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Category Archives: In The News

Wealth And Consumerism, Black Folks Need to “Get Over” Slavery

Greetings Friends!

I hope you all thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s solar eclipse! I did, but my mind was also churning with what I wanted to share this week. Let’s get right into it:

Wealth & Consumerism

Anytime someone brings up consumerism in a economic discussion, as evidence of black wealth, and/or to disprove the so-called “myth of racial wealth gap”, you’re wasting your time with someone who is fiscally illiterate. If you think the ability to buy expensive stuff proves wealth in and of itself, you’re probably a person who is either wealthy & out of touch, or poor and living way beyond your means. My patience is growing thin in either scenario. This is why entertainers paid to endorse & peddle products to the poor shouldn’t be revered for doing so. As part of the problem, they have no business telling you which liquor you should drink, pre-paid Visa to get, or which headphones to buy. You can’t claim to be about empowering the masses of black folks to “do for self,” if you’re the spokesperson of excessive consumerism. Nope. Not gonna let them off that easy. It’s the blind leading the blind, and insisting that they can see. Ironically, the claims from such celebrities are false anyway. These aren’t products they created themselves, they are paid endorsers if I’m polite, pimps if I’m not. Ridiculous. I’ll take “stop insulting my intelligence” for $200 Alex…

Black America Needs To Get Over Slavery

I wanted to share a point made by a FB friend. Whenever someone tells me black people need to “get over it” (slavery), I’m still taken aback by their profound, ignorant deflection. It’s a way of ignoring the century (and beyond) of legal discrimination, murders/lynchings, the destruction of black wealth that kept it from being passed down to future generations, and horrific medical experiments/cruelty (Tuskegee, Henrietta Lacks & J. Marion Marion Sims – the latter during slavery) that followed. The Civil Rights Bill was signed just 50 years ago. What do some of you mean, “that was long ago”? Stop that. I’m embarrassed for you:

“The value in the protests and removal of these monuments is not in the removal …but rather the awareness raised that these events took place

Too many people want to make the discussion about slavery because that’s intellectually easy. Very few are willing to discuss 1865-1965″

Yep. He’s absolutely right. Former slaves and their descendants didn’t gain sudden equality when the ink on the Emancipation Proclamation dried. Leaping over this fact is intellectually dishonest. It’s also hypocritical, but what can anyone expect, from folks who are telling black Americans to get over slavery, when they can’t seem to get over the Civil War.

Until next musing,

Talitha McEachin

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Robert E. Lee & Jefferson Davis on Flying the Confederate Flag

Greetings Friends!

After someone shared these facts with me privately on Facebook, I did a bit of research and was astonished to uncover this truth, which I never knew. It adds a tremendous amount of irony in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Va riots, where racist, white nationalists protested the removal of symbols of the Confederacy:

It's so ironic that some folks are fighting to keep the Confederate flag flying on government property, when two huge, iconic figures from the Confederacy clearly did not want the flag flown after the war. Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, respectively, said:

"I think it wisest not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the example of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered." – Letter to the Gettysburg Identification Committee, 1865

"My pride is that that flag shall not set between contending brothers; and that, when it shall no longer be the common flag of the country, it shall be folded up and laid away like a vesture no longer used." – The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1881

So, a general in the Confederate military, and the PRESIDENT of the Confederacy, did NOT think it was a good idea to fly the flag anymore after the war, yet some folks are kicking, screaming, protesting (which is their right as long as it's peaceful), and resorting to violence to keep it flying. What exacerbates this is that anyone can fly whatever flag they want on their private property. Removal efforts concern government property. It's still in museums (as it should be, it IS a part of American history) but folks are going nuts over a flag that both of these men felt should be retired. Hmm. Ain't that something?

Until next musing,

Talitha K. McEachin

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Black community & The Economy

Interesting exchange today, on the Facebook page of my friend Yvette Carnell’s. One of her passions as a writer/commentator (she’s basically a left-wing version of me, for the sake of brevity), is black America’s economic problems (the lack of collective wealth due to historical disparities for far too many generations). In short, our past has had a lasting economic impact on today. I think we still have time to save the future, though none of us alive will see it, unless a fountain of youth is found. That’s cuz’ of what my big brother & writer Steven Barnes said – “There’s no such thing as a wound, that takes less time to heal than it took to conflict.” That’s a minimum of 400 years. If you can’t grasp that, accusations of black people being shiftless, lazy & too slow to “get over it” are profoundly inappropriate, if I’m polite. Racist if I’m not.

