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The 117th Congress Reflects Our Changing America

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

“The 117th Congress will be the most diverse group of lawmakers ever to chart the nation’s course when it meets in January after women and nonwhite candidates made gains in the November elections,” states a recent report in The Hill.

This shift in our nation’s armor is a testament to the strong will and perseverance of a people that refuse to live on their knees so rich white men can continue to reap the lion share of our nation’s wealth and supremacy. Black folks, after building the most powerful nation in the world via brutal slave labor, fighting its wars without adequate thanks, inventing products that forever changed how people live, all while subjected to living on the dark side of the moon for what feels like eternity, are changing the face of Congress and other governing institutions across the country. And this fierce determination of grace is not only the pilot light of humanity, but the embodiment of E Pluribus Unum. We’re finally seeing the face of America and it’s a tapestry full of colors, cultures and religion.

Out of many, one nation of diverse people is finally emerging from behind the iron curtain staunchly guarded by a dying breed of shameless dividers and greedy power-hungry hoarders like Mitch McConnell. No doubt, history will reward him and his ilk accordingly, and rightfully so. Just like Confederate statues tumbling down, so will their legacy of white supremacy, greed and total disregard for the path of righteousness that stands right before them. McConnell represents the shame of American greed that refuses to budge, despite the harsh truth and evidence of his impact on his own state of Kentucky, and the entire nation struggling through a deadly pandemic. His impact on America, unique in its search for identity, will never be forgotten and should never be forgiven. As families lineup in food lines across the country, McConnell is fighting to maintain his grip on power rather than cooperate with fellow lawmakers to provide relief for desperate Americans. A crucial piece of legislation to provide Americans with much needed Covid-19 relief, as well as fund our military, H.R.6395 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) is facing a veto threat from Trump and pushback from McConnell. Why, you ask? Because they object to the level of protection for taxpayers during a pandemic and renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate commanders. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell believe the nation is overreacting to a pandemic and want to protect traitors who killed their own countrymen to preserve slavery. They say the forces that surround power are the real power. And that power belongs to McConnell. Folks, evil has a face, and he’s the epitome of Sheev Palpatine seething with gritted teeth, “everything that has transpired has done so according to my design.”

Although the road to self-determination has been long and bloody, the struggle is finally bearing some edible fruit. And the makeup of the 117th Congress tells us we’re on the right path to creating the world Dr. King spoke of during his speech at the 1963 March on Washington. We’re rising up to live out the true meaning of America’s creed. The fight to break the chains that have bonded Black people since the dawn of European conquest for the riches of Africa are slowly coming off. One revolution after another, bit by bit, struggle by struggle, heartache upon heartache, injustice after injustice, our spirit, protected and guided by the dreams of our ancestors, refuses to buckle, bend or retreat. From the many battles to maintain Africa for African people, slavery and the African Diaspora, the Abolitionist movement, the Civil War, Women’s Suffrage, Industrialization, the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights movement, Black people have led the way for mankind’s ultimate freedom, even from self. And Black people in pursuit of salvation have galvanized other ethnic groups to do the same by rising up to face a common enemy: greed and imperialism birthed by Europeans and their designated murderer of humanity, Christopher Columbus who paved the way that ushered in slavery.

The whistling winds of change blowing from plantation to freedom in America is slowly being reflected in the hub of our collective power: Congress. Even so, there is no moment for rest, as there is no rest for the weary. The work to deliberately right the wrongs is just beginning. And not just to clean up Trump’s 4-year destruction of political, societal and international norms, but to rebuild an unjust system that oppresses Black and brown people.

