Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Last night, Donald Trump managed to behave himself by the very low standard we’ve collectively set for him for almost the first half hour of the final debate. Was he as good as some in the punditocracy suggested?

Is he ever?

No, no, no, no. To put things in perspective, think of the dog you trained to defecate on newspaper versus your freshly shined wooden floors who finally follows directions. That’s Trump for that period of time.

When the subject of the Supreme Court came up, Trump seemed more upset that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had bad things to say about him than anything else. Trump did speak passionately about abortion from his suddenly pro-life stance.

He was far too gory, hyperbolic, and not truthful about the number of late-term abortions actually performed, but he managed to form complete sentences that didn’t include insults. I imagine he lifted these lines from Mike Pence. His lies aside, it was about time we had discussions about reproductive rights in the presidential debates – you know, when it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to speak.

Per usual, Trump was vigilant in his objections to NAFTA. If there is one constant about these debates, it’s Clinton’s reluctance to directly address legitimate complaints about the trade deal her husband signed in the 1990s. If Trump were a more disciplined debater, he would have stuck to creating moments like these as opposed to…everything else. Say, referring to undocumented immigrants as “bad hombres” and revealing that he doesn’t get the Second Amendment.

But super first half hour for Trump, y’all.

For much of the debate, Clinton and her expansive book of receipts highlighted what an uninformed fool she’s running against. Trump more or less went “nu uh!” at every claim Clinton made, only to have her follow it up with a direct quote.

As the debate went on, Trump knocked the voice of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway out of his head and returned to the sniffling, face crunching, rude somebody we’ve known him to be.

And it bears repeating: Trump knows nothing.

Trump spoke in incoherent circles about Syria. Trump couldn’t just flat-out say his “MCE” Vladimir Putin is not the most amazing person and that the U.S. Intelligence community is correct about Russians hacking email accounts of American institutions and citizens to meddle in our election. Trump also did little in the way of detailing his economic policy or any policy outside of building a big wall.

Instead, Trump continued to deal in generalities and gibberish before moving on to flat-out conspiracies. Say, when he accused the Clinton campaign of coordinating with the media to compel nine women to accuse him of sexual assault. This man thinks like an alternate on Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine.

What will stick out most about this final debate is Trump being asked if he will accept the results of the election and answering, “I’ll keep you in suspense.” This man acts like he’s up against Kenya Moore at a Real Housewives reunion, doing what it takes to secure a peach for the next season. Meanwhile, it’s interesting now we can talk about rigged elections – which is not a thing in America – yet forgo having the candidate address voter disenfranchisement efforts actually happening across the country.

Read the rest at Essence.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

If he has his way, Donald Trump may have laid the groundwork for a race riot right by Red Lobster.

According to the New York Daily News, the Trump campaign has been actively trying to book the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem for a rally.

Apparently, organizers have been calling “every day,” though there is a bit of a discrepancy over how interested the Apollo is in allowing him the space to hold a rally featuring a bevy of paler folks with an allure for those who like to make aesthetic statements with white foods. One described insider said, “They don’t want him there,” while another claimed, “The two parties may have talked, but no deal has been announced.”

You know, Harlem may have changed, but racism is pretty consistent as far as consequences go.

I remember casually strolling along 125th Street one day and asking myself, “Where did all of the white people come from?” No shade, white folks. I had just never seen that many of y’all in Harlem. The next day, I learned that Amy Schumer had been recording a comedy special at the Apollo, which ultimately aired this time last year. Schumer fans are one thing, but when it comes to supporters of a hate-mongering man who looks like the lovechild of Fanta and Benito Mussolini, can we not?

Trump supporters remind me of a few things: Mama’s Family, business-casual bigotry, misspelled signs and “Heil Hitler!” Needless to say, you pile that into Harlem and all I see happening is white people with signs about Obama arguing with Black Israelites while someone eventually pulls out his phone and yells, “WorldStar!” And lots and lots of NYPD, which can be fearful for anyone who doesn’t look like they belong at a Trump rally.

