Donald Trump In Three Acts

As we all (should) know, Pelosi has announced that there will be a formal impeachment inquiry happening in reference to President Trump and his activities regarding Ukraine.

Of course, this has set off a storm of controversy from all sides. Many Republicans, even the ones that don’t like Trump, think this is the wrong move. Many Democrats are either happy or skeptical that anything will truly be accomplished in the way of impeachment. Then, you have the people like me who are somewhat ambivalent and believe that the Democrats will either drag this out so long that it will end up not mattering or that they’ll never get the 2/3 vote they need from the Senate to uproot Trump.

As of yesterday, the White House and those with close ties to President Trump have officially dug their heels in and decided they are not going to participate in the inquiry by refusing to submit documents or answer subpoenas.

I could take a more academic stance on these events but fall has finally hit Texas and for the first time in months, I don’t feel like I’m in Satan’s lair every time I step outside so without further ado, I’m presenting my creative take on the three ways I think this impeachment situation could play out.

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Donald J. Trump in Three Acts

I. Trump is formally impeached and removed:

He goes on every media outlet, even the ones he claims are “fake news,” and has two-hour-long interviews with the same journalists he claimed were unfair and incompetent during his presidency and the interview is rife with conspiracies that have absolutely no basis in fact.

Interviewer: Mr. Trump, did you truly believe that you’d never be found out about your Ukraine interactions?

Trump: Find out what? Nothing’s been found out. The president of Ukraine has been known to forget things. He got me mixed up with someone else. And I know for a fact…I’m not gonna’ reveal my sources…but I know for a fact that Nancy Pelosi used her government credit card to order a voice actor from Impossible Impersonators exactly 48 hours before I called…I mean before the president of Ukraine received the call.

Interviewer: So, you’re saying that wasn’t you who spoke with the president of Ukraine?

Trump: And let me tell you, that government credit card has a $1 million dollar limit. ONE MILLION DOLLARS! And the accountant is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. He didn’t even get his CPA. Before he worked for the government, he worked at Target in the back office balancing returns.

Interviewer: You’re saying that-

Trump: He’s a goof. That’s why I’m against nepotism hires. All they do is push an agenda. The agenda has been from day one to sink me. Sink Trump. Cause they know I’m brilliant. So brilliant, people would want me for a 3rd and 4th term.

Interviewer: You’re against nepotism but you hired your daughter and son-in-law in some key positions.

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Trump: No, I didn’t. Listen, Troy (fake interviewer name I just made up), if you’re just going to repeat what your fake news organization told you, I’m not going to sit through this. I’m very busy. I have other places I could be. I didn’t come here to be accused by the liberal media. From day one, I’ve been targeted. Nancy Pelosi, Melania, and Ben Carson all wanted me out of the White House. They get paid. I haven’t taken a dollar! I became POTUS because I love America! And that Ivanka girl ain’t even my daughter!

Interviewer:  Are you saying your own wife conspired with Nancy Pelosi and Ben Carson, who you appointed to HUD, to put you out of office?

Trump: Listen. All I know is the impersonator had a little soul in his voice and the maid in the background sounded European. The president of Ukraine told me that when I called him about Biden.

Interviewer: So, you did, in fact, contact the president of Ukraine to talk about Biden?

Trump: More fake news. It never happened. I’ve never ever spoken to the president of Ukraine. I don’t even know him.

Interviewer: (silence in contemplation of whether or not it’s too late to go to medical school instead)

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II. Trump is convinced to resign a la Nixon:

In his resignation speech, he blames everybody. And I mean EVERYBODY.

“It is with much DISpleasure that I, Donald J. Trump, resign from the presidency of the United States of America. This is not something I want to do, but the constant harassment from the Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and those 4 new colored women who aren’t even citizens, has forced me to leave this office. I would stay, but because of Twitter posting everything I tweeted, the bias against me that began since day 1 of my presidency has gotten worse. If the creator of the internet had never been born, “they” would have never had the opportunity to misconstrue my tweets. The fake news stations, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC, and public access station 431 in Mousetrapper, Mississippi have all worked to place a stain on my presidency like Monica Lewinsky’s dress and interrupt the good work I was doing for free to make this country great again. In addition, whoever invented recording technology conspired with key democratic leaders by allowing my phone calls to other leaders to be captured.

Sasha Obama attempted to get the Kremlin to do me harm when she was 12 due to her psychic ability and knowing that I would succeed her father. I merely became friends with Putin when he realized that Sasha’s claims and attempts were baseless and that I’m a good person. Yet, the media does not want to focus on that.

Though my intentions for this country were pure, bloggers like The Wayward Daughter refused to not have an opinion and prop me up anyway. She’s one of the African-Americans and though they are known for incredible innovation with chicken and pork, they don’t generally know what’s good for them. I have endured relentless taunting for my orange visage on account of my tanning salon keeping me in the tanning bed for too long, and Mc Donald’s has wrongly discounted the price of many of their burgers and chicken products making them hard to resist and causing me to be fat-shamed in the press even though I’m a svelte 175lbs. at 6’2. Further, the White House chef would constantly add extra potatoes to my fries even though I asked him to. His obedience to my orders has brought great embarrassment to myself and my children.

I reported this bullying to several HR Assistants but received no help whatsoever. I am upset bigly that I had absolutely no support as the leader of this country. I am by far the most disrespected president that this country has ever had, even though I undoubtedly have done more for everyone…the African-Americans, the Latinos, and the LGBs included. I even helped families grow by helping to relieve Planned Parenthood of their Title X funding. But nobody appreciated it.

