White Privileged Male

privilege

Once upon a time I was a white privileged male.  I had privileges at home.  I had privileges at school.  I had privileges at the bank.  I had privileges in real estate.  I had privileges at work.  I especially had privileges with women, both black and white.

Then along came the 13th amendment.  Then along came the 19th amendment.  Then along came Brown versus the Board of Education.   Then along came Roe versus Wade.  Then along came Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Where have all my privileges gone?

Long time passing

Where have all my privileges gone?

Long time ago.

stop and check picture

Then along came more and more minorities.  Along came the Mexicans; along came the Chinese; along came the Koreans; along came the Japanese; along came the Vietnamese; along came the Hmong; along came the Sudanese; along came the Iranians; along came the Muslims; along came the Buddhists; along came the Hindus.

Where have all my privileges gone?

Minorities have picked them every one

When will they ever be satisfied?

When will they ever be satisfied?

white privilege card

Then along came 911.  Then along came the terrorists.  Then along came Obamacare. Then along came Occupy Wall Street.  Then along came LGBTQ.  Then along came Black Lives Matter.  Then along came #MeToo.

Where have all my privileges gone?

Women and Gays and Liberals and Arabs

 have picked them every one

When will they ever be satisfied?

When will they ever be satisfied?

colorblind-thought

Now they are coming for the Second Amendment.  They want my guns.  They want to take the rest of my privileges away from me.  But I won’t go down without a battle.

  • When guns are allowed, only outlaws will have guns.
  • Guns don’t kill people, people do.
  • You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
  • Only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

fear

I need my guns because I am afraid.  My fear breeds self-hatred.  My self-hatred gets turned on others.  I despise the world.  I hate you.  I hate anyone different.  I hate minorities.  I hate women.  I hate liberals.  I hate homosexuals.  I hate those who have more than me.

Where have all my privileges gone?

When will they ever return?

When will they ever return?

Time for Questions:

 What is the golden rule?  Do we apply it to only those people who are like us?  What did Christ mean when he said, “Love everyone, Love your enemies?” Do we practice tolerance and kindness to only people who look like us?  When do we accept others who are different?

Life is just beginning.

 “Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security, and prestige, it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.” — Steven Biko

 

 

 

Republicanville USA — 2056 CE

freedom-is-slavery

I live in Republicanville USA.  It is a small town of about 1,500 people in the rural Midwest.  Today in my town, all the women are barefoot and pregnant and all the men are stupid and misinformed.  It wasn’t always this way.  Things started to change about 75 years ago, when Ronald Reagan became President.  My town had always been very progressive and liberal but we started hearing more and more about how we were being taken advantage of by the poor, those on government handouts and those too lazy to work.  The Republicans who in our town had always been a minority began to grow in numbers.  The more we heard about welfare cheats and welfare freeloaders and those on drugs taking advantage of us, the more my town embraced a new concept of democracy.  It was more like “every man or woman for themselves” rather than “all for one and one for all.”

obey-jesus-or-perish

Our U.S. democracy which had always prided itself on a separation of church and state seemed to forget the reason for this partition.  Increasingly, a group called Evangelical Fundamentalists became more popular along with their criticism of many progressive institutions.  Republicanville USA moved more and more to the right.  The concept of unbridled capitalism became enshrined as a religion and many people began opposing “big” government and taxes.  The Republican Party preached that the marketplace could provide for all social, physical and economic needs of U.S. citizens.  My town moved even further to the right.

trump-state-of-the-unionThis conservative trend was already well underway when in 2017, a billionaire real-estate developer named Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America.  In addition to the hard core conservative beliefs of many mainstream Republicans, Trump added the once discredited idea of American Isolationism.  We would now put America first, no matter what.  No more negotiations with other nations unless it was clear that we got the better of the deal.  We would build a big wall to keep Mexicans and other immigrants out and we would renege on our trade deals with China and Europe.  About the only country that Trump liked was Russia.   Eventually, he agreed to give Alaska and parts of Canada back to Russia.

Trump came through on his promises to the Evangelicals that he would make America White again and put women back in the bedroom where it would be okay to grab their pussies whenever you wanted to.  Minorities were targeted for deportation and women libbers promoting abortion or equal rights for women were arrested in wholesale sweeps and sent to special detention centers for chronic complainers and protesters.

I would like to describe in somewhat more detail what my town is like now in 2056.  Things are a lot different than when I was born in 2017.  I will divide my discussion of these changes into three areas:  Family, Education and Social Issues.

Family:

another-day-in-paradiseI am 39 years old and have two children.  I have never worked (at least outside of the home) as women have not been allowed to work since 2022 when they passed the “Women in the Home Law” as it was popularly called.  The Federal government passed the law and it was ratified by every state and municipality in the nation.  Some places tried to hold out but the government cut off all funding to them until they capitulated.  This law effectively outlawed women working.  It also barred women from the military.  Ten years later (2032) they passed the “Mandatory Birth Act.”  This bill proscribes that every woman (physically able to) must give birth to at least two children.  Any woman who reaches the age of 32 and still has not given birth to two children is forcibly removed to a National Birthing Center where she will be artificially impregnated and kept confined until she has had at least two healthy children.  Sickly or unhealthy children are sent to Disposal Camps where they are “recycled” per official government propaganda.  No one is quite sure what happens during recycling but the children are never seen again.

