"the funny thing
about home improvement
-- it's contagious"
latest Lowe's commercial
and isn't that the truth...
while isn't the contrast, an absolute community killer.
Oh wow, America; are we in for a long ride through another valley, or what?
And oh the irony coming from a campaign revolving around the idea of moving forward.
It's like, seriously, do we really have to go back to the 60's? Whether it be the 1960's or 1860's -- let's refer back to the words of our president -- having duly noted this stark reality during an interruption of the press corps briefing on Friday:
"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away."
and isn't that the truth...
Thank you, Mr. President, for admitting this right up front anyway. For we are truly living in the midst of "a history that doesn't go away" and will never go away. Leading many of us to believe then, this valley is America's cross to bear for the duration. yippee.
The funny thing about home improvement --
And now let's think about Detroit -- which, by the way, by the 1960's was considered the fifth largest city in America, with a population of 1.8 million; now, having lost over a million tax payers, Detroit is filing for bankruptcy. It could be said that Detroit became a community where the contagion known as home improvement -- beginning at the level of the family residence (be it an apartment, townhome, condominium, or single family residence with a two car garage...) and working, rippling, from the inside out -- never really caught on for the long haul. Graffiti, disrepair, lack of ownership in every sense of the word, living alongside the home wrecker of the century -- an overwhelming and heightened growth of entitlement without expectation of any return on investment. Hmmm... I wonder who is responsible for that?
And let's now think about Chicago. Go here. And here. And just listen to the Governor, Pat Quinn, offering up the answer to it all: "[T]hat ought to be an alarm bell to all of us that we need strong laws that protect the public safety, especially when it comes to guns," the Chicago Democrat told reporters after speaking at a church on the city's West Side. "It's time to end the violence."
Kinda funny coming from a state with some of the toughest gun laws on the planet already; the not-so-funny thing about the contagion that looks like, and acts like, gun recklessness, gun law disrespect, gang violence, and the brutal reality that is thugocracy, is that it's beginning to show -- killing innocent standbys. In the end, none of it serves the neighborhood any good. Hmmm...I wonder who is responsible for that?
Actual quote from "Dreams from My Father" [pg. 100-101]: "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed necolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated. But this strategy alone couldn’t provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerated. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."
Joyce was just a girl and fellow classmate of mixed race.
Deep impact of history and community and faults and improvements run rampant and wild within the American psyche. But just when will we ever accept our American history as an equal opportunity to understand, and respect, and heed, as one people?
Newsflash: It's been all about the American community since the year 1776. There is no "white" history, "black" history, "Hispanic" history, "Irish" history, "Italian" history, "Japanese" history. Those who continue to separate our "histories" -- as if by color or ethnicity, and not by the content of their character (or the lack thereof) -- demonstrably, irresponsibly, and in no uncertain terms, stand in the way of real progress moving forward. Unless, of course, they really don't want to move forward -- for political aims and popular vote control. Oh, who would do a thing like that?
Historical segregation should be considered just as evil as the segregation itself.
The thing is, we are One Nation --- and oh, by the way, it's Under God.
[and besides, what's Africa's excuse these days -- when Black on Black Oppression still rues the day in parts? The real African History shows enslavement, wretched violence by blacks against blacks, horrific living conditions and huge income disparities, right now -- in the present day; not only that, since when is it okay in America to consider all whites assumed to be related to families of previous slave owners without prejudice, across the board? That is simply not true; talk about profiling gone amuck; enough! Doesn't the president recognize how white people are sensitive about America's past racial transgressions in equal portion? Isn't he half white? Isn't he "white" just as much as Zimmerman? Oh, but didn't Obama also say, "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."
And I may be just a girl -- and a white girl, at that -- but what is it about the poor-ness, or the black-ness, within the black community that allows for total disrespect of fellow human life and personal property, jeopardizing the overall happiness and sense of security of an entire neighborhood? Can't they teach their children to love one another, too -- even in Chicago?