And what does that look like? It looks like flipping the Senate by way of voting Democrat in Georgia. Despite a historic win to seat Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President, staunch efforts are being made to muzzle we, the people who spoke loud and clear with our votes. Bishop Talbert Swan said it perfectly on Twitter, “17 white, Republican, attorney generals are supporting the Texas attorney general’s attempt to reverse the results of the 2020 election by suing PA, MI, GA, and WI because Black people in Philly, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta voted against Trump is white supremacy on steroids.” This is the movement Trump dragged in like the dead rodent brought in the house by the cat. Bob Marley once said, evil never takes a day off and neither should good, making the work ahead crucial as this country heads into an unknown future as leader of the free world in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

The justice being ushered in also looks like, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, General Lloyd Austin selected to head the Department of Defense, Congresswoman Martha L. Fudge as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation. And it looks like the feisty Congresswoman Katie Porter who isn’t afraid to fight her elders in Congress for the sake of her countrymen. There can be no peace without justice. And it’s not a personal pursuit of pillory against white people, rather war against a system structured to oppress Black people in every sector of our society. This unifying movement in America, is a demand to right blatant wrongs and finally end the brutality inflicted upon Black people and other POC by Europeans and their descendants. This isn’t new. Many wars have been fought, from Africa to the shores of America and everywhere in between, to push back their land and wealth grab, and inhumanity.

Our work also looks like honesty about the history of the world, curriculum change that teaches the truth about man’s history, cultural theft and genocide, discoveries and conquests from ancient to modern times, deliberate upward mobility initiatives to finally allow Black people to hold their rightful prosperous place in America, police reform and equality; socially and economically. Similar to whites receiving reparations following the end of slavery, so too must African Americans benefit from an eternity of brutality, lynching’s and injustice in a country of their making. Imagine 500 years of being forced to live on your knees for the benefit of one group that continues to profit from these unjust circumstances. We’re not there yet but I’m grateful we’re on our way to the mountain top Dr. King envisioned for all Americans. The changing face and make-up of Congress isn’t about one group of people losing, but rather all of us winning.

The History Of Thanksgiving And Why It Matters Today

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Every year Americans gleefully celebrate Thanksgiving. Today the holiday has morphed into consumerism, displays of costumed harmony and gratitude shaped by the fables and illusions constructed by those in power demanding we overlook the harsh truth and history of Thanksgiving. Still, no matter how far we stray from the path of truth, and as long as grass grows and water runs, history will remain seated in its scared place on top of the mountain awaiting man’s arrival for deeper knowledge and finally, true freedom rooted in a just and equal world.

Today, young people are still drawing pictures of pilgrims eating harmoniously with Native Americans when that depiction is far from historical fact. The truth, unfortunately, is the brutal genocide of Native Americans. And the official commemoration of Thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 was an idea born from George Washington as a political strategy for pilgrim unification, and in celebration of The Constitution. Historians say the turkeys significance as part of the origin of Thanksgiving, is due to the pilgrims dependence on wild turkeys they found to sustain themselves in their new world. And the national day of celebration was directly tied to their protestant religion of praising God for all the glory, land and newfound opportunities for riches outside the boundaries of Europe.

Equally important to note is how the European settlers defined themselves in an effort to unify and strengthen their hostile takeover of Native American lands. At some point, they no longer wanted to be seen as immigrants. Thus, after forming The Constitution, they evolved from being called pilgrims, colonists, Europeans and finally settling on whites, which essentially removed their specific place of origin across Europe from their identity. This new white institution was to form a political force and also to establish world dominance via the construct of white supremacy. Unfortunately, the “white” label of unity didn’t stop the Civil War from dividing the country, but I digress.

There are numerous historical accounts describing the brutality inflicted upon Native Americans by the pilgrims who came to be known as whites. It’s also important to remember, Black enslaved people were part of this journey of discovery to colonization. And they endured the worst of the pilgrims voyage and eventual settlement of the new world. It’s no secret our American teachings is shaped with many untruths and myths about our journey to this point in time, including the rotund myth of Christopher Columbus. As we advance in our knowledge of the world and its history, it’s becoming more evident that all the lies spun have been to lionize white men and their place in the world. This, despite clear, historical and anthropological accounts to the contrary. From human evolution to advancements in civilization, Africans paved the way.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated as a unique American tradition. It’s a day we celebrate the blessings of family, friendships, abundance and American liberty as we know it. Sadly, many Native Americans recognize this day as one of mourning. And rightfully so when you consider the ugly truths of Thanksgiving, which depicts their ancestors in a tale of brotherhood with their killers. Also, Black folks remain economically and socially oppressed in America despite the riches and bounties their ancestors reaped under forced slave labor that the pilgrims who turned white control and use as a dominating global force and superpower.