Many gay women resisted the Mandatory Birth Act and the National Suicide Rate went up dramatically.  The “Fathers” (as our political leaders are now called) made it very clear that the country would be better off without such deviates.  Since women were no longer allowed in politics, the leaders of the nation decreed that they would all be called “Fathers” instead of being referred to as politicians or legislators as they once were called.

My husband works at a local mill where they make t-shirts for Japan, China, Brazil and some of the more developed t-shirt-workersnations.  Since banning imports of such items, we have created millions of jobs making goods that were once made in low wage countries.  The demand for such goods has skyrocketed but now we are providing them.  Unfortunately, the wages and education needed for such work is still low.  My husband did not finish high school but most men in our town do not.  The Fathers have repeatedly stated that real men don’t need higher education.  (I will talk more about education later.)

When my husband is not working, he spends most of his time watching football, baseball, basketball, golf or hockey.  I ammen-watching-game not allowed in the living room when his sports are on except to bring in some beer or chips.  This does not really bother me much as I have plenty to do with the kids, housecleaning, cooking and all.  I have my own TV in my sewing room where I can watch any of the approved programs for women.  We have 30 different “Women Only” channels where I can learn more about cooking and cleaning and how to be a good wife. There are some good romances and family drama stories that are occasionally on.  I look forward to watching these when the kids are in bed.

Our two children, Mary and John are 12 and 15 respectively.  Mary is in a finishing school for girls where they are preparing her for being a mom and wife.  She takes subjects such as homemaking, cooking, cleaning and parenting.  She has one more year to go before finishing school.

When Mary turns 14, she will be eligible for marriage.  Her name will be put in a marriage registry.  If she is lucky enough and pretty enough, some up and coming town Father will select her for a wife.  Men who qualify due to income levels are allowed to have up to five wives.

woman-vacuum-cleaning

My son John is not in school any longer and he works part-time.  The Fathers decried that girls did not need schooling after the age of 13.  John hopes to get a job in the t-shirt plant where his dad works when he turns 16.  He quit school because we could not afford a private school for him.  Only the rich kids in town go on to education beyond the 10th grade.  Private schools are very expensive and the Fathers do not believe in funding education any more.  It has been emphasized that education is an elitist program that creates class divisions and makes some people feel more entitled than other people.   Most young men in our town will work in one of the mills or plants.

Education:

anti_public_education_propaganda_by_8manderz8-d5xz1cj

I have already talked about some aspects of our education system today.  Basically, most people do not believe in higher education anymore.  It is only for the rich.  All funds for public education were cut in 2035 when they passed the “Private Education Act”.  Most folks now send their kids to private schools through the 8th grade and then find work for their children after that.  Girls will be shortly married so school is not thought to be that important for them anyway.  They can learn whatever they need to be a good wife on the “At Home Wives Channels.”

students-1920-1950-9_jpeg

Boys from families with lower incomes can opt to go to privately funded vocational schools to learn such trades as t-shirt making, sneaker making, jewelry making, gun repair, taxidermy, and many other skills that might be in demand.  There is still some funding for such programs that is available for lower income families.  All public colleges have been closed now.  As I noted earlier, such schools were decried to be elitist and the Fathers were unanimous in un-funding them.

Boys from wealthier families go to the more prestigious private schools where they will learn such skills as: Leadership, Accounting, Business Development, Entrepreneurship and Medicine.  Law was abolished as a field of study in 2030 with the passage of the “No More Lawyers Act.”  This act basically made lawsuits illegal thus dramatically decreasing the need for lawyers in the U.S.

Courtrooms abolished “adversarial” trial procedures with the “No More Lawyers Act” and replaced the old-fashioned method of two people arguing trials with modern Computerized Forensic Tomography.  Using CFT, a cross section of the case and evidence pro and con is presented to the jurors.  All the available facts and data are reviewed and jurors vote on the verdict.  Trials are much more efficient and there is no need for lawyers.

Anti EducationLibraries are now mostly museums.  With the passage of the “Books Only Lie Bill” in 2038, all funds to public libraries were cut.  The Fathers decried that books did nothing but cause trouble and stir up discontent.  Anything citizens really needed to know could be found on the “Citizens Channels” offered by the government Department of Public Wisdom.  There are over 100 of these channels which are available on public TV.  They are on 24/7 and offer many programs for good citizenship.  Some of the programs are:

  • Disciplining your children
  • How to take proper care of your guns
  • Disciplining your wife
  • Obeying your supervisor
  • Getting along with co-workers
  • Obeying authority
  • Keeping a clean house

Social Issues:

Social issues or problems (as some people thought of them) have been mostly eliminated in our town.  Our Fathers banned minorities in 2040 with the “America for Whites Act.”  Under this act, no immigrants or people of color can live in the same community as White people.  In 2041, they passed the “Christian Only Act” making Christianity the official Religion of the USA.  All other religions were banned along with atheism and agnosticism.  The “Mandatory Religion Act” in 2042 made it a felony crime not to attend a Christian church every Sunday.