Mind you, if we are to be aligned with the notion that it's cool to separate people now (per the president, in company with the entire Democratic Party) -- doesn't the black community go to church with one foot in front of the other just like everybody else? Reading the teachings of the good book on a weekly basis is believed to be not only right and good, but it's done and done, right? So where is the love?
The funny thing about home improvement --
Home improvement isn't just about what it looks like on the outside. Oh contraire. The happiest of families are usually the ones who know how to love and respect one another, as well as thy neighbor.
It is the job of the parent to raise the child to love and live in community with one another, while amply supported by the teachings of church, school, and village that center upon the principles, values, and virtues that lift mankind and make the community in which we live more beautiful.
The more we do this, the more we witness the good that lives and breathes inside all of us, as if every Random Act of Kindness, and act of paying it forward, becomes the new role model for everyone to follow.
Thinking Justin; the new kind of dividend for our future...as in, a mind is a terrible thing to waste kind of way. Promoting another commercial now, advertising for the Connect a Million Minds campaign on Time Warner Cable, a young, African-American boy named Justin declares a few of his ambitions, including going back to fix Detroit.
And here's the elitist-in-chief with an answer from Friday:
"But I do recognize that as President, I’ve got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front. And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation."
Perhaps the president should just get with the program with what corporations like Time Warner Cable have already put together -- going on for a number of years now.
But more than that, maybe what should happen is we cease looking to the upper echelon, other elitists, to organize and take action and go right to the source -- to the family unit -- right from the start. It really doesn't have to get any more complicated, or organized by "celebrities and athletes," than that. And for that matter, we really don't even need a Time Warner Cable, if we are to do it right. All we need is every parent in America to watch over their own children -- to encourage the importance of going to school, doing homework, staying out of trouble, being a good neighbor, doing the right thing and even wanting to do the right thing -- like a Justin, and whoever is responsible for instilling the hearty and sound work ethic and commitment to excellence that bubbles over when he speaks.
Every parent, no matter the color of the skin, whether rich or poor, can do it.
The African-American community has shining examples all around us -- including the person in the highest office of the land, including every level of government, including positions of CEO's and Corporate Board Members, including professors of higher learning, including community volunteers of all agencies and organizations, including clergy, including medicine, including economics, including media, including entertainment, including sports. And the list goes on.
The funny thing about home improvement --
"And then, finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching. There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have. On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can? Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy." President Obama, last Friday
That's what I'm talkin' about.
But then, putting this in direct contrast to how he started, the president began with having his thoughts and prayers and love extend only to the family of Trayvon -- Zimmerman's family got nada. "First of all... to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it."
Mr. "He-could-have-been-my-son and He-could-have-been-me-35-years-ago" seems to have a hard time taking the color of skin out of the picture, doesn't he; me thinks a'stilting and a'politicizing on a'fairly-locked-position he will go, with pride. Perhaps the president could stop and ask himself, "Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character?" Am I, am I?
For more on the Press Conference interrupt-ess, The Patriot Post provides a wonderful rebuttal to the president's propaganda push from Friday, here. And for the full transcript on the president's full court press on the various racial disparities that will never go away, dating back 200 years, and proving his "loyalty to the black masses" in spades, go here, courtesy of The Blaze.
The funny thing about home improvement --
But since I brought up religion a wee bit ago, allow me to break away from the lowlights of last Friday and circle around to something that made my heart go into virtual shock and horror.
First, Fox News supplied this link, here.
But for the genuine article, simply click here.
"God ain’t good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in a nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men."
For some, not only do we have separate histories now, we have our own god, too -- an American god [note, she used a little g], who -- according to this Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Religious Studies, Anthea Butler -- finds this god to be knee deep in racism, solely for the love and purpose of the white man.
Of course, in her blog, she was referring to a specific answer George Zimmerman gave to Sean Hannity, citing his actions as "God's will." In fact, if you actually listen to what Zimmerman said to Hannity, that wasn't exactly what he said. He said it was part of God's plan.
