Tell Your Story: How I Was a Victim of Racism

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This is a special addition of ‘Your Thoughts’ where the thread is open for those who have been victims of racism. This is where you tell your experience. And if you have more than one, feel free to explain it.

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The Harvey Weinstein Scandal

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News broke out recently that a Hollywood big wig named Harvey Weinstein abused his power and influence in a 30 year-long reign of sexual harassment and physical violence. But who exactly is Weinstein, and why is he now getting so much negative press?

Harvey Weinstein is a Hollywood film producer known for famous films as Sex, Lies and Videotape,””Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” to name a few.  He has six Oscars under his belt, and is a self-proclaimed liberal, champion of women and a winner of artistic and humanitarian awards.

On the outside, Weinstein appeared to be not only a Hollywood luminary, but also a refined artist and a kind soul. However, it all turned out to be, like movies themselves, nothing more than make-believe to hide the ugly reality that has taken place for years. Now, that reality has been revealed in the public eye and has begun the demolition of Weinstein’s empire.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times:

Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests. His home base was New York, but his rolling headquarters were luxury hotels: the Peninsula Beverly Hills and the Savoy in London, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc near the Cannes Film Festival in France and the Stein Eriksen Lodge near the Sundance Film Festival.

Working for Mr. Weinstein could mean getting him out of bed in the morning and doing “turndown duty” late at night, preparing him for sleep. Like the colleague cited in Ms. O’Connor’s memo, some junior employees required to perform those tasks said they were disturbing.

In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or middle 20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.

Most women who told The Times that they experienced misconduct by Mr. Weinstein had never met one another. They range in age from early 20s to late 40s and live in different cities. Some said they did not report the behavior because there were no witnesses and they feared retaliation by Mr. Weinstein. Others said they felt embarrassed. But most confided in co-workers.

Ms. Madden later told Karen Katz, a friend and colleague in the acquisitions department, about Mr. Weinstein’s overtures, including a time she locked herself in the bathroom of his hotel room, sobbing. “We were so young at the time,” said Ms. Katz, now a documentary filmmaker. “We did not understand how wrong it was or how Laura should deal with it.”

I’m sure there’s more detail to this revelation with more unsettling and disturbing reports and accusations, but ultimately, this unraveling story is still bitting him in the ass and won’t let go. More women are coming forward to give their stories. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given him the boot. And his reputation, his real reputation, is now on full display. It’s almost certain that Weinstein will not come back from this one. And he doesn’t deserve to.

R.I.P. David Patterson

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From Daily Kos:

“Our nation is forever indebted to these WWII heroes,” said Sen. John McCain in a Tweet on Monday.

David Patterson, one of the last living U.S. Marines Navajo code talkers from World War II who used the Navajo language to transmit secret tactical messages to outwit the Japanese passed away from pneumonia, and complications from a fall in Rio Rancho NM: He was 94 years young.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

I can’t think of a clever title for this article, because writing about gun violence is draining

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Last year around this time, I wrote about my close encounter with a shooting at a club. The brief summary is one you’re probably familiar with. Crazy-ass niggas started fighting most likely over dumb shit that ended up with one of them pulling a gun popping into a crowd and injuring a person or two, some who probably weren’t even involved but was in the line of fire.

I’m sure you heard this bullshit before by local news or word-of-mouth. Some of you may have even witnessed it, have been victims yourself or knows someone who is or was. But it doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times it occurs, where it happens or how many people are shot and killed.

On the first Sunday evening on October 1st, Stephen Paddock unleashed a hellstorm of firepower on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas killing at least 58 people and wounding over 200 more. Media outlets would christen this as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

I’m going to skip all the usual liberal observations. I’m not going to talk about how this was another tragic incident of white men with guns. I’m not going to talk about the privileges attached such as him being described as a mentally unstable lone wolf that doesn’t represent the entire whole. And I won’t bring up any double standards and what if scenarios if he was nonwhite. It’s not that I don’t cosign with such analyses. It’s just that I’m tired of the whole broken record.