In our town, there is only one church now.  It the Fundamental Evangelical Christian Church for Christ.  We have two pastors who are both well versed in Old Testament theology.  They are fond of saying that “Heaven is for the obedient, the disobedient will all go to hell.”  We are taught that Jesus will come again before the end of the century to judge the living and the dead.  The good folks will go to heaven and the bad will burn forever in the flames of hell.

We still have crime in our community but not very much.  It is severely punished with public floggings, beatings and hangings.  Criminals are banished to work rehabilitation camps for hard labor.  Drugs are still a major problem but the new “One Strike Act” passed in 2050 decried that anyone caught with an illegal substance would face a mandatory life sentence at a penal colony somewhere in the South China Sea.

immigration-reform

Gay men still can be found but homosexuality can be punished under the “2045 Purity of Purpose Bill” with mandatory castration.  Boys are encouraged to be manly and any evidence of femininity in our boys is severely dealt with.  Our town brought back “town stocks” a few years ago, to punish any boys or men caught in homosexual activities.  These punishments plus the threat of castration have decreased the rate of homosexuality considerably in our community.

Well, I could tell you a great deal more about life in our town in 2056, but I have cleaning and cooking to do.  Furthermore, if anyone knew I was writing this I would be in big trouble.  Under the “Against Propaganda Law” passed in 2041, no one may criticize the government, any Fathers or any laws without official authorization from the local town council.  I could be publicly flogged or worse for saying these things.  Thus, for now I will just hide this away.  I don’t mean to be either a coward or a complainer.  Our Fathers say this is the Golden Age of America and that we are living in the greatest Christian country in the world.  Who am I to argue?

Time for Questions:

Are you living the good life?  Do you live the life you dreamed of?  Do you think you have a right to your dreams?  Do you think other people also have a right to their dreams?  How much authority do you think a government should have over your dreams?  What kind of dreams do you have for your children?  What do you call progress?

Life is just beginning.

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal.  He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves.  But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”  ― George OrwellAnimal Farm

Republicans:  Why They Were Once a Great Party but are Now the Party of Hate, Bigotry and Greed – AKA Donald Trump– Part 1

dumb-republicansToday the Republicans have become the party of Dumb and Dumber.  The likes of Palin, Bachmann, Inhofe and Sessions are not so mute testimony to the fools that now dominate the Republican Party.  Add Donald Trump to the hand and you have a five ace hand of losers.  Every day, we read of some new evidence that shows how bigoted, hypocritical and vile the core beliefs of the Republican Party have become.  The leadership of the Republican Party seems to have no integrity.  Half of them spend their time trying to explain the inane and dangerous comments spewed out daily by their party nominee. A candidate so devoid of any character or morality that many in his own party are trying to dissociate themselves from him.  What is left of the party leadership are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  There is no longer any true leadership in the party. Trump and his supporters are destroying what once was a grand old Party.  The party of Lincoln, which stood for freedom and equality has now become a party of fear, greed, intolerance and hatred.

Today, the Republicans even hate themselves.  They are now trying to destroy their star candidate for the 2016 Presidential elections.  A gross Neanderthal who equates money with character and morality named Donald Trump has upstaged the Party’s chosen one to rally the extremists who have now come to dominate the Republican Party.  The grand old Party which once attracted many progressives who believed in the power of the individual over the power of the state now is controlled by a clique or power structure which has no connection to the traditional core Republican values. (I will say more about these values in this blog)

“Republican voters view Donald Trump as their strongest general election candidate, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights the sharp contrast between the party’s voters and its top professionals regarding the billionaire businessman’s ultimate political strength.”  – Steve Peoples and Emily Swanson  

In addition to those who I would call the traditionalists, the Republican Party has attracted a large contingency of supporters that we can divide into the following five blocs:

  • Bigoted Voters
    republican messages
  • Uneducated White Male Voters
  • Greedy Voters
  • Fearful Voters
  • Religious fundamentalist Voters

I will say more about each of these in Part 2 of this blog.   Suffice, it to say for now, that the voters in these five blocs have now taken over the Republican Party (I will also explain in Part 2 how and why this happened.)  Just like the Nazis took over Germany, the traditionalists in the Republican Party made a pact with the devil and the devil has now tinfoilhatrush3come to collect his dues.  The Traditionalists know that the candidacy of Trump will destroy the party.  There are indeed a large contingent of voters who will support Trump but by and large, the people in the USA are not so stupid or ignorant that Trump will be elected.  Mark my words on that!  Trump, who hates women, minorities, immigrants and anyone with a brain, will go down in defeat in the biggest landslide in history for our next Democratic president and he will take the entire Republican Party with him.  The stalwart traditionalists in the Republican Party understand this and that is why every day we see headlines like:

The Republican Party Tries to Take Out Its Front-Runner

“Trump has proven highly successful in manhandling a parade of bland Republican politicians. To him, Carson and Fiorina present different challenges because they both possess the outsider status that elevates them over Republican officials who have to deal with reality of some sort, and they symbolize demographic groups that are some of the biggest stumbling blocks for Republicans. The party wants to show the world that it has a black friend and a lady friend.”  — The National Memo

Returning to the concept of traditional core Republican values, you may well be wondering what they are.  The first core Republican value is freedom from intrusive government interventions.  The traditional Republican is not so much against big government as they are against a government that might try to dominate the will of the individual with the will of the state.  Hence, traditional Republicans hate the idea of gun control, federal regulations, government red tape, and government watchdog agencies.  However, they are not against “Big Military” since the military is seen as protecting those very values that Republicans cherish most.

“Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”  — Barnhill, John Basil (1914)

A second core Republican value is the right to earn and keep as much money as possible.  “You earned it; it is yours to spend.”  This is a value that still resonates with much of our society.  The idea being that if I work hard, I should be entitled to spend my money anyway I chose.  What Republicans and many people in the USA hate most is the thought of working hard to earn a pot of money and then having that money taken away by a government agency to distribute to some unnamed “others.”

“That government is best which governs least;” — Henry David Thoreau

A third core Republican value is the value of a capitalistic economic system.  This value overlaps to some extent the two named values above but I believe it is a distinct value of its own.  In the USA, we are and have been a country strongly against communism and to some extent socialism.  The values of these two economic systems are seen to be in direct contradiction to the value of free enterprise and a capitalist economy.

“A market economy based on private property, buttressed by the rule of law, is truly the best environment for mankind. People will work harder and with ingenuity if they know they have earned rewards from that labor. When the rewards are given to them for nothing, there is frustration and despair. Capitalism benefits more people than any other economic system. To work for oneself and reap the rewards is a basic human aspiration.” –Sally Julian, Writer of ‘The Case for Capitalism’

The fourth core Republican Party is a conservative approach to adopting new laws or changes to the US Constitution.  Traditional Republicans have long resisted change to the US Constitution as well as new laws that they see as infringing on the rights and dictates of the US Constitution.  Hence, the Republicans have resisted many changes in the Constitution which were intended to create a more equitable society for women, minorities, disabled and those below the poverty line in this country.

Part of this resistance lies in the belief that a government cannot and should not dictate how people chose to live their own lives.  If you want to be a racist, that is your right.  If you do not want to hire women and minorities and the disabled that is also your right.  This core value has resulted in a fundamental contention between those who say that the constitution must be changed to reflect new times and new circumstances and those who do not want to see changes that might infringe on rights or responsibilities prescribed in the US Constitution.

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”  — Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan, August 27, 1856

The fifth core Republican value lies in the doctrine of fiscal conservatism (There are other important Republican values but I think these five are the most important).   Fiscal conservatism finds its roots in the theory of scarcity.  Money and time are both scare commodities and must be carefully managed.  Trends like cheap credit, government bailouts, deficit spending are anathema to a fiscal conservative.  A fiscal conservative wants a flat tax, balanced budget and strict guidelines for loans and government spending: “Thou shalt not run budget deficits.”  “Thou shalt not spend more money than thou maketh.”

Its-not-Obamas-faultI must confess, that I am not critical of these five core values.  I have long ago learned the value of juxtaposing opposite viewpoints so as to provide a clearer roadmap to truth and progress.  Every “ism” needs a counter “ism” and a system where the two opposing viewpoints can debate each other and Aristotle’s “Golden Mean” needs a democracy.  Capitalism must be balanced against socialism.  Liberalism must be balanced against conservatism.  Individualism must be balanced against collectivism.  One of the strengths of the United States has been its ability to allow opposing viewpoints and to strive to find a consensus among dissenting political perspectives.  Sadly, of late the constructive dissent of old has given way to a practice of destructive warfare between the two dominant political parties that has put the good of each party over the good of the country.

However, to return to the theme of this blog, the dumbing down of the Republican Party, the majority of the Republican Party now no longer seems to understand or care about these five core values.  Instead, the narrow-mindedness and shear obstructionism of the five voting blocs that I noted above have taken precedence over political compromise and searching for 1193-20120917-NoSmartPeoplethe Golden Mean.  The “Stupid Voters” are hijacked by the anti-intellectualism that has always characterized much of the political right.  The “Ignorant Voters” already believe that voting-republican1they know the truth and there is no persuading them otherwise.  The “Greedy Voters” want to keep as much of their wealth as they can and have no concern for the poor or needy.  The “Fearful Voters” are worried about crime, immigrants, health care, growing old and losing what they have already worked hard to obtain.  The last of the five Republican blocs, the “Religious Fundamentalist Voters” are worried that their biblical Christian God will be taken out of the USA and replaced by an obscure assortment of new Gods from various religions that are confusing and esoteric.

