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Racism, History, Bigots, and YOU!

Provided by Artist Murphy Milburn

Provided by Artist Murphy Milburn

Let’s get really heavy today

The truth of many things we deal with in society is that their history is something to be decried and learned from instead of celebrated. But in some weird self-sabotaging bout of ignorance we as humans and even more so as Americans tend to pass over that until forced to confront the matter. That comes from all sides. Because often historical issues are not just about Racism, they are about Bigotry. And while often used interchangeably, they are not in fact the same.

Racism is a systemic issue based on a combination of power, prejudice, and discrimination. Bigotry is just that cocktail of humanity greed and ignorance mixing with prejudice and stereotypes.  While one leads to the other often, they aren’t always the same. For instance, I’m often confronted by the notion that a person is not racist because they have dated an American Minority, or have a friend who belongs to an American Minority group(You’ll understand why I am singling out the US minority groups in a minute). While this often does make them less like to be a pure bigot, they are not mutually exclusive in a world where we must interact with each other for simple and basic reasons.

In fact, the very nature of the person’s interactions with the potential bigot are what can usually help you tell whether they were just caught with an inartful phrase; use their association as a shield; or happen to fetishize a particular culture or interacting with that cutlure. And in the end, that’s what you want to know. Over the weekend I was talking about the situation intra-racially with R&B singer Tank and his inartful phrasing, and I called everyone bigots who were in a particularly line of thought. That’s because the word transcends race and class. Which is what we’re dealing with. It’s the Difference between Dan Snyder owner of the Washing D.C. American Football team in the NFL, and the curious case of black women with gay friends who hate depictions of gay men on TV. But put a pin in that I’ll get back to it.

When you talk about racism people tend to get sleepy or upset. The sleepy ones have heard it all before and are mentally impervious to the idea because they have this deluded opinion on race in modern society. The upset ones are usually mad about being called out for their racism, bigotry, or the privilege that arrises for them from those. It is an interesting thing to study as a lay person. Much less in my blogging capacity. However from time to time my study calls for me to correct things and give a bit of history. Usually a glossed over or relatively unknown piece like the one behind the photo below.

Don't worry it is much worse than you think.

Don’t worry it is much worse than you think.

So this particular piece of lighter fluid has come out recently after the Ferguson Protests. And of course it is fake right? Well sorta. This is not photoshopped. And yet it is not in fact a legal government document. These have never existed as legal government documents. However, it is in face real. And has far worse an origin than you think.

In the early to mid 1980’s an event called the good Ol Boy’s roundup was held in Tennessee on a yearly basis(That part I’m sure is not surprising). The organizer of this event was then ATF Agent Raymond Eugene Rightmyer, who at all times claimed it was not a racist event. Then when caught with materials like this, claimed he was trying to get rid of it and keep things like this from the event.

During the event this license as well as T-shirts of MLK in sniper crosshairs, OJ’s head in a noose, and dead black men sprawled out before law enforcement vehicles with the title Boyz In Tha Hood. In fact, multiple agents of the ATF were in attendance at these events. So were known KKK members, and folks that belong to both categories. This was also a place filled with what actual male to female sexism is. And while some reports are officially unsubstantiated, things got very “loosely consensual” with the amount of alcohol(rumored to include untaxed Moonshine) flowing through the place. So you might wonder how I know about this. Well it is simple. They got caught. They got found out, rounded up, hauled off to jail, fired obviously, and were convicted.

It was the kind of embarrassing thing that should have been blasted everywhere. And it was for a bit when the initial information came out due to citizen militia-men infiltrating. But you don’t hear it brought up. In fact, despite all of the people involved getting handled by the alarmingly swift hand of the Government, John William Magaw then director, as well as most other parties who know or knew about it spoke very little. Not even to cash in for lucrative expose based deals. Why is Magaw important here? Well he was there.

So out of this 80’s event, we had the first instance of these existing. And we all know how well bigots hold on to “good ideas” so updated versions have been seen new as recently as this year. And it doesn’t help that things like race in America never get talked about honestly enough to be dealt with. So every day you create more bigots. Why did I use bigots on something like this? Because even though they are government employees, they were not in that capacity for this. The ATF could be called racist for employing them. And certainly they may be racists if they use system discrimination to be proponents of their prejudices, but since we don’t have that info we just have bigots.

And it doesn’t just cover black and white issues in America. Because remember what a bigot is. And let’s pick up that pin from earlier. Daniel Snyder the bigot who owns the Washington D.C. team does in fact do a lot of charity work. And even gave money for assistance during Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami victims. But remember as I said, you have to look past the interactions to the person. For instance, a big deal was made about the current, but outgoing Navajo Nation President sitting with Snyder in his booth during the game between DC and Arizona. But it shouldn’t surprise you at all. Afterall, what better way to take some heat off that get accidentally caught with someone who is constructively out of power already, and who you just closed a business deal with.

