Standing Up To Racism
Earlier this year, I was shocked and speechless after watching the video of a young American man murdered in broad daylight in a quiet Atlanta suburb. Two terrorists and an accomplice trapped the young man as he jogged down the street and proceeded to kill him with a shotgun in broad daylight. The accomplice recorded it all. The victim was Ahmaud Arberry.
Unfortunately, this terrorist act has already been pushed aside by images and events that are equally disturbing. On Memorial Day, four armed thugs executed an unarmed man while in restraints and while in police custody. The murderers were all public servants within the Minneapolis Police Department. The thugs were on duty and paid with taxpayer funds. This wasn’t an arrest that went bad. It was clearly a case of a targeted hit. It was so brazen that Chauvin stared into the camera and leaned even harder on Mr. Floyd’s neck during the final minutes of the killing. Fortunately, a brave soul recorded the entire incident. Otherwise, these thugs would still be terrorizing innocent citizens with public funding.
In just the past year, there have been more of these disturbing events than we can count. Others killer cops are being uncovered every week.
If you are trying to make sense of the nonsense in the world right now, I urge you to look at the pattern through a different lens. In my opinion, the chaos that is consuming the world today is not a coincidence. We are witnessing an upheaval that will change the world order forever. Protests don’t stand a chance of stopping this deadly and destructive monster, unless they frame the threat more accurately.
Racism is clearly alive and well in America. In my opinion, institutionalized racism is a symptom of institutionalized fascism.
Corruption is a symptom of a bigger problem. The enemy that must be stopped is fascism. Fascism is alive and well within our institutions and communities. It’s alive and thriving in the hearts and minds of people who don’t even realize it.
Fascism fuels elitism, privilege and abuse at all levels. It cuts across all lines, not just race. Perceived loyalty to anything beyond self and ideology is a myth. Fascism is clearly killing free-market capitalism and democracy in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, that mindset will not be easy to purge in a nation born on the premise of manifest destiny. Our forefathers loaded up the wagons with bibles and bullets and proceeded to steal a continent from the indigenous people who lived there for centuries. We gave them disease, destroyed their food sources, took their children and stole their land. While enslaving people kidnapped from Africa, the United States began an extermination campaign as it expanded westward.
After decades of lies and abuse, American citizens are collectively calling bullshit like never before. A nation of zombies is pulling its collective head out of the punch bowl and looking in the mirror. According to a Pew research poll in June 2020, 71 percent of Americans are angry about the state of the nation and 66 percent are fearful. Only 17 percent of Americans are proud of the current state of affairs. Meanwhile, our trust of government and the media are at all-time lows. Our national debt is at an all-time high, but we have very little to show for our it, except for enriched corporations and scores of dead patriots who have put their lives on the line for lies (including casualties of war and the coronavirus). Anger and fear are widespread. Majorities of Democrats and Republicans say they feel both sentiments when thinking about the country, though these feelings are more prevalent among Democrats. Hope is fading fast.
It’s time to unmask the real issue. The race card is being smartly played as a point of division and distraction that is cloaking the ultimate threat—fascism. Racism is fascism. Extortion, corruption, cronyism, retaliation and censorship are more symptoms of fascism. What we are witnessing today is far from democracy and far from free-market capitalism. Unfortunately, we are dependent on an election system that is rigged, according to President Trump. Both parties are corrupt (just ask Bernie Sanders), so high hopes for change must be tempered.
If you thought that the world allies wiped out fascism when we stopped the German Nazis, think again. We just stopped Hitler’s brand of politics so that we could promote our own special interests. In fact, former president Dwight D. Eisenhower used his farewell speech to warn Americans and the world about the threat of fascism, which is eroding our constitution, democracy, economy and values. He urged us all to beware of the threats of an expanding military-industrial complex—a system where the interests of the government and industry overshadow the interests and rights of the citizens.
In other words, we have institutionalized fascism and corruption at the highest levels in most countries, which has created abusive, unresponsive and misguided governments around the world that serve and protect someone, somewhere for profit.