Why exactly would Trump want to hold a rally in Harlem? At this point in the campaign, “the Blacks,” as he affectionately calls us, know what his deal is. He has four black friends: Ben Carson, Omarosa, Diamond and Silk. Zora Neale Hurston already settled the matter with them: “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”

As for his “black outreach,” which one presumes would be the basis of his Apollo rally, we’ve already heard his shtick. We’re living in the slums of the inner city, where, as soon as we step outside, we duck bullets because we’re our own suicide squad. We’re all dancing energetically across, below or right on the poverty line. When it comes to our schools, they’re falling apart brick by brick, and students have had to burn the books left over from Reconstruction to stay warm because the heat went out and Booger from Good Times never fixed it.

Like, we get that we’re poor, black and ugly, Trump, and honestly, the lines were performed better by Mister in The Color Purple. Then again, Trump’s black outreach was always for white women anyway.

Just this week, Trump professed a desire to improve conditions for blacks and Hispanics. And yet, days before that, during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump had this to say to supporters: “So important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us. We do not want this election stolen.”


Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

As many of us politicos have come to know, the Grand Old Party is overflowing with stupid white men. In this campaign season, though, Donald J. Trump has been sucking up so much of the election coverage, the rest of those of that dumb-dumb-diddy demo have been overlooked.

That’s why I am so grateful to Jon Girodes, the Republican candidate for New York’s 30th Senatorial District, who’s doing his part to make sure we all remember there are many other racist buffoons worthy of our ridicule and condemnation.

As NBC 4 New York reports, Girodes planned for an event in Harlem, which, I’m sure in his mind, was some sort of attempt at black outreach. However, if you took a random poll of black folks, most would hear this plan and say something to the effect of, “Bitch, you got us f–ked up.” And he does.

What’s the plan? Well, per an email Girodes sent out to NBC 4: “I’m hosting an event in Harlem which will be in front of the state building in a few weeks. We will [donate] Kool Aid, KFC and watermelons to the public on 125th street in Harlem. Please join us to help the community.”

Of course, the image for this proposed event features Martin Luther King Jr., this type’s personal get-out-of-“That’s racist!” card. Bless his ignorant, clueless heart.

As someone who walks past that building just about every single day, I’m trying to envision what it might look like to see some Republican stroll up to the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building and more or less offer a trio of stereotypes to black people.

“What I think is anyone who gives free food to people is doing them a favor,” Girodes explained to NBC 4. “Get a bunch of people who say it’s offensive and let me go into their neighborhood and give it out for free and see if they take it.”

Fine, I’ll admit that if I just so randomly stumbled onto someone handing out chicken wings and fried fish sandwiches, it might initially pique my interest. No one will shame me for a love of either thing. That said, who goes to Harlem and offers KFC? There is a Popeyes on 116th, 125th and 145th streets. How are you shimmying into Harlem with KFC? No one wants that, you silly, likely no-seasoning-using man.

If you’re going to stereotype us, at least do so more productively.

Then again, fried chicken is beloved by all, so to couple that with watermelon and Kool-Aid is pretty damn offensive. You want black votes, so you give black voters high cholesterol and “the sugar”? For the love of God, it is National Diabetes Month.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

trump-kfcDonald Trump is fat. If Dennis the Menace grew up to be a racist, real estate tycoon with a bad tan and a huge stomach, he would look exactly like Donald Trump. Trump hasn’t been anywhere close to thin since Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears ended in 1991. Yet, one of Trump’s favorite hobbies is mocking the weight of other people.

During Monday’s Real Housewives-reunion-themed presidential debate, Hillary Clinton called out Trump for his bad habit of belittling women like former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Trump should have let that story die Monday, but as we’ve learned over time, Trump just can’t help himself—especially when it comes to anyone he finds fat.

