Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Donald Trump is a Racist

Today, we are supposed to honor the life and memory of the late great civil rights champion the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Trump defiled this holiday.  Over the holiday weekend, President Trump felt compelled to tell the world that he is not a racist after being exposed for calling Africa and Haiti shitholes. The New York Times reports that Trump made the following statements.
“I’m not a racist,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday night as he arrived at Trump International Golf Club in Florida for dinner with Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who attended the meeting last week and has not spoken publicly about it. “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you.”
His comments, while extraordinary coming from a president of the United States, echoed reassurances Mr. Trump has made several times before.
As I read the New York Times article title "I'm not a racist" and as I listened to CNN, I thought, "Yeah right."

In the words of Jay Z, "We don't believe you." "You need more people." Trump's constant racism denials speak volumes. It speaks to his abysmal record on race. He can continue to deny his racism until the end of time, but that will not change reality.  In addition to his racist statements about Africa and Haiti, here are thirteen other examples of Donald Trump making culturally insensitive and/or outright racist statements.

1. Statements About Mexican immigrants

When speaking about Mexican immigrants, Donald Trump said:

"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

2. Statements About Black People Touching His Money and Being Lazy

As reported on Daily Kos citing John R. O'Donell's book Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall, Donald Trump also stated:

“I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else. . . . Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

3. Trump Defends White Supremacists in Charlottesville

Following the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Donald Trump essentially defended the Alt-Right. Donald Trump said that:

"I think there is blame on both sides...You also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name."

4. Trump Refused to Denounce former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke's endorsement

5. Donald Trump Endorsed Racial Profiling

6. Donald Trump Trump Endorsed Racist and Unconstitutional New York style Stop and Frisk

Despite the fact that a federal court declared it to be unconstitutional, Donald Trump endorsed New York style stop and frisk.

For more information on the court's ruling on New York Stop and Frisk policy. See the video below.

7. Donald Trump Encouraged his White Supporters to Attack Black Protesters

8. Donald Trump Encouraged Police Brutality against Minority Suspects

In the wake of the police killings of Alton Sterling, Terrence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Walter Scott, Sam DuBose and other incidents of police brutality, Donald Trump told police, "Please don't be too nice."

9. Donald Trump Promoted Racist Birtherism against former President Barack Obama

Donald Trump promoted and popularized birtherism, a xenophobic and racist conspiracy theory that questioned the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama, the first African-American president.

10. Donald Trump Describes Black People as "Living in Poverty", "Your Schools are No Good" and "Have No Jobs"

11. Donald Trump Tweets False and Racist Stats About Black Violence

As noted on Politifact, the statistics cited in Trump's tweet are grossly inaccurate. Through that tweet, Trump painted the racist and false narrative of black people as violent, bloodthirsty predators preying on helpless, innocent white victims.

12. Trump Called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, a racial slur

While he was supposed to be honoring Native American veterans, Donald Trump used a Native American slur against Senator Elizabeth Warren. Donald Trump said they call her Pocahontas.

13. Donald Trump Calls a Black Supporter My African-American Over There

Donald Trump said, "Look at my African-American over here." Although I understand the context of his statement, his statement reminds me of a white slavemaster talking about his slaves, his property.

No one should be surprised by Donald Trump's insensitive and racist statements. After all, he was sued for housing discrimination.  During his first year in the White House, he has weaponized the DOJ against affirmative action, created a voter commission to suppress so-called minority voters and called into question police consent decrees designed to end discriminatory policing practices. Contrary to his claims, Donald Trump is a racist.

Monday, January 8, 2018

New Possibilities is Back!

It has been a long time since I have written a blog post. I have been suffering from a different type of writer’s block. It is not like there aren't plenty of topics to write about. I could write about Oprah’s Golden Globes speech or the fiasco called the Trump Administration.

Unfortunately, instead of writing, I often go the easy route and post YouTube videos. Initially, I got on YouTube primarily to promote my written blog.  Sadly, I allowed myself to be seduced and consumed by YouTube.  I ended up virtually abandoning my written blog.