These are two widely different things: for referring to God's will, speaks of volition and deliberate intention, by design, at the hand of God; however, in the context of "God's plan," Zimmerman describes the outcome of the night as if it were meant to be, arriving at a place decided by two people of free will making choices for themselves (and who is he to "second guess it" or "question it"). God doesn't decide for us -- we do; even though God sees everything, knows everything, long before we even show up and open our eyes.
Was it God's will for Trayvon to circle back around and pick a fight with Zimmerman? Wouldn't it have been better for him to go on home? Was it the best idea for Zimmerman to get out of his truck? Wouldn't it have been better for him to wait for police to handle it?
The most absurd thing would be to believe that we are God's puppets on a string -- be these strings white or black or brown or yellow -- for God to use as his play toys. For then, how could we ever explain God's random plane crash killing our loved ones -- the tornado, the hurricane, taking everything we own from us, or the child who died of cancer, or the infertility in our womb -- or from the other end of the spectrum, winning the lotto?
The funny thing is, we are all spirit expressing -- spiritual beings having a human experience, creating our world as we go along, whether we are believers in God, or not. We fall prey sometimes to the actions and choices of others, while at the same time, being equally responsible for our own. But then, there is something we call just dumb luck; and then again, something else we just call being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I've heard, and well believe, there are no accidents; things happen in this physical world that shake us, thrill us, nurture us, sustain us, and make us think. Things happen to push mankind to think beyond ourselves -- pushing us to ask the tough questions, like, why am I here, what is my purpose, and just what does God want me to do with myself here on earth? Or perhaps, just stop to wonder about what are we to learn, and take away, for ourselves and our communities, in the wake of the Zimmerman trial?
God's Will gave humanity Free Will.
But Anthea -- associate professor of Religious Studies! -- the horror! -- to think, that you think, that...
"God ain't good all the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in a nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god.."
Oh my. So sad.
As a black woman who studies religion for a living, my God, what happened to you? GOD is always Good. God is Love. End of story. But given this archaic and narrow minded and backwards blog of yours has been broadcasted for all the world to see, this girl can't help but wonder just what you say in the privacy of your lectures...but let's not dwell.
But just as a matter of clarity, not all women (whether black, white, or in all fifty states of grey) believe like you -- who, in this context, seems to be forgetting that women are living in a world with the right to choose, and have so for the last forty years!
But if you want to go down that road, a woman's reproductive right does not necessarily translate to a culture that values human life, let alone a woman's body, in the general sense. If being honest here, an era welcoming women's "reproductive rights" coming to life has also created a world of unintended, negative, consequences, like...the growing rate of STD's, infertility, sexual abuse, the loss of traditional family values, just to name a few.
Even though Free Will rules the day, I think any God might look down upon us shaking his head with some concern on this one, and wondering, just what in sam hill are we doing to ourselves. But maybe that's just me. In a manner of speaking, "God's will" would probably have none of this.
While for some women -- like myself -- believe a man has a right to enter the reproductive conversation, if the conception arrives following the gift of his sperm! [I know, how bizarre] And if we go there, some of us may have a problem with anyone acting upon a "reproductive right" while fully expecting the bill to be handed over to the general public to pay! The thing is, it's not just old white men who question the significance of life and liberty as it pertains to women's reproductive rights....and besides, every right comes with a corresponding duty, if not a fair amount of thought.
And voting rights? Are you serious? Do you remember how our founders came up with that plan? It was all about giving the southern states less power to make the decision for us -- and possibly be forced to live with slavery forever! That plan, counting black people as 3/5th's of a human being, was to make sure that the odds were stacked in favor of abolishing slavery for good!
"When the laws were never made for people who were considered, constitutionally, to be three-fifths of a person, I have to ask: Is this just? Is it right? Is God the old white male racist looking down from white heaven, ready to bless me if I just believe the white men like Rick Perry who say the Zimmerman case has nothing to do with race?"