To wit, the next morning, Trump called into Fox & Friends to dig himself into a deeper hole by claiming that Machado “gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” Some, like Newt Gingrich, have come to Trump’s defense. “You’re not supposed to gain 60 pounds during the year that you’re Miss Universe,” Gingrich explained at an event staged by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group for LGBTQ conservatives.

Please note that Gingrich, like Trump, is fat. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Trump continued to advocate for himself in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. According to Trump, when it comes to Machado, he “saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight.”

So in 1996, when Trump referred to Machado as “an eating machine,” he was helping her. Well, that didn’t seem to do much for her. Since Monday, another former Miss Universe contestant, Jodie Seal, who was Miss Australia in the 1996 event, has shared similar accounts of Trump’s weight-centered line of antagonism. Seal told Inside Edition, “He said to me, ‘Suck your stomach in, or suck your gut in.’” Seal added that Trump “put a lot of the girls down.”

But if he was helping them, what about all the other times he’s insulted people over their weight? Trump complained to Howard Stern in a 2003 interview that he thought Jennifer Lopez’s butt was too big. A decade later, Trump told Stern that Kim Kardashian has “a fat ass.”

Then there is Barbara Res, an executive who supervised the construction of his headquarters, recalling Trump telling her, “You like your candy.” Res also noted that Trump only referred to a city official as “the fat [f–k].”

But, yo, Trump is fat his damn self. How has he managed to get away with this for so long? Trump’s obsession with fast food is notorious. Trump loves KFC, which further explains his poor showing with black voters besides the whole unabashed racism thing. Trump loves a Filet-O-Fish moment from McDonald’s. Actually, Trump just loves the menu.

During a CNN town hall held in February, Trump declared: “The Big Macs are great. The Quarter Pounder. It’s great stuff.” In a New York Times profile of Trump, fast food junkie, Kellyanne Conway, now his campaign manager but then senior adviser, quipped, “I don’t think Hillary Clinton would be eating Popeyes biscuits and fried chicken.”

That’s because Trump’s fat ass would be calling HRC fat if she snuggled up with the Tuesday two-piece special the way he’s prone to. Trump gets away with many things, including his shady business dealings, racist statements, xenophobic statements, and so on. By “get away,” I mean not being denounced as the bigot that he is (we collectively instead argue about the term racist and how it hurts people’s feelings or whatever).

He should not get away with this, though. Now is the time to call out Trump on his hypocrisy. It’s also the time to call Trump “fat boy” for the rest of the campaign.

Is it nice to call people fat? As a former heavyweight lover myself, no. However, special times and hypocritical hefty jackasses call for special measures. When you’re fat like Donald Trump, you shouldn’t be going around talking about other people’s weight.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

The trailer for it may have been awkward, but once you actually watch Mary J. Blige’s interview with Hillary Clinton on her Apple Music talk show, The 411, in full, you’re likely to find out it’s rather innocuous.

The memes surrounding the image of Blige and Clinton in what looked to be an emotional moment were funny. As were the jokes fired off about Blige presumably bursting into song. However, there was a bit of a visceral reaction to the image of Blige, a black woman, singing in front of Clinton, a white woman, though that actually says more about their own discomfort with certain behavior in front of white people than about Blige herself. Heaven forbid a singer burst into song.

The editing was misleading and, arguably, damaging in the presumption it gave people, but fret not, Negroes and those who fancy themselves allies. Blige is not referring to HRC as “Miss Hillary” during the interview; nor is she telling Clinton, “Pardon the watermelon on my breath.”

What you get between the two is more or less a daytime-talk-show interview on a pay music site. It also plays into the growing trend of outlets having famous people interview other famous people. Sometimes it works; other times, not so much.

Before it begins, it’s clear that Clinton is on friendly terrain. Blige explains before the Democratic presidential nominee arrives, “What inspires me most about Secretary Clinton is that she’s a woman and she’s running for president.”

When Clinton arrives, she compliments Blige about her glasses. Full disclosure: They are fly. Later, Blige compliments Clinton about the ivory suit she wore when she made history by becoming the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination for the presidency. To be fair, Clinton’s suit was white-party excellence.

