What is “Traditional” America?

So Ive been thinking about this for the last couple of days and every time I think of it, I get a little more angry.  Just after the election, Bill O’Reilly said that this is not a ‘traditional’ America anymore.  What exactly does this mean?  Is it that White American men are no longer the dominant group?  Is that there are now gay folks, Latinos, Black folks, women, and other previously marginalized group now running things?

Check out the video of O’Reilly here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFJH8mY-UyI

I’ve thought long and hard about this “traditional” America comment and it is small clue into the thoughts that many people have during this election season.  It is a sad state of affairs in this country when people react with hatred towards other groups because they are different from them.  It is also sad that we now have …is it 18 or 19 now…states that want to withdraw from the United States because Obama was reelected.  Im sorry…you know what…Im not sorry to say that this is because of the race of our president.  Never in history has a country responded in ways such as this.  While Obama does have his shortcomings, he is not nearly the worst president that we have had in the history of this country.  Why are people reacting in this way.  The right has forced an agenda of fear onto those that really can’t think for themselves.  This is evident in the rhetoric such as “Let’s take back OUR country,” or “They are taking away from you…”

In the last six months, we have had people state that pregnancy from rape is a gift from  God and that they female body has ways of shutting these things down.  Seriously.  We’ve been told that gay people should not be getting married as it would demean and de-sanctify the marriages of others.  We should ask people who contribute to the country to self-deport and there are at least 47% of us that are parasites to this country.

So what is traditional America?  OReilly is angry that rich White men don’t have the control anymore and the electorate is finally taking notice of the oppressive systems that have been imposed on the masses.  Women, LGBTQ people, African Americans, Latinos, Veterans, and everyone else that has been pushed aside said no way to this anymore.

In the words of a very inspirational Obama supporter, we are “Fired up and ready to go!”

Letter from an “Undocumented” Immigrant (from my perspective)


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To Whom It May Concern–

First of all, let me get this straight.  My people were here first and your people came and literally took my land, home, children, wife, and everything they knew to make it their own.  So now, I am called illegal and a criminal because I want to be a part of what was mine anyway?  I don’t get it.  Everyday when I walk outside, you look at me funny because my skin color is different than yours.  When I speak, I am told to speak more clearly, without the accent of my language.  Many times you tell me this with a very rude tone in your voice that lets me know that you don’t care about my feelings.  Everytime I get a little angry and lash back out because you so visibly hate me, I get called a criminal or a savage and you dismiss me even more.  Can I say that I do really try to live and work with you, but it is becoming more and more impossible when laws like SB1070 in AZ are passed, or the government of this country has to vote on whether I can be ‘legal’ or not.  I feel really sad sometimes when I see people that look like me working, paying taxes, raising their children (not on your public welfare system) and you still refuse to look at the fact that they have contributed more in taxes than many of your citizens ever will.  If you will simply take a look and see that the people that look like me are too afraid sometimes to take advantage of a system that they religiously pay into thus getting nothing for their hard work you will see that there are so many lies out there about how I live in this country.  I implore you to be the change agent in your group.  Show people that the person that you call “illegal” is only trying to be a part of a country that represents something better than where they live now.  They are not trying to take advantage, they are not trying to not learn the language, they are not trying to ‘take’ these jobs that everyone keeps complaining about, and they are not using up the resources with no input.  Please try to understand this.  I get it, there is a rule of law in any country you go to, but you must begin to realize that even those that aren’t on paper are contributing to the success of this country.  Just think about it, not so long ago – your ancestors came here without papers too looking for a better life from your home country.  You have no idea what its like to be hated, vilified, and criminalized among fellow human beings simply because you look and sound different. I don’t write to create a fight, but I want to know that I want you to learn to accept that I am here and I am not taking anything from you.  I want you to stop calling me illegal – its not nice and it makes me feel like an alien in my own land that we call America.

I really appreciate you listening to me and taking my words to heart.

Thank you

Privilege – What is it?


