August 24, 2013

Washington D.C. in 1963

In 1963 the racially separate and unequal nation's capital more closely resembled a divided southern city than a showplace of democracy. Beyond the gleaming marble facades of Washington's public buildings sprawled slums as appalling as any in the nation. Within the shadow of the Capitol, more than 40 percent of the city's families lived below the poverty level in a ghetto of rat-infested rooming houses. No other American city exceeded the District of Columbia in rates of infant mortality, venereal disease, and arrests for prostitution and drugs.

 And although, as the seat of the federal government, Washington could boast the highest per capita income of any American city, a large portion of its citizens subsisted on welfare. most African-Americans fortunate enough to have jobs in the city held low-paying government jobs or served as the waiters, cooks and maids for the whites in power. Many had no work at all.

It was to the Washington of stately white monuments that civil rights groups planned to march in 1963 to dramatize grass roots support for federal action against racial discrimination and segregation. To improve the chances of the civil-rights bill proposed by President Kennedy, they bypassed the drab streets of the ghetto and rallied on the Mall, the very symbol of American nationhood and democracy.

As the sun rose over Washington on August 28, radio news bulletins predicted that the crowd would fall short of the 100,000 expected. but throughout the morning, a seemingly endless caravan of cars, buses, trains. and planes brought in an estimated quarter-million pilgrims from every part of the country and abroad--powerful evidence of the new consensus in favor of a strong civil-rights act. More than 150,000 blacks mingled with some 75,000 whites on the grassy slopes surrounding the Washington Monument. In the spirit of a church outing, they shared picnic lunches, sang songs of the movement, and then surged toward the Lincoln Memorial, holding aloft banners proclaiming such messages as, "We seek the freedom in 1963 promised in 1863" and "A century-old debt to pay!" Massed along the banks of the reflecting pool, the crowd gloried in its immense size and reveled in the hours of speeches made by African-Americans deploring discrimination and whites confessing guilt over their belated commitment to racial justice.

Finally in the late afternoon, after the wilting Washington heat and humidity had turned their clothes soggy, after many on the fringes of the crowd had withdrawn to the shade of old elms and oaks, the huge assemblage stilled as Martin Luther King, Jr., stood at the lectern in the shadow of the Great Emancipator. In a husky voice, King described the oppression of blacks, promised to continue the struggle until they gained all their civil rights, and in rising tones told the world that African-Americans would never be satisfied as long as they remained victimized by ghettoization and powerlessness. "[We] will not be satisfied," King thundered, "until justice rolls down like the waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." As his followers shouted their approval, King put aside his text and, in the familiar cadence of the southern preacher he was, spoke of a broader vision.

"I have a dream," King chanted again and again (read the full transcript of King's "I Have a Dream" speech here) as the crowd roared amens in response, that someday, in the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and slave owners could sit together at the table of brotherhood...that even Mississippi could become an oasis maof freedom and justice...that boys and girls of both races in Alabama could join hands "and walk together as sisters and brothers"...where his four children could live in a nation where they'd be judge on the basis of their character and not the color of their skin...that freedom could ring throughout America...that "all God's children, black and white, Jew and Gentile, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!' "

King's oratory on that muggy August afternoon in 1963 did not speed the slow progress of the civil-rights bill through Congress. It did not end racism or erase poverty and despair. It did not prevent the ghetto riots that lay ahead, or the racist backlash that would ultimately smother the civil-rights movement and destroy King himself. But, King had turned a political rally into a historic event. In one of the greatest speeches of history, he recalled America to the ideals of justice and inequality, proclaiming that the color of one's skin ought never be a burden or a liability in American life.

In five years, King would be dead, murdered by a white racist. But, today -50 years later- his dream lives on. It is the promise of America, a vial reminder of what the United States could still be.

June 19, 2013

I Tweeted Sarah Palin and the RW Lost It's Mind

     I don't like Sarah Palin. That's no secret. In my opinion, she's an opportunistic, attention-whoring, propaganda-spreading grifter who uses her children as media props at every given opportunity; something she's been doing publicly since she became a VP candidate.  She did it again, recently, when Bill Maher made a tasteless joke about her son, Trig.
     I sent her an admittedly rudely worded tweet regarding my distaste for the practice, and the RW trolls went crazy flooding my feed with hate-filled, misspelling-riddled attacks about my "insensitivity" and "hate" for those with special needs. It doesn't matter that my tweet was clearly a comment about her parenting, not her child.
     Now. Let's clear something up. Bill Maher is a comedian. It's his job to be a dick and say outrageous things that get people's panties in a bunch. It gets him media attention, higher ratings for his show and better ticket sales for his appearances. Bill Maher needs people like Sarah Palin or he has no material.
     That being said, Sarah Palin needs Bill Maher. She might loathe what he says, but she welcomes the accompanying attention and support she gets after he says it, and she milks it for all it's worth. Otherwise, she would take the moral high ground by releasing a gracefully-worded statement to the press condemning his words and ignorance. Instead, Sarah takes to social media like a middle-schooler in a barrage of childish retaliatory tweets and Facebook posts.
     Something her mindless droves of fans are happy to follow in turn.