The questions Blige poses to Clinton are noticeably easy in the beginning. Like, “What do you want people to know about who you really are?” Another: “How has your faith guided you in this process?”

Then come Blige’s inquiries about the role Clinton’s mother played in her life; the relationship she has with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton; and what it’s like being a grandmother.

Now, as for the singing that brought so much attention, context is key. That moment didn’t happen until 18 minutes into the interview, when Blige notes that she’s about to sing a 16-year-old song (“American Skin [41 Shots]”) by Bruce Springsteen. She sings well, despite revealing that she’s worried about how she’ll sound; and then the two have essentially a Hallmark moment. They clutch each other’s hands and Clinton extensively rehashes lines we’ve already heard when she’s been met with similar questions about police brutality.

Blige was not crooning “Pull up your pants and be nice to the po-lice” ideology, which just goes to show what people learn when they wait to see something in full before reacting to it.

We are now at least two decades into the practice of presidential candidates appearing on talk shows to reach out to voters. This encounter was another instance of this, only in digital form. Blige, surprisingly, did note that black people feel that racism gave way to noted obstructionism toward President Barack Obama’s administration, and she asked whether sexism will deal Clinton a similar fate. Did Clinton give MJB the deets on her plans to potentially take executive power to unprecedented levels if need be? No, but what did you expect?

Speaking of expectations, no one should fault Blige for this interview. And as to whether or not Clinton is willing to enter less friendly environments to talk more about policy and how the policies pushed by her husband affected black people, duh. Clinton is not about to go knock on Michelle Alexander’s door and ask for a chat.

Politicians, particularly those, like Clinton, struggling to get key voting blocs to feel enthusiastic about this election, are going to avoid goofing up. Even Obama, in the last stretch of his presidency, ain’t exactly sitting down with anyone to talk about his deplorable record on deportation. That doesn’t mean those questions cannot be posed, though. They just need to be posed by the right people.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

This week, Vice published an essay from Jay Stephens titled, “I’m a Young Black Woman and I Support Trump.” A month prior, Time published a piece penned by C.J. Pearson named, “I’m a Young Black Man and I Support Donald Trump.” This is the part where you’re supposed to pretend to be shocked that there are black Republicans.

OK, here goes: Omigod, really, though? Like, Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but for real?

Great. Let’s move on.

At this rate, don’t be surprised to see similar works published before Election Day. Say, “I’m a Middle Aged Black Woman Who Wants to Be Up Like Donald Trump.” Or, “I’m an Old Black Man Who Is 2 Packs of Cigarettes and a Good Swig of Cognac Away From Death, but Before I Go to Glory, I Want to See Trump in the White House.”

As fate would have it, on Wednesday, Rolling Stone published, “Meet the Black Women Defending Trump’s Record on Race,” a profile of Trump supporters Diamond and Silk—aka those women who look like Nisi and Mickey from B.A.P.S in their older, apparently conservative-leaning years.

In theory, it should be a good thing that there are black people visibly supporting politicians of both parties. However, when the Republican nominee for president is more or less the big, loud baby of Nixon’s Southern strategy and David Duke-styled white supremacist folklore, one can’t help dismissing these people as the delusional, unfortunate attention whores that they are.

Take Stephens, for example, who argues in her essay: “African Americans must look beyond the absurdist racist caricature that has been painted for us of Trump and be prepared to talk honestly about how illegal immigration is one of the many forces hampering our success. Economic vitality—not police brutality—should be the primary political concern for African Americans this election cycle.”

Bless her heart. For she believes she is saying something profound here. I’ll give her an A—not for effort, but asininity.

From Trump’s history with housing discrimination to his antics surrounding the Central Park Five, along with the long list of terrible things he’s said about black people, you’re a fool if you think black people are seeing anything other than what Trump has given us. Even now, as Trump talks about black life in America to predominantly white audiences, he describes us as if we’re Celie and he’s Mister, putting us in our place.