The Traditionalist Republicans (many of whom I know and hope still tolerate my views enough to call me a friend) are aghast at this assortment of new Republicans and their extreme uninformed viewpoints.  The Traditionalists could reach across the aisle and talk to their Democratic counterparts.  The Traditionalists realized the need for dialogue, discussion and compromise.  Furthermore, the Traditionalists also appealed to many independent voters (Which I am and remain to this day).  They appealed to us because we while we could ally ourselves with Democrats over many social issue, we could also see the value in the economic policies and positions often adhered to by the Traditionalist Republicans.

I can see the value in all five of the core Republican values I described above.  God Forbid, I would ever live in a country that totally extirpated even one of these core values.  Nevertheless, while I am for a balanced budget and against deficit spending, I can see making some concessions to Keynesian economics during times such as the most recent recession.  I am also for less government intrusion in our lives.  However, unlike Perry who could not name even three government agencies he would abolish, I can name ten I would abolish tomorrow if I were able to.  I am also against government bailouts.  I did not think GM should have been bailed out although I could concede with the value of hindsight that it may have been the right thing to do at the time.  And while I am against big government, I can and am equally critical of big unions.  Nevertheless, in my USA, unions and government would still have a place at the table.  I would like to paraphrase a part of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Let the Golden Mean ring from the hallowed halls of Congress!

Let the Golden Mean ring from the esteemed corridors of the US Senate!

But not only that; let the Golden Mean ring from the benches of the Supreme Court of the USA!

Let the Golden Mean ring from State Capitals in the east to State Capitals in the west!

Let the Golden Mean ring from every school and university of America.  From every village, city, town and hamlet in this great country, let the Golden Mean ring.

In my blog next week, I will explore how the Republican Party let stupidity, ignorance, fear, greed and intolerance come to dominate its political agenda.  If you are a Republican, you might not like what you are going to hear.  However, if you are a Republican, perhaps the truth that I have to tell could help you to understand what you must do to restore the Republican Party to its rightful place in the US political system.

Time for Questions:

Are you a Republican? What did you find that you disagreed with in my blog today?  What did you agree with?  Which of the Republican voting blocs are you in? Why?  Do you think the Republicans will take the next presidency?  Why or why not?  If you are a Democrat, what did you like or dislike about this blog? Why?  What do you think I should have added?

Life is just beginning. 

Republicanism is the guiding political philosophy of the United States. It has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding.[1] It stresses liberty and “unalienable” rights as central values, making people sovereign as a whole, rejects aristocracy and inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption.  Wikipedia

Why do we need all those damn Latinos anyway?

Chicanos, Mexicans, Latinos, Hispanics, Mexican Americans, Spanish Americans, it’s all so confusing, what do I call them anyway?  Why can’t they just take a simple name like we do: Gringos?  You don’t see White people making it hard for others to call us names.

mexican american familyWhen I grew up in an Italian American neighborhood, we were wops, dagos, greasers, and guineas.  As in:

“You think im some goombah housewife with big hair and big jewelry??”
“You dirty wop, go back to Naples”
“You stupid Guinea, go back to Africa”
“What’s up dago?” 
by mikey ambrosio February 07, 2005

When I grew up, it was the age of cowboy shows.  The early shows were collected from old movies and brought to TV and featured such notable characters as Hopalong Cassidy, Lash Larue, Gene Autry, Tom Nix, Zorro and many others.  Early TV had two roles for Latinos:  Sidekick or villain.  Mexicans got to play the bad guy if the script wanted to use someone other than Indians.  I can still remember my first image of a Mexican.  It was a guy with a long black mustache, bandoliers crossing his chest, carrying two or more side arms.   He was adept at hiding behind rocks and ambushing my heroes.  Of course, he always wore a large black sombrero and spoke like:

“You tink you get away from Pancho?  Pancho no fool?  Pancho keel you now, you stupid gringo!”

mexican banditoThe cavalry never had to rescue my hero from the Mexican bad guys as needed to happen when he was captured by the Indians.  The Mexican bad guys were easy to outsmart:

“No, I would never try to get away from Pancho.  Would Pancho mind loaning me his gun for a minute, I would like to see what a nice gun he has close up?”

“Oh sure, gringo like to see my gun?  Here take it and see the nice ivory handle.”

“Hands up Pancho, or I’ll blow your brains out. Come to think of it, I’ll blow your brains out anyway, cause your just a wetback from over the border. You probably don’t even have any legal immigration papers.  Blam, blam, blam, take that you dirty Latino.”