The significance of Thanksgiving matters, especially today, because we celebrate despite the reality on the ground for the people who suffered the greatest toll in the establishment of this day of harvest, feasting and celebration of our bounties. It’s a callous truth and yet every year we skip to the festive beat of Thanksgiving, with presidential turkey pardoning’s, parades and family gatherings, all while blindly ignoring history and realism. The world I want to live in celebrates a Thanksgiving where all the people who labored for the harvest equally enjoy and benefit from it. And until that day comes, the gobble, gobble will never be sweet in America.

The Finger Of Providence Pointed To A Trump Loss

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

“Only virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin 

Knowing that nearly 70-million Americans voted to keep a deranged racist at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world couldn’t dampen the spirit that rose like a phoenix from the ashes today. We did it, America! With the fire of the legend of Jim Thorpe, we did it. And this new dawn isn’t just washing away the worst of American greed and corruption, it’s ushering in the dreams and the hopes of enslaved Africans responsible for the wealth of our great nation, leaving behind the domestic terrorism fueled by the sitting duck in chief, Donald Trump.

And if you listen really close, you’ll hear the words in the breeze Dr. King spoke in 1963 during the March on Washington, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed…” Well, America, we’re rising despite all the noise from those with a death grip on hate, racism and intolerance.

And let’s not forget the spirit of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first African American to vie for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972. If you can’t see her essence in our first Woman of Color Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, you don’t know American history, the divine power of spirituality, the Black struggle for equality and the true meaning of demanding a seat at the table. Chisholm emboldened us to bring a folding chair to the table if a seat wasn’t offered. How proud she must be looking down at her countrymen who, during her lifetime, denied her basic human rights. We’ve come a long way but the journey to true freedom and equality is still far from our reach.

As Louisiana proudly holds on to the shame of American history with its support of a hateful and corrupt president, I can’t help but remember the 1863 photo of the brutally whipped slave, Whipped Peter, who had escaped to join the Union Army. You see, Louisiana is comfortably numb to the truth of Black lives in America because they’ve been successful in convincing the, “lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man.” So, they maintain their grip on hate disguised with political rhetoric unsuitable to the reality on the ground for their people; Black, white and everyone else not secured in generational wealth catalyzed by slave labor and persistent, inexcusable inequality. It’s an ugly truth but it must be told.

Another story worthy of remembering as we mark America’s first Jamaican Vice President is that of Fred Littlejohn. In the 1920s he moved his family from the South to Queens, New York and called themselves Jamaicans to avoid the mistreatment of Southerners in the North. And it was a biracial student committee in Chicago that founded Congress of Racial Equality, (CORE). The group staged its first sit-in at a coffee shop, leading to the inclusion of serving Blacks. Harris embodies all of America; the lives of the enslaved, native born and immigrant, who sacrificed everything for the homecoming we are witnessing in the election of this historic Democratic ticket.

And this win is also reminiscent of the 1968 Summer Olympics when African American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their gloved fists in a Black power salute. What many of us miss in translation is the white sprinter from Australia, Peter Norman, who joined in the protest by wearing a button on his uniform promoting a Human Rights campaign to stamp out racism. Australians punished him for his act of bravery, only coming to their senses 6 years after his death in 2006, (after a tragic life spurred from the abuse he endured) with a formal apology from the Australian Parliament saying his gesture “was a moment of heroism and humility that advanced international awareness for racial inequality.”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are progenies of revolutionaries intent on fully birthing the dream that is America. And Biden’ American legacy beats in rhythm with Harris’, making them a powerful and symbolic metaphor of America’s strength and deep-rooted posture as leader of the free world and beacon of hope for all mankind. The disheartening election results serves as a reminder of the evils of mankind, including the demagoguery, thuggery and authoritarianism that Donald Trump and his family demonstrated. So, let’s heed the lessons learned because it’s time we do the necessary and uncomfortable work to make America, and the world, a place where we all feel good in.