“Our economic woes as a community, are our fault alone,” some insist. But we’re all humans, right? Isn’t that the battle cry for the #ALM crew? The physical differences are just our inheritance from our ancestors, whose survival in their environment meant having dark skin. The same is true for whites whose ancestors had to survive the cold. The stuff inside is the same. What Ben Carson said. But I’m derailing my own post a bit.

Let me harmonize these statements. With the unique, historical cards we were dealt, I don’t see how anyone can argue, that discussions of slavery are irrelevant to economic ones. Yet I’ve heard them too many times. Slavery discussions are fundamentally economic. This is exacerbated by centuries of head starts others had. I’m tired of these faulty, racial comparisons, and anecdotes, use by some to thinly veil their contempt. The discussion on Yvette’s page started off, with an erudite article about the definition of socialism. Discussions of capitalism inevitably are brought up whenever socialism is. It’s a philosophical piggyback ride in fact. Capitalism is evil, capitalism liberates. My approach opposes both schools of thought on some level, because neither has ever been fully successful. I’m all about precedents, and trailblazing approaches. What is America to do then?

But back to that post in question, a commenter, after the evils of capitalism were presented said, “Capitalism worked for Black Wall Street,” – I agreed. He’s right, but the elephant in the room is that this is anecdotal. Hmm. There are nearly 43 million of us now folks. When at least over half of that number benefits generationally from capitalism, I’ll bite. Until then, leave flippant remarks like “catch up with the rest of us,” and anecdotes at the door. Yvette is justified in focusing on economic growth (or the lack of it). You’re not an ally of either one of us.

Til’ next musing,

Talitha McEachin

 

Barack Obama’s Legacy, Successes & Failures

Greetings friends,

Each week I’ll be listing one success and one failure of former president Barack Obama. It’s part of a series of blogs in which I’ll examine his legacy, so here goes:

Obama-Winking-300x200Success: He repealed DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which was signed into law by former president Bill Clinton (D) with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support. It defined marriage as being between one man and one woman – the basis for the nuclear family. He was absolutely justified in doing so, because DOMA was inherently unconstitutional. It’s the one time he put on his constitutionalist hat, no matter his motive. This one’s not debatable folks, so I’ll stop there.

 

 

SCOTUS picFailure: He made history, when in 2012, the SCOTUS upheld the ACA as a tax instead of the mandate it really is. However, it was a slick way of evading the defined role of the federal government in the constitution, which doesn’t include the authority to meddle in healthcare. It doesn’t matter how you align politically, or how you feel about the ACA, we have a civil duty to raise Hell over this. We have a responsibility to engage in constitutional apologetics. We can amend it legally, the framers spelled out this process for us, but we can’t trample over it. He took ten steps forward in dismantling DOMA, then ironically, took 20 steps back by throwing the very same constitution under the bus with Obamacare. Epic failure.

Until next musing,

Talitha “TK” McEachin

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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The Trump Hate Continues…

Greetings friends,

The Trump hate continues. I don’t even like the guy, but some folks are so irrational in the aftermath of the election, that they’ve forgotten all of the hate speech & such after Barack Obama was elected – its called selective amnesia. And outrage. Sure, Trump says incendiary, insensitive things but he’s still not responsible for any violence done in his name. Folks, people were commiting hate crimes long before Obama and Trump. Don’t allow professional, propaganda puppets (aka corporate media outlets), convince you that this is something uniquely negative. They’re lying, which is ironic considering they’re the ones pouring gas onto this fire of an alleged surge in racially motivated crimes.  “It’s all Trump’s fault,” some insist. Don’t confuse the media’s focus on reporting these racial incidents, in their attempts to smear Trump, with their alleged, frequent occurence. In order to hold him responsible alone, one must first put him on a pedestal. He ain’t that important. Exaggerations are the trademark of what passes for today’s journalism. Racial violence is big business, especially when minorities are the victims. The media will do anything, including outright lying & exaggerating for the sake of ratings. Your uprisings and outrage benefit them. Some of you are like outrage prostitutes, turning tricks with each keystroke – the media is your pimp.trump