In closing, I’d also like to express my disappointment in all the people who voted for me for not running for House and Senate positions immediately after to save me from this fate and in my wife for not telling me that running for president would be a total disaster.

Thank you. And may God Bless America…even though America betrayed me.”

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III. Trump is impeached and found not guilty:

He throws shade at the Democrats, repeats that he won by the largest margin in history, and talks on and on and on about his plan for the 2020 campaign, and makes idle threats.

Journalist: Mr. President, how do you feel about having successfully gone through the impeachment process?

Trump: I knew they had nothing! The Democrats have been after me for yeeeeears. Even before I officially started running for president, I was a threat to them. Listen, I beat Hillary by the biggest margin in history. The jealousy was clear. They just wanted to take Donald J. Trump down.

Journalist: Mr. President, what would you say to those who claim that you weren’t removed because the Senate didn’t have the 2/3 votes but otherwise you would have been removed because you are guilty?

Trump: If I were guilty, they’d have had the votes. This just proves that Nosy Nancy and the rest of the swamp have too much time on their hands and instead of trying to help the American people, they spent almost my entire term in office trying to dig up dirt and gossip about me like little school girls. I’m thinking about suing them all. I may even impeach THEM. I’m going to look into it.

Journalist: Mr. President, what are your plans going forward?

Trump: Obviously to win the 2020 election. This country looooves me. I’m the hardest working president in history. This economy is the best it’s ever been since Reagan. We’ve got to keep that going. The African-Americans are showing the best job numbers since before Lincoln. And this guy….(points to new Black guy he hired in the mailroom)…that’s Jerome. He knows the truth. I am not racist. I pay him very well to deliver my mail. The post office wouldn’t even hire him but I did.

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But anyway, we’re gonna’ get that wall finished! I just contracted with a LATINO-owned wall-building company…you hear that folks? LATINO-owned and they support my vision for THE WALL! They believe in it so much, that they are doing it at a discount. I know them from Mar-a-Lago. One of their cousins used to work in the kitchen washing dishes. They do good work…within budget. Anyway, the wall’s gonna’ be YUUUUUGE!

Journalist: Mr. President, do you plan to change anything in terms of staffing for your administration since so many people resigned?

Trump: I don’t know. I guess I have to hire new people. Ivanka and Jared are still here. Maybe I won’t hire new people. I’m smart enough to do it all. You know, those people were loooosers and I never should have given them a chance in the first place. I’m currently talking to Kanye about being my Homeland Security guy but I don’t know yet.

I’ll be at Mar-a-Lago for two weeks because I deserve to relax after being victimized for the last three years. I’ll make sure the Press Secretary briefs you all soon. God Bless America!

(Trump exits and stays in Mar-a-Lago 4 weeks and America is left dumbfounded)

Fin.

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Killer Cops: Don’t Blame The Training

***Note: There are informational links at the end of the post.

Yesterday, former Dallas police officer and murderer Amber Guyger, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Botham Jean, a tenant in the same apartment building she lived in, in his own apartment while he was sitting and eating ice cream.

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What got a lot of attention was when Botham’s younger brother, during his impact statement said, amongst other things, that he didn’t want Guyger to go to jail, he forgives her, and wants her to find Christ. He was then allowed to hug Guyger.

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I’m not going to focus on that in this blog. I’m going to focus on Botham’s mother’s statement outside of the courtroom. You could feel both the grief of a mother who had lost her child through one of the stupidest incidents ever. You could also feel the fury of a person who is fed up; even more so now that the underlying racism and sociopathy of most cops had touched yet another family.

She talked about corruption in the Dallas Police Department. Having been born and raised in Dallas, I can attest to that. But then, she said something that people often say when things like this happen that I actually do not agree with. She intimated that if Guyger had been trained better (in this case, not to shoot in the chest), her son might still be alive.

That’s the part I want to talk about in this post; the notion that police officers are poorly trained and that’s why innocent people die.

Here’s a secret about The Wayward Daughter: I have a graduate degree in Forensic Psychology. I studied not only victims and defendants but police and policing as well. I studied how police are trained to trip people up in interrogation rooms. I studied how they get false confessions out of people. I studied how their interrogation techniques. Not that I was ever under any other impression, but studying policing in the United States will quickly disabuse you of the Kindergarten belief that they are your friends that you can run to in times of peril for safety. 

Police officers have high rates of things like domestic violence and alcoholism. Jordan v. New London, a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, affirmed that police departments can reject candidates whose IQ is too high. Many officers are veterans, which means there is likely a high presence of PTSD. Self-destructive behavior and hypervigilance are amongst a set of symptoms of PTSD. There’s also the fact that policing, much like the military, works on its members following orders as opposed to a lot of independent thought or judgment. 

And then…these people are given a gun.

Someone who has issues with self-control, anger, substance abuse, is just bright enough to do what they’re told but think through their actions in the moment, is skittish or quick to (over) react, or has been in a war zone, probably doesn’t need access to a weapon because they cannot be trusted to exercise their best judgment. 

What am I saying?

I believe that many, if not most, police officers are individually at least 25% sociopathic or have antisocial traits that are severe enough to disqualify them from police work. Some of them didn’t start out that way. Some of them got into the blue fraternity, finally felt their life had purpose when someone handed them a badge and a gun, and lost their fucking mind. But, I also believe many more are much more sociopathic than not. 

Add racism and implicit bias and that’s the perfect storm for cops losing their cool and people losing their life.