But I know I know, he’s Jewish how could he be a bigot? Well as I said before anyone can be a bigot. Their nationality or ethnic classification does not matter. In the same way, you are still a bigot if you care about animals, but think the Romani are all tricksters. The same way you can want to protect black people from systemic racism, but think women shouldn’t have the same ease of access to birth control as men have to condoms. The same way you can claim you want gender equality but bash any depiction of women or men as conservatively sexist when they are restricted in abundance of clothing, or liberally sexist, when they are without a majority of clothing. The same way you can have gay friends, but not support gay marriage. The same way you can fight sexism, but call Obama a “Halfie” or a Nazi. Or the black guy who does IT work at your job, “not really BLACK.” or say “That girl is pretty for an Indian.” Or go to church every Sunday to praise Jesus that you’ve had painted to look like an Italian man instead of the dark skinned arabic Jew he was. Or of course some of my favorites, the things in your online dating profiles, your method of writing characters that don’t share your ethnicity, and how badly you want to hold on to bigoted phrases like Paddy wagon, Peanut Gallery, Redskin, and be a member of the Tea Party.

But before this gets into a Note from Your Favorite Super villain I have one last image for you. And it does a great job at illustrating the way bigoted thoughts turn into racist action.

Get the point?

Get the point?

The words used in each photo come from media depictions. And while this was particularly telling, just look at the difference in the coverage of Ferguson now, and the riots at Penn State after Paterno quit and Sandusky was found to be a pedo. Look at how championship celebrations are talked about and then think about this. Is your city’s sports team winning an excuse for rioting? Okay if you said yes is that more riot worthy than actual brutality by the government on unarmed members of the community? If you said either was not okay fine, but if one is okay and the other is not, guess what group you just joined? The reality is Civil Libertarians, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats, and yes even Moderates excuse all kinds of civil displays of lawless behavior. Until of course that is done by a group other than those who look like them. Remember the backlash at Occupy? Even so called liberals were on television saying those people need to get broken up, and those people need to get back to work and stop leaching. Think about Immigration, those people coming over our borders and stealing jobs. Think about Ebola, we need to stop those people from Africa from coming and bringing it here.

Something to think about as you relax tonight and go to work tomorrow. Notice I didn’t call you a bigot. But I bet you almost felt like I did and dismissed me for saying it. The funny part is a purposefully put you in that position. Either you will examine your biases and bigotry and do something about it. Or you’ll reject the notion and go deeper in. But I’ll be content either way. Reform or Regression, I’ll have been proven right. Now I have more to talk about the difference between racism and classism, but I’ve talked a lot and…WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Oh Ye of Little Religion

Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, it has been said, is the most segregated time in America. It is a time when the people of Christendom gather with other like minded folk of Christendom and enter into common union. A time when folk look to hear a Word, break bread, and drink of the cup. Gather to accept a new life. Perhaps cast off an old life and accept the new.

By and large, it’s also a time when they focus less on faith and more fully on religion. Therein lays the sadness.

First the Word.

Matthew 8:26, 16:8, 6:30, 14:31…. All of these passages describe a moment in people’s lives when they require dependence on something or someone greater than they. There is a time in all our lives where we look to people or things for assistance and there is nothing wrong with it. You sometimes need a car when the distance is long. A library when you need an answer. A friend when the day is hard. A hammer when facing a reticent nail. No one does it all by themselves. Even the most strident individualist must use assistance of some kind at some point.

That’s the world.

Spiritually the help becomes less tangible and perhaps a bit more grey area. And that is just where the disciples were in these passages. Y’know I do believe many of us are there today too. We too need help, aid or assistance and look to something that is greater than we to solve it.

So what did Jesus do? He said go to the temple and petition the rabbis. Right? No.

He said hire a catering company if you need food. Right? No.

He reminded them in five words that man can fail but faith never does. He said not to focus effort on the solutions of the world but of the eternal. He said, in essence, let go of your expectations of the world. He said not to run to the comfort of religion but instead grasp onto the strong hand of faith. How do I arrive at this?

Because He did not say “…oh, ye of little religion…”.

The world was then and is now already full of various religions. In my opinion religion is the great divider, not uniter. We find more ways to divide, separate and segregate from one another in the name of religion than one might think possible. We have each and every one of us formed our own idea of what is the “correct” way to supplicate and request and praise and honor God. My way. Your way. His way. Her way. Their way. And there is always something wrong with someone else’s way. Divide.

No, there was quite enough religion, thank you.

But faith. That was sadly lacking. That IS sadly lacking.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is the inspiration for pressing on when “common sense” says to stop. To climb that last hill. Ride that last mile. Apply for that last job. Ask that woman or man to marry you. Believe that it’s gonna be alright when you are done. That is faith. Faith is what encourages. Strengthens. Bolsters. And fuels the spirit for one last go.

Let me ask those of you: When you drive a car to work, you check road conditions on tv? Okay. So do I. But then do you walk the route? Call the sky-cam team and double confirm the report? Check social media for its input? Consult the polls for the latest results in infrastructure funding to be sure that monies went to the pothole you saw yesterday and aren’t sure was fixed last night? Then do you call the department of transportation to verify that all traffic signals and painted lines are in place and as they should be? No? Why not? Because you have a form of faith called trust that the road conditions, other drivers, and your own skills at driving will allow you safe passage to work.