Donald John Trump, Sr, showed us how much of a loudmouth, controversial, unscrupulous jerk he was before the election. He still won. This should indicate how weary Americans are of the establishment types. If Trump is the racist many assess him to be, America would rather have him than a member of the establishment. Do I actually need to spell this out for anyone? The stars are aligned. The universe has spoken. Its just the year of the outsider. Some of you are inconsistent, not him. Moreover, since when did he not have first amendment rights like the rest of us? It’s incredible, how quickly some are willing to ditch the first amendment now that their feelings are hurt, because their side lost. Some have even retorted with sources which claim hundreds of racial complaints in the last week. Not to get too caught up in semantics, but last I checked, complaints aren’t convictions. Neither are arrests. You can’t quantify an increase nor decrease in racially motivated crimes without a long enough time period to measure. That’s just basic statistics & arithmetic. “Police officer, I think my neighbor threw a rock over my fence to hit my Trump sign,” – There. I just made a complaint too. That doesn’t mean however, that my neighbor is guilty. Take a deep breath folks, enough with the doomsday talk already. Its gonna be OK.

Until next musing,

Talitha “TK” McEachin

Next time, I’ll be analyzing the Cabinet picks of President-Elect Donald Trump, starting with the RNC Chair Reince Preibus himself, the newly appointed White House Chief of Staff. Stay tuned! Keep the faith.

 

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My Musings: Race Matters, Poor Melania, Comey vs Clinton, and Electoral College Blues

Greetings Friends,

This is my first musing in the aftermath of one of the most contentious presidential elections we’ve had in quite some time. Interestingly enough, I accurately predicted this somewhat, unprecedeted Trump win as early as March of this year. Donald John Trump, Sr is our victorious President-Elect, whether we love it or not. Obviously most voters do, to the tune of 290 electoral votes over 228 for Hillary Clinton. It was a landslide. Excuse the obvious pun, but populism trumps party allegiance every time:

Race Matters

trumpclintonI’m going to say this very carefully, but I already know it will be over the heads of the knee-jerkers, political party (or lack thereof) not withstanding. I don’t know with certainty, that President-Elect Trump is a racist. I do know that he has said some very insensitive, outlandish, alpha male, ego-strokin’ stuff, which I’ve found repugnant. Some of it has been racial in nature, most of it has not. Let me interject a reminder that I’ve never supported Trump, because the knee-jerkers heads are about to explode right about now. I’ve favored Libertarian Gary Johnson throughout this entire election cycle. Truth be told, I could care less about Trump’s, or any other politician’s racism, as long as it doesn’t influence their decisions while on the job. You just can’t police thoughts & feelings. Racism is rooted in fear – its emotional. People have the right to be who they are, even if that means being a racist. As long as they stay in their lane, I don’t give two clicks of witch’s heel about their delusions of racial grandeur. 

There’s nothing in the constitution barring racists, xenophobes, mysogynists, homophobes, or arachnophobes, from running for president. So all of this whining about who Trump is, or perceived as, is a waste of too many salty tears. Call me when this stuff translates into legislation, and I’ll stand with you against him. Until then, all of this noise, because that’s what it is, is much ado about absolutely nothing, though I support your freedom to make it. Just do me a favor & turn it in the opposite direction of me.  It’s so very telling, that this election came down to a choice between two, lily white opponents, yet some are still making this all about race. I’ve concluded that, that’s what matters to far too many, so we have a long way to go in America as far as racial tension is concerned. Some are just stuck on stupid island. But hey, as long as they don’t try to knock the freedom of speech hat from my head, I won’t bother the dunce one on theirs. Carry on…

Poor Melania

Some folks are making themselves feel better by calling Melania Trump a stripper, whore, skank, trashy slut – too many demeaning labels to share, but I’m sure you get the point.melaniaMelania Trump used to be a stripper & model – both legal occupations, and I’m not judging her. She nor her husband have ever hidden this from anyone. She danced, she modeled, but I, nor anyone of those speaking negatively about her know anything about her sex life. The so-called “whore” hasn’t been a stripper or a model in a long time, she snagged a billionaire, has a 10 year old son, and now she’s the FLOTUS. Somehow, I think she’s going to be just fine, and is doing much better than most. These same folks are pointing out the hypocrisy in the way some on the right have denigrated Michelle Obama over the years. They’d be right, but this isn’t new. Some have been denigrating our First Lady for the last eight years, since she set foot into the White House. Trump’s elevation to our First Lady did not prompt the backlash Obama has faced at any time. Some care more about what she does with her va-jay-jay than they do our national debt. How in the heck are some more upset about derogatory comments about Michelle Obama than she is? She couldn’t care less.