“The sum of us all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.” – Samuel Adams

The Ancestors And Our Vote

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

The day we’ve all been waiting for, November 3rd, has come on gone. How are you feeling? Anxious, I bet. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a collective state most Americans are in, including the spirits of the ancestors. With votes still being counted, it’s a sad realization despite the rhetoric of having far more in common than not, this election proved we’re not a united nation. We’re learning that more Black men voted for Trump this election cycle; jumping from 13% in 2016 to 18% in 2020. Also Black women, according to the NYT, doubled their support—from 4% to 8%—for a race agitator who referred to African countries as “shithole countries” and has consistently disrespected nearly every woman of color covering him. And, the number of white women who supported this foul-mouthed crotch grabbing president who doesn’t care about caging babies and separating families at our southern border jumped from 42% to 55%. Sadly, even the LGBTQ+ community increased their support for a president who stated multiple times that he doesn’t support gay marriages. The illusion of America is real. Our life predicted on screen is not.

This election outcome is another reminder that it is in our ancestors that we can discover ourselves and demonstrate their teachings of our social functions. And these last 4 years of the Trump administration have been a lesson in humility, hope and hate: a lesson on humility because trump reminded us of the fragility of our sacred human bonds and the tenacity of racism; a lesson of hope because these deeply troubling times under Trump’s so-called leadership suggests that to make America truly great will require a renewed commitment to the ideals of a blossoming nation yet to be fully satisfied and equally felt by all her people; and a lesson in hate because Trump reminded us that this nation remains deeply divided by it.

“I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”Lyndon B. Johnson

It’s unconscionable that our country, specifically the Republican Party, that proudly bombed ISIS in the name of democracy and to end their reign of terror across Iraq and Syria has adopted ISIS like tactics of loaded trucks with violent flag flying intimidation, blatant voter suppression and engaging in race fueled domestic terrorism. This nation is eating itself from the inside as the founding fathers warned could happen. It’s become a gang war; Red vs. Blue. That’s how much we have cheapened our country. We bomb developing country’s to adopt our ways and yet, we fight each other mirroring what we fight to stop in so-called hostile nations. These are ever changing times. And the 2020 election is a stark reminder of the rising tide of American racism fueled and emboldened by an unhinged madman at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” – Abraham Lincoln

Setting aside the devastating impact of Trump’s mishandling of COVID-19, money, power and race were the main actors in this election cycle. Money because the rich want to get richer at all cost, even by deteriorating a nation they claim to be patriots of. Make no mistake, they won’t stop sending jobs overseas for cheap labor and interference from human rights watchdogs. The elites make it abundantly clear; money over humanity and decency is their way forward in our democracy. And basic fairness has no practical value from their perch. It’s hard to accept billionaires fighting against paying Americans a living wage of $15 an hour but that’s the ugly truth of the matter. And yet, they’ve managed to convince even the poorest whites to adopt their position with lies and brainwashing tactics of government overreach and the unfulfilled promise of a trickle-down economy. If that’s not power, you don’t know what it is. South Carolinians refused to hold Lindsey Graham accountable with his own words. Maine voters are sending Susan Collins back to Washington despite setting women’s rights back several decades with her votes and shamefully supporting this boorish president who paid off the stripper he was cheating with while rubbing elbows with a powerful and bold pedophile. And Kentucky is a prime example of successfully convincing the neediest Americans to cast a vote against their own self interests. And unfortunately, the truth about Mitch McConnell’s track record has fallen on racist deaf ears amongst the poorest and least educated Americans, with Kentuckians voting for the 7th time to stunt their progress, throwing away an opportunity to rise from the depths of their poverty and educational access by reelected the sickly man who has only enriched himself and his family. Imagine the level of deep rooted racism that requires. 

 “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” – John Lewis

These words echo across our nation from beyond the boundaries where the ancestors roam. They left us the tools we need to improve the walk of life. Their wisdom is meant to guide us in forming a more perfect union. And yet, the fight for the soul of our nation in the era of Donald Trump has derailed us from the tracks of decency and humanity like the ill-fated Germans before WWII. That this election wasn’t a hands-down defeat for a madman likened to Hitler is personally demoralizing. I’m left feeling suspicious and even fearful of some of my white countrymen who make up 70% of voters, and who clearly harbor all that Trump represents; hate and intolerance of others in a country made rich by enslaved Africans; my ancestors.

