It’s sinful, shameful and un-American how our Republican-controlled government is trying to force the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill on the American people. Without proper vetting and analysis, the Senate will soon vote on this bill. Do they know what they are voting on or are they just toeing the Party line?
Graham-Cassidy is described as more egregious than any of the other previous attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. Graham-Cassidy removes protections for people with pre-existing health conditions; ends protections against lifetime and annual limits on insurance coverage; eliminates tax credits that help working people afford health coverage; and takes away health insurance for 32 million Americans.
Congress could just tweak ACA but no they are hell-bent on destroying the legacy of President Barack Obama because he is black. Donald Trump campaigned on repealing Obamacare on the first day he was in Office. The first day. Obviously that didn’t happen. Reasonable voters knew that was a lie. Republicans continue to lie, this time, about the Graham-Cassidy Bill.
Call (202) 224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you with your senator. Ask your senator to VOTE NO on Graham-Cassidy. Time is of the essence. This is important. Our lives depend on it.
Every American-born and reared Black person over the age of 55 was very likely admonished, as a child, to not embarrass the race. The admonition was usually delivered prior to participating in an activity in which white people would be present. It could have been something as simple as going shopping in a store or going to the bank or going for a doctor's visit.
First of all, it was a requirement that we were appropriately dressed. No casual attire or "play clothes" permitted. We were usually told to behave. Don't talk. Don't touch anything. Don't even sit until you were told. The admonishment usually concluded with "don't embarrass the family and don't embarrass our race." Yes, such was the indoctrination, socialization and "training" of black children.
So, what, do tell, does that have to do with Donald Trump? Well, quite frankly, I wonder how white people really feel about Donald Trump in his role as POTUS. More specifically, are white people embarrassed by Trump's crude behavior, penchant for tweeting when he should be governing and rambling, nonsensical responses to questions? Trump claims to have attended the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. Are their alumni embarrassed he's one of them? Inquiring minds want to know.
When questioned recently about the rise in Anti-Semitism, this was Trump's answer:
Here is the transcript of that question and answer:
Reporter: Mr. President, since your election campaign and even after your victory, we’ve seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States. And I wonder what you say to those among the Jewish community in the States and in Israel and maybe around the world, who believe and feel that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones?
Trump: Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had. Three hundred and six Electoral College votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there. I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything within our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on. Because a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. I think one of the reasons I won the election is because we have a very, very divided nation. Very divided and hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that. And I — you know, something that was very important to me.
As far as people, Jewish people — so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now. A son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren. I think that you’re going to see a lot of different United States of America over the next three, four, or eight years. I think a lot of good things are happening and you’re going to see a lot of love. You’re going to see a lot of love. Okay? Thank you.
Yes, that was the actual response from the man who has access to the nuclear codes. God help America.
So, here we are. It’s Saturday, January 21, 2017. The day after Barack Obama’s last day as President of the United States. As much hatred as that man endured. The disrespect from American elected leaders. The persistent obstruction by Republican members of Congress. It was not a good look for our nation, but it was our reality. We will miss the tremendous dignity, grace, and intelligence of President Barack Hussein Obama. We will miss the Obama family. Eight years of “No Drama”. Thank you, Mr. President.
So this was yestersay's news conference with Donald Trump. The first conference since he won the presidential election. It was all that Americans expected. It's troubling to fathom four years of this sideshow. This guy seems like a snake oil salesman. The United States of America is transitioning from an intelligent, classy leader such as President Barack Obama to this. Narcissistic. Not trustworthy. Untruthful. Unpresidented. God help us.
Retired FSU football coach Bobby Bowden endorses Donald Trump for President of the United States.
So, at a rally in Tampa, Florida last Monday evening, legendary Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden formally endorsed Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America. Greeted by the crowd with the FSU tomahawk chop, it was both sad and disappointing but not at all surprising. It was a surprise that so many people, particularly Blacks, are surprised that Bowden endorsed a narcissistic, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, emotionally unstable, sexual predator to lead this nation.
Just add Bowden's name to the list of famous athletic coaches that are on the Trump train including Bobby Knight, Mike Ditka, Rex Ryan, Mike Leach, and Lou Holtz. These coaches can be pleasant, even charming when recruiting young black men to play sports for them. They sometimes refer to young black men as "son," but the athletes are never seen as more than tools to win championships. Thus, the low prioritization of academic achievement and personal development of the athletes beyond the football field. The athletic championships can translate to obscene amounts of money for everyone else except the athlete unless he manages to make it to the professional level.
