Saturday, August 28, 2010

Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters

Many people will comment on Glenn Beck and his live action infomercial today.

I'm not going to be one of them.

Here's what I'm going to say.

47 years ago a group of people marched on Washington. It was one of many marches, boycotts, registration drives and bus drives that had been happening for years. It was hard. It was dangerous. Some of them, including the man whose speech became timeless as soon as he spoke it, died in the fight for equality.

So to all of them I say, thank you. Well done.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Best Part Of My Day

That's the prompt for the second day of the journaling project. I haven't decided if I'm going to post pics of the things that I put in the journal or not because it's kinda private.

But I did the first prompt and have just finished the second. So, yay me for following through for two days.

OK, subject change:

Dear M. Knight Shitty Director,

Nope. Sorry. You will not fool me again. I don't care how interesting the commercials for Devil look. It will suck. We all know it will suck. Everything you have gone near has sucked since Unbreakable.

No Love,

There's been a lot going on in political idiocy lately but I need to research and reflect before posting about it so it'll be a couple of days.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Late to the Party

But I'm still gonna dance.

So there was this really interesting thing that happened a month or so ago called The 30 Day Journal Challenge.

I totally missed it. Had no idea it was happening until it was over.

I'm going to do it anyway. Starting today I'm going to take up the challenge, reading one prompt every morning and fulfilling it after work.

So here's today's assignment

Journal Prompt Number 1: Create a full page design introducing yourself :)
Highlight your name many times in the midst of your design.
I chose to use a lot of line design because I love it so much lately.
I also chose to draw some of the things that I like as well in there!!
Have fun, be creative, don't stress, just jump right in!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Know What's Fun?

Moderated comments.

Anyone who knows me, here or on the various sites where I spend time and thus debate (because if I'm spending time somewhere, I'm debating. It's a fact.) knows that I'm always up for a good debate. I love them. I live for that shit.


If you comment starts with "God says," or any variation thereof I probably won't care.

If your comment contains a screed in defense of FOX, I will mock you. And you will deserve it.

If you simply disagree with me I will research your point of view or point out the many, many ways in which you are wrong.

All of these comments will get published. Like I said, I love to debate.

What won't get published is this:

"I don't want to argue with you about this. I'm just expressing my opinion."

Hey moron. IT'S MY BLOG. If you just want to drop your opinion and do a runner get your own fucking blog.

You know what else is fun?

The democratic process.

This is what I did with my Saturday.

That's how I make my point; standing in the rain, getting screamed at and hated on by idiots because it matters. Somebody had to say no to these people. Their speaker is a hate monger who lies for a living.

It was just us out there in no small part because there had been rumors that they were going to change the venue or cancel the event and I didn't want to get a bunch of people together for nothing.

The Mrs. carried these two:


I carried this one in case you can't read it above.

Yes we got yelled at but you know what? Those people are fucking cowards. One woman, one had the courage to come up and talk to us. She was wrong and she didn't stay long enough to do much more than state her position, take our picture and bail but at least she didn't drive by in her car and shout.

That was the funniest thing. People would creep past us, accelerate slightly and then roll down their windows and scream.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doomed to Repeat It

“Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.”

The above seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Isn’t it logical that someone, anyone, would want to live peacefully and free in the knowledge that the laws which apply to them apply equally to everyone else?

And yet...

The one thing that I’ve heard most often in the past few days in reference to the Muslim cultural center that is not at Ground Zero and isn’t a Mosque, is “It’s not about freedom of religion.”



We’ve done this before, you know?

We’ve done this with smallpox infected blankets and the Triangle Trade and Alien and Sedition Acts. We’ve done this with the Chinese Exclusion Act and Jim Crow and legalized anti-semitism and Red Scares. And lest anyone forget, did it with internment camps.

We set up internment camps within living memory. There are still people alive today who were herded into stables and the like and held there with no cause and no charge, simply because we as American were so weak and frightened as to ignore our own founding principles.

We should be ashamed of ourselves because of these things.

Even more so, we should be ashamed of ourselves for even remotely entertaining the possibility of allowing it to happen again. We interred the Japanese because we, as a nation were so cowardly (yes I said it) that we could not abide by our own laws in the face of a group of citizens who were easy targets.

And we’re doing it again.

Every single time we do this; give in to our fear and our ignorant prejudice and our irrational hate we end up doing something shameful. Eventually realize our gross error and sometimes we even do something to fix it. But that doesn’t less the stain on our nation as a whole.

If we let this continue; if we allow our nation to fall into that same pattern of behavior we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

We know better.

We are better.

The quote at the top of the post comes from Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. We ignored him and destroyed his people and his culture. Let’s prove that we’ve learned something since then.

It’s time to step up people. When someone says something ignorant or intolerant or just fucking wrong you need to say something. I don’t care if it’s uncomfortable. Silence is assent. If you stay silent then you are agreeing with that ignorance or intolerance or wrongness.

It’s is the responsibility of the rational to stand against ignorance. It is the responsibility of the respectful to correct the intolerant. It is the duty of every American citizen who has read and understood and who loves the Constitution to not let this happen again.

I am not a coward and I am not going to allow fear and hate and ignorance to force the hand of the nation I love ever again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hallowed Ground?

Normally, I'm not all re-tweet, pass this along-y. But this is important.