I’m not saying that no chair will ever fail you, but it is highly unlikely that you take no seat without first checking the engineering reports by its designer and subject it to a load test to assure it will support your weight. No. You don’t. I’m sure of that. What you do is take it on faith that the chair will be fine with you on it or under someone else.

I would submit that if you have more religion than faith, you are not necessarily living as Christ hoped for his followers. I say that He led with the hope that Christians who would profess to love Him would be less dogmatic in religion and more comforted by faith.

I believe that those who cast off the shackles of religion as the source of faith and instead embrace the freedom of faith as the inspiration of our religion are the happiest and most complete people of God you’ll meet.

Weddings, Reunions, Dental vists, and SHAKE UPS!

So you may have noticed someone has been missing a lot lately. You may have even noticed when he goes missing he doesn’t always explain why. Well…yeah no real explanation, sorry for that.

 

In other news I have been gone meeting old friends, getting massive dental work, and being best man in a wedding. Shout out to Superfans Chris and Ania Moncrief(aka Superman and Lois Lane) who celebrated their love in the classiest of weddings this past weekend.

 

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

But that Shakeup word is here again for good reason. 

 

Things are about to get interesting. Not only has WDDIJ been dealing with the …well Hilarious nature of advertising negotiations, but as you may have noticed we’ve lost a few authors. These things are not points to worry over. Trust me. In fact, the very way you view WDDIJ is about to change for the better.

 

In a short explanation, we’re doing an overhaul.

Why?

Because at 5500 views, we are little less than halfway to the year two viewership goal, and its only been 3 months.

In short, I’ve been short sighted.

 

To remedy that, I had to get to work.

And believe you me, the work is paying off.

Launching this fall is our interview series “Imperial Dreams”

Launching sooner rather than later this summer is a new format to the website

And Look for some shake ups in the staff as well.

Nothing drastic folks, but we want you to have a great experience.

And we want you to come to us for more of your daily content.

SO we need to be a place you want to come to.

And since I’ve been slacking on that. It is time to pick up the pace.

Of course I could tell you so much more, but as you know…

WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Once more with feeling

You folks must forgive me. Today will be super short compared to my usual posts, and it is quite self-indulgent. Next week I’ll be taking the bar exam. Now before you start declaring I’ll pass and trying to give me well wishes let me say something. This is not something to turn on the fake emotion for. Me and everyone else who are taking the bar next week, know horrifying facts about the exam. We also have been hibernating in various undisclosed locations, and congregating in various school classrooms prepping for this. While we appreciate the positive thinking it sounds more condescending than you can imagine. See the borderline masochist nature of studying for this test has changed us.

People often joke that lawyers are heartless, ruthless, money making douchebags who sold their humanity for success. Save the douchebag and humanity sold part you’re right. And this is what does it, this test will turn us into who you hate until you have to call on our services. Many well prepared people fail this thing, HARD, and we know these people. Some of us(not me) are these people. Support your law student about to walk into the gates of hell with something they need. New movies, tasty meals and beverages, gas for driving down to the exam location, plan a return party,  help them get a gig. Saying “I know you got this” or worse “I’d wish you good luck, but you don’t need it.” is as helpful as a punch in the face. We do need good luck. In some cases that seems to be the only thing that lets some of us pass while others fail.

Now that I’m done with that bit, let’s talk about the subject for today. HAHA I’m kidding. I did have a topic for today. Heck I have one for next week. But will I be posting them? No, no I won’t. It would start like normal and turn into some complexly worded bar question. This post is because I don’t want to leave you hanging. I’ll be back on or after August 1st. The Bar Exam is July 30th and 31st. You guys take care and read Rufus’ stuff. Maybe I can even convince Ronin to come out of hiding. See you soon. Hug a law student, especially if they are studying for the bar. And I’m off for a while.

-THE Ruthless Wonder

Notes From Your Favorite Super Villain: On a serious note

On a serious note

This was going to start with my reaction to the trial and verdict after hearing people at the church I’ve gone to my whole life talk about it. You would have gotten my usual snark and while backing the outrage I would have gone entirely and completely out of my way to paint the people calling for riots and other ridiculousness as bad as the people happy about the verdict(And they call themselves Christians the fakes). I was going to do that, but I’m not. Frankly as time progressed and everyone decided having a facebook or twitter account gave them a Law degree I found myself much less forgiving of both sides.

So you could call today’s column mutually assured destruction. I’m taking the nuclear option. You’ve read the words of Rufus. Now behold the words of Ruthless so to speak. Instead of the wonderful set up I was going to have, or a picture of Trayvon or his killer which would annoy me. I want to start with this one. It isn’t of me because I’m the one who took it.

At first there were a few

At first there were a few

At first there just a few law students from FAMU heading up to Seminole county to call for an arrest and protest the actions of the prosecutor’s office. I got a text from the guy in the photo, the then current President of the Black Law Student Association(BLSA) at Barry. With both schools in Orlando we tend to talk to each other often and it should be no surprise that the FAMU BLSA called Barry BLSA to get in touch with us. And it wasn’t a question for me. Law students are like that. Find a cause they identify with and you will be covered in them. So in a heartbeat I was in. I was truly tired, and pretty sure I could barely see as I crawled out of bed at 7am(Waking me up is kind of a problem). We got there, and we knew there were going to be a few of us. But I wanted to take photos and hold signs and help out as best I could.