The other role for any male south of the border (Latino women were always cooks and stirring a large pot.   Later on they got to play tavern whores when the shows got more risqué.) was as a sidekick.  One of the most famous Mexican sidekicks was Pancho (What else?) who was Duncan Renaldo’s sidekick on the Cisco Kid.”  Renaldo was not born in Mexico but was born in Romania but he played the Cisco Kid who apparently was of Hispanic lineage.  The Kid spoke fluent English while of course Pancho (Leo Carrillo) said things like:

The Cisco Kid: There is something Pancho and I can do.
Pancho: Yes, there is something we can do. We could – we – what is it?
The Cisco Kid: Investigate, Pancho.
Pancho: I don’t have a mind to invest in a gate. What good would that do, anyhow?

“The Cisco Kid: School Marm (#6.8)” (1955)

“Although he played stereotypical Mexican Americans, Leo Carrillo (a college graduate) was part ofcisco and pancho an old and respected California family. His great-great grandfather, José Raimundo Carrillo (1749–1809), was an early settler of San DiegoCalifornia. His great-grandfather Carlos Antonio Carrillo (1783–1852) was Governor of Alta California (1837–38), his great-uncle, José Antonio Carrillo, was a three-time mayor of Los Angeles, and his paternal grandfather, Pedro Carrillo, who was educated in Boston, was a writer.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Carrillo

Of course, it would not do to have a Mexican play a hero or anything more than a bumbling half-witted but well intentioned sidekick.

Time for some musicMexican Americans Cheech and Chong full song (Click on Link)

I live in Arizona which has a large amount of undocumented immigrants attempting to pass through.   Many people in this state have developed a higher than average intolerance of our Latino friends.  A short while ago I was sitting in the local coffee shop and the woman on the stool next to me said rather loudly “I wish those damn Mexicans would all go home.”  I said “Well, many of them are home.  In fact, many if not most of them were here before you were.”  She looked at me rather meanly and said, “What, do you mean by that?”  I said, “Well until the Gadsden Purchase, the land you are sitting on was owned by Mexico.  Mexicans living here were given the chance to become American citizens and since many of their families had been living here since about 100 years before the Mayflower came over, they decided to stay.”  She did not say another word to me.

sign for serving whites onlyMy actual first encounter with Latinos was way back in 1967.  I was doing migrant farm work for Abrahamson’s Tree Farm in Scandia Minnesota for $1 dollar an hour.  It was hard physical labor from about 7 AM to 9 or even 10 PM at night.  Many of the field workers were from South of the Border.  I was warned never to discuss wages with any of them.  This warning was given despite the fact that none of them spoke English and I did not speak Spanish.  One day, while I was sitting in the fields with some of the other workers eating lunch. one of them looked at me and said “Bull-OVA, Bull-OVA.”  I had not the slightest idea what he was trying to say and looked rather quizzically back at him.  He finally reached over and took my arm. He pointed to his wrist and my wrist.  I suddenly realized we were both wearing Bulova watches.  It was a small thing but it was a rather poignant connection that we shared despite our lack of language.  That was my last contact with any Latinos until about 1979 when I was hired by Sister Giovanni to teach at Guadalupe Area Project in Westside St. Paul.

Nearly fifty years later and I am still discovering interesting things about our Latino neighbors and friends.  I was substitute teaching in one of the Casa Grande High Schools about a year ago when the phone rang in my classroom.  I picked it up and heard a Spanish speaking voice on the other end.  I looked at my class which is about 40 percent Hispanic and I picked out one suitably Mexican looking young girl and said to her:  “Maria, would you take this call for me, they are speaking Spanish.”  She looked back at me and said “I don’t speak Spanish.”  So much for getting over stereotypes!

In 2000, Arizona voters approved a law that effectively banned bilingual education in public schools.

Proposition 203, which passed with 63 percent of the vote, prohibits native-language instruction for most limited-English-proficient children in public schools. Using the electoral process to micromanage the schools, the new law imposes a statewide English-only mandate, overruling the

  • Choices of Hispanic and Native American parents,
  • Judgment and experience of professional educators,
  • Decisions of local school boards, and
  • Sovereignty of Indian nations trying to save their languages from extinction.

This mentality reminds me of the efforts by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in the early 20th century to eradicate the Native American cultures in this country by prohibiting Indian students from speaking their native language.  Many Americans now look back on the history of Indians and say how unfair our treatment of them was.  We say that we wish we could do it over.  But we are trying to do the same thing to the Latino speaking cultures in this country TODAY.  This is not happening 100 years ago.  In 2010, Arizona passed a law banning Ethnic and Multi-Cultural Studies in schools.  The ostensible reason was to insure that the government of the United States was not overthrown by these multi-cultural radicals.