Let’s be honest, mass shootings in America are more common than we would like to believe. Each time, a heavily armed terrorist, a white male most of the time, would unload gunfire into a group of unsuspecting people taking out as much of them as possible. Each time, the news would report on the incident and dig up as much about the shooter, particularly any history pertaining to his mental history. And we are urged by politicians to pray for the victims and their families and friends affected by the tragedy.

Yes, praying is always the go-to solution for gun violence. While I’m not against prayer or anyone who practices it – hell, I do it too – what has praying done so far, and what exactly are we praying for?

We live in a nation obsessed with guns and gun safety. We’re fed the same spoonfuls of NRA bullshit that having guns will make us safer. We’re told that having a gun will protect us from, ironically, a “bad guy with a gun”. We’re even told what those “bad guys” look like. And we’re told that it’s your unalienable right to use it. Protect your life while snuffing out others is the American way.

Only the neverending stream of mass shootings and gun violence in general only proves how quick this nation plays fast and loose with firearms when men with burning hatred are able to obtain gun and decides who lives and who dies. The hollowed pleas for mourning and prayer masquerade the compliance of leaders not to act and instead, heed those who profit the most to not impose stricter gun laws. And after days, weeks and even months of grieving, we will move on with our lives, until history repeats itself with another shooter in another place taking out more lives.

I live in an area where gun violence has happened and will likely happen. I remember one such incident where there was a drive-by shooting outside a club around the corner from my home. That club has long since been closed and in its place, a church is installed. But I still remember hearing those gunshots as if it happened yesterday.

People in poor neighborhoods struggle to stop violence. In low income black communities, there have been movements and groups committed to stopping the killing of their residents no matter who the killers are. Those people are familiar with the crisis that guns present. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the hands of “good guys” or “bad guys”. All that they know is that they’re in the hands of guys. Period. And any guy with enough rage in his heart and a loaded gun in his hand will make sure someone suffers. Whether they’re good or evil doesn’t matter. All that matters is that lives are being snuffed out as if they’re worth nothing.

Close to 60 lives were taken in one night by one man hellbent on taking out more. But don’t think this is isolated. As stated earlier, gun violence is frighteningly common in the U.S. As you read this, lives are being erased and more lives will follow suit. Soon, another mass shooting will occur. Mourn. Pray. Move on. Repeat.

Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

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From ABC News:

More than 50 people were killed and 200 injured when what appears to be a lone gunman opened fire from a perch high up in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, police said.

The “nonstop gunfire,” according to one witness, sent bystanders outside the resort on the Vegas strip ducking for cover and scrambling for their lives. Tourists hid in their hotel rooms and flights headed into the McCarran International Airport were held elsewhere.

Bystanders sprang into action, caring for the wounded and at least one described someone dying in their arms.

One video showed the terrifying aftermath as the injured lay on stretchers or on the ground with responders and bystanders surrounding them to give aid. Bystanders made makeshift stretchers out of police barricades, plugged wounds with their hands and used their clothing to try to stanch the bleeding from the wounded.

Click here to read the rest of this article, and stay tuned to your prefered news stations for further developments.

ATTN So-Called Patriots: Black People Love America Too!

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I wasn’t sure where to start. I wasn’t even sure what to say. But then, I realized that if they don’t understand by now, then an average blogger like me will have better luck trying to persuade a flea not to bite a dog’s ass. In the end, this is for those willing to listen from someone involuntarily representing a group of people not considered fully human or truly American.

I know some of you are angry over a certain football star, and his actions. You know, him kneeling during the National Anthem. You’re probably even more pissed that other football stars are following his lead. And you see how most, if not all, of them are black. And as such, that likely touched a nerve that set off your color-aroused bigotry.