We went on for a decent amount of time. The news came out both national and state-wide and of course local. FAMU gave a statement, community activists who didn’t actually show up for the beginning of the protest came and suddenly turned things into a black power rally. And right around the point someone wanted to sell a book and turn this into riot to kill the white people He and I made tracks and got something to eat. From there things turned rather big. I got asked to give my pictures to a few dozen news outlets, got talked to by some small time online and offline newspapers. The biggest battle, one I ended up losing, was with the new leadership of Barry’s BLSA who just never wanted to get involved by releasing a statement.

I imagine I seemed like an alarmist raging, angry black lunatic to them. All I wanted was them to show this wasn’t being ignored by them. You could call that a sore spot, I called it the end of my time in BLSA, though I lended a hand during the next, my final year at Barry whenever they needed me. Instead I spent my time paying attention to the actual investigation. I attended a few more rallies and took pictures of course. I was angry after all. I was enraged to a degree I could only vaguely remember from my more militant viewpoint at a much younger age.

That is where most of my reason to get into this came from. I was a black man in law school. But i wouldn’t have been there if some things hadn’t gone different for me than most of the black boys I grew up around. And all it would have taken would be someone looking at me the same way Zimmerman had Trayvon for my story to not become the triumph it has so far. It welled within me because of that. Because unfortunately growing up in one of the worst per capita murder cities in America means I have more than a few friends who aren’t with me anymore, for both racially and not racially motivated reasons. I could feel every bit of the me I used to be, boiled up whenever the situation was spoken of. But it would best be said I knew better. I stayed focus on school. And kept getting involved where I could. Now I’m studying for the bar with JD behind my name and we’ve seen Zimmerman be found not guilty.

I don’t tell that story because I think I’m special. I’d say when it comes to this particular instance I’m not special. There are tons of stories like mine when it comes to Trayvon. Just like there are tons of stories like George Zimmerman’s. Where the system for good or ill in the perceptions of the people surrounding things worked. I say worked, not right, because no court decision is entirely right or wrong. That is the danger and promise of our system. What I have seen from this weekend since the verdict came down. What has occurred throughout the trial by anyone mentioning the trial has disgusted me. I find myself often unwilling to deal with people who want to discuss things because of that.

So let’s get to what you came here for. First up on my Super Villain hitlist is the easy target. People happy Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The easy thing is to call these people racists. The hard thing is to forgive them. And yeah sure I can forgive, because I’m bigger than that. These are people with some profoundly disturbed view of reality. To wish a teenager that they don’t know hasn’t wronged them dead is disgusting. But then again I live in a country where it is perfectly okay to wish for the death of someone else and then act innocent when it occurs.  A country where someone looking different, growing up in another part of town, having clothes or accessories that you don’t like, or dating people who look like you is enough reason to kill. The verdict seems to give them some kind of validation for this disgusting viewpoint. And people who have no reason other than what they believe about Trayvon Martin’s background as just as bad. Whether or not you think Zimmerman was guilty, to be a person so detached and depraved you wish a child dead is insane, and while I am bound to forgive such a mentality. I am not bound to refrain from calling you sycophants out on it. Especially the ones who’ve started do that hashtag Trayvoning shit I saw on twitter and instagram. And the guy with the Trayvon shooting game on android and apple store.

Next up since I’m ranting are the people who have turned this tragedy into a soapbox for their political agenda. Though not cosmically as bad as the people glad Trayvon is dead, these too, draw my ire. A young man, an unarmed teen is dead, and instead of rallying physical and psychological support for the family and friends of Trayvon. Instead of bringing their national audience to do something positive to ease the tension that I’m sure is still very thick in Sanford, they want you to buy their book on race in America. They want you to back their new project far from central Florida. They want you to listen to their radio show. They want you to ban all guns. They want you to do everything but take a sensible approach to matter by doing something that would actually have helped the situation then or now. These people are opportunists. These people pervert the tragedy for profit. And I see no reason they should get a pass because they wear a hoodie in an instagram photo, or at the BET awards, or on Good Morning America, or The Daily Show, or tweet about it. The sad part is all of the people falling for it.

Which brings me to the people who just don’t care. The ones who see someone dead and someone walking away with no criminal consequences and say “big deal” or “so, it wasn’t me.” The people with so little affect, so myopic a view that it borders on dystopian. These are the people that worry even me. When it comes down to it I tend to not trust most of humanity. Mostly because of these people. It is a very short distance from so what it isn’t me, to so what it is me over you. I’m Lex Luthor of the internet because I’m not afraid to have a viewpoint you don’t agree with. Because I am willingly calling myself a villain because I know you will hate and oppose things I say no matter what side of an issue you are on. Something I say will upset and offend you. And it should. Unless you’re the secret clone of me, there is no one who will ever exactly agree with everything. I’m complicated, complex, contradictory, and most certainly controversial. But these people. They don’t say they agree or disagree. If it doesn’t concern their life then it doesn’t matter to them. And these people, no matter how successful they happen to be are worthless people. And unworthy of more time from me.