When the election results are finally settled may this land, formed by the sweat, blood and tears of my enslaved ancestors, perform the Day of Death dance by ancient Africans, singing:

Natir ben be, O yi ye’e; O yi Man gon, O yi ye’e.

Here there are sores, May they go away; Across the river, May they go away.

Today, we find ourselves in an unholy place, not just because the Trump family represents America’s sore, but because they constitute all seven deadly sins, from gluttony, greed, wrath, lust, sloth, envy to pride. And a Biden win is how this ancient purification ceremony will symbolically wash away their stain on the White House and in due time, America.

The Chaos Of Pitchfork Populism Is A Threat To Our Democracy

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Unquestionably, populism has shaped America. Faux populism on the other hand, as explained by author and political analyst, Bradford R. Kane, is dangerously shifting our political landscape in the era of Donald J. Trump, a president who chooses to divide our country for his own self interests. These are unprecedented times.

Kane is the author of, Pitchfork Populism, Ten Political Forces That Shaped An Election And Continue To Change America. In it he examines our past, present and future political landscape, including the impact and dangers of the current administration’s use of populism, dishonesty, racism, hate-fueled and misleading propaganda that has diminished our progressive culture and standing in the world. Even voting, a sacred and hard-fought for right, isn’t immune from attack and intimidation. And if Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again, isn’t clear enough motive, his actions since taking office should be. This so-called American president is not only dangerous but a clear and present threat to our nation and the common bonds of our ideals, yet to be fully achieved.

We’ve come a long way from the type of American leadership, though flawed, that has steadily inched us closer toward a more just nation rich with diversity. Assessing our political landscape today, one would be hard-pressed accepting that our trajectory has taken us from the depths of slavery to the glory of the presidency of Barrack H. Obama, America’s first Black president. It hasn’t been easy, and we have more hurdles to overcome, especially concerning racial injustice, economic inequality and police brutality. Nonetheless, Kane leaves us with hope for the promised days of a post-Trump era. He foresees a stronger nation reinvigorated to birth a more rational governing culture rooted in the principles of humanity and sanity. He offers us a roadmap to take us from the disenchantment we’re experiencing under this president and his rabid, resentful and resistant to change base, to a more fact-based and inclusive governing structure. We, the people, must be more duty-bound than ever in paving the way from the chaos Trumpism ushered in. And, we must vote in every single election, to make the pavement eternal.

“Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man.” – Leonard Sidney Woolf

Kane’s timely, well-written and funny book can be found HERE, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Breonna Taylor: Disrespected, Unprotected, Neglected And Denied Justice

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

My son didn’t understand why I said it was a lonely feeling grasping the tragic reality of Breonna Taylor. I explained that beyond the hurt and betrayal cruelly delivered as a just outcome in seeking accountability from the officers who violated her human rights, was the face of the Black man, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, handing down the bitterly slanted and backstabbing grand jury decision. I’m surprised he didn’t shout out, “white power!” at the end of his sell-out performance for his caretaker, the despicable and treasonous Mitch McConnell.

“They put your mind right in a bag and take it wherever they want.” — Malcolm X

Taylor’s executioners, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were absolved of any guilt by a man whose family tree—despite his buffoonery and attempts to distance himself from it—flowed down the same bloody river familiar to all Black people before taking root in America. And yet, Cameron saw fit to uphold the racist system that continues to devalue Black lives. I wonder what stares back at him when he stands in front of a mirror… I doubt it’s human, let alone a proud Black man.

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.” — Malcolm X

Cameron, knowing the state of Black America, stood up to defend the police who failed the basic requirements of their job—making sure the person they’re looking for is not already in jail—and justified Taylor’s murder. Compounding his cultural abandonment and shameful betrayal, he pushed the knife in deeper by only charging the since fired police officer, Brett Hankison, whose bullet missed Taylor. Let that sink in.

“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” — Malcolm X

As a Black woman fully aware of my assigned place and status in American society, this display of buffoonery and disloyalty reached beyond the place of hurt and settled in a deep despair and loneliness. Black women, separate from the collective Black experience, are abandoned on an island of their own. Adding to this despair and loneliness is that some prominent Black men, Shaquille O’Neil and Charles Barkley, joined the anti-Black woman ban wagon with commentary defending the police … It’s unconscionable. What a sunken place we found ourselves in.