Rumors of Bowden being racist have persisted for years. His endorsement of Donald Trump, even under the guise of religiosity appears to confirm those rumors and gives rise to more concerns about how he views women also. One would be shortsighted not to wonder about the current culture at Florida State and its football program. These negative perceptions didn't develop overnight and won't change quickly either.
Florida's capital city, Tallahassee, is also the home of Florida State. It would also be prudent to believe that elected and business leaders in Florida who endorse Trump share his perspectives on ethnic minorities, women, and immigrants. It is what it is, let's not kid ourselves.
Sadly, at the end of the day, for the love of money and dreams of fame and fortune, many Black parents will still entrust (pimp out) their young sons to the likes of Bowden and other coaches who share his white supremacist and misogynistic perspectives. Are the majority of American voters with Bowden on the Trump Train? I don't think so. We will find out November 8.
Second presidential debate, Sunday, October 9, 2016, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
You know the old saying that politics is never personal? Well, that was not the case last night at the second 2016 presidential debate. When presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, did not shake hands at the beginning of the debate last night, it was crystal clear that the atmosphere would be contentious. ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a decent job in keeping the candidates on task and the audience quiet. It appears to be difficult to get Trump to answer questions directed to him. He typically relies on deflecting, rambling and providing incoherent responses.
The pre-event hype probably resulted in a let-down for viewers who tuned in expecting a volley of salacious attacks. It could have gone in that direction but Clinton wisely didn’t take the bait. She was cool, calm, confident and in control of herself. She allowed Trump to hurt himself. Trump performed much better than in the first debate but that wouldn’t take much because he performed so horribly in that one. Clinton was presidential and Trump was uncouth. Her answers addressed policy and specifics. Trump was arrogant. He knows the Tax Code better than any other candidate and he knows more than any General. He should have known his disgusting conversation was being recorded by Access Hollywood in 2005 but let me not digress. It appeared that Trump’s debate strategy was to personally attack the Clintons at every opportunity and to give superficial answers to policy questions.
Donald Trump’s candidacy continues to be a major scam portrayed on the American public. The Republican Party and mainstream media are complicit in his being so close to becoming the President of the United States. So the Republican Party and mainstream media can kick rocks and suck it up. You created this monster, so deal with it. Donald Trump has been who he is for decades. The incredulity of folks who are so surprised by documented revelations of Donald Trump’s sexual assault of women is nauseating.
In spite of claims by Trump supporters, Clinton clearly won last night’s debate. Trump stalked Clinton on the stage. He also whined, interrupted and didn’t answer questions. He also threw Mike Pence under the bus, backed the bus up and ran over Pence again. Donald Trump should never become President of the United States.
Well, there is one more debate scheduled for October 19. Surely more political bombs will drop by then. Stay tuned.
Here is video of President Barack Obama's speech from last night's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The President is inarguably an awesome speaker/communicator but this speech made me sad. Has it hit you yet? The thought that this man will no longer be President of the United States in a few months really saddens me. Now don't get it twisted, I'm not one of those people who agrees with every decision he's made. I do know that he is absolutely the best president during my lifetime and I want him to stay in office. Let's just change the constitution, why don't we?
Enjoy this speech, in video and text, by Donovan Livingston, Ed.M.'16, student speaker at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2016 Convocation exercises. Instead of a traditional speech, he chose to communicate via spoken word and he is awesome.
“Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
is a great equalizer of the conditions of men.” – Horace Mann, 1848.
At the time of his remarks I couldn’t read — I couldn’t write.
Any attempt to do so, punishable by death.
For generations we have known of knowledge’s infinite power.
Yet somehow, we have never questioned the keeper of the keys —
The guardians of information.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen more dividing and conquering
In this order of operations — a heinous miscalculation of reality.
For some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time.
How many times must we be made to feel like quotas —
Like tokens in coined phrases? —
There are days I feel like one, like only —
A lonely blossom in a briar patch of broken promises.
But, hey, I’ve always been a thorn in the side of injustice.
Disruptive. Talkative. A distraction.
With a passion that transcends the confines of my own consciousness —
Beyond your curriculum, beyond your standards.
I stand here, a manifestation of love and pain,
With veins pumping revolution.
I am the strange fruit that grew too ripe for the poplar tree.
I am a DREAM Act, Dream Deferred incarnate.
And a movement – an amalgam of memories America would care to forget
My past, alone won’t allow me to sit still.