So let’s get to harder targets. White people who hate that this became a racial issue. You have thus far dodged the direct assault by not being happy Trayvon is dead, not being apathetic to the issues, and not trying to sell something based on the tragedy. But you don’t get to escape. No because you have some serious rose colored glasses on. Apparently you’ve missed the racial problems in America and cannot see the issue because George is half hispanic. That doesn’t change anything. Between his last name and appearance he is walking around mostly due to white privilege(If you don’t believe this exists please wait for another column to get up in arms about it. Today is not the day). And while I can’t call you worthless. I can call you delusional. I respect people who have a view of America’s future devoid of race. I have a healthy respect for those upset when things that are obviously not about race become about it. But to say I have a vast disrespect of people who cannot see a racial issue that is close enough to their face that time is standing still is a bit of an understatement. You cannot in one breath say that Trayvon’s attitude was a problem and then say that this was not about race. Look at yourself. Would you have been annoyed and had a problem at 17 if some random stranger was following you? You can try and say otherwise but we both know the truth. What if that person looked nothing like you? What if that person is now interrogating you and you see no security guard or police characteristics or paraphernalia? See what I mean?  And that you are currently trying to rebut or otherwise deny this to yourself is exactly why you bother me.

Since I’m on the subject of White people, a brief mention goes out to the ones who in one breath are talking about how sad, or otherwise are upset by the verdict, and in the next pull their purse closer when a black guy walks by, won’t let their children date black people, have made statements beginning with I like so and so but some of those “insert race followed by wacked comment here”, oh and my favorite, the ones who comment you’re such an interesting (insert ethnic classification) person. That is the side-eye backhanded compliment of the modern era. And yes I get that one a lot. This mention goes out to you because you’re just as bad as those people above. You think your public facade is protection against you being called a racist, but on behalf of all of us I’d just like to remind you that you are in fact a racist. You aren’t an uncaring violent one, but you still are one. OH and if you think you get a pass because your particular blend of whiteness didn’t make it to America until post 1970, you don’t. Still a racist.

Now that I’ve covered all the white people. And the opportunist black people. And the generally problematic people. Let me take this sword and get to cutting into the black people. You didn’t expect this rant to be short did you? First up is of course the black people who are taking this verdict as reason for revolution. You want to start an armed rebellion over this verdict but when people were rallying you were busy liking “Instagram Models” pics, and trying to get Sheneka Adams and Tahiry to follow you and accept your friend requests. You were putting up pics of the weed you have, while people were trying to get Rick Scott to assign a special prosecutor. But for some reason now, now after you helped provide the environment that Trayvon looked up to. Now after you’ve helped burn into the brains of society at large the image that George Zimmerman had as he came near Trayvon. Now after you’ve done everything you can to uphold a stereotype that is as corrosive to the black community as racism is. Now you want to get in the streets. Now you want to take up the cause of justice. My buddy Adam Jung is a straight up dyed in the wool freedom fighter. The race of the people he tries to get equality for is not his concern. He wants to make humanity better by fighting the powers that be. Because he sees injustice and says “Not today.” This convenient for the moment outrage you have is fake at best. You’re disgusting because you don’t really care. You think you should say something, so you say it. When things take more time than you want to take you go right back to what you actually care about.

So now that I’ve taken it to the fake revolutionaries, who will no doubt take their anger to me on FB, Twitter, and my cell phone, let’s hit the last group and last person. The last group of people for this rather lengthy rant are the people who helped create this environment. Now this one is a bit personal. See there is something to be said for how we treat each other in the black community. First off this is a fragmented community. It took very little time to see how odd I was in law school. I’m not as far as I know Caribbean by any stretch, no island bits to me at all. But would I consider those of them who live in America part of the black community? Of course. Do all black people in America consider them a part? Nope. Do all of them see things like I do? Not in the slightest. Much love to the ones who do though.  The other problem is that we don’t reward or otherwise appreciate certain accomplishments. Let’s look at the facts. Most of the people who are part of our community are likely to support and congratulate a returning inmate than the returning college kid. They are going to be more proud of the athlete than help find scholarships for the possible future scientist. But since I know my readers I’m going to purposefully hit so much closer to home, starting with a rhetorical question(for the idiots that means I don’t expect or want you to answer)

If you are more apt to go for the thug who treats you like a plaything, cheats on you, and generally sits around playing madden when he isn’t trying to make his next rap album, instead of the black guy trying to finish college/med school/open his small business/get his Ph.D/run for political office can you really say you are trying to fix the mentality of the community? I know exactly who that pissed off but the funny part is that is true of most of the communty’s female population. You want new black leaders who don’t have the issues of Eddie Long or Al Sharpton? Stop leaving charlatans and thugs as the only ones with a support structure to advance themselves. Same goes the other way. You can’t blame the women of the community’s leadership on anything but you guys who get rid of/corrupt the good girl trying to get her education in favor of some no life chick with kids and a fat ass. Are you dolts so visual you can’t turn your brain on long enough to keep a good relationship and stop chasing your dreams of women you can’t/shouldn’t be with? I know, I know. That was a cheap shot. Good, feel that.

