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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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Today’s Tragedy in Boston

Friends,

Boston MarathonI’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the two explosions that went off on the finish line of the Boston marathon & the one at the JFK library. I don’t have much to say except that my prayers go out to the families affected by this. I’ll wait for the investigation before I comment further. Here is more information, reported live as developments are available by Yahoo. Let us not rush to judgment before an investigation calling this an act of terrorism before we have more information. I have already seen reports from the left & right accusing the other side of being responsible. Friends, I urge you all to withhold accusations of terrorism for the tragedies from today in Boston until investigations are completed. Already, I have read accusations from the left that the Tea Party/right-wingers was/were involved and from the right I have read accusations that the “Muslim extremists” were behind it. No one knows right now who is responsible, so let us not draw conclusions with so little information available. Both sides have already begun accusing the other & I am very disgusted by this. If we cannot see how premature & wrong this is then as a species, humans are doomed due to their own stupidity. Seriously, folks let’s chill out until we know more absolutes.

 
 

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Post “Dark Knight” Massacre Perpetrator Media Perceptions

Post “Dark Knight” Massacre Perpetrator Media Perceptions

There is no denying the fact that the vast majority of media speculations on terrorist James Holmes‘ reasoning for committing the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado were due to the fact that he is mentally ill, despite not having any evidence of this. The same assessment was made after the Columbine shootings and others which involved non-black perpetrators. I have to be honest in saying that it strikes me as ironic that black or Latino gang-bangers are labeled as “monsters” void of any conscience who deliberately terrorize the people in their communities (and they do) but when the shooter is white, great effort is made to downplay the killing as deliberate,cold-blooded & the narrative becomes “they are mentally ill, unaware of what they are doing or delusional” – Now before some of you go getting defensive on me, I’m talking about perception which is driven by the media coverage, not the specific facts of the case. I do NOT defend the killings taking place in Chicago by any means.

The fact is, despite having ZERO evidence that Holmes is mentally ill, this seems to be the consensus already! That’s because many (myself included) tend to reason that one MUST be mentally ill to dress up like the Joker and go on a shooting spree in a packed movie theater. The problem is that this “justification reasoning” is almost never applied equally across racial lines. Quite frankly, black people don’t do mass shootings of this kind. When we kill it’s a very much intended target or we miss and kill unintended victims, which is no less horrific but this is a cultural difference worth mentioning. More often than not, when there is a mass shooting, the perpetrator is a young white male who shoots at random and attempts to kill as many people as he can, their relationship to him (or lack of one) not withstanding.

Well, I don’t think Holmes is mentally ill – not anymore than the normal craziness floating around. It takes clarity of thought to plan such a catastrophe which he did meticulously, down to the last bullet. I think he dyed his hair and dressed up in a costume and booby-trapped his apartment to convince everyone that he is mentally ill, in order to receive leniency when the time comes to pay the piper.The fact that he told the authorities that his apartment was booby-trapped instead of just allowing the first responders to walk into a death trap shows that he can appreciate the consequences of his actions and knew exactly what he was doing. He is a domestic terrorist and should be treated as such. Independent Liberal blogger Yvette Carnell and I often disagree but in this case, she’s absolutely right:

“Yesterday, I wrote this  about the possible intersection of white male pathology and the Colorado massacre:

The news coming from Colorado is tragic, shaking us from within, but why are our only initial assessments about the shooter  related to mental illness? And even if he is mentally ill, so what? Don’t life’s pressures often trigger crazy?  No one has presented any evidence, as yet, that James Holmes was a perpetually troubled young man, so why aren’t we exploring other possible inducements for his bloody rampage? How does a neuroscience student morph into a mass murderer?  I don’t know, but I’m not going to narrow the possibilities  in order to reassure white people that everything is just fine in their brains.

Premeditating the murders of strangers isn’t normal, it’s sick. And so is slaughtering your school mates, and sicking a police dog on a woman with her  infant in tow – which we saw done by the police in Anaheim this week.

And, like clockwork, a commenter chimed in to add that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by blacks. That sort of blunt force comment is usually employed to neutralize a more neutralized comment. But the thing is, it only works if you actually adhere to the idea that a crack dealer killing another crack dealer is synonymous with a gunman premeditating the massacre of an entire theatre full of moviegoers.”

You may continue reading here.

 

 
 

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