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It Always Starts with Black Folks

So I was listening to an interview with Jason Stanley, a Yale professor who wrote a book about How Fascism Works and he was talking about the ten pillars of fascism (spoiler alert: we’re batting a thousand on that score). When he got to the propaganda pillar, he made an interesting point: the disinformation machine that’s been chugging along, spitting out fake news, twisting facts into lie and up-ending reality – started with lies told about Black folks that were woven into our national consciousness hundreds of years ago. You know the lies I’m talking about -- the lies that say we’re all lazy, shiftless, good-for-nothing lay-abouts, over-sexed, under-educated criminals. Now, I’ll forgive y

A Pretty Lie or the Ugly Truth?

Since the beginning of time, people and the societies they built have said one thing and done another. Our own country’s past, both distant and more recent, is lousy with examples of excruciating hypocrisy. Committing near genocide against Native People while claiming to seek religious freedom. Slave-owning men demanding that the King of England give them liberty or give them death. Monuments of freedom abound in our nation’s capitol – that slaves built. Lady Liberty stands erect welcoming the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” while imprisoning Chinese immigrants on Angel Island on the other coast. But since the turn of the twenty-first century, some politicians have dropped the

Channeling Sammy Davis, Jr. aka The President's Pet Monkey

You know what I think of when I think of Sammy Davis, Jr.? No, not the Candy Man, Kanye West. The outcry over the sneezy or the wheezy or the eezy or whatever name he’s answering to today appearing at the White House and doing the equivalent of a verbal soft shoe is reminiscent of a similarly cringe-worthy moment from nearly 50 years ago. Now, many of you reading this weren’t born yet, but I was. And I remember Sammy Davis Jr. He was a singer/ dancer/ entertainer and Hollywood royalty as famous for being the Black – or should I say negro – member of the Rat Pack as he was for his considerable stage talent. Richard Nixon aka King Richard was president of these never been United States, a

And They Hold Their Noses

The fever pitch of hypocrisy has reached a deafening roar. Layers of lies are being unsheathed as quickly as a tux on prom night. People who claimed to stand for family values separate them at the border. The hope of overturning Roe v Wade (plus voting rights plus imperial presidential powers plus corporate citizenship) overtakes the brutalization of women and a temperament that is far from judicious. Law and order types were switch hitters during the Kavanaugh debacle. I guess they only intended the wrath of American justice to be loosed on the Black and the brown and the poor and the disenfranchised when they talked about getting tough on crime. Back in the day these same folks thought

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