Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – February 28, 2014

It seems that there are people who think that any black American slave who resisted was a terrorist. And that tells us a lot about those people. And in Arizona it seems that persecuting Latinos has been replaced by persecuting gay Americans as a legislative blood sport. And in Africa, it seems that persecuting gay Africans is more of a priority than fighting hunger and disease.

My Hero is Your Terrorist

Denmark Vesey was born a slave. Although he managed to buy his freedom, his wife’s master would not let him purchase her freedom – or that of their children.

Denmark Vesey ultimately led one of the major slave revolts in American history, an insurrection that spread fear and panic in the hearts of every slave owner and every supporter of slavery. The fact that his revolt did not succeed and that Denmark Vesey was hung did nothing to assuage their terror.

Almost two hundred years later there is a plan to erect a statue in his honor in Charleston, South Carolina, the site of Denmark Vesey’s rebellion. And there are some noble white South Carolinians who are complaining because, in their view, Denmark Vesey was a “terrorist” who didn’t “work within the system”.

The absurdity of the naysayers is obvious and further comment is unnecessary. Let’s just hope that the statue is erected…………………and very soon.

Arizona Crazy

The state government in Arizona has been so obsessed with persecuting Latinos in the name of immigration security that it took the Supreme Court of the United States to curtail some of the more egregious legislative actions. Sullen and unbowed, the Arizona Bigots have clearly focused on yet another target – gay Americans.

Recently, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a measure passed by the legislature that would have given the operators of public facilities – hotels, restaurants, theaters, etc., the right to refuse service to individuals whose lifestyles offended their religious beliefs.

This was a gossamer legislative veil over the intent to give these same operators of public facilities the right to refuse service to gay Americans. And Governor Brewer, with visions of Super Bowl and gay consumer dollars galloping away from her state wisely vetoed the measure.

But what is it about alternative lifestyles and different concepts of love and caring that make some people so hateful in the first place?

Back into the Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness describing the bleak and horrific characteristics of the European colonization of Africa. Over a century after that book was published we are now witness to the leadership of too many African nations advocating draconian legislative actions which criminalize the lives and lifestyles of gay Africans. Death sentences, life sentences, banning and shaming are all part of the New African Fascism.

In too many parts of sub Saharan Africa there are challenges of crime, civil unrest, genocide, hunger, disease and poverty. Can it be that alternative lifestyles and different concepts of love and caring are the priority issues when so many Africans are suffering, not from homosexuality, but from ineffective, corrupt and misguided governance?

It may be time to hit the reset button in Africa.

Have a great weekend – stay strong and be great!

Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – April 16, 2011

The weekend begins with an affirmative answer to the question of whether it the Japanese nuclear disaster can get any worse. Meanwhile, in America, the budget debate has morphed into a war on America, a “birther” bill drafted by lunatics has been passed by the Arizona state legislature and Donald Trump is working diligently to prove that not only is he a posturing, self-promoting clown, he is also a racially insensitive clown. Just another week in the United States of Crazy.

The Budget as Warfare

In the latest episode of “The Perils of Pauline Come to Washington” the G.O.Tea Party and its Republican puppets threatened to shut down the federal government closing national parks, withholding paychecks from the families of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and generally throwing the entire country into the churning maw of chaos.

This Tea Party-made disaster was averted with a budget settlement that called for almost $40 billion in budget cuts and absolutely no increase in taxes for the beleaguered and oppressed billionaires and millionaires and mega-corporations of this country.

Some of the budget cuts included the evisceration of a high speed rail construction program that would have provided thousands of jobs and begun the process of bringing the American transportation system into the 21st century. Cuts were also made to the food inspection apparatus of this country which should give all of us comfort the next time there is a salmonella or E-Coli outbreak in this country.

The G.O.Tea Party is engaging in a guerilla war on the people of this country and it is about time that the truth be told. The budget debate is not about dollars and cents – it is about changing the priorities of federal government from its constitutional mandate “to promote the general welfare” to a frugal maintenance operation that will simply provide a platform for the wealthy to get richer and for the rest of the population to simply subsist.

There have been recent announcements about the improvement of the economy. It has improved, but this country is recovering from truly epic devastation – please go to a link from the Huffington Post to see visuals of what foreclosures, unemployment and the gutting of state and local budgets has wrought – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/13/americas-foreclosure-ghost-towns_n_848715.html?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C209993#s264057&title=Northern_California .

It is past time for the people who presume to lead and govern to realize that there is a new and pernicious civil war going on in this country and that it is time to fight – before it is too late.

Birthers Gone Wild!

The state of Arizona has an unemployment rate of 9.6% and the second highest foreclosure rate in the country. As demonstrated in the Tucson Massacre a few months ago, violent crime is a real problem in that state.

In response to these daunting challenges the Republican-controlled Arizona state legislature decided to tackle the most pressing problem of all – requiring that presidential candidates prove that they are natural born citizens of the United States. This “birther” bill is, of course, the demented spawn of the Tea Party lunatics who refuse to believe that Barack Obama is the legitimate president and want to make damn sure that this travesty is never visited upon the American people again.

And all the while the unemployed remain unemployed, more people lose their homes. And more people lose hope. It is a disgrace.

The Clown Channel

In his continued commitment to self-promotion, it has been reported that Donald Trump is going to launch The Clown Channel, starring none other than Donald Trump. As he continues his fake dalliance with presidential ambition he has flogged the eternally dead horse of Barack Obama’s birth to the cheers of the G.O.Tea Party boobs. Only the Donald’s hairdresser knows for sure how this qualifies him to be the leader of this country.

And this past week, when asked what kind of support he could expect from the national African American electorate, he responded that he had “a good relationship with the blacks”. We can assume that his good relationship with “the blacks” stems from the fact that he speaks the language of “the blacks” and that he knows the ways of “the blacks”.

“Bwana Trump for President” should be the headline for next week.

Have a great weekend!