I don’t think all the training in the world would have saved Botham Jean. Guyger is a racist, who based on her social media, basked in having a job where she had the ability to take people’s lives and (based on what we know about police accountability), likely would never have to answer for her actions.

I’m glad the Jean family got a jury that wasn’t buying her bullshit about a mistaken apartment. 

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But, it’s time to let go of the narrative that if cops knew better, they’d do better. Eric Garner was killed by a cop who used an illegal chokehold. Daniel Pantaleo KNEW what he was doing was improper but did it anyway. No amount of training would have kept Pantaleo from doing what he did. The same goes for Amber Guyger. 

Blaming it on training allows bad cops to get away with their bad behavior for longer. It makes people think that perhaps the training process was inadequate or maybe that officer was out sick when they were trained on how not to kill for no reason. It makes it seem like these cops don’t know what’s CLEARLY obvious to the rest of us. 

(Another thing cops are trained to do is lie). 

If I order a burger and the worker is having a bad day and throws my burger at me, they get fired. Nobody needs to train the employee to know that it’s not okay to throw a burger at someone. That’s common sense. Yet, people act like police officers are babies that don’t know better and must be walked through every scenario AFTER they kill someone and shown step-by-step how they messed up. This is worse when you think about the fact that training academies run from 6 to 12 weeks. 

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The only thing that’s going to address situations like Guyger and other murderous cops is a judicial system that is truly unbiased from the clerks through the DAs through the judges and for bad cops to be continually held accountable for their bad behavior. Police officers need to be held to the same standard as the rest of us. All of us are tired after a day at work. All of us have to deal with difficult people at work, be it the general public or co-workers. But the rest of us don’t get to use lethal force just because we’re tired, or stressed, or scared, or generally having a bad day. Policing needs a do-over. 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/police-officers-who-hit-their-wives-or-girlfriends/380329/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sure-recovery/201803/police-and-addiction

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2018/10/15/police-with-military-experience-more-likely-to-shoot

https://adaa.org/sites/default/files/Henderson_100.pdf

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/03/30/when-warriors-put-on-the-badge

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/30/when-veterans-become-cops-some-bring-war-home/99349228/

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=181019

Plot Twist: The Internet Isn’t Just For Arguing

Mucous. Feces. Urine. Flatulence. Purulent.

All of these words are the technical names for words that we use in our everyday speech in a colloquial way.

Most of us know this. Most of us know that the colloquialisms we use in place of these words aren’t the actual or technical terms for these things. Most of know that if we were in a classroom or seminar where any of these things were broached (another word for brought up), they’d likely not be referred to by their colloquial names, but by their technical names.

So, you can imagine my befuddlement (that’s another word for confusion) when I came across the following graphic (that’s another word for picture) on my Facebook timeline.

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I clawed (another word for scratch) my tegument (another word for scalp) and wondered if we are really at the point now where academic language in an academic textbook used in an academic setting is “pretentious” and “inaccessible.”

Let’s start with pretentious. No. It’s an ACADEMIC textbook. Those of us who know about code-switching understand that you don’t present yourself the same way in all settings. When you go in for an interview, you shake the interviewer’s hand, you don’t hug them or fist bump them.

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In a book on language arts, you aren’t going to get, “Timmy was chillaxin’ on the block with his homies when his mama told him to bring his narrow behind inside.”

Sure, that may be how the writer of the textbook speaks when he or she is at home around their friends and family but since the purpose of a language arts textbook is to apprise (another word for inform) the reader of standard English grammar, the writer instead offers, “Timmy was relaxing with his friends outside of his house, when his mother angrily demanded that he come back inside.”

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Pretentious would be me talking to my friend and telling her that I was clawing was my tegument.

Inaccessible? Well, I don’t think it’s an unfair assumption that if you end up in college-level physiology, you have an above-average reading and comprehension level. Further, we live in an era that has thesaurus.com and dictionary.com and both are accessible, literally at your fingertips.

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We are fortunate enough to live in an era where you can Google almost anything and before you can blink your eyes twice, 92387877499937489 results of varying degrees on the topic you Googled will populate before your eyes.

Does that makeup for systemic inequalities in education? No. But let’s not overplay this thing either. If you need information, you can find it for free these days.

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Now, here’s the part that I’m known for: shade.

I will never not laugh at this generation who will engage in days-long debates with strangers over -ist, -phobic, gender, agender, sex, asexual, demisexual, pre-sexual, post-sexual, he, she, ze, thee, thou, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, tall privilege, short privilege, etc…

but want to boo-hoo and tee-hee because an ACADEMIC textbook uses ACADEMIC words to explain ACADEMIC concepts (another word for thought or idea).

How sway? Just like you found a resource to convince you that men can have periods and babies, you can figure out what that word you’re not familiar with means.

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Matter of fact, in the time it took you to read and (somehow) agree with that pitiful tweet, you could have looked up what you didn’t understand in your textbook…or, you know, asked someone.

Priorities.

Here We Go Again: Justin Trudeau

Another day, another white person that most people liked being exposed for Blackface.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was exposed for wearing Brown and Blackface on three separate occasions in the past. 

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As usual, he has issued the obligatory apology and talked about how he shoulda’ known better (cue Monica). 

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When I first heard about the story, I didn’t even bat an eye (or at least, I don’t think I did). I went on about my business. I mean, a white person doing some racist shit? At this point, it’s like your little cousin asking if you have games on your phone. That shit is gonna’ happen; probably more than once.