See in combination this has turned black America into a community with more entertainers and promoters than doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, architects, mathematicians, and computer scientists combined. Why is black unemployment at 16% because of you. It isn’t just that there are fewer black businesses, there are fewer black people putting a value on that version of success, because all you support is entertainment. And that is what produced this senseless and needless death. Trayvon was getting the same message about being black that produced most black boys at his age. Zimmerman was seeing only the same kind of young black men, ones causing trouble in the community, and having never met him was sent into an overreaction based on the image you have helped burn into America’s view of us. Was Zimmerman wrong to shoot Trayvon? You damn skippy. And I will gladly debate the real whys and hows of him being found not guilty with anyone who has a JD or can be in a civil discussion with someone who has one and will gladly educate you on the law in the matter. I’m sure you all feel disproportionately laid into in this post. To that I say…so?

Let’s get down to the last person. I don’t think George Zimmerman is Words Don’t Do It Justice. I’m not that self absorbed or narcissistic. But I want to address him anyway. For the last year and a half, you’ve been the object of my most deep seeded of rage. I’ve hated you for doing exactly what I hate most about humans. Having a cowards response to a situation. You were a coward when you got out of that car. You were a coward when you reached for your loaded gun, and you were a coward when you shot Trayvon Martin. You were a coward when you sat on tv and the internet trying to solicit funds from people, and when you hid them from the court, and every day you were in court, you will be a coward every day until you drop dead. A boy is dead because you are a coward. Because you made assumptions about him for no other reason than you hadn’t seen him before and he was the same color as people you’d followed before. I don’t wish you dead. I tend to stop short of that. I wish you instead a fate worse than death. That every day from now until you are laid to rest you feel the apprehension of people following you. That every security guard, TSA agent, Bailiff, and police office find you suspicious enough to be accosted and searched. I hope fervently that you feel the constant revulsion of people around you. That you have to endure the eyes of the world scrutinizing you, silently seeming to threat you, but that they take no action. Death for Death is the province of tyrants and evil men, I wish you no rest until the end of your days. No lasting happiness, nothing more than momentary joy. And when you dream, I hope it is only nightmares filled with Trayvon’s face, and voice. And I wish the same on every person that agrees with you. Every person that finds what you did just, or right, or even ok. For after this my mind will be clear, my rage calms, I have rest. But there will be none for you. For what you have done to just Trayvon’s family I should wish much worse on you and the people who sent you money, but that is all.

And with that. I’m done. If you have some need to talk to me about this post hey go for it. If you hate me because I was talking about you. Well if you haven’t notice I don’t care you haven’t been paying attention. If you want to know something you could do so that we as American’s can be better than this, start by paying attention to who you elect to public office, then support a person going to law school, then help a smart kid who doesn’t know his path yet, and try to be the kid of person that someone will want to help bridge the various race, class, and gender divides we have. Those should work to start off with. This long rant is at an end. And I still have a Wednesday post to make. So bye for now. I said a lot and could say more but Words Don’t Do It Justice, and I’m sorry we couldn’t get Trayvon some. So very sorry.

-THE Ruthless Wonder(yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com)

Ruthless As The 4th Of July: America’s uniquely perfect imperfection

I admit that is a weighty title. But I promise you this. This blog post will either make you love me(as a blogger) even more than you already do. Or it will most assuredly make you hate me more than you did before you started. You’ve been warned, IKUZO(let’s go)!

America’s uniquely perfect imperfection

I was wrestling with the idea of doing a post for the 4th of July. It seems as I near the bar exam my ability to break away for the hour of human life time is harder and harder to do. More on that later. So the idea I originally had, was the situation America finds itself in this 4th versus its founding. I was literally going to history lesson this and then I thought better of it after some time with Mom this morning. What changed while we were driving was the idea of American exceptionalism. Now those two words separately will be about as non-problematic as well ice cream. but together, ti calls up all sorts of imagery that begins a very dark road. Allow me to hop in the driver’s side and hasten the trip. American exceptionalism is as true today as it was when the country was founded. it is exactly what America is. All of it. And that is a great thing. How great? Rome, Greece, The Golden Horde, The Khans, and Ancient Khemet(Look it up people) itself have nothing on America. Combined they don’t equal our collective greatness. #Shots fired

Now that we’ve already lost the people so enraged by that statement they stopped reading let me get on to the backup for this. One of the things people often have problems with is that America is a racist sexist classist society that worships its own history like a religion and gives nobility to Movies stars, athletes, and the rich while over looking the common person. I agree. We are in fact all of that. And I’m glad we are. Because the greatest nations in existence, the empires we study, the civilizations that have stood the test of time have had similar faults. There is a notion that the world could live at absolute peace. That borders, and nationalities, ethnicities, and the like could all pass away and we would enter a golden age. I believe that is possible as well. But not in spite of America. Instead, I believe that day will come because of America. Because of the greatest experiment in the history of humanity on earth. Americans like myself now live in the place that will one day cause the world to take the next giant leap forward in our evolution. Turn the next corner towards a civilization a lot more like Star Trek the next generation than Game Of Thrones(That hurts to admit).