As for the need to focus on economic vitality and not police brutality, there are plenty of well-off black people who can attest to the burdens of racial discrimination and how entrees into higher-tax brackets are not a ticket out of that discrimination. Pearson, the national chairman for Teens for Trump, more or less agrees with Trump’s point that we have nothing to lose by voting for him. A mere glance at his proposals (as generic as they are) will prove otherwise.

I hope with age comes better reading material for that kid.

Then there’s Diamond and Silk, who spent a substantial portion of their Rolling Stone profile saying that Trump is not a racist, despite being provided with bits of evidence, one after another, proving otherwise. When Trump met the duo at a campaign rally, he said, “I hope you’ve monetized this” before instructing them to “do a little routine.”

For the folks mentioned above, this is all very much shtick.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Depending on whom you ask, Ted Cruz is about as likable as jock itch. In July, fellow Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana said of his colleague, “He’s the most self-centered, narcissistic, pathological liar I’ve ever seen—and you can quote me on that.” Coats went on to tell IndyStar, “No matter how conservative you are, you never can meet Ted’s standard. He only thinks of himself; he doesn’t think about party. He’s a wrecking ball.”

Cruz has never been much of a social butterfly. He functions more like a mosquito, flying around much more affable people, waiting for the very second to land somewhere, take a bite and leave a hideous bump for all to see. Thing is, though, Cruz, typically does this under the pretense of principle. He fancies himself a purist in terms of upholding conservative principles.

In July 2015, on the Senate floor, Cruz called his own Senate leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a liar. Nearly a year later, he stood by those remarks. Around that same time, in a separate interview, Cruz said of calls for an apology, “That ain’t gonna happen.”

Cruz maintained that he was telling the truth about McConnell; thus, it was unnecessary to apologize. This is his shtick: “I’m a man of principle; therefore, any rude, divisive stance or action I take is perfectly fine—even if it embarrasses someone I work with or, worse, affects millions of people.” It’s never been admirable.

However, when Cruz appeared at this year’s Republican National Convention and defiantly refused to endorse Trump before an arena (that was not completely full; sad!) of Republicans and with millions watching, even someone who can’t stand him could appreciate the audaciousness. After his speech, Cruz told reporters, “I’m not going to lie to you; what I said last night is what I believe.”

Cruz then went on to make one thing clear: “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father. And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog.”

Well, now is the time to serve Cruz some Kibbles and Bits and formally dismiss him for the poseur he is.

On Facebook, Cruz wrote: “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.”

Cruz went on to list other reasons, but they are best summarized with “blah-blah-blah.”

Not only did Trump essentially call Cruz’s wife a boogawolf, but he also suggested that his father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. And throughout the Republican campaign, Trump referred to Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Trump never apologized for any of these things.

Read the rest The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

When I typically think of black Republicans, I put them in a basket of deplorables alongside Beyoncé haters (Beytheists), people who prefer KFC over Popeyes (tasteless) and people who walk too damn slow on highly trafficked streets (move!). Like, how do you trust anyone black who puts his or her trust in George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush? I have more faith in strangers at an Atlanta bar with my credit card.

However, after the leaking of Colin Powell’s emails, I am making room in the icebox where my heart s’posed to be for this conservative of color. I’ll never forget the role he played in the Iraq War, but after reading his thoughts about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I’ll at least invite him to a fish fry. I won’t eat his potato salad, though.

For one, Powell’s blunt emails speak to the larger idea of how we black folks keep up appearances in corporate or, in this case, government settings, when, in reality, we can’t stand most of the fools around us. I now have the image of Powell going to the State Department and White House, giving his colleagues a smidgen of a smile and gracious nod, only to go back to his office and fire off emails with the subject, “This idiotic piece of s–t.” Or: “I hate her. I hate him. I hate all of them. UGH.”

