandoned  their cities, or the policies that allowed the disintegration of their union protections and benefits, and the stagnation of the increases in the hiring, retention, or increasing of living wages.

How could blue collar workers be so misled and exploited? By dipping from the well of nativity and xenophobia, while feasting at the table of “real Americans”, different from the suspect, unpatriotic,  illegal, criminal hordes of colored peoples who are at the root of the destruction of the Greatness of America.

By manipulating White America’s unreasonable and inexplicable fear of  the growing population of Americans who are other than White, millionares  and billionaires  were able to have “their will be done”.  Even the ever growing realization of the infiltration of Russian influence has either been denied or tolerated. I say tolerated because of America’s past behavior of White solidarity and concensus would conceivably entertain a Global Solidarity of the remaining White Global Powers, namely, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States.

However, a ray of hope does shine through and the future of the country does not have a we holly negative outlook. 45’s bump in approval ratings came after months of historical record lows only when he chose to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the resolution of D.A.C.A. residents, children who were brought to the country undocumented by their parents. It is neccessary that these citizens who have voiced their approval continue to feed the ego and encourage Donald Trump that more people are in favor of policy that benefits all Americans  instead of policies that are in reaction to fear and often only serve the interests of the ultra rich and powerful. Perhaps, we may look optimistically to a future where bipartisan efforts can lead to an improved Affordable Care Act.

But as I write this, the media is showing his tweets for the morning,,,,. Sigh. I’m g oing back to bed.


Nothing new under the Sun: return of the lynching threat.

By Aretha Graves.                                                         September 1, 2017

Blazing crosses, white hoods and robes that concealed the terrorist beneath. The Ku Klux Klan were the stuff of nightmares during my childhood. Many television shows during the 70s give insight on a day and time that supposedly was long past. Roots, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and Roll of Thunder, Hear my cry, were movies that showed truckloads of Whites riding through the night, armed with shotguns and torches, and the ever-present, seemingly endless supply of rope. When the White community felt, insulted, indignant, threatened envious, or simply bored, they went hunting for a supposed offender to assuage their feelings of bloodlust. The offense did not have to be a law broken. Registering to vote, looking a White person in the eyes, or an outside threat of a changed law that legally allowed Blacks some measure of personhood would be enough.

Most young children in the 21st century don’t know enough to be afraid of this threat. Until the last two administrations; President Barack Obama’s, and the current administration of Donald Trump. Durine the Obama administration, there was a simmering of sentiment that chafed under the realization that the country’s leader was a man of color. With the election of Donald Trump, White Nationalists, Ametican Nazis, and Klan members have been emboldened by a national leader that sympathizes and leans toward a Whi fulfilled  the promises given during Trump’s campaign. Lamenting the removal of Confederate statues, a wavering, flaccid condemnation of the heinous acts committed during the Charlottesville riot, and  the pardoning of Arizona ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio have given even tax supported state representatives in states as cross the country the courage to bring back the threat of lynching into their publicly quoted language.

Politicians from both the state of Georgia and Missouri have included the threatening language of lynching in their responses to Confederate statue vandalism and Confederate statue crticisms..  According to a story by Matthew Chapman on  Share blue Media, Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer responded to the crticisms of  Confederate by lawmaker LaDawn Jones by saying, ” I can guarantee that you won’t be met with torches but something a bit  more  definitive. People of South Georgia are people of action, not drama. He then added the further threat that people who don’t watch what they say will “go missing in the Okefenokee. Too many necks are red around here”. In another administration, an open threat like this would have caught the attention of United States Attorney General Eric Holder, but alas, who we have is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a Trump appointee, as the nation stop atyorney. And, true to for of all appointees, the most polar opposite of the post to which he’s been appointef, Sessions will no doubt fail to see this as a reason for alarm.

As if that proclamation was not horrendous enough, Missouri State Representative Warren Love remarked on the vandalism of a Confederate statues saying that the culprit should be “found and hung from a tall tree with a long rope”. If the President could embolden and inspire these elected officials to share their honest feelings of raciallynching violent threats, who will they, in turn, inspire? Once the fumes of hatred have escaped from the pit of historical violence, they are impossible to put back. And everyone is affected by the fumes. However, there are responsible public servants who are committed to preserving and obeying the U. S. Constitution by condemning Missouri State Representative Love and Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer. Senator Claire McCaskill calls the comments “unacceptable “, the Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber has demanded Representative Love’s resignation, along with strong condemnation from other politicians.

We must never return to the terror of the past and unlike the past, there are courageous and vocal Whites who stand against racism.  And, thanks to the advances of the Civil Rights Era, we now have people of color in positions of power with the ability to vote and change the elected officials in Georgia and Missouri.