Why do I take such a view in the face of things like the NSA spying done by Obama? The striking down of important provisions in the VRA by the SCOTUS? When there has been a sudden uptick of inter and intra racial violence everywhere while people make more money-making the poor poorer? Because that too is part of the process. People like to say it is darkest before the dawn when someone is gong through something. What they never seem to see is that goes for us as well. But that’s ancillary here. I can afford to take this position because these things are faults of human nature, not of the American experiment. And I call us an experiment for a reason. In the history of the world prior to America and to a lesser extent Australia and New Zealand, countries, nations, and empires began as either a group of the same ethnicity or cultural group banding together for whatever reason, or the grouping of a geographic area together. Say what you will of Lawrence of Arabia’s meddling, or the creation of most of the current nations in Africa, but the same category holds in both places. But America is different. But Ruthless, Ruthless, the original colonies were all English colonies. That is the same thing. Here’s where you’re wrong. By the time that the colonies rebel most of them are filled with citizens born there with no connection other than governmental to the English. in addition you have to account for those considered citizens who were not English but joined in founding America.

And it goes even deeper. This was not about geography. Clearly America bought, stole, and conquered its way across the particular area of North America we occupy. But this was done as an increasing of the same experiment. Looking at it objectively America should have failed in a glorious fashion. It should have collapsed long before the Louisiana purchase. There should have been revolts from all of the different former Germans, Dutch, French, enslaved Africans, and otherwise that would be too much to handle. But while small versions of those did the reason America doesn’t crumble like Carthage(that hurt too), was because it was not an Empire of a particular family, or religion, or ethnic group, or geographic location. This country is the experiment of politics.  As an idea America doesn’t make sense. But because of that it was able to survive an expand. By hook and by crook and of course at the end of rattling sabers, rifles, and small pox infected blankets to be sure. But that is the remnants of the old ways as they evolved into the new. I don’t make excuse for it, I don’t apologize for it, but all also don’t consider it a deal breaker.

See the idea is what has and must continue. Fight a civil war that should have broken the country in half but doesn’t? Did that. Freed slaves and they didn’t found their own country and find ways to constantly stick it to you? Did that? Give women equal citizenship both politically and legally speaking? Did that. You should see the difference here between the old ways and the new. The idea that a government can exist that holds no traditional base of power. That has no nobility. That has never increased its size via bloodlines. That has the same response to its faults no matter what it is. “Oh we’re screwing up? How do we fix that?” There are set backs and America tends to have a long road to acceptance and fixing, but that is only relative to time as we view it in the modern-day. How many centuries did the Songhai empire hold a grudge for what Mansa Munsa did with Mali trying to expand? Ask someone in that area today how they feel about the Moroccan invasion. Heck, ask anyone around now how they feel about the country that used to rule over them. Someone in Tibet might have some feels to tell you about. The bottom line is for there to be progress there must be some who are subjugated. Because we have that expectancy. Because we can’t think of a better way yet.

That’s the rub though as well. How many empires honestly exist today? You can call Japan one if you want, but now you’re playing semantics. No modern-day Ramses, or Genghis is rampaging about the world consuming countries and trying to conquer existence. Because there are better ways to do things one, but also because we have no need for them because the world sees there can be another way. And who is that example? America. At had a friend who is Jamaican by heritage talk to me once about how different we were. And I often look at my friends with there deep seeded connections to Mother Africa and remember when I was on a similar path. But then I talk to old friends with family from Mexico, or Canada, or Columbia, or England, or France, or American Samoa, or Japan, or Singapore. And you know what is odd about that? 300 years ago it would be impossible for all of us to be friends. All of them would likely be in those countries. And I somewhere conquering most of Africa(let’s face it, if it were acceptable to be a conquering super villain Emperor and I had the chance, that is probably what I would be doing) because exploiting weaknesses and giving people hope is kinda my thing. Why is my massive and fairly international set of friends possible? America. Heck why do the same multinational corporations that people despise and protest exist and make things like that iPhone iPad, Galaxy S4, Galaxy tab, Surface, Acer, Lenovo, Kyocera you’re currently reading this on? America.

But I don’t think that the great things about America should allow us to gloss over the bad. They may be remnants of the old ways of humanity, but they still exist. Now don’t take that to mean I’m about to advocate giving the various native tribes their land back. There is more chaos that would come from that than giving black people reparations, and freeing Puerto Rico and the rest of America’s territories. We live in a country where straight men will watch lesbian porn but don’t want lesbians to get married. Where for some reason interracial marriage while legal is seen as something odd, weird, unacceptable, and perverse in the eyes of many racial groups(I do find it odd that it is still mostly black women and white men that have the problem). There is a massive gap between rich and poor. The middle class is disappearing into those two. Women still don’t get paid the exact same as men, and double standards based on long-held beliefs about traditional gender roles for both genders(Don’t tell me you’re liberated and independent then get angry when I turn off the chivalry.  You gotta pick one). There is as fervent a secularist culture as there is a religious culture. People call themselves Christian yet commit acts of hatred that should cause revulsion in true believers. There is a very anti societal progress culture. Police violence is everywhere.