Trudeau, in a press conference on the matter said a lot but in part, he was reluctant when asked if what we’ve all seen were the only times he had donned brown or blackface. The Week reports that this was his answer: 

“”I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out I had not remembered,” Trudeau said, adding that because he comes “from a place of privilege,” he has had a “massive blindspot.” These revelations come a week after Trudeau launched his re-election campaign. –Brendan Morrow”

When I started out, I was going to write about how I’m tired of Black folks, in particular, being shocked and appalled at white people being racist or doing and saying racist things. I mean, it’s been 400 years and we didn’t get over here because our good friend Connor invited us to visit and we loved it so much we decided to stay. 

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But that piece of Trudeau’s statement is what struck me. I want to talk about this “blind spot” that whites always claim to have when they get caught in racism. 

I think it’s bullshit.

African-Americans especially are very expressive people who are strongly tied to tradition. A whole lot of what we do and know comes from learning from our foreparents. Even the things that we do and know intuitively come from this place that is inexplicably in us such that we just know what we know. 

Though I don’t believe that white people are as spiritual, you’ll never be able to convince me that they don’t know the same history we know. They’ve had no problem perpetuating that same 1619 racism generation after generation. There’s a reason that 18-year-old Rebecca knows Blackface is wrong when she gets caught on Snapchat. They know using “the N-word” to refer to Black people is wrong at a very young age and that’s why the solemn affirmation of “I’m not racist” and “it was a mistake” starts flowing almost by rote when they are exposed. There’s a reason they still skip us in line at the deli counter, or refuse to move out of our path when we have the right-of-way, or interrupt us as if we don’t exist in public spaces….exactly like their ancestors did. 

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Yes. She learned probably by the time she was 15 but here she is on her way to 50 acting like she learned yesterday. 

Just like Black people teach our kids about slavery and Jewish people teach their children about Hitler and the Holocaust, white people teach their progeny their legacy as well. Now, how they teach it is up for debate, but none of them can say that they have a “blind spot” or didn’t know better in reference to Blackface. To do so is intellectually dishonest.

I honestly believe that white people just don’t care. They’d rather ask for forgiveness because doing so is an easier game than confronting the grave underbelly of what Blackface signifies enough to punish oneself for even thinking that it might be okay to do. 

I wish for once that when a white person is busted, instead of the typical “I’m not racist/I didn’t know better” script, they’d say, “I did that shit. I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway because I wanted to and thought it was funny. I have no excuse.”

If more white people were honest, I think that’d be a huge step forward for race relations. 

My Thoughts On Cancel Culture

This week (so far), there have been a couple of notable celebrity dustups that are once again forcing people to decide whether or not their fave (or would be) is #cancelled. 

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The first that comes to mind is Shane Gillis. He was hired…and then fired…by SNL when previous anti-Asian and homophobic remarks were discovered. It didn’t help that hired along with Gillis was Bowen Yang, SNL’s first East Asian cast member and an openly gay man. The comedy community has come out to defend him and express their disagreement with SNL’s decision. Gillis offered to apologize to anyone who may have been offended or hurt but also said that his comedy career requires him to take risks. 

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About two or three weeks ago, people (re)canceled Dave Chappelle because of jokes he told on his latest comedy special for Netflix. One of the jokes the stands out to me is when Chappelle said that transgender people are in a “hilarious predicament” and then mused about what would happen if he went around telling people he was Chinese in a nigga body (paraphrase) making the face similar to the one Mickey Rooney donned when he played a Chinese man in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and speaking in a stereotypically exaggerated Asian accent.

Of course, the think pieces flowed. Some loved it and thought that Chappelle offered the kind of comedy that makes us think. Others hated it, called him all kinds of -phobic, and said that “punching down” is not funny. Interestingly enough, he also addressed cancel culture in his routine. 

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Lastly, Lizzo narrowly escaped cancellation when she angered several fans after she accused a Postmates runner of stealing her order. She posted the name and pic of the person. Many people thought Lizzo was wrong for “snitching.” Some said that Lizzo was wrong because the runner works in the service industry (notoriously low-paying) and would likely be fired. Lizzo issued an apology yesterday saying that she would be more responsible with her tweeting as apparently, the young woman was doxxed by hardcore fans (unconfirmed). 

Personally, I feel like there are categories of cancellation. Someone like R. Kelly needs to not only be #cancelled but abducted, tortured, and buried alive so that he slowly feels the life leave his body due to preying on children for more than two decades. 

But I think there are a couple of things that people are forgetting. First, nobody is born “woke.” We all make mistakes and missteps. Even if what was said was written as a part of a comedy routine (Chappelle) or a line in an outrageous podcast episode (Gillis), most of us have said things that would get us #cancelled by today’s standards. 

Yes, there are entire e-annals at this point on what’s taboo these days. Believe it or not, though, there are a lot of people who do not spend 70% of their day on social media trying to learn what’s been added to the Do Not Say List every day. I’m guessing most of the people on the famous list make up a big chunk of those people. 

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Let me stop here to say that Shane Gillis used legit slurs. To me, that’s different than someone telling a joke about a certain demographic. I never knew who he was until this happened but I can definitely distinguish between him and Dave Chappelle. 

Two, and this may be a shocker, I’d actually much rather know what a person thinks or feels than for them to be tip-toeing around with a big politically correct smile on their face. If the person wishes all niggers would die, let me know; especially if they work in medicine, law enforcement, or the judiciary. Someone who tells jokes or stands on stage singing and doing the Reebok in a leotard for a living? I really couldn’t care less unless I’m such a fan that my hard (oh so hard)-earned money may have gone to them at some point. 