You know all the idiocy happening around the "Ground Zero Mosque," which isn't at Ground Zero and is a community center not unlike a YMCA.

Look at this. Tell everyone you know.

I don't care what you actually think about the plans to build the facility because unless you agree with me, you're wrong.

Muslims died in the towers.

Muslims died defending the US in the subsequent wars.

Muslims are citizens of this nation.

This nation whose founding tradition is freedom of religion. Think about that. The people writing out the Bill of Rights decided to put freedom of religion right at the top. It's the first thing they listed. Freedom of religion.

Not freedom of religion if it's popular.

Not freedom of religion if it's the easy decision.

Freedom of religion, fucking period.

There's a reason we call these things rights; not just because they are accorded to us by law but because they are the right thing to do. Also because it doesn't matter if they are popularly accepted. THEY ARE RIGHTS. Everyone has them, no matter what.

Why is the ground only hallowed in the face of a house of worship and not in the face of a fucking strip club or off track betting or fast food? Is that respectful to the people who died? And seriously, how the fuck did a Burlington Coat Factory become "hallowed," anyway.

Trust me. I've shopped at one. Not that hallowed.

The answer to these questions is IT'S NOT ABOUT HALLOWED GROUND. IT'S ABOUT HATING MUSLIMS. Duh.

The right has been pumping this basic theme since the 1960's. They call it the Southern Strategy. It works like this:

Contact White voters.

Identify the group that White voters fear and upon whom they will readily lay the blame for their problems.

Make up problems if you have to, or if actual problems are your damned fault in the first place.

SHOUT AT TOP VOLUME that the group identified is, in fact, the cause of the problem.

Repeat final two steps as often as necessary.

Shit like that leads to this.

The Tea Baggers invited this woman to my town. She's coming to spew her venom and hate and lies where I live. And let's not get it twisted. We're not talking about some quirky political fringe member. She's the KKK in a better outfit.

She lies and in so doing she puts American citizens in danger.

That's while I'm going to protest the Tea Baggers and their venomous speaker this Saturday. If it were the idiot Phepls clan, I'd be there protesting. If it were the actual KKK, I'd be there protesting. I'm gonna be there on Saturday because it's long past time that someone told these people that their hate isn't welcome in decent communities.

And you know what the saddest thing is? The whole basis of extremist Muslim rhetoric is that the US is at war with Islam. So, basically, all this ignorance being thrown around about this mosque is reinforcing their point as much as humanly possible. Way to go morons.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yeah, I know. It's been two months.

The 'Potamus has been working. Deal with it.

I've had a surprising number of people emailing me and asking when I'm going to say something about the oil spill. Apparently not a few people are waiting for me to rip into BP or expecting me to do the same to the administration.

I'm not going to do that.

Yes, BP fucked up. They were clearly negligent. Yes, the government has far less power that we would want them to have in this situation. Those things are true and they are problematic. But let's not pretend that if those things were magically solved, things would be significantly better.

This is our fault. Lots of (really stupid) politicians pay lip service to the need for the US to break its addiction to foreign oil.

Those people are saying what the voters want to hear.

The voters who want to hear that are uninformed.

There's no such thing as foreign oil There is only oil.

Every drop of oil in the world, no matter where it is drawn from or refined, is sold on the open market.

It's all the same price. That's how commodities work.

So the problem isn't the oil companies or the government. The problem is us. We're addicted to oil. Unless we commit to a course of action wherein we eventually make oil prohibitively expensive, we're never going to change anything and we won't have anyone to blame but ourselves.

I'm not interested in hearing or participating in rants against BP or the administration until Americans are ready to take responsibility.

You know what else I'm not interested in hearing ever again as long as I live? The term "reverse racism."

I know I've said this before but I'm going to keep saying it because if I don't I might have to punch someone.

There no such fucking thing as "reverse racism." The reverse of racism is respect.

I'm tired of this shit.

I'm tired of Andrew Breitbart. He's a liar. The end.

I'm tired of people who should know better tucking their tails and running at the first hysterical, bullshit accusation of "reverse racism." Yes, Obama administration and NAACP, I'm fucking looking at you.

I'm tired of everyone pretending that the Tea Baggers are motivated by anything other than racism. If they weren't willing to happily embrace the most heinous and hateful elements of American culture, they would, you know, stop fucking embracing the most heinous and hateful elements of our culture.

Most of all I'm tired of people pretending that equality is something that we should be ashamed of or that "overcoming racism," means pretending that blatantly racist shit isn't racist.

Dr. Laura, actually said, "I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it," out loud in public.

Pause for just a moment and go read that quote again. Did you catch that?

Let me make this clear here and now. What that dumb cunt actually said was, "haven't we given you people enough? Can't you shut up now?"


That is some stupid, racist bullshit. America could elect Black people to every single office in the nation and stupid-ass racist statements would still be stupid-ass racist statements and they would still have negative social consequences. Anyone who can't deal with that should probably keep their stupid-ass racist comments to themselves.

She also said:

"If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race."

Um, because on planet Dumb-Bitch-With-a-Radi0-Show, all White people are eventually going to show their underlying racism? That is also some stupid, racist shit.

I honestly don't have a problem with the fact that she used the word nigger. I much prefer the use of the word nigger to the use of the term "the n-word." I'm not five. I don't need people to spell things for me. I have a problem with the other things she said, the stuff she didn't apologize for. That stuff matters and no one seems to care.