So my body, like my mind
Cannot be contained.
As educators, rather than raising your voices
Over the rustling of our chains,
Take them off. Un-cuff us.
Unencumbered by the lumbering weight
Of poverty and privilege,
Policy and ignorance.
I was in the 7th grade, when Ms. Parker told me,
“Donovan, we can put all of your excess energy to good use!”
And she introduced me to the sound of my own voice.
She gave me a stage. A platform.
She told me that our stories are the ladders
That make it easier for us to touch the stars.
So climb and grab them.
Keep climbing. Grab them.
Spill your emotions in the big dipper and pour out your soul.
Light up the world with your luminous allure.
To educate requires Galileo-like patience.
Today, when I look my students in the eyes, all I see are constellations.
If you take the time to connect the dots,
You can plot the true shape of their genius —
Shining in their darkest hour.
I look each of my students in the eyes,
And see the same light that aligned Orion’s Belt
And the pyramids of Giza.
I see the same twinkle
That guided Harriet to freedom.
I see them. Beneath their masks and their mischief,
Exists an authentic frustration;
An enslavement to your standardized assessments.
At the core, none of us were meant to be common.
We were born to be comets,
Darting across space and time —
Leaving our mark as we crash into everything.
A crater is a reminder that something amazing happened right here —
An indelible impact that shook up the world.
Are we not astronomers — searching for the next shooting star?
I teach in hopes of turning content, into rocket ships —
Tribulations into telescopes,
So a child can see their true potential from right where they stand.
An injustice is telling them they are stars
Without acknowledging the night that surrounds them.
Injustice is telling them education is the key
While you continue to change the locks.
Education is no equalizer —
Rather, it is the sleep that precedes the American Dream.
So wake up — wake up! Lift your voices
Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky.
Wake up every child so they know of their celestial potential.
I’ve been the Black hole in a classroom for far too long;
Absorbing everything, without allowing my light to escape.
But those days are done. I belong among the stars.
And so do you. And so do they.
Together, we can inspire galaxies of greatness
For generations to come.
So no — no, sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning.
Newly redesigned $20 bill will feature Harriet Tubman on its face and Andrew Jackson on the reverse side.
Yesterday, Black folk in the US went absolutely crazy celebrating the announcement that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the United States $20 bill. However, Andrew Jackson is not “off” the $20 as has been widely reported. Andrew Jackson will be on the reverse side of the new $20 bill along with a depiction of the White House. Any logical thinker and realist would know that the United States is not about to allow a woman, especially a black woman, to totally displace a white male on currency. Let’s just keep it real.
Also know that the $5 and $10 bills have also been redesigned. The concept for the newly redesigned bills will not be unveiled until 2020 and there is no firm date of when a decision on the final design for the bills will be made and the when the bills will be placed in circulation. Let that sink in. It will be four years before the “concept” will be unveiled. Also note that the U.S. Treasury website indicates that the $10 bill, honoring women’s suffrage leaders —Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, will be released first.
Black folk, as a people group, have yet to rise to the level of actually earning the respect of the power brokers in this country because Black folk still don’t know, and therefore use, their actual power. So Black folk are frequently placated by superficial actions such as this redesign of United States currency.
Don't get it twisted, Harriet Tubman on United States currency is a good thing. Sharing her depiction on currency with Andrew Jackson who was a slaveholder and lead in the genocide of Native Americans? Waiting at least four years for the bill to even be released into circulation? Not so much. Only in America are Blacks expected to be happy while they are being insulted.
At least three Democratic voters were told there were only ballots available for the Republican race at Precinct 321 in Winter Haven, Florida. The voters, including Teresa Wibert, showed up to participate in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 15, 2016. Wibert was initially given a Republican ballot. When she questioned that, she was told there were only Republican ballots. Wibert persisted and knew her rights as a voter. A call was made to the Polk County Elections Department. The clerk at Precinct 321 was told the ballots for the Democratic race were located in a closet. Wibert, her husband, and the other Democrat voted using the correct ballot.
The Polk County elections supervisor, Lori Edwards, and other elections officials in Polk County are trying to minimize this serious incident but it should be reported to the Department of Justice. How many other voters were given the wrong ballot? How many other voters were turned away? Has this happened during previous elections at this precinct? Did this happen at other precincts in Florida?
This incident highlights why it is important to know your voting rights in this country and that you exercise those rights. When you hear citizens say voting is not important, or their vote doesn't matter, they need to understand that voting is so critical that some folks will try to stop you from doing it.