Three, there are other people you still like and have not yet #cancelled who say and believe the same things (if not worse) that you’ve #cancelled other people for. Soooo….is it that you don’t like people thinking and speaking that way or is it that you don’t want them expressing it in a public forum? 

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***Note: evaluation of your WQ (Woke Quotient) is dependent upon how you answered that question.

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The truth is, if you wanted to cancel everybody who says or believes -ist things, you’d likely quit your job, move out of your neighborhood, and settle in an area uninhabited by other humans somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Your 100% politically correct friend would be a dolphin…or a shark.                                                                                                                        

I still use the word “crazy” and I don’t bristle when I hear “the r-word.” I guess that makes me cancel-worthy or at least complicit. *shrug* I think we all could use a crash course in managing our expectations of our fellow humans. 

What’s It Worth? The Colorado Baker is Being Sued Again and I Honestly Don’t Know Why

By now, we’ve all heard of the Colorado bakery that was sued for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. If you haven’t (you really should read more), Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop was sued by Charlie Craig and David Mullins for refusing to make a cake for their wedding citing his (Phillip’s) Christian faith. This happened in the summer of 2012.

Of course, the couple sued and after various wins and appeals, a Christian organization (Alliance Defending Freedom) took up the case on Phillips’ behalf and got the case to the Supreme Court. In July of 2018, the bakery owner won with the SCOTUS ruling 7-2 in his favor. It was determined that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not apply the Constitution with religious neutrality in its evaluation of the case.

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Fast forward to July of 2019. This cakeshop owner was again sued by a transgender individual, Autumn Scardina, for declining to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. This will be the 2nd time Scardina has sued him, first through the same Colorado commission and now, with Scardina’s own legal team.

That makes three times that this bakery owner has been sued; basically, for the same thing.

This time, the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case (I don’t blame them) and Phillips’ position is that Scardina is trying to rehash something that has already been settled.

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It should be noted that Autumn Scardina is an attorney, called in to order the cake, volunteered that this birthday cake was to celebrate gender transition and after the employee informed Scardina that they did not do gender transition cakes, Scardina called back more than once to the point where the bakery allegedly hung up on Scardina.

There is no final outcome on this current case yet.

Now, regardless of how you feel about any of the players in the aforementioned rundown, if you’re anything like me, you have to be wondering if any of this is worth it?

I am not defending the bakery (I mean, I’d make a cake to celebrate a worm if it pays…and I HATE worms). With that said, once the SCOTUS ruled in his favor over a same-sex wedding cake, it seems like that’d be a loud and clear message to other individuals in certain demographics that they may have an issue getting a cake celebrating something that goes against what we all know is evangelical Christian philosophy. I mean if gay marriage was too much, surely saying that you’re a man who feels like a woman on the inside is a non-starter.

At first, I thought the ploy was to try to sue this bakery owner into the poorhouse just to make a point. Then, I thought that it was a “get money” scheme. You know, walk into the bakery you know is discriminatory, have them discriminate against you, sue, become social media famous, win and buy the Range Rover of your dreams.

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But why? Lawsuits are a headache. They take time and money; no matter which side you’re on. Who would purposely place that type of stress upon themselves; especially with a Supreme Court precedent in place?

A bigger question I have is, what’s with this zeal to give people who you feel are discriminatory or hateful your money? If the bus boycott taught us anything, it’s that when businesses LOSE money, they are more likely to change. If money talks and bullshit walks, what’s up with being so desperate to make a “point” by wanting to… pay? I won’t even mention the free publicity that this bakery owner has received due to being sued twice by someone who likely doesn’t have snowball’s chance in hell of getting anything out of it.

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This newest cake is being called a birthday cake…for the birth of Scardina’s new gender. Scardina’s lawyers are trying to claim that when Phillips said in the SCOTUS case that he would sell any of his items to the LGBTQ community but that the religious symbolism of a wedding was what caused him to decline, he was lying to the public. Considering what the “birthday cake” is for, that sounds like a reach. However, I’m neither a lawyer nor a judge (judgmental, yes).

Without accusing of Scardina of anything, this seems…suspicious. I plan to be on the lookout for the resolution of this case.

My Thoughts on Jay-Z’s Thoughts

So, this week, the internet (aka Black Twitter) became big mad about rapper and businessman, Jay-Z, expressing his thoughts on police brutality. There is a video where Jay-Z was on a panel of speakers and he said (paraphrase) that when you’re raised in a home with a single mother, you learn to disrespect authority because it’s as if you are the man of the house. Because of this, when you find yourself in an encounter with the police, you let that disrespect flow and people end up getting hurt.

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Now, anybody who has been on the internet for at least 3 days anytime between 2013 and today knows that one of the things you DO NOT do is even insinuate that people who are brutalized by the police had a part in their own brutalization. I mean, unless you’re one of those people who simply do not give a damn what selfies with fonts think about you (me and Jay-Z apparently), there are certain things that you just don’t allow to pass your lips.

This comes right after Jay-Z, less than two weeks ago, signed a deal with the NFL and seemed to suggest that Colin Kaepernick’s protest was obsolete and it’s time to move on. So, Jay-Z was already in the corner with Black folks and this panel comment was basically the moment where someone tells you to go outside and pick your own switch from a tree before they whip your behind.