The fascist grip is so strong that it has silenced many voices for many years. Strong, smart, influential people are afraid to speak up due to the fear of economic retaliation, if not physical harm. When forced to stick their neck out, most wilted away. Politicians, celebrities, athletes, advocates and cops with a conscience avoid speaking up to protect their paycheck. Self-censorship through intimidation is a form of fascism, but silence implies acceptance. Anyone who has allowed themselves to be silenced is the past is partially responsible for the present.
That sacrifice is what makes people like Colin Kaepernick different. He isn’t the first athlete to pay a price for defending innocent, unarmed Americans from institutionalized corruption, racism and fascism, but he certainly has brought the issue back to the spotlight and he hasn’t blinked for several years. I stand with Mr. Kaepernick and the other heroes who are stepping up and speaking out.
Boxing legend Cassius Clay made an Olympic-sized statement after the 1960 Olympiad. After winning the gold medal in the light-heavyweight division, Clay threw the medal in the river near his home in Louisville, Kentucky. He proceeded to change his name to Muhammad Ali and he burned his draft card. In essence, Muhammad Ali gave up his professional boxing career for several years to fight racial injustice. As he said, the Vietnamese people were not his enemy. His war was at home fighting racism, injustice and hypocrisy.
A few years later, during their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City on October 16, 1968, two African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event of the 1968 Summer Olympics, turned to face the US flag and then kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human-rights badges on their jackets. In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was a human-rights salute.
The US sporting establishment largely ostracized Smith and Carlos and they were subject to criticism. Both were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. Smith continued in athletics, playing in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals before becoming an assistant professor of physical education at Oberlin College. In 1995, he helped coach the US team at the World Indoor Championships at Barcelona. In 1999 he was awarded the California Black Sportsman of the Millennium Award. He is now a public speaker. Smith and Carlos received an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2008 ESPY Awards honoring their action.
Conservatives in the Australian media criticized Norman for being sympathetic to his competitors’ protest. In 2012, Australia formally apologized to Norman. One MP told Parliament that Norman’s gesture provided “a moment of heroism and humility that advanced international awareness of racial inequality.”
These patriots and many others have been punished for defending our constitution and our fellow Americans. Censorship and retaliation isn’t democracy in action. It’s fascism.
A nation that defends flags and confederate statues instead of the constitution is doomed. A nation that values history over the future is doomed. A nation that defends thugs and criminals instead of innocent, unarmed citizens isn’t a nation under god. This nation has never been about liberty and justice for all. It’s not too late, but answers begin with the truth. Political betrayal is nothing new. Thanks to political ploys such as gerrymandering and the advent of the Electoral College, several elections, if not all, have been stolen from the American citizens.
“Presidents in this country are not elected they are selected,” said former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He would know. He was selected to the office four times. Have Americans ever elected a president?
President Obama had the conscience and the political capital to deconstruct some of these institutional failures, including racism, but he didn’t. For example, he had the chance to pardon Leonard Peltier, a Native American patriot, but he was busy pardoning hundreds of others. Peltier became eligible for parole in 1993, but he continues to rot in a jail in Florida. Barring appeals, parole, or presidential clemency, Peltier will remain in prison for the rest of his life.
Obama had the chance to lead this nation out of the dark and toward the light, but he fell short. Was it a lack of vision or determination? Or was it a president who knew that he was merely a figurehead incapable of meaningful reforms. Thankfully, he is chiming in again as a voice of reason.
Over the past few days, several sports legends have broke ranks and stuck their necks out for justice and change. For example, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a passionate op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, yesterday.
Even Michael Jordan came off the sidelines to take a shot at an unjust system that is obviously incapable of reforming itself.
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan said on Twitter. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough. I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change.”
Of course, Jordan has lived through senseless violence and tragedy. His father was murdered during a supposed carjacking in South Carolina in 1993. Two black men went to prison, but questions about a rush to judgment by local prosecutors taint the conviction.