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” — Malcolm X

The saying, “Not all skin folk is kin folk” never reigned truer for Cameron who stands on top of that symbolic hill waiving a rebel flag. I’m sure he and Candace Owens have enshrined the confederate flag as their solidarity with the KKK and Proud Boys. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cameron is feverishly working to support efforts to dismiss the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Caucasian who was driven by his mother from Illinois to Wisconsin to engage in combat with BLM protesters and killing two people. Like Dylan Roof, he was handled with white gloves, even getting a standing ovation from Wisconsin Republican lawmakers … for killing two people protesting for humanity and change.

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.” — Malcolm X

The illegal no-knock warrant issued by a judge to go into Taylor’s home without just cause is part of the crime of being Black in America. In this country judges can rubber stamp the paperwork needed to carry out our murders thanks to the Castle doctrine. And because they see our Black bodies as disposable, they simply deal with the consequences of their actions—right or wrong—later. The police and our justice system have an out. A get out of jail free card for violating our basic human rights. This isn’t new. It’s designed to work as it always has. Cameron knows this. He knows the system that uses our Black bodies as battering ramps and yet he stood in place of a hooded Klansman singing Dixie and speaking legalese to protect the men who stole his mind, spirit, culture and dignity. He stood in defense of those who continue to benefit from our brutality and second-class citizenship in a country built under the cracks of whips by his ancestors.

“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.” — Malcolm X

Breonna Taylor was shot 8 times while she lay sleeping in her bed. She was a 26-year-old EMT, an essential worker during a pandemic. A judge cleared the way for her execution as part of the larger operation targeting stereotyped poor and Black people. This is how our legal system continues to devalue Black lives. And, as if the cultural symbolism doesn’t matter, they usher out a Black man to dig the hole they’ve put us in a little deeper. This country and its system of governance doesn’t care about us. This reckoning has to take root in our psyche. Voting, our 21st century revolution, is the only way out of this hole we’ve been in for 400 hundred years. There are roughly 3 million voters in Kentucky. 48 percent are democrats. Unfortunately, 1.6 million of them are nonvoting democrats, making it possible for the likes of Cameron to take elected office alongside the henchmen of Black terrorizers.

“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” — Malcolm X

Malcom X once asked: Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? To most Black folks the answer is clear and historical. But to Cameron, perched with the plantation mindset of a house Negro, undoubtedly will point his finger at his own Black family tree, as he proudly and shamelessly fondles the blond locks of his caretaker’s daughter.

“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire . . . or preserve his freedom.” — Malcolm X

History is cyclical. Our brutality is too.

A Discussion On Race And Racism In Schools

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Tracey A. Benson and Sarah E. Fiarman have written a timely and important book tackling race and racism in our schools. The book, Unconscious Bias in Schools, A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism, dives deep into the real issues many young people and educators face in their learning and teaching journey.

It’s an uncomfortable truth and recognition this nation is facing from a different angle and platform. This time. A platform that buoys her children, woke to the harsh realities of the illusions presented by a seemingly secure and protective bosom: the ideals of America. But America has a lot to atone for and this atonement is not just being demanded by those directly affected by the stark inequalities and racism they’ve marinated in since the birth of our nation, but by those who have unwillingly benefitted from the principles that unapologetically and with the blessings of God–manifest destiny–gave more to one by way of brutality and stealing from the other. Are the chickens coming home to roost? Perhaps. Nevertheless, there are those who choose to fight these blatant inequalities in our schools like Dr. King did. Not with violence, but with intelligence adequately designed and explained with a roadmap starting from recognition to management and eventually change we can all finally believe in.

The discussion with Benson, an experienced educator, highlights the focus and intentions of this valuable book presented as a tool to challenge bias, race and racism in schools.

To learn more about Benson’s anti-racism work or to purchase his book click: here.