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First of all, I’m not a rap fan. I know who Jay-Z is because…well, obviously. But, I don’t have the emotional attachment that a lot of people (seem) to have to him or any of his personas. I had no preconceived notions about where he stands on political issues. Yes, I’d read that he grew up poor and sold drugs to get by and yes, I know that he’s filthy rich. Neither of those pieces of information abused me of how I thought he should feel about anything. I make that point because among “us,” though we holler about not being a monolith, there is an underlying belief that since we share a phenotype, we simply MUST share similar (if not identical) life philosophies. That’s where I think the outrage is coming from, to be quite honest.

If Jay-Z were a person of another race saying the same thing (and there have been plenty), Black folks would be upset but at the end of the day, they’d chalk it up to regular degular racism. But when someone from “our” group veers from what we think they ought to think or do, it becomes a way bigger issue (ask Omarosa).

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With that said, I’m not surprised. Maybe the old Jay-Z who had to slang rock to survive (I guess) would have thought there is nearly no circumstance under which police should use deadly force. But, alas, people evolve and there’s no better evolution agent than an 8 or 9-figure income. This new…or richer…Jay-Z may feel differently.

If it’s any consolation, there are some considerations that may lower the community-imposed sentence against him. For one, he may have said what he felt would be most acceptable in that setting when his real opinion involves much more nuance. Black people are known to self-censor in the presence of white people. We could also consider that fact that for all his be-bop and hip-hop, he’s still a man who is nearly 50 years old. The average age of the outrage machine is what? 27?

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Perhaps, he’s about to drop a new album of phat beats and was looking for free publicity.

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I’m not defending him but the truth is that a 50-year-old man and a member of the #triggered generation are going to bump heads on a lot of topics. Maybe Black Twitter’s Come-To-Jesus meeting is what he needed to re-evaluate his position.

I will say that his comments were interesting to me considering the time he spent on his friend Meek Mills’ case but often, our opinions on a topic are colored by the players in the scenario.

This week, I’ll be waiting for the myriad “think pieces” about this and some kind of statement from the man of the hour (you just knooooow it’s coming) “clarifying” his stance. Until then, I’ll continue laughing at the reactions of the fans who apparently never knew him.

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For The People Who Think School Was Supposed To Teach Them Everything

This week, I saw an unusual amount of memes that all had to do with what school failed to teach people and what school should have taught people. These lists ranged anywhere from budget planning to taking out loans to community economic development.

It wasn’t the first time I had seen these types of memes. I mean, since about 2014, we’ve been bombarded with memes of people whining about all the shit that they never learned. Even the common sense stuff like making appointments appears to have escaped people (which is not necessarily a surprise considering the fact that if common sense were a stock, most people would perpetually be in the bear market). 

When I see these memes, I just have one question, though.

What about your parents?

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But let me back up though and address this particular meme.

  1. Private school doesn’t teach you a lot of this stuff either. I went to private school. There’s no extra special secret curriculum.
  2. Reading and understanding laws? Well, the reading part is kind of a no-brainer. Reading comprehension is actually taught starting 1st or 2nd grade. If you don’t understand what you’ve read, be it laws or anything else, you can always ask.
  3. I literally took a health and or biology class (or had the curriculum) every year from Pre-K through 12th grade. In Pre-K, it’s talking about brushing your teeth and eating vegetables. It gets more sophisticated as you get older. Don’t blame school for your cavities and cholesterol.
  4. At what point would starting a business fit into general education when that’s not something that most people will ever do? That’s one of those things experiencing life will help you learn if that’s the road you choose.
  5. Investing? That was covered in that easy class you took senior year called “Math of Money” or (by the time I was a senior) “Math Models.”
  6. Filing a lawsuit? Again, most people will never need to file a lawsuit. However, there are clerks at the courthouse. You simply walk up to them and say, “I’m interested in filing a lawsuit” and they will point you in the right direction.
  7. How to avoid taxes? I won’t even touch that one but to say most adults don’t even know how to do that so I don’t know why anyone would think that would make it into a general curriculum.
  8. Self-defense? Ask your parents to take karate.
  9. Build guns? You really think we need to be teaching school-aged children how to build guns when they can’t even be trusted to not be on their smartphone during a lecture? Okay. Ask your uncle Festus.
  10. Reading vaccine inserts? There’s that reading thing again. I’ve never had a problem reading anything because…I can read.
  11. Federal Reserve creation? Do you honestly care? Honestly? C’mon! You can be…honest!
  12. Propaganda? Well, that’s interesting because after first learning what propaganda was, I was able to identify it quite easily. We also talked about it in social studies (elementary) and history right around the time we discussed Hitler.
  13. Government cover-ups? Watch Netflix documentaries.

As an aside, it’s funny that people talk about how none of us needs two rounds of algebra in the real world (shout out to the engineers, math teachers, scientists, etc.) but somehow, this meme-maker seems to think we all really need to know how to build guns and that if the government wants to kill us, they’ll make it look like an accident.

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At some point, we have to stop blaming an underfunded, overcrowded educational system for not teaching you EVERY SINGLE THING you ended up needing to know in adulthood.

One, you have parents for a reason. All those times your mom told you that you couldn’t do or get something because your parents couldn’t afford it? That was your exposure to the budgeting lesson you think someone who makes $50k/year, is responsible for 200 students, and is actually a veritable stranger to you was supposed to teach you.

Two, you presumably have a brain. How to make a doctor’s appointment? You call the doctor you want to see, and when the receptionist answers the phone, you say, “Hello, I’d like to make an appointment to see Dr. _____.” Then, you answer whatever questions she may have. Don’t forget your insurance card.

It really is that simple. I wouldn’t lie to you. There are even healthcare providers that allow you to set appointments online. If you can order pizza, you can make a doctor’s appointment.