But Mexicans are good for one thing.  Many of my compatriots in Arizona love to go to the border towns in Mexico to get their dental work done or their prescriptions filled.  The town of Algodones is on the Mexican border of California and Arizona.  It is filled each day with people from the USA who cross over to take advantage of the lower prices for both dental and eye work.  The prices can be as much as a third lower than in the USA. The popularity of both inexpensive prescriptions and medical care catering to Canadian and US senior citizens has prompted a virtual explosion of pharmacies and dental offices.  We may not want these Mexicans to live near us but we don’t mind if they will fix our eyes and teeth at discount rates.

stereotypesSo what drives this antipathy and sometimes out right hatred towards our Latino neighbors?  Why after 300 years of sharing our border have we reached this sorry state of anti-immigration and intolerance towards the Latino culture?  Some would say fear.  Others would say it is a reflection of hard times in the USA and the difficult economy.  Who needs more competition for jobs and work when millions of United States citizens are suffering with unemployment and a high cost of living?   But is this any reason to take it out on the poor of other countries who want a chance to escape their poverty?  Why can’t we look for a win-win in this scenario?

What further exacerbates this problem is the sorry state of leadership in this country.  Instead of looking for solutions that would appeal to the best in human nature, too many of our political leaders seem intent to stoke the fires of race hatred and cultural intolerance.

Resistance to a sweeping immigration overhaul is moving from conservative talk shows to the corridors of power.  The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on rejected President Obama’s policy to stop deporting young people brought to this country illegally as children. With all but six Republicans voting against funding a policy that lets hundreds of thousands of law-abiding but undocumented youth enrolled in high school or the military to stay in this country, the vote spotlighted the long odds facing the much broader Senate bill to allow 11 million illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.

 The House vote came two days after Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida vetoed a bill that would help young people whose deportations were halted by the Obama administration get driver’s licenses. And on Wednesday, a key immigration leader in the House, Republican Raul Labrador of Idaho, defected from bi-partisan talks.  http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/mounting-signs-of-gop-rebellion-against-immigration-reform-20130607

 We seem to have forgotten that this country was settled by people from many other countries.  Perhaps our greatest strength has come from our diversity and our ability to assimilate people from diverse cultures. The assimilation was not accomplished and has never been accomplished by laws or politicians. The assimilation happened because we were all able to share in the mexican_march_californiaAmerican dream of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  This vision of what could be has been the fuel for the vast melting pot that this country has always represented.  Without this fuel, we have no ability to assimilate diverse cultures.  People are not assimilated because of anti-language or anti multi-cultural study laws.  People are assimilated by a common dream and a common vision.  We have always pointed our country out as a beacon for the forlorn and hopeless of other lands.  Are we going to give up on this role and the dreams that millions of people have for freedom, justice and prosperity?  Will we diminish ourselves by denying this dream to others?  What happens to such a dream if we do not share it with others?

 “Cruelty is all out of ignorance. If you knew what was in store for you, you wouldn’t hurt anybody, because whatever you do comes back much more forceful than you send it out.”  — Willie Nelson

 Time for Questions:

When did your grandparents come over? How were they treated? What if they were trying to come over today, how do you think they would be treated? What if you lived in a poor poverty ridden country, what would you do to escape or make your life better?  Documented or undocumented immigrants, should we have more opportunities for immigration to this country or less?  Why?  How much charity should we extend to people from other countries?  Can we extend too much?

 Life is just beginning.

 

 

 

Why do we need all those damn minorities anyway !?!?!?!?

immigrantsThis blog is best read while listening to the following song:  South Park – Minorities at My Water Park song  (Eric Cartman)

Ever since this country (USA) began, we have had to deal with the problem of immigration and immigrants. You know those lazy shiftless dirty ignorant people from other countries who want to come here to steal the “better” life we have.  Of course, some (those Black folks) came over unwillingly, but that’s not our fault right?  The vast majority of immigrants have been let into the American Dream by laws designed to allow a certain amount of legal immigration each year.  This legal amount has been supplemented by a large amount of illegal immigration or undocumented immigration that takes place because of our porous borders (Read no large brick walls) or perhaps force fields.

Each year seems to bring a new “minority” group to this country.  I can remember in St. Paul when the Hmong come over, then the Somalians, then the Russians.  Many of the Latinos had come over before I moved to St. Paul.  If my history is correct, much of the Mexican migration to the Twin Cities took place in the 40’s and 50’s.  Of course, before that it had been those dirty Italians, lazy Swedes, and mean spirited Germans among others too numerous to mention.  It is a wonder that St. Paul is still basically a White country.  My adopted Korean daughter used to refer to White Bear Lake as “White Boy Lake.”  There were not too many Asians in her high school.  Oh, did I forget the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese who live in the Twin Cites?  No matter, what’s few more or less minorities?  And you know those Asians, they all look alike.