In the Age of Trump and Kapernick

There is a term, Zeitgeist, it means, “spirit of the times”. It was used by psychologists to explain the phenomena of people throughout the world seeming to all be on the same vibe, the same wavelength, at the same time. Inventions, discoveries and theories seem to “align” and cause a jump in the modernization and change in the Western world. In studying current events, I see two public figures, Donald Trump and Colin Kapernick as the major figures that will spur the next “Social Zeitgeist ” of our times.

A “social” Zeitgeist happened during the 1960s; several African countries fought for and gained their independence at the same time that America was demonstrating, boycotting, marching, and pressuring it’s government for legislation for equal rights. This brought about the age of Black consciousness, an interest not only in the history of African Americans here in the United Stars, but also a “Pan African” movement, a connection to Diaspora Africans, including South America and the Caribbean Sea islands. African Studies classes were introduced into college campuses, most times by the persistence of the students, as well as the tenuring of African American professors. Additionally,  the movement spread to other peoples of color who saw the template for Their movement in the model that African Americans had set into motion. Unfortunately,  this rise to consciousness and newfound power had a opposite reaction. It was during this time that many of the “historic” statues of the Southern Confederacy were erected. A grim, metallic reminder that the descendants and defenders of racism didn’t want the “new” Nego to forget.

I see a similar movement happening today. Curiously enough, it will be the polarizing tactics of Donald Trump, during his occupancy of the Executive branch of the United States government,  that brings this new change to fruition. Also, Colin Kapernick, in his brave defiance of the silent giants of professional sports, has opted to use his celebrity as a platform to call to attention the rise in incidents of police shootings nationwide of Black men and women. Tragically, as in the cases of Mike Brown, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice, along with others, the shootings of these non-violent alleged offenders ended in death. He took a stand by taking a knee, on national television during the traditional playing of the National Anthem at the start of each game. Silently defiant, like the brave Olympians of the 1960s, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, like the marchers, sitters, and boycotts of the same time, it was the whisper heard ’round the world. Sports commentators,  fans and fellow teammates along with team owners and officials all chimed in on his actions. Whether or not he was deemed unprofessional or unpatriotic,  one thing was clear; athletes are to be seen, and not heard. Of course, you can “brand” yourself, using your prowess and image to promote sports brands, you can be guilty of testosterone laden crimes, like rape and domestic violence, but you can’t challenge the system. His status as persona non grata, a pariah that has not been picked up by another team after his contract expired, is a direct punishment for his outspoken political stance, or lack thereof. What the powers that be didn’t count on was Donald Trump, stirring the pot of racism and polarization of the country, forcing people to self-reflect and examine their own consciences. This self-examination his been further imposed by the seeming support of Donald Trump of Americ as n Nazis, KKK members, and terroristic Whites who demonstrated against the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville. The vitriol, violence and murder that was a result of their actions seemed lost on Trump, who further aligned himself with racists a nd supremacists by the pardoning of disgraced former Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio (See my blog post for more details of his crimes). At no other time in history has a sitting President so blatantly embraced such a bigoted and divisive viewpoint. But, the reaction of the public has been promising. Immediately after the terroristic acts of Charlottesville,  many political leaders rushed to extend sympathy to the victims and condemn the actions of the American terrorists. Donald Trump, however, waivered. In fear of alienating his base, who is believed to be made up largely of people who share, or sympathize with these views, Trump grudgingly condemned their acts, but not before, and after, altering his opinion that showed clear favor to the tertorists. All this has activated Americans who once remained silent about racial issues to align, demonstrate, and work together against instead the rising toward idea of open hatred and bigotry. As a result of the turmoil around the issue of statue removal, the Mayor of Baltimore authorized the removal of four statues in that city, promising to place them in more appropriate locations, like museums and cemeteries. The cities of Los Angeles and Bangor, Maine have chosen to replace the Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day.

This, coupled with the indefatigable spirit of humanity shown as perfect strangers risk life and health rescuing their fellow human beings from the devestation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, defies the racist, separatist nadir that had threatened to overshadow the country. In times of petil, petty prejudiced cannot be suffered and the will to help outweighs the choice to hate.

This, I believe is just the beginning of an Era in which America will Reexamine the falsehoods that have been allowed to persist about t he historical racism that is permeated though Amercan history without vetification, introspection, or challenge. In as much as Trump and his base supporters want to retain the racists aspects of America,  the cit izens are finding themselves in a time of Cultural Awakening, Historical  Correction, and a brave new reconciled Country that comes t o term with its past and moves into the future,  together. Not romantically misguided, but more honestly with maturity.

I believe that we, as individuals, groups, associations and Committees should do our part to inspire and strengthen the Spirit of the Times, each movement powers the others and inspires the next to take hold. Push your community leafers to join yhis movement. We, as both marginalized people, and Americans as a whole, will ultimatrly benefit from a more truthful, honest, and united America. Strike while the iron is hot, the time for change is NOW!


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