Loans? You read and ask questions. If you don’t understand, ask more questions until you do understand. You can even ask for a tentative payment schedule that forecasts what you’ll end up owing and how much the loan will cost you in the long run. Then, you sign or decline.

Budgeting? Mathematics + common sense. So, if you bring home $2,700/mo., your rent is $1,000/mo., your utilities equal $700/mo., and your commuting costs add up to $500/mo., and your groceries are $400/mo., no, the newest $350 Apple gadget probably isn’t a good idea because life has a way of surprising us and that Apple gadget isn’t a roof. You see, budgeting isn’t really about whether or not you physically have the money as much as whether or not it makes sense to spend it on certain things.

But, if 2016 taught me anything, it’s that poor people deserve nice things.

Anywho….

Thirdly, and I mentioned this on my personal FB page once, some of y’all are hard-headed and don’t pay attention to anything. Some of y’all had really good teachers who taught you way more than they were obligated to but you were passing notes, skipping class, or doing a bunch of other irrelevant shit and missed it. Now you’re mad because you think someone failed you when you really failed yourself.

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If learning is something that most people agree is a lifelong activity, why are so many people from the Millennial/Xennial generation walking around as if they were supposed to be exposed to such topics as “community economic development” at some point in their K-12 education? At what point was the underpaid and overworked teacher supposed to ask who was interested in a career in public administration or social activism?

Which leads me to my next point. Although I like to pretend to know everything, I actually don’t. And when I decide I’d like to know something that I don’t already know, I do the legwork it takes to find out. For those of you unsure of the meaning of legwork, that just means that instead of griping on the internet about the shit I don’t know that I think someone should have volunteered to tell me by rote, I do my own research. I Google, find a book on the subject, or, depending on what the topic is, I may even ask my mother (remember that point about having parents).

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The thing is, if you’re lucky, life will be longer than you think. If you aren’t lazy or one of those people determined to foul up every opportunity they get, you’ll keep learning. Some of your learning will be by trial and error (like when I trusted that a new beautician knew the difference between trimming my ends and damn near scalping me). Some of your learning will merely require you to lift your head from your phone for a few minutes and observe what’s happening around you (like, I’m sure you remember your mom making your doctor’s appointments for you so how you walked away not knowing any of it…IDK). A lot of your learning will require you to be an active participant. You may have to watch some shit you don’t want to watch or read some shit you don’t want to read.

You may have to speak to someone you can’t stand simply because they have the information you need (that’s for you former class skippers who didn’t like Ms. So-and-So but Ms. So-and-So would have helped you not embarrass yourself at 30 crying about not knowing the very shit she was teaching while you were at the mall on a Tuesday at 11:30 am).

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At this rate, in the year 2050, we’ll have a bunch of 20 year-olds mad that nobody taught them to tie their shoe (a sure win for the velcro industry). Let’s hope potty training at 2 is still the standard though.

Let’s do better. Just like we say self-care is your responsibility, so is knowledge. Use the time it takes to complain on the internet about a perceived educational deficit you experienced 15 or 20 years ago to self-educate.

 

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Then What? The Bad News For Boycotters

A couple of days ago, it was revealed that one of the owners of Soul Cycle and Equinox was holding a Trump fundraiser. As celebrities and regular degulars alike took to Twitter and Instagram to urge people to give up their memberships, the companies released statements saying that the fundraiser was being thrown with the owner’s own money, that he only owns a piece of the companies, and that the companies do not condone or promote bigotry of any kind.

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Kewl.

As we all know, Chik-Fil-A is another company that we’re supposed to be boycotting because of its owners’ history of donating to charities believed to espouse anti-LGBTQ sentiments. Then, there’s Wayfair, Hobby Lobby, ABC Supply, HSN, etc… The list goes on and on and on and most of it has to do with owners being Trump supporters, Trump merchandise being sold (HSN), or the owners having an ultra-conservative stance on hot button issues.

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It seems like many of these boycotts are actually just performative for social media. I mean, I haven’t eaten at Chik-Fil-A in years but the one closest to where I live, in a highly Democratic area, consistently has two lines that spill into the street. And to be honest, me not eating Chik-Fil-A has more to do with me staying sexy and refusing to sit in a drive-thru for 30 minutes than the owner thinking that there’s something wrong with being gay or abortion.

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I still wear New Balance because I’m not going to worsen my plantar fasciitis and buy Nikes because the owner of New Balance is a Republican.

I think people are missing a few things in their zeal to boycott.

  1. Very few owners of multi-billion dollar companies don’t have a right-leaning stance about something. Remember when the light bulb illuminated during 2007 and Millennials realized that the people with real money were helping to call the shots and actually loved Republican leadership? Okay. Well, yeah….that. Even if they don’t care about abortion or queerness, they are at least fiscally conservative which is another way to say that they are into controlling costs (ie. keeping a low minimum wage) and getting and staying as rich as they can (ie. curiously beneficial tax codes). It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Trump for them. They’d have voted and donated to the guy who plays the trombone on the street corner if he were to become a Republican president.
  2. The racial aspect. White people are in a position to play around with their politics and kind of pick and choose at their leisure what they are and aren’t going to do and who they are and aren’t going to boycott. White people are also able to be shocked and appalled. Black people haven’t had the same ability to be socially daft or unconscious. First of all, we have to presume that all these rich white men are some kind of –ist. Actually, we have to presume that white people, in general, are some kind of –ist. History suggests it. Our survival, since we’ve been in this country, has always depended upon us analyzing the prospect that the white people we come in contact with for any reason could actually hate our asses. When you live with that as part of your default, you tend to not be as reactionary when you find out that the white owner of your favorite pizza joint doesn’t like Black people. What’s new? Chik-Fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. Common sense tells you why. So then, if they are clearly Evangelicals, is it really a shock that they think anything but heterosexuality is a sin? Not really. Just like we ate Sister Williams’ peach cobbler knowing that she also thought being gay was a sin, we’re gonna’ go get that 8-piece nugget meal. Basically, if we boycotted every business run by people who don’t like us, there’d be almost literally nowhere for us to go besides the local Black-owned BBQ and catfish joints and our beauty salons or barbershops.