Powell is absolutely correct about the hubris of Clinton and about Trump being an “international pariah” and “national disgrace.” I concur about Dick Cheney typically coming across as a “scary idiot,” and the Republican Party being a “reality show.” I’m also curious to know whether he and Condoleezza Rice ever wanted to jump Donald Rumsfeld.

Still, what’s really changed my mind about Powell is that I never knew how much I needed a shady, mean old Jamaican man in my life until now. Actually, shady old people in general. I lost my grandparents years ago, and while our love was deep and pure and other old Mariah Carey lyrics, what I loved most about them was that they used to say whatever the hell was on their minds—especially my grandmother. About any issue. About all people.

My mom is starting to enter this no-f–ks-given stage of life, but she’s Catholic, so she tends to feign guilt about whatever flies out of her mouth. I need someone older and, thus, more likely to just call someone out, take a sip of water or Paul Masson peach brandy, and call the next person out. I now believe that Colin Powell is that person, and I need someone to forward him this essay so that he can become my play paw-paw and email buddy.

You just know that Powell has far more to say about this election. I need to know what Powell makes of the following: Kellyanne Conway, who lies as well as Beyoncé does everything; Reince Priebus, the Jackie Christie of political operatives; Donald Trump, any day of the week, based on whatever inane and/or insane comment he’s made; and Hillary Clinton, in general.

Moreover, who are these alleged women Bill Clinton is smashing? Is he using vegan condoms? And for some reason, I bet Powell watches Power. Does he hate Angela and Tariq, too?

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Last Friday, Donald Trump used his side gig—Republican nominee for president—to go back to what he’s actually qualified for—real estate—and hawk his new hotel. A few Medal of Honor recipients allowed themselves to be extras in his two-for-one informational, and one of them used the opportunity to address Hillary Clinton’s critique about a certain faction of Trump supporters. “Deplorables are also deployables,” the Vietnam veteran quipped. He did so with the widest smile on his face—just to let you know that he was pleased with himself.

Ever since Clinton uttered the phrase “basket of deplorables,” Trump’s most ardent supporters have tried to offer addenda to the claim: That they are “hardworking Americans.” They have families. And in this case, they have served their country. Fair enough. But you can be all those things and still be racist or, at the very least, be willing to support someone who is—which ultimately proves that when you get down to it, you’re not that committed to a belief in equality for all.

It is to be expected of them, but there’s also a noticeable contingent of others who have tried to take greater issue with charges of racism than with racism itself.

This would include Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who said of Clinton’s comment in a radio interview Thursday: “I think it was a wrong thing to say. I think that it ignores the very true concerns that we have about needing change in this country. I think that it was ill-advised.”

Also included would be Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who instead of joining Clinton in a shared contempt of bigotry tried to argue a double standard. Meanwhile, she two-stepped right past criticism of the fact that her running mate referred to President Barack Obama as an “Uncle Tom.”

And, of course, there were white people in media, who felt compelled to explain racism, as if they actually have to face it.

At Vox, Dara Lind wrote: “There’s a satisfying moral clarity in being able to out-and-out call people deplorable for their racist views, but there simply isn’t a bright line between ‘racist’ and ‘not racist.’ There are quiet biases, and degrees of awareness, that even people who don’t support Donald Trump—even ‘hard-working Americans’—need to be aware of. And there is more to racism than what lies within people’s hearts.”

At New York magazine, Jesse Singal argued: “But there’s a difference between people’s subjective experiences and the terms we set for the big, ongoing national conversation about racism and for social justice. Within that conversation, viewing people who hold racist views as irredeemable, and describing their beliefs in terms of moral taint, just isn’t the best way forward.”

Funny enough, when citing his relatives who may hold racist views, Singal quickly blocked anyone—specifically those of darker hues—who challenged him on this notion. Yes, this is exactly how racial harmony is achieved. In any event, Business Insider’s Josh Barro echoed similar sentiments, tweeting, “I think if we’re going to (reasonably) define racism quite broadly, then we have to think of it as a bad personal trait, not a horrible one. If most people are racist, and most people are not horrible, then many racists are not horrible.”