On YouTube, I have over 5,000 subscribers. When I post videos, I receive many positive and negative comments and feedback. The dialogue is immediate, engaging, dynamic, rewarding and fulfilling.  Occasionally, I receive a few Ad Sense, PayPal and Superchat dollars for videos. My passion for the subject matter and my sense of being appreciate inspire me to regularly post videos.

On the other hand, when I do written blog posts, I do not receive the same kind of instant gratification and appreciation. Often, I post blog articles and receive zero comments. Sometimes, I feel like that proverbial tree that falls in the forest and no one sees or hears it. In my mind, it like my blog does not exist. It is like a figment of my imagination.  I receive no revenue from this written blog. For those reasons, I just have not been inspired to write.

However, that changes today. Although I will continue to do YouTube videos, I am returning to my foundation. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to write again. That begins today. I plan to substantially expand my audience here. I plan to write at least once a week.  I will let my focus and discipline drive me. 

By the way, I am looking for new contributors who have a passion for writing, social justice and black empowerment. So put the word out. New Possibilities is back in business, baby.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Trump Administration's War on Black and Poor People

The Trump Administration is"Making America Great Again" by trampling on black and poor people. Trump seeks to:

1.  Suppress black and Latino voters

The Nation reports that:
The (President's voter) commission was set up for one purpose—to spread false information about voter fraud, like Trump’s gigantic lie that millions of people voted illegally, in order to build support for policies that make it more difficult to vote. Kobach and his ilk have long advocated for suppressive policies like strict voter-ID laws, documentary proof of citizenship for voter registration and voter purges, along with weakening landmark voting-rights laws like the Voting Rights Act and National Voter Registration Act.

2.  Escalate the War on Drugs thereby exacerbating the problem of mass incarceration

The Washington Post reports that:
Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook (Stephen H. Cook) are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.

Crime is near historic lows in the United States, but Sessions says that the spike in homicides in several cities, including Chicago, is a harbinger of a “dangerous new trend” in America that requires a tough response.

3.  Reevaluate and reconsider police consent decrees

At a time when police have a license to kill black people with impunity, the Trump Administration is putting vital police reforms in jeopardy. If Trump has his way, there will be more Philando Castiles, Tamir Rices, Eric Garners, Terrence Crutchers, Michael Browns and Rekia Boyds. The New York Times reports that:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a sweeping review of federal agreements with dozens of law enforcement agencies, an examination that reflects President Trump’s emphasis on law and order and could lead to a retreat on consent decrees with troubled police departments nationwide.

In a memorandum dated March 31 and made public Monday, the attorney general directed his staff to look at whether law enforcement programs adhere to principles put forth by the Trump administration, including one declaring that “the individual misdeeds of bad actors should not impugn” the work police officers perform “in keeping American communities safe.”

...The broad review announced Monday could threaten some of those decrees if the Justice Department seeks to change its past stance about systematic police abuses in the affected agencies. But the Justice Department would not be able to unilaterally unwind the agreements without court intervention.
This is not a surprise for a couple of reasons. Prior to his appointment, now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed his opposition to police consent decrees. Second, during the campaign, Donald Trump stated that he supports racial profiling and New York style unconstitutional stop and frisk programs.

4.  Drastically cut Section 8 and other housing programs

Truth-Out reports that:
The gutting of HUD would take money directly out of the hands of renters in need. The Post story notes, "Under the proposal, direct rental assistance payments -- including Section 8 Housing and housing vouchers for homeless veterans -- would be cut by at least $300 million, to $19.3 billion. Additionally, housing for the elderly -- known as the Section 202 program -- would be cut by $42 million, nearly 10 percent. Section 811 housing for people with disabilities would be cut by $29 million, nearly 20 percent. Money available for Native American housing block grants would fall by $150 million, more than 20 percent."