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What is privilege?  How do you get it?  Can we say that privilege is an advantage that one has over another in a given situation?  Is it something that is earned or something that is just given?  It is important to discuss a new campaign that has come up that discusses White Privilege and how that affects race relations in this country.  Check out the link http://unfaircampaign.org/ and let me know your thoughts.

The key piece that I want to discuss right now is what is white privilege and what is my experience in dealing with it.  This campaign, while tough to look at especially in the eyes of a White person, is especially difficult because as a Black person in this country and the difficulty that I face on a daily basis is brought to the light and we all have to face it. Over the last few days in school, we have discussed in depth what White privilege is.  In case you haven’t had time to read the site or look into it on your own – the definition centers around the birthright of White people to receive different treatment, advantages, and a leg up because of the skin color.  Well as a White person, you might say “Well my family worked hard too” or “My relatives weren’t given anything.”  While it is understood that that could be true, it is pretty impossible to understand that by virtue of your skin color you don’t have to worry about people judging you because of skin color or that you have achieved what you have because of contracts and institutional policies put in place in this country.  You can walk into Whole Foods or Bloomingdale’s in sweats and t-shirt and not be followed by security. This campaign seeks to bring to the light that as a Black person I have to wake up every morning and think about the fact that I am Black and make my decisions of the day based on just that.  While I give it a very simple definition here – this is the concept behind the issue.

This has been a tough journey through graduate school as I come to realize all of these concepts about race and how races relate to each other.  So, check out the site, read this post again and post your thoughts – it would be interesting to see a good back and forth.  What I do warn against though is getting into arguments about the issue – this isn’t an accusation of racism or even internalized racism – its merely a discussion about in-born privileges and advantaged opportunities.

Thank you

TSA searching the little kid…


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So today at Midway airport here in Chicago a disabled 3 yr old kid is searched by the TSA in his wheelchair.  Although I disagree with the methods, I believe the intentions are fair.  Now I know Im going to get a lot of flack for this, but I just couldn’t sleep unless I got this out.  As I’m watching the news story and the comments that are posted online on other sites, it is impossible not to wonder what people would think if an actual terrorist event happened because we chose not to search something or someone that we would regard as untouchable.

Not too long ago, we didn’t take off our shoes or have to be irradiated to search for things on our person.  Unfortunately, we live in a much different world that we did 5, 10, and even 15 years ago.  We never thought that airplanes would crash into buildings, guys would hide bombs in their shoes, underwear and other parts on their person.  In other parts of the world, it is commonplace for children to be used as unfortunate collateral damage for their superiors.

So to this I say – hmmm…am I more angry at a TSA agent gently checking a wheelchair and child, or someone hiding a bomb in this plane that Im about to get on?  I think I can manage a bit of discomfort and delay to be at least a little bit safer.  Seriously…you know people will be the first ones in line yapping if the TSA didn’t search something that ultimately was a threat.  Is the TSA a perfect organization? Nope – they are a long way from it.  Are they at least a little bit necessary? Of course – like any government organization they will inherently be inefficient, but they are there to provide a service that the US Citizens ask for.  Come on…we are living in a different world now and have to roll with the changes.

What do you think?


Seriously?  Now I only try to do one blog post a day, but this is outrageous!  I think I would be ready to smash their windows if I saw this!  For anyone who says race relations are getting better in this country needs to take a look at this.  Chances are, the person who made this bumper sticker probably made hundreds more, and even greater than that – there are more people that are putting this on their car.

So here is my request of everyone reading this.  When you see this type of outright racism – call them out!  Yell at them! Be angry!  As the post where I got this from on another blog says – this is again the sad state of affairs that our country has come to.  Even if you don’t agree with Obama’s politics – this is clearly an outright attack on his skin color and not his skill as a president.  I think Im going to keep an extra egg in the car this week to throw it at the car (or the person) that I see with this sticker on their car.

Make sure you share this with you friends and get the word out!