June 17, 2013

A Thought on Patriotism

     If a permanent peace of the world is ever to be achieved; if mankind is really to rise above the mediocre standards which it has been satisfied with for more than two thousand years; we must bring patriotism down off the pedestal from which some have placed it and humbly offer it as a foundation-stone for larger ideas - something to be built upon rather than an idol to be worshiped.  
     It is as a United States that we led the world in invention, in industry and in the council of freedom. We can have that again.
     If the nation is to fully recover, thrive and reach beyond the circumscribed aims of mere patriotism, we had better get to work. Because it has, for too long, been an unworked-up theme awaiting the attention of idealists.

June 12, 2013

The Right-Wing Guide on How to Argue with Liberals on Twitter: 2013 Edition

Author's note: This guide has been updated for the faster, shinier albeit slightly more apathetic Right-Wing movement of 2013.
Many patriots wonder how they can best serve their country. I have two words for you. Attack liberals. How do you find liberals to attack?

The easiest way is to piggy-back someone else's conversation. If you see another Right-Wing Patriot in a debate with a liberal, put yourself in their shoes; they're obviously struggling. Jump in, attack their opponent with a short, unrelated insult and, then quickly - jump away! You'll be helping a fellow conservative plus, you'll look cool!
Now, if you get involved in a debate, it *can* be hard to remember all of the important elements involved in arguing with a liberal, but here is a handy checklist to make sure you've included all of the pieces essential to maintaining the purity of the Right-Wing brand.
  1. Whatever FOX says, you say. When in doubt, toss out a Drudge headline or quote any conservative talking head you watch or hear in any form of media. It doesn't matter who they are; they will all be saying the same thing.
  2. Incorporate the #fox, #tcot, #tlot or #ocra hashtag in every tweet, because by calling forth other Patriots to also attack your opponent, you'll never have to give a real answer for anything.
  3. If a liberal asks you to prove any claim you have made is a fact by providing a source for the info, always respond: "Do your own research!!" or "I'm not going to do your research for you." That way, you don't have to do any research.
  4. If you feel you must send them a source link, make sure you only offer links from Drudge, The Blaze or other right-wing blogs or op-ed pieces. It doesn't matter if you've read them.
  5. It is also helpful to have a ready list of links on-hand that are completely unrelated to the topic of discussion to flood your opponent's @replies with. Again, it doesn't matter if you've read them.
  6. If you're unsure about how to start a tweet, try "Why do liberals hate gay/black/poor people?" That should get your creative juices flowing. 
  7. Whenever you mention Obama, make sure you cleverly alter his name into something insulting, such as the easy-to-remember 'Obummer'. Or if you really want to get the debate moving, just refer to him as 'the most radical President in American history'. The liberals will go crazy sending you all kinds of links with numbers and facts. Don't worry; no one expects you to read them.
  8. All of your tweets (whether you are in a debate or not) should contain at least one insulting name for liberals. Libtard is a favorite, but it is getting a bit less effective from constant overuse. I suggest the more modern twist, Libturd.
  9. Stay away from facts. Facts are only opinions reinforced by truth.
  10. If a Liberal has insulted you (especially using large, hard to understand words), don't panic. Simply tweet back their own words as though they were your own. That way, you don't actually have to come up with anything clever to say.
  11. Never answer a question. The best way to counter the left's expectation for meaningful dialogue is to ask them an unrelated question in return, such as "Why do you like to kill unborn babies?"
  12. Make sure each of your tweets is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. After all, you wouldn't want anyone to be able to accuse you of being one of the "intellectual elite".
  13. Each of your tweets should include one of the RWNJ signature terms - commie, Marxist, socialist, or Nazi. You may use them interchangeably to keep things fresh. To keep up on the latest trend, trying using "Caliphate" or "sharia law".
  14. If you're a conservative male arguing with a liberal female, make sure you call her several misogynistic names to make sure she understand that you're a REAL man and then, tell her she's pretty or mention how great her ass looks. The ladies all enjoy compliments.
  15. Whenever a libturd (see how I slipped that in there?) presents you with facts, you will most likely be tempted to turn tail and retreat, but don't panic. Simply toss out any one of the many variations of this phrase: "That must be some good Kool-aid you're drinking." Be creative with it. Maybe ask them what flavor of Kool-aid it is. Advanced technique: Suggest a possible flavor for them but, make sure it's a liberal sounding one like Black Cherry or PiƱa-Pineapple. The important thing is to include the word "Kool-aid". I'm pretty sure Hannity said they pay the tea party every time we use it.
  16. If they happen to bring up GW Bush, tell them they need to stop living in the past. Then, tell them President Lincoln freed the slaves and make sure they know he was a Republican.
  17. Mention the most trendy new "scandal" word like Benghazi or PRISM. But, if you get flustered and forget what's hot right now you can always fall back on the old reliables: Obamacare, Soros or Alinsky.
  18. Be subtle with your racism. Insist you don't like the President because of his policies and then, RT a picture of him as a monkey. Then, when the liberals call you a racist, turn it around on them. Tell them at *they* are, in fact, the racists because they keep black people down by helping them. They will be left speechless.
  19. Sprinkle the terms "Patriot," "Constitution," "liberty" and "freedom" here and there to constantly remind others that you're a real American, even when you're not acting like one.
What's most important to remember is that as a right-winger, you have an image to uphold and a duty to build yourself up by putting others down. For freedom.