“Talitha, why are you defending Melania Trump?” some have asked. Its because I have class, something such persons are asserting she lacks. While some are focused on Melania Trump’s past, people have lost their lives in the aftermath of an earthquake in New Zealand, Iraqi forces have re-captured ancient lands, and the moon’s cycloptic eye is gazing much closer upon us, probably frowning. Stooping to the level of those who spoke negatively about Michelle Obama, by doing the same to Melania Trump, is equally childish. Grow up. Priorities. Priorities. People.

Comey vs Clinton

comeyI’ve not been at all timid, regarding my disapproval of FBI Director James Comey’s recent, controversial decision to send a letter to Congress detailing questionable communications of Hillary Clinton. I don’t care for Hillary Clinton – politically. That’s not a secret, but I still think Comey should be fired. The end of Election 2016 doesn’t change this view of mine. He made this decision on his own, which is unprecedented given FBI & DOJ protocol. How can he announce that he was not going to prosecute her earlier this year, then send the letter to Congress, making it public, eight days before the election? If you think this had no impact on any voters, you’re incredibly naive. It’s not fair folks. He should have waited until after the election. Am I to believe, that he didn’t think about sending the letter at all after March, until days before the election? If I am to believe that, then I may as well throw in a belief in unicorns & tiny men in green suits, with their pots of gold at the end of rainbows. Santa Claus really delivers gifts on Christmas Eve, and dragons really are our ancient, misunderstood, fiery friends. I’d say the same thing if he had done this to Donald Trump. People who think the electoral playing field was level after that, are more concerned about winning than fairness, which speaks volumes. I could never look myself in the mirror, if I ignored this very obvious, biased, political legerdemain, from someone whose function in our government, is not supposed to be partisan.

Hillary Clinton & her campaign crew are blaming her loss on this very thing. I can only agree that it was poorly timed & inappropriate, but the harsh reality is that Trump ran a better campaign. Approximately five million Democrats chose to stay home. Too many Democrats assessed erroneously, that Trump was the easiest pick of the right-wing litter for Clinton to beat. This led them to vote in the GOP primary for Trump. It backfired, and though Clinton humbly conceded the race to Trump expeditiously, she & her crew should stop shifting the entire blame on Comey, and focus on the real culprit in the mirror.

Finally,

Electoral College Blues

Over the years I’ve been consistent with my disdain for the electoral college, although even I have had to admit that the alternative – the popular vote is inherently unfair. If we decided national elections by the popular vote, the winners would be decided by a handful of states like California, New York and Florida, who have the largest populations. The irony is that most people who have an issue with the electoral college, only find it problematic when their candidate loses. As someone said today on one of my social media threads, “Leave the foundation of our democratic process alone and just select better candidates,” Folks, that’s the bottom line. Quite frankly, I think Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump, and Hillary Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates. It’s just the year of the Republican outsider & not the Democrat establishment. electoral-map

Then there’s the notion that the electoral college has it’s roots in racism, allegedly because it was enacted to benefit slave-holding states. That means its racist, to those so inclined to view most things through the prism of race. It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in a long time. Even if it were true, slavery was abolished in 1865, and chattel slaves were property, not people. It’s incredibly bizarre that anyone would attempt to link a time in our history, where only white, male landowners could vote, to today’s elections. That’s like saying prohibition is responsible for today’s drunk drivers. Assuming  that all Americans want their vote to actually count, the electoral college is the best means for guaranteeing this.

Until next musing,

Talitha “TK” McEachin

 

 

 

 

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My Musings: Economic Matters, American Slavery & Black Wealth, Manufacturing Fear

Greetings friends,

As promised post before last, here are my latest musings from social media, using the new format of sharing a few quick postings rather than one longer piece so that I can spend more time writing fiction. Enjoy!

Talitha, why don’t you discuss economic matters more?

