Suck It Up, We’re Screwed
Decades of incompetent Democratic leadership — and disregard for diversity — has taken us down this path.
The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy puts our country at a crossroads where there's only one expected outcome: a bizarrely out of touch and unrepresentative Supreme Court, for generations to come.
I don't see any real action that Democrats in Congress could take. Chuck Schumer talking about hypocrisy doesn't count. That's just pathetic, weak and meaningless. It's too late; the chickens have come home to roost.
Decades of calcified, characterless, all-white Democratic leadership has led us to this: Trump and a repressive conservative Supreme Court.
It shouldn't be this way. Read professor Steve Phillips' book "Brown is the New White." He proves through a thorough examination of national demographics and trends that Black, Latino and progressive white people should control this country politically — and do control the future of every national election.
We had him speak at an event before the last presidential election — I asked, "Have you given your book to Hillary's campaign?" He said yes — then I asked, "Has anyone read it?" and he shrugged his shoulders. One event sums up the entire campaign — on election night, Hillary had a concert in Philadelphia — Bruce Springsteen. The audience was entirely old white people my age. Ten percent fewer Democrats voted in 2016 than in 2012. Blacks and Latinos did not show up. No kidding — why would they?
Let's not forecast (or hope for) action or leadership. There's no reason to. Remember, this is the "leadership" that chose Hillary in 2008 AND 2016 — an awkward, detached, entitled, racist-by-action princess who couldn't pass the DC bar exam. She lost in 2008 against a first-term nobody senator and ran again — and lost again, this time to a bloated, spray-tanned draft dodger who's been sued by more customers, contractors and business partners than anybody I've ever heard of. A guy who cheated on his first wife with the second wife, took the Fifth Amendment 97 times in the second divorce and apparently had an affair with a porn star (and another woman — a Playboy "model") while his third wife held their infant son in her arms. His former campaign manager is in prison!
Leadership matters: Pelosi was so horrible at it, that she lost her speakership in just two years, in a landslide. Despite all of the above, she will be the speaker of the House if the Democrats manage, by happenstance, to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat in November. Don't bet on it.
This "leadership" was teeing up yet another white man (Crowley, the fourth most powerful representative in the Democratic Party) to be the heir apparent, but he lost to a 28-year-old Latina political nobody, in a landslide. Pelosi's own staff doesn't represent the demographics of her district. Her big move regarding the humanitarian crisis on her state's southern border was to criticize Rep. Maxine Waters!
Schumer's staff has no apparent Latino representation and one Black woman. He released a report underscoring the odd lack of diversity in Democratic legislative staffs (it's better than the Republicans, but is that a win?); he invoked the Rooney Rule, which hasn't even worked for the NFL, where it originated. How 1995 of him.
What's this basket of incompetents going to do about Trump's forthcoming Supreme Court pick? Stomp their feet? They're too timid to do even that.
Ebenezer Baptist Church and most of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta are closed. "I feel a bit of sadness...I didn't expect to cry over this," said Bernice King.
Tuesday was Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and next Monday is our national celebration of the civil rights icon.
But school field trips, celebrations, families' visits to teach children about civil rights and the values of all people being created equally are being canceled due to President Trump's government shutdown.
Thousands of people who flock to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor, and to his home, as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., will be disappointed. They are all closed.
Or is a tyranny of old people and a lack of leadership skills, most importantly mentoring and sponsoring the next generation, open for criticism?
I received a comment from a reader on my last column.
Here's the gist of it:
"I did not tweet or post (your last column) because of the ageist comment/s made about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I have no problem with them being criticized as lackluster, but not because of their age."
Here's my response:
"Here's the real crisis at the border: children are dying," writes DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti.
After watching the president conclusively prove he can read off a teleprompter, I struggled to stay awake as the 146-year-old couple (Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) robotically read through an uninspired response.
Brian Kolfage created a GoFundMe page to build Trump's border wall.
Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran who lost his legs and right arm during his second deployment in Iraq in 2004, started a GoFundMe campaign to fund a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Following the funeral of Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr., a press conference on Monday called for justice as forensics revealed he was shot in the back.
Over 1,000 people were in attendance at Boutwell Memorial Auditorium in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday to mourn Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. and demand justice regarding his police-related death. Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. accompanied the family and delivered the eulogy.
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"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"
We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.
"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.
She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.
"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.
"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.
"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."
She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.
"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"
.@MichelleObama on whether Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2020: "I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha!" https://t.co/E6lGKfK6oR pic.twitter.com/Axrvs7SDZQ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 13, 2018
Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.
Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.
Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.
"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."
Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."
In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.
Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:
"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.
And that is not why you get the job in the first place.