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, we have a president who is such a hired gun for the fascist agenda that it’s embarrassing. They aren’t even trying to fake it. He is fanning the flames with inflammatory comments about looting and shooting and vicious dogs. He would rather defend rednecks and their confederate monuments than law-abiding citizens.
Unfortunately, abuse, discrimination, eugenics, murder and genocide are nothing new in the world of social engineering, but the collective conscience of millions of people has been stirred yet again. If we seek reform, we must define that reform. We can’t reform corruption you must purge it. Corruption is treason. If we hope to restore democracy and free-market capitalism, we must kill fascism. Since fascism is a sophisticated, multi-headed dragon, it won’t be easy, but it can be done. Answers begin with the truth.
As we seek that truth, we must remind ourselves that we are bigger than the moment and the issue is bigger than racism. If we focus on racism alone, it’s the equivalent of being lured in by the two-headed dragon’s tail instead of preparing a lethal blow to the base of its neck. For example, we have thousands of military veterans who have been duped and abandoned. They gave it their all just to be abandoned on main street, where about 30 of these patriots commit suicide every day. What about the women who are raped in the military just to be screwed by the system for years? What about the innocent school children killed in the line of fire? What about the lack of change in response? The NRA is holding our government hostage. Politicians won’t even stick their neck out for background checks and red flag laws. Bullets and bibles can’t hide fascism, but they can be part of the solution. Then we have millions of innocent, hard-working citizens who were lied to about the dangers of tobacco. In fact, our government once gave cigarettes to our soldiers like candy. What a racket.
We have healthcare workers who have been lied to about a global pandemic. We have 120,000 plus corpses stacked up because we have the situation under control and a $4 trillion dollar expense to prove it.
According to a recent poll by NBC News-Wall Street Journal, 80 percent of registered voters generally feel that things in the U.S. are out of control, while just 15 percent say that things are “under control.” Majorities of Republicans (66 percent), Democrats (92 percent) and independents (78 percent) agree that things are currently “out of control” in the U.S.
Now, the race to reform and rescue America comes down to two stupid white men—corrupt old men who are completely out of touch with a nation that has been lied to long enough. The only question is how many voters will pull the lever for Trump and how many will pull the lever against him. Unfortunately, Biden will get votes just because it is a vote against Donald Trump. About 67 percent of Biden supporters say their choice is more of a vote against Trump. Only about 33 percent say their vote is more of a vote for Biden. Not exactly a vote of confidence.
This is the best that we’ve got? Maybe we should just be content if the election takes place at all. Our nation could easily go bankrupt between now and November. At that point, we will no longer have a constitution to defend. It will all devolve into a massive fight over property again. Guess who will win that battle as the dollar becomes worthless. Bankruptcy is now the real challenge to the future of the United States of America.
Make no mistake about it. America is a beautiful country with an amazing complexion of innocent, law-abiding citizens. I’m proud to be an American, but I’m not proud of our government. It sold out the constitution long ago. It’s become the poster child for hypocrisy not democracy.
Meanwhile, I’m extremely proud of the majority that is standing up to corruption and dysfunction. I’m embarrassed by systemic racism, corruption, discrimination and abuse that our forefathers supposedly fled under the British monarchy. I’m embarrassed and ashamed when public servants murder innocent Americans. I’m embarrassed for the selfish acts of those who don’t respect public health during a pandemic. I can think of thousands of heroes who have lost their lives in war and on the streets of America who died defending their fellow citizens. These heroes are rolling over in their graves when selfish Americans complain about stay-at-home directives and business closures that can save lives. These heroes are rolling over in their graves when they hear about coward cops killing innocent, unarmed American citizens (sometimes while sleeping, such as Breona Taylor. Sometimes just walking down the sidewalk, such as Elijah McClain. Sometimes while sleeping in the drive-thru lane at Wendy’s, such as Rayshard Brooks.)
The time for government reform is now. Answers begin with the truth.