“The concept of unconscious racial bias helps decouple intentions from actions … Good intentions aren’t being questioned. It’s impact that comes under the microscope.” – Tracey A. Benson

The King Of Wakanda Has Taken His Rightful Place In Nirvana

 

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

 

Grace. That’s the only noun best suited to describe Chadwick Boseman, King of Wakanda. Boseman left this side of the universe for nirvana, and the world will forever be marked with the glory that only he can wear as a tailor-made robe for a respected King. When rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle died tragically by the hands of another Black man, the Black community was stunned, paralyzed with shock even. Many compared his legacy and impact to that of Jesus Christ. And they took comfort in the shade of an uncomfortable and reluctant understanding that, although he preached peace and humility, he was the Robin Hood of gangsters. He too rose to his rightful throne as a deity for African Americans still saddled with the struggles of simply being Black in America.

Boseman, however, was different. He reminded us of who we truly are as a people: powerful, dignified, worthy of love and goodness and full of grace. He uplifted us without taking a detour on a well-traveled road some Black people know very well in America. Just ask Jay-Z and many like him who sold drugs to their community as a detour to, “Cash, Money, Hoes” as he puts it in melody.

But unlike the Jay-Z’s of Black culture, Boseman avoided the criminal detour and chose to take the long, lonely road to reach his throne as a man for all people, especially Black people in need of a hero. He was the epitome of what it means to be selfless and he didn’t choose to sell drugs to his community to live high on the hog while spitting in his people’s eyes with Jay-Z’s lyrics, “Money cash hoes money cash chicks what, Sex murder and mayhem romance for the street, Only wife of mines is a life of crime...” No. Boseman truly cared about people and the world. That’s why he left it in better standing than he found it. I’m so happy and grateful he came.

Majority of entertainers who make it big love to brag about all the money they have all while negatively impacted those who look up to them. They sell pipe dreams and we buy it like hotcakes. Not Boseman. He is the exemplary of what it means to be a good human being with a platform. One who saw beyond his own needs, desires and power. One that wasn’t distracted or influenced by all the gold thrown at his feet. One that stuck to the true spirit of humanity. One that loved us more than we loved ourselves. One that saw our worth as Black people. He saw us. He valued us. He gave to us. He sacrificed for us through his horrible illness with the dignity and grace only the most enlightened beings can understand. And despite the wide open detours to enrich himself with “cash, money and hoes,” he chose to enrich us with humanity instead. Jay-Z will never understand this grace as he enjoys that fat NFL check he took to throw Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and racism under the bus. But hey, at least he’s married to Beyonce, the self-appointed Black queen who, despite what many want to admit, only sees dollar signs in this new era of Black empowerment. She’s no different than Melania if Jay-Z was Trump.

And speaking of queens that aren’t self-appointed flip-floppers, money hungry and addicted to fame, it’s no surprise Boseman chose an equally graceful partner, Taylor Simone Ledward, to be by his side to the end of this part of his life’s journey. Tears will continue to fall like raindrops for such a tremendous earthly loss, but we must remember that Boseman has taken his transcendent place where there is no suffering, desires or even sense of self. Boseman has taken his seat next to the Buddha. And like the Buddha, he gave us so much to hold on to—grace, humanity, kindness, strength, selflessness, humility—that he will forever be remembered as our Black King. Wakanda Forever.

 

I Am Not Your Cisgender

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Let’s talk about sexuality. Recently I stumbled upon the term “cis” or “cisgender” while scrolling through social media. It was a new phrase to me, so I decided to investigate. And according to Wikipedia, “Cisgender (sometimes cissexual, often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.” Okay. So, cisgender is the new label introduced like another jolly ranger flavor that identifies the opposite of transgender. In more unnecessary words, straight or heterosexual people are now referred to as “cis” or “cisgender.” The phrase is more commonly used among the gay community, celebrities, social media culture warriors and hipsters. Another thing I learned is the motive behind the new label. As complicated as the subject of sexual identity is, the aim, according to the gay community and their allies is to eliminate notions of what society views as normal or abnormal.