We’ve seen this time and time again. We know the score. So, it’s useless to claim how you’re not a racist, nor will your faux-pology hold any weight. Personally, I’ve been taught that actions speak louder than words. So, you’re usual retorts and denial are powerless against your use of the n-word and other racial epithets.

Well, some of you will go that route while others will bitch and moan about how it’s your right to use hateful language, because apparently, if you can’t say something nice, say it anyway because free speech.

So, you will get mad at these athletes and the people who back them up. You will tell the ones with darker hues to go back to Africa. Telling black people when they’re upset at the injustices in America that affects the black community tremendously or exclusively to go back to Africa is one of the most heartless commands to give when they’re suffering in some way. It’s also nonsensical seeing as how most Black Americans are born in America and helped to create it. For generations, we largely built this country. We helped to fight for this country. We work hard to make it in this country. We respect the laws in this country. And we exercise our rights in this country, including the right to protest. You will say anything hurtful and destructive to avoid listening to why black people protest or should protest. Maybe it’s not so much as you think that black people don’t have anything to fight against. Maybe, just maybe it’s more along the lines that you don’t think black people are ALLOWED to stand up for anything that only affects them probably due to your unwillingness to see them as American citizens.

Black people, in general, love this country. We love it more than you want to know and give us credit for. Hell, we may even love this country more than you so-called patriots. The current issue at hand is that this country doesn’t love us back. The murder of unarmed black folks by fear-based police is but one example.

When Black Americans who posed no threat are killed left and right by people charged with protecting its citizens and then those people are primarily unpunished for taking innocent lives, it should be understandable that black people should get upset. But it’s not understandable to you, is it? Instead, you prefer that we handle a problem you think is important, black-on-black crime. You think we only get active when it’s a cop-based execution. Even worse is that you believe we hate police, and that we’re out to do to them what they’ve done to us.

Black folks have explained it over and over again. We simply want to be treated with the same rights and privileges as white people by police and other institutions in this country. We don’t want to take over. We don’t want hand outs. We don’t want revenge. And we are doing everything we can about the problem of crime in neighborhoods. To make a long story short, black people are doing everything they can to make America fulfill its potential, to truly turn it into a land of opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people, of the people and by the people.

But that’s still lost on you, and I can only guess that it’s due to you ignoring what we’re saying and avoiding what we’re doing. Your main beef is with athletes taking a knee during a song and you think that they’re disrespecting the flag, a decorated cloth used as a national symbol while a sporting event is about to commence.

And you think that’s patriotism. That’s the problem.

Patriotism is not about waving flags and singing songs that praise America. It’s about fighting out of one’s love for this nation. It’s about standing up for the injustices happening in this country. And it’s about fighting so that a nation becomes true to its word. Black people are not doing this out of hate. They’re doing this out of love, true love for this country, not some cosmetic affection born out of blind worship. Maybe you should learn more from them.

Opinion: Supporting Trump Probably Means You Share His Traits

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This doesn’t require any fancy words, extensive paragraphs or colorful language for the simple reason that it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to know what a punk-ass racist bully this nation’s president is. But some would deny it up and down while others will back him up, justifying his racism. And honestly, there’s nothing that could be said that would convince them that the man living in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is perhaps the worst man for the job. Then again, those people may be terrible people themselves, and birds of a feather…

So, what did 45 do this time? Well, in short, he lashed out at NFL football players kneeling during the National Anthem one of his usual Trumpian tirades. Keep in mind, that he was never that livid about the white supremacists terrorizing Charlottesville this past August, a gathering that resulted in violence and death. In fact, he referred to them as “very fine people” while an NFL protester, who’s black, is a “son of a bitch”.  So, how exactly is this not a nod to racism?

You know what? I don’t want to know. There’s nothing that can be said to defend Trump for this or any of his bullshit since he was sworn in office. I’m inclined to assume that those who would still go out of their way to argue in favor of Trump, more or less, share his Neanderthal traits. They’re just as racist and angry as he is, and they look up to him for that.