Sad state of affairs in this country :-(


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Many of you probably haven’t seen the face of this young man in the news yet.  This is 17 year old Trayvon Martin.  This young Black man was visiting a White gated neighborhood while visiting a relative.  As most 17-year olds do – he got hungry and decided to walk to the local convenience store to pick up some Skittles and Iced Tea for he and his little brother.  So now here is the crazy part – As Trayvon walked back to his relatives house carrying only Skittles and Tea, a neighbor called the police and said that there was a suspicious Black male in the neighborhood.  The police told the self-appointed neighborhood watch to not approach him, but wait for them to show up.  He decided to take it upon himself to confront the teen (who mind you is only carrying skittles and tea) and shoot him and kills him in what he calls self-defense.  Sad times – I know.

So the most unbelievable part is that as of this blog post, this man has not yet been arrested (it has been two weeks already).  So now we have a Black teen shot and killed in a White neighborhood and nobody is having to answer to it simply because this guy felt threatened by a teenager carrying Skittles and Tea.  Next time I see someone carrying a Twix and Sprite – I think Im going to run the other way.  Kidding aside, is this a case of an accidental shooting because of a horrible accident or is it racially motivated?

What does this say about where our country is heading?  What does it say about a government that is supposed to protect all people no matter what neighborhood they are “supposed” to be in.  Does this man’s fear of someone that looks different from him mean that he can just shoot them and get away from it and call it self-defense.

What do you think?

Who keeps voting for Santorum??!!

So please tell me why Rick Santorum is still around in the Republican primaries?  He is getting more and more ridiculous by the day and it does not seem to be getting any better.  I almost hope he wins the primary so that Obama can cream him in the general election.  It seems as though Rick has succeeded in convincing unsuspecting voters that he will return this country to theocracy that I thought we got rid of from the days of England.  So far he wants to relieve women of their right to do anything, he against gays, minorities, poor people, or anyone that does not think or act like him.

So the latest gaffe that Santorum makes is an obvious disregard for the people of Puerto Rico.  As reported today in the Huffington Post, old Santorum has said that in order for PR to be a state in this union, they need to speak English.  Yep…the whole island needs to convert to English to be like us here in the mainland.  Hmmm…this reeks of the arrogance that this country has in regards to wanting to make everyone think and act like us.

I think that we are at a place in this world where we need to start to accept people for who they are and appreciate their history.  A little known fact is that the Constitution does not outline an official language for this country — so why are we able to impose these values on unsuspecting groups of people.  It is really upsetting to myself and very disrespectful for him to go to someone else’s home and said if you want to come to my house, you have to act and talk like me.  I think Santorum sealed his fate for getting PR delegates this summer.  Way to go!

What would you say to Rick?


Hello World!!

Hello world! Im excited to be able to get my many thoughts out and have you (hopefully) comment on them and start some decent discussion on how we should change the world. I plan to talk a lot of my observations when it comes to politics, immigration, current events, etc.  I expect there to be some hurt feelings, fights, arguments, tough discussions – but its all for the best and there are no hard feelings (unless you can’t back your comments up with fact) then I’ll call you out.🙂

I was inspired to start this blog today because of a Facebook conversation with some people about illegal immigration and the plight on undocumented workers.  I have to say that I shared a lot of similar thoughts that they did about how we should treat people who are not originally from this country and those that are here with an undocumented status.  As I read the posts, it made me angry to see that in 2012, there are people that still call other human beings “illegal” and have notions that they believe based on what they hear on the conservative media outlets.  There was a constant barrage saying that “illegals” should learn the language if they want to come here and that “illegals” are a drain on society.  One of my first thoughts when people start to put down someone that is undocumented is in regards to the Europeans that came over to the new world and ‘discovered’ it.  History has shown us that America wasn’t discovered by anyone – it was already here with people!  So why is it that it is ok that Europeans came here with no papers, but when someone else does it – specifically a brown person – that is now called illegal?  Hmmm….  I would like to hear your thoughts on this one.  I encourage you to read the Facebook post – click here – and comment on what you see there.  Check out some of the facts that I presented and the responses to those facts.

Here’s to my first blog post, see you tomorrow!