A week or so ago I published a photo of Donald Trump on which someone had Photo-shopped a set of male testicles to replace his chin. It was obviously gross and offensive and I’m sure the artist meant it to be. When I chose if from other such photos I meant it to be offensive, for the simple reason that most everything Trump has or does is offensive. He is a person who thrives on being offensive.
A Facebook friend challenged the photo as being totally disrespectful and I replied that, yes it was and rightfully so. I argued that respect is something earned and never owed. She countered that she was brought up as a small town country girl and taught to respect her elders. Well most of us were brought up to respect our elders and to respect authority. In teaching government I was always instructed to respect the office if not the person in the office. Throughout my career, I both followed that tenet and preached it to my students. Over twenty years into retirement and faced with a breed of politician atypical to America, I’ve changed my views about dispensing respect like it was trick or treat candy. You just can’t threaten a trick anymore, you actually have to roll over, bark twice, sniff my ass, and hold out your paw to earn a dab of respect.
I followed a Facebook thread today begun by a former student who was reacting to the unfolding college admittance scandal. She was relating how hard she worked to get into college and to pay her own way without help from others, including her mother. There is nothing unique about this woman, she did it the way most of us did it, on our own merits and our own labors. She wasn’t whining or bitching but instead, just expressing the disappointment she felt that American higher education is so difficult for the most while others can evade the hurdles with little more than monetary bribes from their parents.
So, when the lives of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were damn near destroyed the Donald stopped by and decided that what these desperate people needed was an insensitive old white billionaire having fun tossing out free rolls of paper towels to people who were actually aid workers and not the victims of the hurricane.
So, when a series of 170 mph EF-4 tornadoes smashed through Lee County, Alabama killing 23 people Mr. Compassion ascends from above in full Christ-like operational mode, He decides that what’s needed is his signing copies of the Holy Bible for distribution. I’m surprised there isn’t video footage of his signing Bibles and then tossing them to the crowd with a Jerry West like fall back jump shot.
Many people on the street are, however, saying that Trump signed them using the moniker, J.C. Trump. Now, I don’t know anything about but lots of people are saying it. Yes, many people are talking about it and saying it. There could be something to it, they’re talking.
Back in the 1960s, there was a local farmer that got caught up in a check-kiting scheme. Before it was all over he had been charged with multiple felonies, several bank officials had their careers ruined, several banks either failed or came close and the farmer that started it all, to my knowledge never spent a day in jail.
That the farmer had got off scot-free the same newspaper published a below the centerfold story about a poor white woman who had written an insufficient check for a few dollars and had been sentenced to a lengthy jail term.
I originally published this as part of Black History Month in February 2009. I’ve since forgotten the source but thought it interesting enough to reprise for the 2019 event. While many may know of the Patterson family’s association with early transportation they may not be aware of their helping to change the laws regarding education in Ohio.
State of Ohio on relation of C. R. Patterson vs. The Board of Education of the Incorporated Village of Greenfield, Ohio, and W. G. Moler as Superintendent
Much has been written about the Patterson family and their work in the carriage and automobile business. Here is little-known information about the Pattersons. It shows the importance that C. R. placed on education and how Frederick came to be the businessman that he was.
The governor of Virginia is under fire for appearing on his medical school yearbook page either in blackface or in the uniform of a KKK member. The date was 1984, twenty years after the signing of civil rights acts and even more years since the murder of Emmett Till, the Montgomery bus boycott, or the beating of Selma marchers. Plenty of years to have learned that blackface and KKK costumes were not appropriate party wear. Plenty of time to learn that many things are offensive and that society, in general, should become aware and adjust their behaviors.
Last evening we watched an Independent Lens (PBS) production titled Black Memorabilia. Basically, it spent an interesting hour focusing on the memorabilia that has and continues to reinforce African American stereotypes. Those stereotypes that have been used to demean, belittle, psychologically harm, instill fear, sell products, and continue to be profitable as the collector market explodes.
In all the flea markets and auctions I’ve attended I can’t recall coming across such items. I have, however, seen a lot of Nazi memorabilia changing hands. Being a child of the WWII era I have a cursory interest in these items but never had the desire to own or collect them. Just touching an SS lapel badge feels kind of slimy to me. Continue reading Considering Black Memorbilia→
This being Black History Month PBS has been running a number of special programs. Recently we watched one titled With Infinite Hope: MLK and the Civil Rights Movement. It began with a synopsis of life in America’s South at the beginning of the fight for civil rights in the 1950s. While I had first-hand experience observing segregation and Jim Crow laws I’m still, after all these years, having my eyes opened.
