The irony of it all. The bully- in-chief accuses someone of being a bully as he takes the bully pulpit via twitter against him. But he cannot leave it alone. Baltimore’s Rep. Elijah Cummings is the victim of his latest rantings but he includes the whole city of Baltimore that happens to be predominately black in the rant too. He said that Baltimore was a rodent infested horrible city that no human being would choose to live in. This is reminiscent of when he called countries of color ‘shithole’ places.
It is sad we have elevated someone of no character to be our president. He believes in an eye for an eye and then some more if you attack hm. He is comfortable lying. As shown by the multiple incidents of contractors who work on his buildings and reneges on paying them, he enters in compacts with no intentions of honoring them. All in the cause of him winning and making a buck.
He writes these things of Baltimore when his son is known as one of the slumlords of Baltimore and he and his father had a notoriously bad housing project on the edge of Baltimore. He writes this even though he once wrote that the then President Obama was responsible for the problems in Baltimore by his own inaction. Of course, he holds no responsibility when he is president. He even had to pay a huge fine to the federal government for his own discriminatory practices when he was starting in the real estate business. Trump’s own prize ritzy Mar a Largo has had over 17 health code violations in a year.
Trump is a bit of a lost cause when it comes to developing a deep soul. But what he has exposed is that many in America have the same issue. Why would you ever vote for a person who without apology or excuse acts and holds white supremacist views unless you hold them too. At first you may have not known the full extent of his ‘issue’, but he has left no doubt on who he is now. His followers are now complicit in his tweets and actions if they continue to support him.
American evangelicals, white women, and white men and bible belt residents are now in moral decline. They lost their soul in their search to gain the world. Of course, this has always been true for a certain groups who supported slavery, Jim Crow, sexist, homophobic politicians in the past and present. They are no different no matter how many times they yell I am not a racist, they are the racists. And thank God they are not even close to a majority no matter how many times they say it. Their leader once said', "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it". It is not about having the most it is about how you live your life.
It is hard to believe that in President Trump’s efforts to secure our southern border he has increased the migration of immigration to our country. What does he do? He doubles down on his get cruel to immigrant policies to frighten away immigrants. This is the proverbial trying the same thing over and over again hoping for different results. There are many problems with this approach. First it will take at least a decade to make people fear us and forget the image and words of the Statue of Liberty. This will of course also change the way Americans was of thinking or our country. I am not sure it is an image that will help us in our interactions with the rest of the world. Secondly, it appears to make some immigrants rush to the border before it closes. Thus, we have created a mass of people that we have never seen before trying to cross into our country. Thirdly, it does nothing to address prevention of people coming to our borders in the first place. They come because things have gotten so bad in their own countries as far as the economics, crime and government goes it is deemed much better to try to get into our country where things at least on the surface seems so much better.
As if these things are not bad enough there is probably a greater problem being created by the immigrant camps. We have had no problem with terrorism from our southern neighbors. But unless we change this; we are creating an environment that creates terrorism. Think about it for a moment. We are taking children away from their parents. We appear unable to reunite some of these children with their parents. We are creating children who will grow-up with no parents. The resentment that will be held against our countries by these ‘orphans’ we have created will be deep in their psyche. Not only are we making them orphans we are treating them harshly. They are kept in overcrowded cages, underfed, not allowed to bathe, not receiving medical treatment as needed, and some of the children have been sexually abused. Who is to blame for this? You may say the parents, as Trump ‘the privileged’ has does not take the blame for anything. But he does ‘twitter blame’ on everyone else. The children know their parents came to receive help and our government refused to help and instead offered cruel punishment. The alienation and hate we are creating will come back to haunt us many years from now.
But isn’t this the way of violence which deciding to be unnecessary tough on others always bring with it: violent responses. The saying goes 'violence begats violence'. Maybe not today but sometime later. And this has always been America’s problem. We treated African’s as animals and enforced slavery with violence and our country still reels from this over 150 years later. I do not know what the tipping point with immigrants will be when we go from a place to seek and become a place where you are treated in a hostile manner. become viewed as a place to hate and exact revenge. But there is a tipping point.
We may still have time to prevent this from happening but we have to stop these policies of cruelty and make amends somehow. Tick Tock.
Everyone is talking about identity politics. Identity politics can give some a sense of belonging, a place to call home. It also can make someone look beyond themselves to see the needs of others. Identity politics enables you to join with others to get things done. We all start with a semblance of identity politics when we proclaim, we belong to a certain family or align ourselves with a religious institution. Others will identify with ethnic groups or race.
For many years I identify myself as a Freeman. We were Baptists not Methodists as the Hayes my mother’s side of the family. We were called to serve our country and God. We were encouraged to learn and receive an education. Later we were to identify as a Southerner but must never use denigrative terms about other races. We were also Baptist. So we took seriously one’s faith was between them and God. Politics and religion were not to rule over the other. And we were polite and good hosts to anyone we encountered. We were also FDR Democrats because we were always on the side of the poor and the average man. We saw ourselves as role models for our country, city, and neighborhood. This was my identity for many years.
Growing up this was a good identity. But along the way I had to broaden my identity or get stuck. I moved from being a Baptist who thought Catholics were not Christian and Episcopalians were suspect. I became ecumenical in my thinking. Later I included other faiths in my identity, my group. And even later atheists and agnostics became included in my identity. My views on sexuality and gender had to be expanded. I even grew away from viewing myself not only as an American but as a world citizen too. My world citizenship also had to grow to include other animals, plants, and ecosystems. This was my new definition of what it meant to be a world citizen. And now as the world has become smaller and we look to the universe I may have to expand to a cosmic citizenship.
And this is the rub of identity politics it makes you feel responsibility for others in your group. It makes you feel empathy and solidarity for those in your group. The problem becomes if your identity never grows. Your heart does not continue to grow. Your vision is stifled. And instead of identity politics growing you to accept the other, you become harden to those outside your group. I know that oppressed groups stick together to cope and defend themselves against the oppressor. For them identity politics is a matter of survival. And sometimes even if they wish they are not allowed to include the oppressor’s in their identity (ie, forced segregation, red districting, country clubs, private schools etc).
But the goal of life is to expand, to grow, and where we can broaden our group identity the closer we become to who we were meant to be. At least this is what the mystics have always claimed. We are to expand ourselves to the end of the universe and thus become diffused or at one with God, the cosmos, or the One. Our identity spreads so far that we no longer speak of I but always as we. I will always have little bit of the South, Baptists, and Freeman in me. But more than likely as I grow I will only keep the parts that speak of the individual who is able to be inclusive of all.