Tag Archives: race relations

As good as it gets

At a rally in Akron, Ohio, in an attempt to court Black and Latino voters and cast off his handily built persona of a thoughtless, misogynistic and intolerant bully, Donald Trump made this passionate and honest entreaty to minorities concerning the promise of his hopefully impending administration.  He said this,

Look, it is a disaster the way African-Americans are living, in many cases, and, in many cases the way Hispanics are living, and I say it with such a deep-felt feeling.  What do you have to lose?

“What do you have to lose?”  I ask myself how can one not be moved and impressed by such an uncomplicated and unembellished appeal for votes from someone seeking the Presidency.  In a world that routinely gives us politicians overpromising and under-delivering, it’s political correctness so astutely preposterous, under the circumstances, that it becomes the antithesis of itself.

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/025823ea-68f6-11e6-91cb-ecb5418830e9

Yet, it’s that same give-it-to-you straight quality that exposes Trump’s still present liability in gathering the votes this late in the game of those he finally realizes he needs.  It lends a question to the candidate, is this as good as it gets?

Unfortunately for his campaign, it might be.  His issue is no different from the one that’s plagued Republicans for at least the last 25 years; how to connect to an ever-growing minority voting bloc.  And one that almost unswervingly votes Democrat.  If this is what Ben Carson has called, “prepping the ground for what’s to come” I’m uncertain if we’re ready for it.

So far, the new Trump has only surfaced at mostly white crowds.  If Trump follows through on his promise to ride the campaign trail through some of America’s rougher hoods, imagine what happens if he unleashes his version of social truth onto the darker congregation. As sickening the prospect of Race Relations 101 with Professor Trump is it’s something the minority community should gird her loins for.  It’s coming, at least on paper.

That’s because it’s the only thing left for him to do.  What we’re about to witness is a suicide effort and a clash of ideas, temperament and power.  On the one hand we have Trump’s new staff, coming in and immediately trying to soften the candidate and broaden his appeal to include Blacks and Latinos.  And then there’s Trump, who’ll only be softened to the extent that we’re seeing, which doesn’t begin to filter out as much as it should.

Then again, it’s a question of understanding and connections.  The Republican Party on a whole doesn’t know the minority community (Trump questions if the Democrats do, another tidbit of horrible truth); at least not as much or in the ways that it should.  And its running discourse provided by popular pundits does little to educate or enlighten their constituents.  Nevertheless, you know they’re cringing at the thought of a serious discussion on race with Donald Trump leading the way as the only participant espousing conservative values.

Hey, we wanted a conversation.  And we just might be getting one real soon; courtesy of the unlikeliest of sources.

 

Washington Post Quote: Wash Post; Phillip Rucker, Robert Costa, Jenna Johnson; Inside Donald Trump’s new strategy to counter the view that he is ‘racist’; 8/23/16

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Filed under Commentary, Politics and Government, Race

We Will Be Fine, Hopefully

“What did you just say to me?”

I had already passed him so I just did hear the question, so lost in my travels and so accustomed to just saying it and going I was.  It caught me almost out of earshot, one more step and I might’ve lost the opportunity to expound on what had just happened. Chance, happenstance, call it what you will but I’d like to think that there were powers at work right about then; powers that if nothing else, want to give each of us every available chance to get to know one another a little better.  I’ve lost you I know, so let me explain.  See, it went like this.

The man was white.  I’d approached him on the street and as is my custom, I greeted him with my usual.  “How’s the brother?”  The man stopped and turned, “Excuse me?” he replied.  I heard the question in his voice.  I hear it sometimes when I speak these particular words of greeting to people who aren’t black or brown. Continue reading

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Ego Screwed the Pooch of a Good Chance

As with a lot of breaking news, the Starbucks announcement that it was foregoing its campaign on race-relations entered my psyche first thing in the morning with my radio reveille.  At the time, it brought forth only a simple sigh of resignation that what seemed like a worthy attempt ended in such a quick and angry fashion.

Photo by Julius Schorzman

Photo by Julius Schorzman

The day after though got me to thinking; not all of a sudden but it came to me on the heels of a song.  The Commodore’s record from the late 70’s, Machine Gun, was rocking and it was then that I thought first of the damaging effects of ego.

Freud’s member of the tripartite of the human psyche has tricked up many a good thing on this earth, least of all music.  Listening to the Commodore’s, I remembered how good they were, with a unique and new sound unlike anything heard so far back then.  And then along came ego, Lionel Richie’s to be exact, and the rest shall we say is history.

So what happened with Starbucks, you ask?  Was the potentially, destructive force of ego present there in such a commendable idea as the one presented by CEO, Howard Schultz?  To that I say, most definitely.  The problems began with the announcement.  Continue reading

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That Box on the Shelf

Political promise of immigration reform should truly fall on deaf ears.

Political promise of immigration reform should truly fall on deaf ears, regardless of the party.

I’m pretty sure every house has just such a box, at least one of them somewhere inside.  It’s probably gathering dust guarding treasures of the past; a doorway into happier times or periods of tribulation.

It could hold a vast array of personal information.  Tax time is approaching and many of us, having systematically captured the essence of an entire year of our lives, now keep it readily at hand, in a cigar or shoe box.  Continue reading

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Remember America is the Land of the Free (Minded)

King of the Hill Logo

“What the hell kind of country is this if I could only hate a man if he was white?”

Hank Hill

It’s a funny line that cracks me up still even today, months after I first heard it on King of the Hill.  But more than just making me split my sides, it’s a rather profound statement, especially when you realize it’s coming from a cartoon character.  It’s thoughtful because it relays, in comedic fashion, what freedom in America means, from the standpoint of both the good and the not so good.  Continue reading

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Filed under Life and Society, Opinion, Race