Everyone has probably seen two side by side drinking fountains in a Southern bus terminal with one labeled whites only and the other colored only. The stupidity, racism, and hypocrisy of this was driven home by an older black woman who simply suggested you look at the common water supply line feeding the two fountains.
Every American needs to put down whatever they’re doing, put aside their political and religious biases, open up their brains, and listen carefully to how the youngest member of the US House of Representatives is demonstrating the absolute truth about money in our government. If this nation cannot agree with what we’re being shown, there is no hope.
I was in a local tire shop a couple of years ago and a young man, probably not twenty yet, walked in sporting a t-shirt with large letters proclaiming “FUCK JESUS!” While I’m not a Christian I was offended. Not so much for myself but for others present, friends, who I knew were. Correct or not, I challenged the youngster and asked him if he got out of bed that morning intent on pissing people off? He just looked totally stupid at me as if he hadn’t read and considered the content of his chest. I told him that while he had the right to wear his shirt I questioned if he had a justifiable reason. Was it appropriate for the environment in which he found himself? Speech has consequences and the consequences that kid potentially faced were far more serious than some old man asking him if he was trying to piss him off.
On January 7, 2019, a Michigan family, returning from a Florida vacation, was struck by a drunk driver, driving in the wrong direction on I-75 in Kentucky. The parents and their three children were killed in a fiery head-on collision.
I first became aware of this tragedy while watching the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. What caught my attention was at the end of the story Holt identified the victims as a Muslim family from Michigan. I had to ask, why was their religion important or germane to the story? He would have never said five Catholics or five Methodists died in the wreck. Why mention that these people were Muslim and what does it say?
Recently I watched a PBS presentation about the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage to a shrine in Northern Spain. Millions of people have made this pilgrimage over the centuries and most have their own reasons for doing so.
I found it interesting to listen to some tell their story and to watch each overcome the obstacles faced along the way. It was immediately obvious that faith and spiritualism played a huge part in their individual journeys.
A couple of days ago Donald Trump sat surrounded by his lackey cabinet and rambled for ninety-minutes about things he knows little of. The one thing I paid close attention to was his explanation of why the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. History records several reasons for the invasion including the desire to increase Soviet influence in Southcentral Asia and to support the failing communist government of Afganistan.
GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania went on MSNBC recently and tore Donald Trump a new anal opening. He was especially critical of the government shutdown and Trump’s refusal to pass a spending bill. He also chastised Trump for bending to the will of far-right media personalities. There are at least two things wrong with Costello’s criticisms, first he won’t be a part of the incoming 116 Congress and secondly, for the past two years, his record of supporting Trump is 96%. Looks like he got real damned mad and real damned honest when he didn’t have worry about the Donald looking over his shoulder.
What follows is part of a New York Times article regarding the way in which the Trump family may have used its influence to obtain a bogus letter exempting Trump from the military draft.
“The New York City podiatrist who gave Donald Trump a letter stating he had bone spurs on his heels—which enabled him to dodge the Vietnam War draft—issued the document as a favor to Trump’s real-estate developer father, Fred, from whom his office space was rented, the doctor’s daughter has told The New York Times. “I know it was a favor,” said Elysa Braunstein, now 56, who said the implication from her father was that the future president did not have a disqualifying foot ailment. Braunstein’s surgical office in Jamaica, Queens, was owned by the Trump family until 2004. Braunstein said that after the letter was issued, her father received preferential treatment from his landlord. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.” Larry Braunstein died in 2007. A second podiatrist, Manny Weinstein, who was also allegedly involved in testifying to Trump’s condition, was a close friend of Braunstein’s, she said. Weinstein lived in two apartments in Brooklyn owned by Fred Trump. He moved into the first space during the year Donald Trump received his exemption. In an interview with the Times in 2016, Donald Trump said a doctor provided “a very strong letter” about the bone spurs in his heels, which he then presented to military draft officials. He said he could not remember the doctor’s name. “You are talking a lot of years,” Trump said. He had been declared available for service two years earlier and underwent a physical exam, records show. Officials again declared him available for service in July 1968, by which time he had exhausted four education deferments and finished college. However, the last-minute diagnosis of bone spurs, which has been widely mocked, kept him out of military service.”