According to Rice's analysis of the Post report, if the cuts go through, "Housing Choice Vouchers that some 200,000 low-income households currently use to pay their rent would be eliminated in 2018." He explained, "Reducing the availability of this crucial support would increase and prolong homelessness for vulnerable people with disabilities, families with children and others."
These cut will adversely and disproportionately impact African Americans. As stated on Living Cities, "...there is another pernicious outcome of the lack of Section 8 resources for every eligible household. Lack of Section 8 fuels inequality and works a racial injustice. In 2014, one out of every 3.6 black households in metropolitan areas was extremely low income, a rate 2.2 times higher than white households. (Source: 2010-2014 ACS 5-Year Public Use Microdata Sample)"

5.  Substantially cut food assistance for the poor

As reported on Mother Jones,

The budget includes $193 billion in cuts over a decade to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps—25 percent of the program’s budget. About 44 million people benefit from food stamps in the United States, especially poorer states in the Southeast. For example, 1 out of every 5 people in Louisiana receive food stamps in a given month, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Trump’s proposed cuts to food stamps will by and large hit the states that voted for him the hardest. Louisiana voted overwhelmingly for Trump, as did its Southeast counterparts Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, and Georgia. Out of the 10 states with the highest food stamp use by population, seven voted Republican in last year’s presidential election. (See more details in the list below.)
Similar to Section 8 cuts, food stamps cuts will disproportionately impact African Americans. Although African Americans are 13.3% of the U.S. population, we are 25.7 percent of those are on food stamps / SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

6.  Eliminate health insurance for 22 million people, many of whom are African American
The Trump Administration health care bill would have caused 22 million to lose their health insurance. According to the New York Times, the Budget Office found:
that next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law. Premiums and out-of-pocket expenses could shoot skyward for some low-income people and for people nearing retirement, it said.

The bottom line is this. The Trump Administration has declared war on black and poor people. We must fight back. We must resist. We must lobby Congress and fiercely oppose the Trump Administration's legislative agenda. We must vote out Trump's allies during the mid-term elections. We must do everything in our power to ensure that this is Trump's last term in office.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

President Obama Gives His Farewell Address to the American People

Peace and blessings, family. I salute President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a job well done. You will be greatly missed even by your harshest critics.

When the cynics say that you have done nothing for black people, we know better. We know about how you defended affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas. We know about how your Administration defended voting rights in Shelby County v. Holder. We know about how your Administration investigated police brutality and racial profiling around the country and reached settlement agreements in places like Ferguson and Baltimore. Although there were several times when you silent on racial matters, we will never forget when you spoke out boldly about the killing of Trayvon Martin. You said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." We will remember that moment for the rest of our lives. We know about how black unemployment was cut in half under your Administration. We know about your Brother Keeper Program and your White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Much respect. Although you are far from perfect, I salute you, Mr. President.

Federal Jury Sentences Dylann Roof to Death

The New York Times reports that:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann S. Roof, the unrepentant and inscrutable white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazen racial rampage almost 19 months ago, an outburst of extremist violence that shocked the nation, was condemned to death by a federal jury on Tuesday.

The jury of nine whites and three blacks, who last month found Mr. Roof guilty of 33 counts for the attack at this city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, returned their unanimous verdict after about three hours of deliberations in the penalty phase of a heart-rending and often legally confounding trial.

Mr. Roof, who had said in a closing argument hours earlier that he could ask jurors “to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that would do,” showed no expression as Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court announced the verdict.

Melvin Graham, whose sister Cynthia Hurd, 54, a librarian, died in the attack, welcomed the decision.

Here are my thoughts about this development.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Monster Dylann Roof Found Guilty

The New York Times reports that:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann S. Roof, a self-radicalized young white supremacist who killed nine black parishioners last year when he opened fire during a long-planned assault on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was found guilty by a federal jury here on Thursday.

Mr. Roof, 22, stood, his hands at his side and his face emotionless, as a clerk read the verdict aloud in Federal District Court, where he had been charged with 33 counts, including hate crimes resulting in death.

Mr. Roof, whose lawyers conceded his guilt, will face the same jurors when they gather on Jan. 3 to begin a more suspenseful phase of his trial to decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

The jury deliberated for only about two hours on Thursday afternoon, and as a clerk began to read the guilty verdicts, one after the next, a few women in the courtroom nodded with satisfaction. After the court adjourned, the two adult survivors of the attack, Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, shared a long embrace.
For all intents and purposes, no one questioned Dylann Roof's guilt. There is video of him entering the church and leaving the church with a gun in his hand.

Also, he confessed. He admitted that he "did it."

Finally, one survivor testified that Dylann Roof was the killer.

Now that the jury has found him guilty, the next step is sentencing. I hope that he is sentenced to death.