Thursday, May 3, 2018

With Friends Like Rudy

Did Rudy Giuliani really go on Hannity and admit Donald Trump paid Michael Cohen the $130,000 dollars he has been telling his Christian base he knew nothing about?

This should be a pretty big news story in the right-wing world, but it won't budge the needle. I already know how this will play out. Fox news, conservative media, and #Trumpstans on social media will dig even deeper into their bag of deflections and ad hominem fallacies: "America didn't elect Donald Trump to be our priest." "The American people knew who they were voting for." "The president has had to do some orthodox things because of the George Soros funded liberal media's radical socialist agenda?" 

Rudy Giuliani's admission of Donald Trump's knowledge of the Stormy Daniels payment will slide off the moral compass of his Evangelical base faster than the president can tweet no collusion. 

Counting the campaign, we are almost three years into the largest forfeiture of "moral high ground" this county has ever seen. The same folks who made their conception of moral character and Judeo-Christian values a requirement to hold elected office have long given up the right to ever question another politician's past.

Rudy Giuliani will likely have to back track from his statement. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will feign outrage when asked about this, and either lie or dismiss any legitimate questions about this issue. This will dominate the news cycle until the president fires someone else or one of his bigger lies is uncovered. This is what our media cycle has become. 

I've come to accept how wrong I was for calling his Evangelical supporters hypocrites. This isn't hypocritical behavior. For it to be hypocrisy, there would have to be some underlying core principles in place. "Good" people didn't suspend their principles to support a man diametrically opposed to them. "Good" people elected someone who was the physical embodiment of the hatred and anger they work so hard to hide and conceal. They found their champion in an admitted sexual harasser and abuser, a serial philanderer: with a history of misogyny, and an ego driven pathological liar. They can get mad at the media for pointing out his daily stream of lies. They can defend this behavior any way they choose, but they cannot deny they distance between their stated beliefs and their current actions.

There isn't a lie Donald Trump could tell, a porn star he could pay off, or a p*$$y he could grab that will cost him any support. None of this bothers them. Evangelicals have dug in and Rudy Giuliani's admission will be parsed a hundred different ways to drain the truth out of it.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Police Brutality: Believing Your Heart Over Your Eyes

The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful. I've seen a new video of police harassing, body slamming, and falsely arresting someone who looks like me almost everyday. These videos go viral; which, in return, forces local and national news producers to add them to the 6 o'clock and 11 o'clock shows. We are seeing more police brutality because everyone is walking around with a camera in their pocket.

Police brutality and racial disparities are constitutive parts of the American system of jurisprudence. People of color have been subjected to discriminatory policing since 1619. The intimidation tactics and the amount of force used in these videos serve as proof that protect and serve still doesn't apply equally across the board.

"The facts speak for themselves...There's not a single witness that says these young men were misbehaving in any way. And you can see and hear that on the video."  Stewart Cohen  

One has to work awful hard to not see this pattern. Sadly, there are too many "good" Americans committed to this task. These videos are chapters in an ongoing genealogy about life in America for people of color. When police brutality is on full display some Americans reflexively look for reasons to justify what they've witnessed. This defense mechanism breeds distrust.

People of color in general, and Black people in particular, are expected to keep these realities hidden. We are blamed for disrupting the peace when we point out what's happening to us. America doesn't love us. America doesn't respect us.

[African Americans] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it.    

Chief Justice Roger Taney

I don't know what else to do. I have written and talked about this so much that it has become nauseating. In the last 10 days people who look like me have been arrested, detained, and/or forcibly removed from coffee houses, gyms, and golf courses. All of these people have retroactively been given apologies. As if a sorry after the fact can reduce or remove the trauma of a life or death situation.