The term has taken a life of its own in this new gender-bender world we find ourselves in. Oh, and “gender-bender” is another sociological term similar to “cis” that identifies a gender bender as a person who disrupts or bends gender roles. That’s not all. The synonym for “gender-bender” is “genderfuck.” And if you think that’s overcomplicating human sexuality, you haven’t delved into the world of sexuality and identity. For example, the Bugis people of Indonesia view sexual identity on a spectrum and recognize 5 different genders in their culture, including androgyny. And, members of their androgynous community are also revered shamans. In Samoa, Thailand, Oman and other parts of Asia there are those who identify as having a third gender or are nonbinary. In Hawaii, including Tahitian and Polynesian islands in the North and South Pacific Ocean, third-gender or nonbinary people are respected as cultural teachers and even goddesses. Third-gender people are those who identify with a gender that is different from their own, or not. So, are they gender benders? Not according to the concept of the label.

The term cisgender has its origin in a two-part peer review, (1991 and 1998) publication by Volkmar Sigusch, a German sexologist, physician and sociologist. The term, which is frequently being used these days, has caused me to wonder about my own identity as a straight woman. Are women still free to sexually identify as women without enraging the gay community? J.K. Rowling recently took some heat for criticizing an op-ed that labeled women, not as women, but as “people who menstruate.” The opinion piece, aimed at boosting investments in menstruation management for millions of “those who menstruate,” purposely shifts the term “women” to “those who menstruate” as a way to include those who identify as women. It didn’t take long for celebrities, including several Harry Potter actors, members and allies of the gay community to accuse Rowling of being homophobic. They insist transwomen are women. If that’s so, what does that make me? Well, according to the gay community that makes me a cis or a cisgender person. Basically, in order to appease the gay community, women must be stripped of their sexual identity for them to experience human rights, dignity and inclusion. Damn our collective experience being women.

The Kybalion, a book discussing the 7 Hermetic principles describes gender as follows: The principle of gender is manifested on all planes of life, material, mental and spiritual. Gender does not mean sex. Sex is merely a material manifestation of gender. Gender means relating to generation or creation. And wherever anything is generated or created on any plane, the principle of gender must be manifested, and this is true even in the creation of universes.

Let’s put this argument in a larger perspective. Society uses science-backed findings as arguments to support environmental and climate causes, the dangers of tobacco, the opioid crisis, including the current pandemic, but demand that we disregard the same science that distinguish gender. When it comes to sexual identity, we are being programmed to pick and choose science for politically correct arguments to placate the gay community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the agenda is to eliminate what it truly means to be a woman. And those who don’t fall in line are labelled homophobic. Even when it comes to sports, transgender people are taking part in competition with the sex they identify with. Although it’s scientifically proven that in general, men are physically stronger than women, we are being programmed to think otherwise in order to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. This persecution of women is reminiscent of times past when we were denied basic human rights and subjected to second class status. And, the relabeling of society reaches beyond the gay community, as it’s even turned Latinos into Latinx. And when it comes to race, Rachel Dolezal who tried passing as a Black woman was mercilessly persecuted for it. Apparently, science only bends for gender.

The gay community is demanding acceptance by way of sociologically bullying others to conform to their view of the world. This is incredibly threatening and a major overreach. Why are women being forced to make room for men who want to be women and others on the spectrum of sexual identity, by denying their own biological makeup and life experiences. Everyone has a right to live in a world that is accepting and tolerant. And that includes women. The gay community deserves acceptance and human rights just like everyone else. But acceptance doesn’t equate to delusion or blatant disregard for science and what it means to be an actual woman. I can accept anyone as they are or want to be, but it shouldn’t require me to deny scientific facts of human sexuality. Transwomen are transwomen. For this not to be so means there’s no distinction between me, (a straight woman) and a transwoman. And that’s clearly not true. People want to be socially woke but asleep when it comes to the science of sexuality.

When we start removing the taboos in basic truths, perhaps we’ll find harmony in sharing the world as diverse people, regardless of where you find comfort on the sexual identity spectrum. There’s no argument gay rights are human rights, unfortunately it’s becoming apparent that it means taking from Patricia to comfort Patrick who wants to be Patricia. Similar to the agenda comparing the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement faced pushback, so must this bullying tactic and audacious overreach to relabel the majority of the human population. To take away our identity as women, or to pass it around like a hat anyone can wear, is to trivialize the experiences of women and our history. Although I’m an ally, I refuse to be a sycophant for the gay community. I am not cisgender. I am not transgender. I am a woman.