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3. After the boycott, then what? These people are clearly unapologetic about their political stance. Chick-Fil-A is still poppin’, which is a sign that not even the boycotters are on the same page. And as of yet, I’ve not heard of any actual policy ideas that boycotts are supposed to spark. For example, the bus boycott during the CRM was done to end segregation on the buses. But, from what I can tell, all the boycotters want is for people to stop liking/supporting the Trump campaign or stop being racist/homophobic, etc. That’s not how that works. Boycotts should focus on policy change, not likeability. You think all those Republican millionaires really like Trump? No. You think you not buying a pair of shoes or a biscuit meal is going to change those millionaires internally? Not likely.

Nothing is wrong with boycotting. Hell, I’ve been boycotting Ross since 1997. But, I feel like while you’re boycotting, your eyes need to be on a prize and like it or not, when you finally break and get some waffle fries, Trump will still be president.

The Week-In-Review With The Wayward Daughter

This week, a lot of good, ridiculous, interesting shit happened so I decided to do a quick rundown. Plus, I’m trying to do two entries so this is just to tide you over.

In no particular order:

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Macy’s Plates:

This week, someone snapped a pic of a plate set at Macy’s. There were concentric circles drawn on the plate with the inner post circle labeled, “skinny jeans,” then, “favorite jeans,” and finally, “mom jeans.” Basically, the size of the meal was indicative of which jeans you were trying to fit into. Of course, white feminists took the opportunity to tweet the situation to hell and Macy’s responded by pulling the plates.

My thoughts: This didn’t even register on my meter. I wonder how we are going to raise well-adjusted children when trite things like this are what get us in a frenzy. It was clearly a joke and what’s more, it actually lends to common diet advice to watch the size of your plate if you are watching the size of your portions. The way I see it, if you don’t like the plates, frown in disgust and don’t buy them. The magic is that people who eat a lot won’t give a fuck that they are eating in the “mom jeans” range and people who eat frighteningly little won’t feel the need to eat out of the “skinny jeans” range.

Forever 21 and Atkin’s Bars

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Apparently, many Forever 21 shoppers received free samples of the new Atkins bar flavor, lemon something or other, in their order. Of course, that’s no big deal until someone who shops in the plus-size section receives a low-carb delicacy and takes to Twitter to let everybody know. Turns out, even “straight-size” customers received the bars but that’s not salacious enough, so….*shrug*

My thoughts: Atkins bars and candies are delicious but lemon? Yuck! Seriously, this is a new breed. People being upset about receiving free food is a new one to me. If I were a plus-sized shopper that was really that concerned about it, I might have first asked Forever 21 how they decided who did and didn’t get one and then weighed my option to blast them on Twitter. But, I must say I admire the courage of those who wear Forever 21 clothing. I’ve been in the store and the clothes look like they’ll be no-good after one wash.

Jeffrey Epstein

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He was reportedly found injured and in the fetal position in his cell this week causing speculation that he had attempted suicide. As of the 25th, the situation is still being investigated by jail officials.

My thoughts: I, for one, am glad to see a sexual predator who exploited dozens of teen girls send himself to his final judgment. I just want his client list first. He was selling it. Someone was buying it. He’s known to have rubbed elbows with the rich and powerful and I’m in favor of as many of the depraved as possible getting their just desserts. I’ll never cry over an abuser. Matter of fact, I’m in favor of public guillotine.

A$AP Rocky

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Trump allegedly tried to negotiate something for this rapper who went overseas and got in trouble. At first, Swedish officials were denying they ever spoke to Trump. Then, they let Trump know he wasn’t finna’ mess with the Swedish process of justice. As of yesterday, A$AP Rocky, who was at first just being held until an investigation was completed, was formally charged. So much for Trump calling. Trump did, however, tweet about the situation cause that’s his shizz.

My thoughts: The Swedish jail photos I saw were more like a dorm. I’m not familiar with this dollar sign person but it’s a good thing he wasn’t in China, or North Korea, or even the USA. If he can’t deal with that set up, IDK that he can withstand much. On that note, I feel like Trump overstepped. There are enough people wrongly incarcerated in this country for him to be worried about a wealthy rapper who may or may not be guilty. I guess he thought it’d get him points with “the African-Americans.”

Mueller

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He testified this week. He was asked if Trump was able to be charged of a crime once he leaves office. Mueller said yes.

My thoughts: This was actually the first time I heard Mueller speak (no, I didn’t watch the press conference). His voice surprised me. It was more…feeble than I expected. I always pictured that someone who was in charge of finding fuckery receipts and spilling fuckery tea on a sitting president and his homies would have a more booming voice. Anywho, I wasn’t shocked. Now, I’m just waiting on Trump to try to enact a rule that ends term limits since he can’t be indicted while in office. Leave it to him to get out of trouble by riding the presidency until his final chariot comes to get him.

 

 

 

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