stacks_of_moneySometimes people ask me why I don’t speak out more on matters of the economy. I do, but those aren’t the social media posts that are popular. Most, if not all of our social woes in America, are inextricably bound to the fiscal ones anyway. I talk about fiscal matters to select audiences of people armed with the economic acumen to engage me. All else is a waste of my time. I can’t discuss the post-jobs economy, the ponzi scheme we affectionately call  Social “Security” quanitative easing, nor the mounting federal debt with people who retort with anecdotes, about their buying power, when the lack of wealth of certain groups in America is discussed. This usually comes from those whose cultural egos bruise easily, especially when our lack of wealth is pointed out by the likes of Donald Trump if I’m polite, any white person if I’m not. Many prefer that our fiscal, community, dirty laundry not be aired, and for some it’s a futile attempt to prove that race related poverty is mostly a myth. “I can keep up with the Jones’,” many insist. The keyword is “I”, which is irrelevant to the topic of what “we” can do, or have. Fortunately for me, I’m under no such delusion. An economic discussion is a moot one, when had with those who believe wealth can be measured by consumerism. This is America, where living beyond one’s means is the norm, and where many poor citizens spend frivolously, while many among the wealthy are frugal. We’ve got it all backwards folks, so one’s ability to consume has no place in an analysis of collective wealth. Some are asking me to discuss the blue sky, even though they’re stubbornly convinced that it’s green. Nope, I’m not doing that anymore, because it’s impossible to wake up people who are pretending to be asleep. Don’t fret though, such persons will never be alone. There’s always plenty of blissful room in Club Ignorance.

Slavery in America & Black Wealth:

Some Americans grossly underestimate the impact of centuries of chattel slavery in this shacklescountry on black folks, in terms of the lack of wealth as a whole. And before someone says “Africans sold other Africans into slavery,” or, “There were black/Native-American slave owners too,” “White people were chattel slaves too,” (utter nonsense, btw), or, “Look at immigrant group X and emulate them,”- note that these are all irrelevant, red herrings. Let your fingertips take you away from this discussion – this one’s for conscious grown-ups, not childish, talking point spouting, keyboard commandos. Everyone else, as my friend & mentor Steven Barnes (NY Times bestselling author of LION’S BLOOD & ZULU HEART) said to me a few years ago – “There’s no such thing as a wound that takes less time to heal than it took to inflict,”. Using those excuses, is like breaking the legs of one man in a race, then shooting the gun in the air for everyone to begin running. After the race & his obvious loss, the winners ask him, “Now why is it taking you so long to start running?”.

If you think that other groups, under identical conditions, would have fared better, you’re a part of the problem. If we believe that there’s no such thing as race, and it’s just a social construct, any other conclusions drawn point to a belief in the inferiority of black Americans, or Native Americans, who aren’t doing so well either. There’s no escaping that. For those who often ask me, “What can we do to help?”, you can start by acknowledging our humanity. When some did have wealth long ago – land (40 acres & a mule), economic prosperity (Black Wallstreet) or, were entrepreneurs (black owned businesses in the Jim Crow south) this was forcibly & violently taken from far too many. That’s not our fault, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m weary of the whole “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” rhetoric hurled at black Americans. We did that, and were re-victimized many times over LEGALLY. It’s still happening on some level today via the judicial system. Do some of us gain economic prosperity despite this? Absolutely! but that’s not the point. Individual triumphs are anecdotal, nothing more or less. Collective ones, however, are an indication of economic stability, which is needed to have & maintain generational wealth. That should be the goal. That is our inherited disadvantage.

And last:

Manufacturing Fear: Hillary Clinton as POTUS & ISIS

isisI’m going to preface this by saying that this is more or less food for thought that requires some level of objectivity. In a recent discussion, a friend brought up his committment to vote for Donald Trump, because he thinks having a female president will open the door for more terrorist attacks from radical, Islamic jihadists. His logic and that of others, is that a woman as POTUS will give the appearance of weakness exceedingly more, from members of a culture & religion, in which women are totally subjugated & have very little freedom.This is within the context of an extremist, radical, Islamic microcosm, to be differentiated from the greater, non-radicalized Islamic culture. Obviously, all Muslims are not radicalized, and I don’t mind going further to say that most aren’t. My intuition initially says yes, they could view America as vulnerable with a woman at the helm, but that’s not reason enough for us to not elect a woman in any election. In fact, that line of reasoning is preposterous. Moreover, America may be embarking on its first female president, but we aren’t the first such country – that logic is lacking in precedents to buttress it. Having a female president may be perceived as a weakness by ISIS, and perhaps even domestic terrorists, but this can be advantageous in our battle against terrorism. Perception often doesn’t match reality. Doesn’t it benefit us to be falsely perceived as weaker? I’m not a fan of Clinton for a myriad of reasons, but this isn’t one of them. It can’t be. It’s a provocative assertion, and not altogether flawed, but it seems to me its more of a fear tactic than a cohesive, valid argument. Maybe I’m just not paranoid.Your thoughts?

Have a safe & productive weekend! Until next musing,

TK McEachin

 

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