Oh my, guess we could easily assume, Perry's signature on the latest reproductive rights law recently passed in the state of Texas has your panties in a wad, too. Besides having some serious second-class citizen thing running through your veins, don't you think a woman has ample time to decide to abort her unborn fetus before the end of TWENTY weeks? Does it really take longer than five months to figure that out? And if in a position to have an abortion, wouldn't you want a reputable doctor, prepared for any health emergency when in the midst of taking care of such a procedure, by your side? Is that really asking too much in the state of Texas, if not, beyond?
Don't you care about the welfare of women -- or is this just part of picking sides much in the same capacity as this black president picks the "loyalties of the black masses?"
And what's with the Left overlooking Zimmerman's Hispanic, Peruvian, heritage? George's brother, Robert, even spoke secret messages to him in Spanish to keep his spirit's up, for goodness sake.
And how about the true history of Planned Parenthood? But of course, as a learned woman, Anthea, you probably know all about this sordid, ugly, racist past in American history, no? So we will just leave it at that.
But here's the associate professor's big finish, so hold on tight (and mine comes immediately ever after, oh joy):
"Those of us who teach American Religion have a responsibility to tell all of the story, not just the nice touchy-feely parts. When the good Christians of America are some of its biggest racists, one has to consider our moral responsibility to call out those who clearly are not for human flourishing, no matter what ethnicity a person is. Where are you on that scale? I know where I am."
yoo-who, heaven's to Betsy and to her best girl Anthea -- first off, "American Religion?" You know, as a blogger I have a responsibility to tell all of the story -- of America -- and not just the touchy-feely parts, either. When an associate professor of one of America's best universities "are [one of] the biggest racists [I've come across], one has to consider [the] moral responsibility to call out those who clearly are not for human flourishing, no matter what ethnicity a person is."
Due to the origins of fighting a revolution for religious freedom and fleeing the Church of England, our founders recognized the beauty of Divine Providence as we deliberately chose to be a country under God, but totally free of labeling a specific religion. It's such a beautiful thing, really. There is no "American Religion" -- and that was decidedly done on purpose.
In America, we have a right to the free exercise thereof, of our religion, whatever it may be -- which means, we can speak up if a prospective, progressive policy or brand spanking new law is not in keeping with our religious beliefs. As a member of the black community, you must recognize -- tying in an entirely new agenda -- that Gay Marriage is not always acceptable according to one's religious beliefs and family background; as a woman, you must also recognize that not all woman share your glorification of reproductive rights in the same manner.
Honestly, if you take a moment to look around -- the old, worn-out story of the white man being at the center of all wrongs in America is getting...well... old. With so much diversity going on in America, it's time we release the old stereotypes that history brings and usher in a new beginning. Actually, to be a part of the solution, this righteous occasion demands that we -- meaning, you, I guess -- do.
And make no mistake, looking back at our history and our future ahead, the underpinnings of Christianity, of which you, Anthea, freely speak with such vitriol and rebuke, has selflessly funneled and fortified the generous financial footing for nearly every charity for the poor, the hungry, and the homeless for centuries -- and totally color blind in both directions, mind you.
Which reminds me -- you failed to mention all the work George Zimmerman did to help minority kids up to the night where fate led to a horrific outcome for both Trayvon and George.
But all of it doesn't matter...
The media, the Left, people just like Anthea, wanted to portray Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic" AND a total racist for the sole purpose of making this case about race; and they succeeded. Just listen to the conversations we are having these days...
All of this reminds me of one of my favorite bumper stickers:
White, Straight, Republican, Male -
How Else Can I Piss You Off Today?
pretty good, huh.
And just look at me now; this has turned out to be a pretty long day. Isn't it only fitting, considering how we began, and all -- with white people getting a'talkin to by the president; and he's never short on words, is he. We got a history lesson from a professor -- oooh, make that two. It's a week where white people were essentially left to lick our wounds over "a history that doesn't go away" in the valley; it might as well be Death Valley, where temperatures have hit record highs.
Until we meet again,
"the funny thing
about home improvement
-- it's contagious"
the not so funny thing, the opposite can leave us in ruins.
But here's the thing -- whether for home, community, country, all around the world -- no matter the color of our skin -- we always, always, always, get what we give.
Make it a Good Day, G