I suppose before I go any further, I should mention those dam Indians.  I know, they were here first!  And they let us know everyCavalry_and_Indians chance they get.  But let’s face it.  They don’t really count.  After all, they were primitive people who had no law, no writing, no books, no libraries, no Mc Donald’s or anything else you need for a real civilization.  You can’t really take their claims to this country seriously.  Why, they sold Manhattan for only 40 bucks.  Their lack of business acumen is testimony to their inability to manage a large endeavor like the USA.  They should be happy we “Treatied” this land from them.  “Treatied” is a word that I made up to denote the process we followed with these indigenous people.  It works as follows:

  • Befriend Indians
  • Encroach on their land
  • Skirmish with angry Indians
  • Make treaty with Indians for peace
  • Break treaty with Indians to take more land
  • Make new treaty with Indians
  • Break treaty to steal more land
  • Kill Indians that complain
  • Take more land
  • Make new treaty

As you can see, this process worked pretty well. We (The White people) now own most of the good land and the remaining Indians (those we did not kill) got put on the Bad Lands (now called reservations.)  That is because we “reserved” those Bad Lands for them.   Well, actually, we only loaned those lands to them, since whenever, gold, copper, water, oil or anything else of value was found on them, we sort of took the lands back and moved those Indians who complained to a new reservation.   I told you earlier Indians were never really very good businesspeople.

Ann coulter on illegalsSo, now that I have briefly reviewed the history of immigration to this (the “Greatest Country on God’s Green Earth”), I would like to look individually at the various minority groups that we (read White folks) have more recently had problems with.  I want to see if perhaps there are solutions to dealing with “those” (non-White) people.  I will look at one minority group in each of my next blogs to review in terms of history, culture and potential contributions to our country.  Based on my findings, we will have a better means of answering the question: “Should we let any more of those people in or should we toughen up our immigration policies to make sure they cannot find a way in?”   I would like to discuss the following groups:

  • Black people
  • Latino people
  • Asian people
  • Disabled people

I am going to skip Indians since they were already here and they pose little threat in terms of immigration.  I know a few Eskimos and Natives from Alaska have tried to come down to the “lower” 48, but their numbers are too low to really matter and besides, Alaska is already a state so legally they are not immigrants.

The first of the minority groups that I will look at have been called Africans, African Americans, Blacks, Negros and other more pejorative terms.  This group is composed of people who were tribal in origin but now may lay claim to being descendants from such new nations as Somalia, Uganda, Nigeria and Rhodesia.  The large majority of early slaves who found their way to North America came from West Africa, mainly the region that now has the countries of Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote I’voire. Traders often referred to this part of Africa as the “Slave Coast”.  Many bought or captured slaves would have come from the Yoruba, Oyo and Ashanti people. The main slave trading countries of Europe were England, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.  Slaves were brought to this country and traded at slave markets for money, rum or other goods.  It goes without saying that slaves did not come over to America willingly.  I suppose most of them were undocumented but so were most Europeans back in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

You might question my qualifications to write about Black people in America.  If so, I can only defend myself by saying that some of my best friends have been Black.  How many of your have had some best friends who were Black?  Perhaps, I would be more qualified if my sister or niece had married a Black man but that did not happen.  I have known quite a few Black people in my life and I have been to several sessions (sponsored by my company) on “diversity.”   So there, my qualifications are unchallengeable.  Diversity training, Black friends, and I have even read a few books about Black people.  If you still do not find my qualifications acceptable, then I suggest you read the book:  “Black like me” by John Griffin and skip my blog.     japs keep moving

Time for Questions:

Are you a minority?  What makes a person a minority?  Is it color, ethnicity or ideology or all of them?  Have you ever felt like an outsider?  What do you do to help people feel included?  Do you think America is for Americans?  What is a real American?  What should we do about immigration?  Do you think building more walls will help? What about building “walls of hate?”

Life is just beginning.

Lyrics:  Minorities at My Water Park Song:  Eric Cartman

What has happened to this place?
I don’t recognize it anymore.
It used to be so fun and special.
What is life worth living for?
The dream is dead, our land is gone;
There’s a hole in my heart and I can’t go on.

There are too many minorities (minorities)
At my water park (my water park).
This was our land, our dream (our dream)
and they’ve taken it all away.
They just keep coming and coming (minorities).
I tried to go and tell the police,
But even the authorities
Are minorities
At my water park.

There’s no place for me to sit anymore,
And the lines just keep getting crazier.
There are Mexicans all around me.
The lazy river has never been lazier.
It’s a 40 minute wait to go down one slide,
And the instructions are in Spanish on the Zip Line ride!
(Guarden los brazos y piernas dentro del paseo)
Just do it in English!

There are too many minorities (too many)
At my water park (somebody do something).
Where did they all come from?
Why can’t they leave this land alone?
And it’s such a tragedy (feel a bit like dying).
We looked the other way too long.
We’ve got to change our priorities
And get all these minorities
Out of my water park

(Minorities) Mexicans and Asians,
(Black people), I think I even saw Native Americans (gross).
God I’m asking please, get all of these minorities
Out of my water park (my water park).

 

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