But the experiment holds. America Prevails. Not because of unity. Not because of faith. Not because of patriotism. In spite of all those things. America is unique. America is not an exception, it is THE exception. America is unique. Perfect in its imperfection. A repository of the worst things we can be. Humanity at its darkest, most selfish, and most vile. And a shining example of the best we can be. Coup-less integration, civilized authority, governmental oversight legitimized by the people, made of the people, for the people. And army built not as the culmination of noble houses or allied kinds. Men and women of all faiths and ethnicities giving their last full measure of devotion to the American experiment. That duality. That amazingly terrifying yet immensely beautiful duality that is America is something to wax poetically about. It is something to call exceptional. It is worthy of the large bright shining city on the hill allusion. At the base of the brightest light is the pitchest darkness is it not? On this July fourth I find myself on the edge of my own coronation of sorts. When I pass this bar exam and get sworn in a grand dream will be made real. But that too, my success, my path, my experience and the mentality I have because of it come because of this unique American experience.

Most of you reading are Americans as well(I’m not sorry to the international folks today, it is a day for America after all), so while you think about the bad. While you mull over the points I’ve made. While you let yourself talk about how right or wrong I am think about how different you would be if America never happened. think about how different you would be if the American experiment had failed. Really put some time into what history tells us about the various world powers at the time of America’s founding, and the state of the area of the planet your ethnicity and heritage would have you occupying. Now think about how different your experience would be. I don’t praise or apologize the actions of America over our history. I understand them. I analyze them. I look deeper than my emotional attachment to them. And today I’ve accomplished that. So feel free to honor America like you chose. It is a free country after all. Heck I’d love to see some photos emailed to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com of you tossing Earl Grey tea into the nearest river. Don’t do that, it is littering and bad for the environment. Go celebrate, be cautious and careful, and enjoy the celebration of our experiment. And then tomorrow go back to helping make this experiment a success. We can’t get starships and replicators without you.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Quick Note: Because the bar exam is bearing down on me for the end of this month I will be going to a once a week format until after it. I promise a triumphant return the week after, but until then Rufus, Ronin, and some guests will be posting when they can while I focus. I’ll see you once a week.

Vulnerability

What is it about opening ourselves up for all to see that causes fear? What are we to be afraid of, rejection? Of being mocked? Perhaps it is the fear of being alienated, of not fitting in, and so not a properly functioning member of society? We lie, we cheat, we hinder and mock. We are nasty, we are cruel, we are uncaring, blind, mute, and ignorant. We preach freedom, but live in chains. Shout liberty, but are oppressed. Do we not scream for more? Don’t we spend our lives chasing a feeling? Chasing love, accomplishment, acceptance, fulfillment, pleasure, leisure? Worst of all, we close ourselves from each other. We suspect, we doubt, belittle and divide.

Could i bare myself to you? Is it even possible to show the course of my emotion, the source of my fear, my arrogance, my pride? If I stripped away my layers, my armor, my masks would you see the core of my being is the same of yours? I think that’s what it comes down to, we are all the same. Yea you might think us different, but I’m starting to see that is simply not the case. Who among us does not desire happiness? What sort of person seeks hunger and pain instead of bountiful fields and bliss? There are only two differences that matter, two things that even if you took away all else these small differences will still remain. They are language, and methods.

Language as you may have guessed is a small, if not insignificant gap to cross in this day and age. Rosetta stone can have you speaking French in a month, or so I’ve heard, so imagine if you didn’t have that crutch to lean on, if you could communicate without the need of a translator to anyone on the face of the Earth? Perhaps then we could understand our ‘enemies’ intent, and why we are fighting. Maybe then there could be peace between all nations.

So if language is the insignificant difference, then methods is what really stands as a dividing factor in our heads. We all have different methods of finding our happiness. Some find it in physical superiority, others in gardening, and as sad this is to say, some find it in the abuse of power. In the end we want to do what makes us happy, and if I told you happiness for me was marching down the street with nothing between my skin and your eyes but the distance between us, then more power to me right?

The problem, is that we also want to avoid being unhappy, and our methods for doing so are indeed just as varied. Are you unhappy seeing a naked me walking down the street? Maybe you’d make a rule against it to secure your happiness, or perhaps you’d simply stop coming my way? In the end, whatever works best for you is probably the route you’re going to take, but it comes at a price. You see rarely can we make ourselves happy, without forcing someone to lose their happiness. Like me being forced to wear cloths, it is a limiting force that tends to create oppression, struggle, war and grief.

So let us review. Your race, does not matter, we are all the same. Your belief, does not matter in the sense that it does not make you and different from us. You are still a human being who might believe that Jesus was a prophet, or perhaps a false shepherd, or maybe you doubt he existed at all, but in the end we fall into the same category. Your political opinion is null and void in the sense that you simply want the best for you and your loved ones (at least I would hope so) and in that regard you are exactly like everyone else.  Society has no class at least none that matter, because let’s face it if you went around shouting you’re a middle class citizen does it make any difference? It is just another foolish device created to cause separation when there is none.

I’m trying to get you to understand that beneath the cloths, the money, the status, and the possessions we are all still fundamentally the same. And I think people can be petrified to learn something like that, but why I have no idea.