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Category Archives: Society

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

 

Being A Constitutionalist

Greetings All,

I wanted to share my thoughts today on what being a constitutionalist means to me, and why that means more to me than party affiliation, or any other political boxes I can check:

Folks, I am a constitutionalist before I am anything else. This allows me, to have political allies from all walks of life, as long as we can agree that the law of the land must be adhered to, as well as the legal blueprint for amending it. This doesn't mean the law is without imperfections, nor are those who created it. The same is true for those whose job it is to defend it. We're all inherently, flawed human beings. We make mistakes, and we must correct them legally as a society at times. History is replete with major and minor instances of this. This is why I consider Americans, who readily accept political legerdemain, used to circumvent legal procedures when it suits their interests, the most unpatriotic citizens there are.

As for me, I've accepted the inevitable reality, that putting my own personal agendas and biases aside, and honoring the constitution, means there will be things I am opposed to, but must allow to legally stand. That is, if my arguments to the contrary are not legally strong enough, to influence a different outcome. I really wish more Americans would follow suit. It's such a relaxing political place to be…

Until next musing,

Talitha McEachin

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Philosophy, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

So recently, I retracted a prior criticism of former POTUS Barack Obama – the whole “food stamp president” nonsense. While this post isn’t a retraction, I want to share my thoughts on another erroneous label affixed to him – the infamous “Obamaphone”. The ironic thing about this, is that it’s origins are rooted back to 1984 when some Americans were still in “Will we ever see a black president?” mode. A “Barack Obama” if you will, was still a dream. 1984? Yep. When Ronald Reagan was president. Some even argue that it goes back as far as Roosevelt, but I digress. That year, the FCC created the Lifeline Assistance program. That’s the actual name of the “Obamaphone” program, technically. 

Obviously, cellular phones weren’t ubiquitous as they are now, in 1984, which is why the program provided free landline phone service, mainly to senior citizens. Interestingly enough, after eight years of the Obamaphone misnomer, so many remain ignorant of its history.  Am I the only one who’s never heard of an “Reaganphone”? What about a “Bushphone”? “Clintonphone” perhaps? What about a “Trumpphone”? (that sounds like the world’s worst megaphone ever). You haven’t because they were never labeled as such, even though the program existed in every presidency since Reagan. In fact, Safelink Wireless offered the first such cellular (keyword alert!) phone service in Tennessee in 2008, near the end of Bush’s second term. Barack Obama wasn’t elected until November of 2008. The program started three months earlier. 

There are some very, obvious motives and suspicious undertones, if I’m polite, associated with slapping this erroneous, derogatory misnomer onto the first black president, and literally none of his predecessors, but for now I’m not gonna go there (Hmm, no pun intended, but, did I just do that?). Now to be fair, the number of participants in the program, did increase significantly under the Obama administration, but that’s to be expected, with the expansion of any government program to assist the destitute in a recession. It’s a domino effect. If you had no problem with the program under Reagan, both Bush’s or Clinton, it’s simply hypocritical to have whined about it for the last eight years under Obama. I’ll be discussing three more things, I, and/or my political “macro tribe” got wrong, or, that were generally misunderstood or wrong when it comes to Obama. Then I’ll balance it by discussing the same number of things I stand by firmly, as far as my criticism of his presidency goes. Stay with me folks, this is about to get really interesting…

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Tomorrow…

Greeting friends!

Happy Independance day to you all. As you celebrate with family, friends, fireworks & barbecue, here are my thoughts & memories of what this day means to me:

Yesterday was the anniversary of my Dad’s passing and I was totally fine. He’s been gone several years now. Today I remembered us rushing to the hospital, and the coroner literally waiting right near the front door to take his body. The nurse who called us kept her word, that they’d wait until we got there to see him, before letting them take his body. I remember being hit with the reality of his death when I kissed his forehead. It had already grown cold. I knew then – he’s really gone. This is just a shell before me. I smiled and cried at the same time. My sister’s wedding was in two weeks and she had to face the reality, that he wouldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle. She wasn’t going to have the father/daughter dance she had planned. My brother was the last one to see him alive. “Lance, I’m going for a walk. I won’t be long. I’ll see you when I get back,” he said. Those were his last words, except whatever sweet utterances he whispered in the ears of Christ, with his arms outstretched, upward bound. Though they’d been divorced, and amicably so, for several years, I saw my Mom cry for the first time in my life. As the eldest child, I knew that I had to be there for my family, and we had to plan a funeral. My grief would have to wait. I held it in so tightly that my pain manifested physically in the place of its emotional twin. A sudden, severe toothache sent me to the dentist the next morning. My blood pressure was sky high. My pain was going to be released one way or another…

We got in the car to leave and the phone started ringing. His corneas were to be donated to a recipient in need. He had agreed to this on his license and they were the only thing they could take from a 61 year old man with heart disease. Informing us was just a formality. Then we had the heart-wrenching task of informing family and friends. He wasn’t ill, his death was sudden. But what I remember most and first, is going to his home, looking in the refrigerator and seeing chicken already seasoned, ready for the grill – it was for tomorrow. Tomorrow. It’s not promised to any of us. We make plans, but God is in control. The next day was the 4th of July. He was a veteran (USAF) and very patriotic. This makes me a bit sad, until I remember his destination. He was a Christian and very keenly understood what that meant. He made sure my siblings and I understood it too. Often he would pray and ask God to spare him the pain of ever having to bury a child. God granted him that. Knowing he’d transition first, he spoke of wanting to see his three children again in Heaven. That’s up to us. He and my mother have done their part. Ironically, it was he who told me that I should become a writer, or a lawyer. At the time I scoffed at the idea that I should write, or argue for a living. I wanted to become a research scientist. Hmm. Now I’m a writer and I argue all the time. I’m thankful to God for you Daddy. We miss and love you. There has never been a day that has passed by when you weren’t in my thoughts. In a world in which so many don’t know, or don’t have their fathers in their lives, I’m so happy and blessed to not know what that feels like.

Until next musing,

Talitha K. McEachin

 

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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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