It’s easy for those who never have to be subjected to any variation of racism to make these arguments. None of them knows what it’s like to be stopped by a police officer and fear for your life. They haven’t the slightest clue about what it’s like to experience discrimination in terms of employment, banking and housing.

They’ll never have to contend with certain realities like the role that race plays in how black schoolchildren are disciplined. Just last week I had to hear about how my 8-year-old niece had been treated over a racist letter that she did not even write. As early as kindergarten, she asked her mother, “Why the kids with yellow hair are treated better than the ones with black hair?”

And yet, those of us who have to deal with racism are supposed to see the humanity of those who view us as less than. But the fact that racism is common doesn’t make it any less horrific and detrimental. Having racist relatives and friends doesn’t make their bigotry any less ugly. Racism doesn’t have to be a white hood. It has levels. It always has.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

In Soul Food, Big Mama had to come to the realization that all those Sunday dinners had led her to develop what many of us refer to as “the sugar,” and ultimately she had to submit to doctor’s orders to have her leg amputated. In Old Yeller, Travis realizes that after his beloved pet contracts rabies, he has to shoot his dog. In other words, choices have consequences, and life happens and you must react accordingly.

To that end, when it comes to the issue of Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson and her numerous gaffes in recent months, one wonders: “How in the hell does she continue to have that job?”

Now, Pierson has always had a contentious relationship with the truth, long treated history like a frenemy and has shown herself repeatedly to be enamored with sounding as if she’s one side short of a proper fish dinner. Pierson, much like her boss, GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, is consistent in her inconsistency. She will forgo ideology when it suits her professional interest and, as a former ardent supporter of Ted Cruz, shift allegiances when opportunity knocks.

“When Donald says, ‘I think you’re great, I really want you to work for me,’ I don’t think any sane person would say no to that,” Pierson explained to Politico last November.

If only she had phoned a friend.

Even if I think Pierson has no idea what she’s talking about most of the time and holds viewpoints sour enough to cause stomach cramping, I do salute someone who was born to a teen mom, lived on welfare and ended up having her own child at a young age, yet still has managed to rise to the level that she has. Nonetheless, Pierson probably needs to be taken off television and sent to a public library. Preferably the sooner, the better.

Recently Pierson claimed that President Barack Obama started the war in Afghanistan—a fascinating claim given that at the time, Obama was just a state senator in Illinois. When responding to the death of Capt. Humayun Khan, which occurred in 2004 in Iraq, Pierson said, “It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life.” When alerted to reality, Pierson then claimed that “tens of thousands of soldiers” had been lost and “1 million” soldiers were wounded. No.

Oh, and one can’t ignore that she also plays the role of doctor sometimes, diagnosing Hillary Clinton with dysphasia, a rare disorder related to brain disease. This is all during the month of August. Never mind Pierson’s past instances of foolishness. Like, say, questioning Marco Rubio’s citizenship earlier this year. Or late last year, when she asked, “What is the point in having a good nuclear triad if you are afraid to use it?”

Then there is her Twitter history, an orgy of vapidity and intolerance.

I’m not sure what Pierson’s goals are beyond this campaign. Will she run for office again? Does she want a radio talk show? Is she hoping for a cable news contract? Might she want to angle for future spokesperson jobs for politicians in the future?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, she ought to consider resigning and taking up the hobby of being informed while speaking.

And if you are the Trump campaign, why would you continue having this painfully unqualified person unnecessarily create additional problems for Donald Trump? When it comes to sabotaging the Trump campaign with utter stupidity, that’s Donald Trump’s job. Everyone else’s job is to play the role of cleanup crew.

Trump surrogate Steve Cortes is particularly good at it. As is Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who is exceptional at making her walking-Klan-rally of a candidate sound more like a business-casual white nationalist. Unfortunately, Pierson has yet to reach that level of sociopathy.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone