Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Sunday Sermon From a Non-Preacher, Who's Not Asking For a Dime

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

"IF YE WERE ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN, YE WOULD DO THE WORKS OF ABRAHAM"
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Every since I wrote the column "Crabs in a Barrel," the gross hypocrisy of South Carolina State Senator, Rev. Darrell Jackson, has lingered with me. In that column I describe how the Black, South Carolina State Senator, who was also the pastor of the 10,000 member, "Family Way Bible Life Center Church," came out against Senator Barack Obama afer selling his support to Senator Hillary Clinton for $10,000 a month--a dollar amount that corresponded exactly with the number of members he had in his church.
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Now, as I drive through the Black community and see the magnificent "houses of God" towering over the community in the midst of poverty, social need, and in some cases, squalor all around them, I can't help but wonder how many of them are really doing God's work.
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When I look at those resplendent edifices, it takes me back to a little storefront church on a 108th and Juniper in Watts, where my grandmother first sent me for religious instruction--she was ill at the time, so she couldn't take me to "the big church" in which she was a member.
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I'll never forget that little storefront church. It stood down the street and in the shadow of a huge and elaborately appointed Catholic church, seemingly, almost as an afterthought. It was so small and had so few members that the thought of attracting a true "ordained man of God" was out of the question, so we had to settle for a little, unassuming man that we used to refer to as Elder Hampton. That little church was the closest thing to worshiping in someone's living room as you could get, but to this day, whenever I begin to lose faith in the basic goodness of my fellow man, or even remotely begin to contemplate God, I think of that little storefront church.
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If I'd remained at that church, I don't know what I would have been doing today. My young instincts led me to become so close to Elder Hampton that I might have even become a preacher. He used to take me with him to visit the old, the poor, and the sickly in the neighbor. Black, Mexican, young, old, Baptist or Catholic, he didn't care what a person was—if they were sick or in need, they were all a part of his flock.
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Looking back on it, I don't know where he found the resources. He certainly didn't get it from our little collection plate—we were so poor and so few in number he couldn't have gotten more than ten dollars a Sunday out of us, max. But in spite of that, he was no Sunday preacher. He was a full-time man of God--if you were sick or in need, you could count on him seven days a week. But after my grandmother had an operation and finally got over her illness, they took me to the "big church," and I never saw Elder Hampton again, but his influence has remained constant in my life to this day—in fact, though I must admit that I'm rarely found in church these days, it is his lingering influence that's led me to write this article, and everything else that I write.
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The first time I went to the big church I was completely overwhelmed with the opulence of it all. Shortly before I arrived, the church had just imported in a new fireball of an ordained minister, direct from Dallas, Texas. He was nothing like the quiet and humble Elder Hampton. He had a big booming voice, wore shinny Florsheims, expensive suits, and a sense of importance just oozed from every pore of his body. When this man walked into a room it sucked all the oxygen out of the place--you just knew you were in the presence of someone significant.
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And God must have loved this magnificent church the minister headed--the choir alone in this ornate house of God was larger by a factor of three than the entire membership of the little church I'd grown accustomed to, and the choir pit was twice as large as the room where we held Sunday school. The parking lot of the church was filled with big, expensive cars, and a limousine was often parked next to the front entrance. In addition, City Councilmen and other politicians were counted among its membership, and a well known entertainer was the church organist. In a church like this you didn't have to wait to get to heaven--every Sunday you were right there. The only problem was, after services you had to return to reality, which was more often than not, a life of pure hell.
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I've often wondered what Elder Hampton would have done with all of those resources. But I couldn't imagine Elder Hampton heading a magnificent place like this. Since he wasn't ordained, he never would have even been considered to head a place like this in the first place. I don't care how Godly you were, stature took precedence there–if Moses wanted to head the church, they'd want to inspect his credentials. But even if Elder Hampton would have been ordained, he was much too humble a man to be embraced by the high-powered people in this membership. With his quiet, unassuming demeanor, even as a member, he would have been a back-bencher—politely tolerated, but scarcely noticed.
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And further, Elder Hampton wouldn't begin to know how to manage the resources of a huge church like that. While he was definitely a man of God, he wasn't a practical man. He probably would have squander all the church's resources on the no-account sinners in the surrounding community.
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He was just too impractical. He probably would have setup a soup kitchen and built a dormitory to house the homeless at night, and hired unemployed mothers to start a low-cost daycare center on the church grounds during the day. Then it wouldn't be no time at all before he'd dig up the church's beautiful grounds, trying to put up basketball courts and a recreation building to draw young people off the streets after school. And of course, between the kids during the day, the teenagers in the early evening, and the homeless at night, it would cost the church a fortune just to keep up the grounds and repair damages to the building.
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Much of the congregation would have been in an uproar over the chaos he'd create. And it would go far beyond simply chaos. He would have long since lost most of the influential politicians. Every Sunday he'd be hounding them at church, and calling them at home during the week, trying to get them to create Empowerment Zones, and Special Need Zones to establish low-cost loans to help the surrounding neighbors to purchase and fix-up the houses they were living in. It's no wonder he'd drive the politicians out of the church. How could he expect these busy men to worship God in peace with him buzzing around like a gadfly trying to get them to help the poor?
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No, Elder Hampton's heart was in the right place, but he'd have been much too impractical to run a big church like that. He was a God loving man, but he lacked common sense. He thought when God said Love thy neighbor, he meant it. What a fool.
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Yeah, Elder Hampton would have been a back-bencher at that church. He would have been the fool sitting way in the back--with Jesus.
*****
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward . . ."

 
Elder Hampton, God knew of the good works that you did in secret . . . And unbeknownst to you, he sent a child to record them. 
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DEDICATED TO ELDER HAMPTON - A MAN OF GOD
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Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sally Kohn Sings Kumbaya to Fox News

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Sally Kohn Sings Kumbaya to Fox News
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In her Article, "What I Learned As a Liberal Talking Head For Fox News," for The Christian Science Monitor, Sally Kohn indicated that while working for Fox News, she had what can best be described as an epiphany. She said, "For a radical progressive who once harbored negative stereotypes about folks on the right, it was a turning point for me: Though Sean Hannity or Sarah Palin and I disagree profoundly on politics – they're personable, kind, and human. If you want to persuade people, you can’t demonize them."
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She went on to say, "And no one will even listen to your argument, let alone agree with you, if they think you don't like them . . .That is the essence of my lessons from working at Fox News and the idea behind what I call "emotional correctness" – that the key to persuasion, the key to being an effective communicator in general, in any aspect of life, is making authentic, compassionate emotional connections. Emotional correctness is how we say what we say. It's not only the words or tone we use but the feelings we signal when we communicate. It's how we show respect for others even if we don't agree with their opinions."
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In response to Ms. Kohn’s love letter to the people at Fox News, I can only say that while she’s obviously learned to embraced the lyrics of Kumbaya in a very passionate way, she’s just as obviously learned very little about fact-driven, objective journalism. 
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The national interest of this country is much too important a subject to be based on "emotional correctness." It is essential that we base our policies and governance on facts, not our ability to schmooze one another. And the fact is, the conservative agenda is based on selfishness, bigotry, greed, and carefully contrived lies, and we should never try to tap dance around that issue. Another fact is, the problem is not that the left is being too strident in attacking the fraud of the conservative agenda at all. The problem is, they’re not being strident enough in making it clear to the American people that conservative propaganda is just that - propaganda - and should be dismissed out of hand.
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One of the biggest problems that we’ve had in this country for the past 35 years is that progressives have been so polite in addressing the complete idiocy of the conservative agenda that it’s led the public to believe the facts are debatable. This tendency toward timidity on the part of the left started during the Reagan administration. The American public became so enamored - and bamboozled - by Ronald Reagan's "aw shucks," John Wayne-like persona that the left gave him a pass in fear of antagonizing the public, and then later, when Dan Rather was excommunicated from his public platform for relating the facts regarding George W. Bush's missing-in-action status when he was supposed to be serving this country in the military, that reinforced that timidity on the part of the press, when it came to confronting the GOP.
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But history is clear - for the past one hundred years the conservative agenda has repeatedly shown itself to be a disaster, and a bane to the economic health of this nation, and it's past time for both politicians, and journalists, to start bringing that fact out for public scrutiny. Due to the brutal assault on our educational system over the past thirty years, there's an entire generation of Americans who are completely clueless to the GOP's history.
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The Wall Street meltdown took place after eight years of George W. Bush, and the Great Depression took place after twelve years of Republican rule. Thus, Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to come in and save America from, Republican, Herbert Hoover’s incompetence; Democrat, Bill Clinton had to come in and save America from, Republican, Ronald Reagan’s incompetence; and now, Democrat, Barack Obama has had to come in and clean up after, Republican, George W. Bush’s gross incompetence. For the past one hundred years, every time the Democrats have moved the nation a step forward, Americans begin to feel comfortable, upwardly mobile, and elect Republicans, only to be dragged two steps back. Now those are the facts.
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Off course, I expect to be brutally attacked by Ms. Kohn’s "emotionally correct" friends on the right, but I assure you, it’ll only be a spitball attack, and not on the facts, because they can’t challenge the facts.
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Ms. Kohn also said, "Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet – and even now that I've parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor."
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What does Sean Hannity’s personality have to do with truth, or this nation’s survival? Absolutely nothing, and the mere fact that a nationally known journalist would take the time to write an article spewing this nonsense is not only beyond chilling, but quite instructive of the huge problem that we have in journalism today.
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Schmoozing should never be a part of any serious debate. We’re trying to save this nation, not sell vacuum cleaners. There’s only one issue that’s relevant to the public debate on this issue - who was the last Republican president who DIDN’T drag America under a bus? And every progressive in America should be shouting that question from every rooftop - period.
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

 

 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer a Democracy; It’s Now an Oligarchy

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer a Democracy; It’s Now an Oligarchy
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A scientific study done at Princeton University indicates that the United States is no longer a Democracy. The country has now morphed into an Oligarchy. That means that the nation is no longer controlled by the people. It is now controlled by a handful of wealthy and powerful puppet masters. It also means that we are no longer in a race war; we are now in a class war. Thus, the poor and middle class, of EVERY race, are now the new niggas. So wake up, America, while you still have a chance of fighting back.
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One of the biggest problems that we have in this country is that we’ve allowed malevolent factions to throw us a bone and then use our votes against us to undermine our interests. The reason we’ve allowed this to happen is because we’re so gullible that we tend to believe that any faction that supports any issue that we’re passionate about is our friend, and that tendency has repeatedly been used against us. Over the years that has repeatedly caused the American people to forge alliances with the very people who want to cut their throats.
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So it behooves poor and middle-class Black, and White people, to wake up, put our petty differences aside, and come together as a viable political force that’s ready to pitch a tooth-and-nail battle for the future of this country. If we don’t, the Tea party, the Klan, the Black Guerilla Army, and the Mexican Mafia are all going to find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder picking virtual cotton on the very same plantation.
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Ironically, many White people already recognize this fact - that’s why Barack Obama is President today. But due to our unique historic background, lack of formal education, the proliferation of urban legends disseminated by poverty pimps, and lingering suspicions and bitterness, many Black people are resistant to this reality. Some demagogues work for the enemy by purposely keeping the poor and middle-class divided:
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"When you’re trying to talk about issues that affect the people, name calling get’s in the way. Name calling is nothing but another weapon of mass distraction." - Cornel West. Hmmmmm. Think about his words, and then his behavior.
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But while it is undeniable that some White people are dogs (just like some Black people), we now also have undeniable evidence that MOST of them are good people who simply want to live and let live just like the majority of Black people. White bigots are a small minority of the White community, but they are a vicious and very loud minority (see Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson, etc.), and they're being amplified by the power and wealth of corporate feudalists in order to keep us divided, so their noise and power far exceed their numbers. If that were not the case, Obama wouldn’t have been elected president - twice. No, Obama’s election doesn’t mean that this is a post-racist society, but what it does say is, racism and bigotry are being maintained and perpetuated by a minority of the White community.
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Consider this - even if all Black people had been allowed to stay at home, and the vote of every Black man, woman, and child in America had been automatically posted for Obama, there still wouldn’t have been enough of us to elect him President of the United States. Black people are only 13.6 percent of the population. So if only one hundred votes were being cast to determine the presidency, and every group was given the number of votes that corresponded to their percentage of the population, Black people would only be given 14 votes. But in order for Obama to become president, he needed 51 votes. Where did those other 37 votes come from? I’ll tell you where they came from - many of them came from White people. Obama could never have been elected president without them. So that’s in direct conflict with the message that the majority of White people are racist bigots. Numbers don't lie, so while it may satisfy the anger of those who allege that to be the case, the numbers simply don't validate their claim.
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White folks are being fed the same kind of nonsense on the other side of the fence. That's how we're being kept divided, and how the rich are taking over. The current battle being fought is over class, not race, and both poor and middle-class Blacks, and Whites, had better wake up and recognize that fact, or we're ALL going to be enslaved.
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Many White people need to understand than when the GOP is targeting Social Security, they're not just targeting the Social Security of Black people, they're targeting EVERYBODY'S Social Security.  And when the corporate feudalist and their GOP cronies sent our jobs overseas, they didn't just send Black jobs overseas, they sent the jobs of the White middle class out of the country as well. So again, America needs to wake up. Our true enemy is multiracial, and has very deep pockets and influence (Black folks, see Clarence Thomas).
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Pages 22 and 23 of the Princeton study says the following:
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"What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of "populistic" democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our Politics findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."
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The study goes on to say,
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"Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."
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That’s something that every poor and middle-class American needs to think about, regardless to what color they are. Whether Black and White racists like it or not, we're on this plantation together - and the GOP is the primary overseer.
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Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Jazz: The Music of Serious Black Minds

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Jazz: The Music of Serious Black Minds
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Dexter Gordon
I’d like to take a minute to play you an essay, a little intellectual funk, from a Black perspective. Listen for Ray Brown’s struttin’ bass line beneath my words, because if you listen closely, you can hear him struttin’ down Central Avenue, past the ghost of L.A.’s Dunbar Hotel, the Brass Rail, and down the streets and alleyways of Harlem, New York, in a slow and funky blues.
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It was listening to this big-city blues drenched in the language of jazz as a kid, that initially turned the lights on in my head. It was while listening to people like Bird, Miles, Trane, Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon, and the other denizens of the jazz culture, that it became clear to me that a people who could produce this kind of excellence could do anything. I then began to explore the claim that we hadn’t, and the resulting knowledge - which I'm still accumulating - has served to broaden both my consciousness, and my horizons.
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Today, I even base my writings on Charlie Parker solos. First, I lay-down a foundation, by thinking outside of the box and questioning conventional wisdom. Then I lay-out the chord progressions of my theme, by beginning to tell the people what I think they NEED to hear, instead of trying to become a star by regurgitating what they WANT to hear. I then elaborate, expand, and substantiate in a flourish of thoughts from a Black perspective, which lays out the landscape as I see it, in a slow and funky blues.
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So, yes, I always instill the essence of bebop into my prose, because as I see it, that’s who we are. Our consciousness is the music of our minds, so going through life trying to play Mozart, or a variation thereof, is a gross waste of time. It’s just not us, and we will never achieve our full potential as a people by playing someone else’s tune. We’ve got to stick to a slow and funky Blues, because that's what we know - and that’s who we are.
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Now, about Jackie:
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When Jackie McLean first appeared on the scene he swung it like nobody else;
He stood all alone, with that bittersweet tone, owing nobody, only himself.
With his furious attack he could take you back to the beauty of Yardbird’s song,
but that solemn moan made it all his own, as burning passion flowed
lush from his horn. Hearing "Love and Hate" made Jazz my fate, joyous anguish
dripped blue from his song. He both smiled and cried and dug deep-down inside,
until the innocence of my childhood was gone.
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He took me to a place that had no face, I was so young when I heard his sweet call,
but he parted the fog and in no time at all, a child of bebop sprung fully enthralled.
As I heard this new sound, and embraced the profound, childish eyes now saw as a man; I stood totally perplexed, but I couldn’t step back, from the hunger of my mind to expand.
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I saw Charlie and Lester, and a smiling young Dexter, as I peered into Jackie’s sweet horn; it was a place that I knew, though I’d never been to, but a place that I now call my home.
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Buster, let me hear you strut, - Da doom da doom doom da da da doom doom doom . . . Now, take us on outta here, Sarah.
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Eric L. Wattree
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Demographics Are Against the GOP, So They’ve Become Dangerous

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Demographics Are Against the GOP, So They’ve Become Dangerous


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Godwin's Law Notwithstanding,
What if the Comparison to the Nazis 
is Accurate?
It seems that the GOP’s outreach program to recruit minority voters has gone bust, and with good reason. Contrary to what the GOP seems to think, the problem that the Republican Party is having with recruiting minority voters has absolutely nothing to do with merely communicating their agenda more effectively - it’s their agenda itself that's the problem. The minority community is not dumb.  They understand that the Republican agenda is so toxic to the American people as a whole that they have to use racist and bigoted rhetoric and policies just to gain what little support they do have from their conservative base.
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Thus, covert racism and bigotry is the only thing the GOP has to offer to justify their current existence, since for the past 70 years their primary agenda has been to return poor and middle-class Americans (of every race) to the condition that they suffered prior to the New Deal that brought them relief from the effects of the Great Depression. But the American people are simply not going to buy into that, so the Republican Party has had to sugarcoat their message by cloaking it in the tried-and-true emotional appeal of good old American hatred, anger, and bigotry (See Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.).
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But demographics are now working against them, and they know it. So they’ve gotten desperate - the mere fact that they even attempted minority outreach clearly attests to that desperation - and since they’re also without limits, if they EVER regain control of this government, they're not letting it go again, regardless to WHAT they have to do.
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They're already experimenting with despotism in the state of Michigan (or what I've come to call, "Michighanistan") to see what they can get away with without causing civil unrest. Gov. Rick Snyder has replaced many duly elected officials with his handpicked corporate cronies under the pretext of an economic emergency. As a result, many citizens in the city of Detroit have absolutely no say in government, or the actions of these unelected managers. They’ve been effectively disenfranchised. After all, what sense does it make to vote if the politicians that you elect aren’t allowed to hold office? If the GOP successfully gets away with that, and then extend that policy on a national level, this will no longer be America. So it's time for the people to turn off BET, MTV, and ESPN, and wake up.
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Retired Army General said He’s Willing to Mount A Military Assault on the White House and Congress.
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Retired army general, and FOX News analyst , Paul Vallely, is quoted as telling the Arizona Tea Party Patriots, "I had a call this afternoon from Idaho. The gentleman said, ‘If I give you 250,000 Marines to go to Washington, will you lead them?’" Vallely said as the group laughed and gasped. "I said, ‘Yes, I will, I’ll surround the White House and I’ll surround the Capitol building, but it’s going to take physical presence to do things."
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That’s chilling, and it's just as chilling that the remark isn’t front page news, and this retired general is walking around free.  While I'm no conspiracy nut, I think I'm on firm ground in suggesting that the situation boggles my mind, and that serious considerations must be taking place that the public isn't privy to that preventing the government from taking action against such people.
 
LIBERTARIANS: CORPORATE FEUDALISTS IN DRAG
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The growing popularity of Ron and Rand Paul among, normally, clear-thinking and intelligent people is also of great concern. Their Libertarian rhetoric is nothing more than garden variety Republicanism with a twist of lime to disguise the bad taste of their Republican agenda. They are both corporate feudalists who are intent on weakening the government in order to create a vacuum of power so the most malevolent forces in society, the corporate feudalists, can step in and occupy that vacuum. So they’re engaged in conventional Republicanism, but with a twist.
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"David H. Koch was a Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate in 1980. He advocated the abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools.[12][13] Koch put $500,000 of his own money into the race,[13] and he and Ed Clark, his presidential running mate, won 1.1% of the vote – the best Libertarian showing in a U.S. presidential race to date.[14] But the experience caused David Koch to change course: "I had enough ... [W]e are not a nation that debates issues. We vote on candidates' personalities." By 1984, David had parted company with the Libertarian Party, because, he said, "they nominated a ticket I wasn't happy with" and "so many of the hard-core Libertarian ideas are unrealistic."[13]"
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"Charles Koch funds and supports libertarian and free-market organizations such as the Cato Institute,[16] which he co-founded with Edward H. Crane and Murray Rothbard in 1977,[17] and is a board member at the Mercatus Center, a market-oriented research think tank at George Mason University. Charles Koch supported his brother's candidacy for Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.[3] After the bid, Charles told a reporter that conventional politics "tends to be a nasty, corrupting business ... I'm interested in advancing libertarian ideas".[3] In addition to funding think tanks, the brothers support libertarian academics;[18] since 1992, Charles has funded the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program through the Institute for Humane Studies, which mentors young, self-described libertarians.[19] Charles also organizes twice yearly meetings[20] with Republican donors.[16]
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"The brothers promote the ideal of economic freedom as essential to society's well-being.[21]"
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These people are against everything that protects the middle-class standard of living. Of course they're for legalizing weed, but that doesn't make them either cool, or concerned about Black incarceration rates - they're for legalizing anything that will keep us distracted and doesn't cost them anything. They'd love it if the entire country would stay so high and euphoric that they could rob us blind - and besides, if we kept the munchies we wouldn't notice the rat meat spliced into our ground beef, or the fact that they'd made the government so weak that it couldn't protect us.
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The Republicans have been trying to undermine the New Deal, along with its attendant social safety net, every since it’s inception. But they’ve been unsuccessful because these programs enjoy overwhelming public support. So the Libertarians have decided to take a new tact. They are cherry-picking issues that have broad public support, like abolishing certain drug laws, and then playing on the public desire to be left alone by the government, in order to garner wider support. But what their single-issue supporters fail to realize is, once Libertarians gain power, they intend to turn this nation into a corporate state, just like most other Republicans are intent upon.
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RAND PAUL PLOTTING WITH THE GOP
All we have to do is keep lying, and we can win.

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Another thing that Paul supporters are not considering is that as much as many people hate our government and the way it's being manipulated on behalf to the rich, we have the power to control the government. All we have to do is wake up, organize, and vote the right people into office. But once the corporate feudalists take over, we won’t have that option - ask the people of Michigan (Michighanistan) whose duly elected officials have been thrown out of office by Gov. Rick Snyder and replaced with corporate cronies who have absolutely no obligation or allegiance to the voters. It’s a classic scam of bait-n-switch. Take a minute to acknowledge your lying eyes. Here’s Libertarian liberty and democracy in action.



One of the biggest problems that we have in this country is that we allow malevolent factions to throw us a bone and then use our votes to undermine our interests. The reason we allow this to happen is because we’re so gullible that we tend to believe that any faction that supports any issue that we’re passionate about is our friend, and that tendency has repeatedly been used against us. Over the years that has repeatedly caused the American people to forge alliances with the very people who want to cut their throats.
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The one factor that has contributed most to the GOP’s ability to bamboozle the American people is that the Democratic Party has allowed conservative Republicans to seize control of the political rhetoric. The Democrats have just sat back, without rebuttal, and allowed themselves, their constituency, and their agenda to be redefined in the eyes of the American people by conservative Aspin doctors.@ As a direct result, they've allowed the term "liberal" to become a bad word in the political lexicon.  
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Actually, when we consider how methodically the conservatives went about mounting their assault on the liberal agenda you can't help but recognize that it was a stroke of genius. Ironically, the conservatives took the Democratic Party's primary strength, and made it a political liability. First they took the party's penchant for being concern with the plight of the downtrodden and coined phrases such as "bleeding heart liberals" and "tax and spend Democrats." They then played on the frustration of the middle class by tying civil rights legislation, welfare, and crime into one neat bundle as the source of middle class woes; then they attributed all of these problems to what they called the Democrat's tendency to be "bleeding heart liberals". Once the connection was made between minorities, welfare, crime, and the liberal agenda, it was just a matter of repeatedly hammering the message home.
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As a direct result, the GOP and their corporate cronies have conditioned the American people to ignore their own interests to vote AGAINST the interests of minorities instead - and that’s without ever considering the fact that when they vote against the interest of minorities, they’re voting against themselves as well. That’s the primary reason that the GOP has been engaged in a brutal assault on our educational system for the past thirty-five years - they don’t want thinking Americans. They directly benefit from having a nation filled with people whose intellect is easily circumvented, so they can manipulate their emotions.
THE POVERTY PIMPS
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And many Black voters suffer from the very same problem. Many Black people have a tendency to support poverty pimps like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, in spite of the fact that they both have a vested interest in Black misery - in fact, they’re in the Black misery business. If Black people woke up, educated themselves, and became a viable and enlightened political force tomorrow, that would have an horrific impact on the bank accounts of both of these individuals. The only thing that’s propping Tavis Smiley up is Walmart - a member of ALEC, THE biggest enemy of Black people and poor and middle-class America as a whole in the world.  So if Black people became so enlightened that they didn’t allow Smiley to influence them, Walmart would no longer have any use for him. They’d dump him, and that would effectively put him out of business.
.
The same is true of Cornel West. The vast majority of his wealth was accumulated through Black misery. It is only our misery that allows him to go around giving $30,000 an hour speeches about how miserable we are. So do we really believe that he wants that misery to come to an end? I don’t think so. Personally, I believe that’s why he worked so hard to get George Bush elected. During the 2000 election he CLAIMED that his motive was to make the Democratic Party do more for the people, so he teamed up with Ralph Nader and helped George Bush win the election by winning the state of Florida by a mere 537 votes. Nader and West took 97,488 votes away from the Democrats. That got George Bush elected, and led directly to the condition that we currently find ourselves. So could this supposedly "brilliant" man really have been so dumb that he didn’t know what he was doing? I don’t think so. Clear evidence of that is he tried to team up with Nader again in the 2012 election to do the very same thing to Obama, and anyone with a lick of sense, or any knowledge of history at all, should know that allowing the Republican Party to regain control of this government, and our economy, is both the moral and logical equivalent of entrusting our children to the care of a convicted child molester.

GOP History Over the Last Hundred Years
.
In 1921 -- eight years before the great depression -- Republicans took over the helm of this nation for 12 years. During that time there were three Republican administrations, the first of which was the administration of Warren G. Harding. History remembers Harding's administration for one thing more than anything other -- scandal. It was during Harding's presidency that the Teapot Dome Scandal erupted. His administration was considered the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States -- until Nixon's, then Reagan's, and finally Bush's.
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Next, in 1923, came Calvin Coolidge, the president that Ronald Reagan is said to have most admired. Coolidge's policies of large tax cuts, allowing business a free-rein, and his encouragement of stock speculation contributed greatly to the impending stock market crash and the Great Depression that was to come.
.
Then in 1929 Herbert Hoover came to power. During his administration the stock market crashed, starting the Great Depression. In spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, the Republican, Hoover, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. During Hoover's administration 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.
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Finally in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal democrat, was elected overwhelmingly. He immediately surrounded himself with a group of the finest minds in the country, including Columbia professors Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Rexford G. Tugwell, and Raymond Moley, known at the time as the "Brain Trust." After assembling these men and others he went about the business of developing a" New Deal" for the working class people of this country.
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The New Deal had two components -- one to help the economy to recover from the effects of the Great Depression, and a second component to give relief to the American people and to insure that they would never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people he signed The National Labor Relations Act which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights and set a minimum wage for workers.
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The GOP has been on a near single-minded mission to abolish each and every one of those programs every since. The entire Republican agenda is, literally, designed to return the American worker to pre-Great Depression conditions in order to promote the interest of big business.
.
But with his New Deal in place, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this "bleeding heart liberal", not only led this country out of the worst, Republican-generated crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII. He then ushered in the most sustained prosperity that the world has ever known.
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One would think that conservatives would have seen the light, but their passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class seemed to supersede all logic. Therefore, from the moment that the New Deal went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. The closest they've come to succeeding started during the Reagan administration with "Supply-Side Economics," or, "Reaganomics" -- and that battle is currently raging in Washington D.C. as we speak.
REPUBLICAN ECONOMICS
.
Supply- Side Economics was a scheme hatch by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind Reaganomics was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of us. The resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George Bush, Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."
.
So Reaganomics, for the most part, sought to undo many of the safeguards put into place during the Roosevelt era and create a business environment similar to that which was in place during the Coolidge Administration. What actually took place, however, was even more like the Coolidge era than planned.
.
Instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of these schemes, the leveraged buy out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company's assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the assets of the purchased company. This practice cost the citizens of this country its industrial base. In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 - 15 years before the Great Depression.
.
And what about Ronald Reagan's promise to balance the budget and lower the deficit? By the time he left office he was not only the most prolific spender of any president, but he also added more to the deficit than all of the other presidents from George Washington to his own administration combined. And what did the Republican Party propose to do about that? One of the Republican proposals was their "contract with America," a capitol gains tax cut -- for the rich.
.
Due to the continued freewheeling fiscal policies of conservative Republicans, between 1986 and 1989, spanning the presidencies of Reagan and Bush Sr., the FSLIC had to pay off all the depositors of 296 institutions with assets of over $125 billion.
.
Then in 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion. It was headed by Neil Bush, brother of George W. The investigation alleged that he was guilty of "breaches of his fiduciary duties involving multiple conflicts of interest." The issue was eventually settled out of court with Bush paying a mere $50,000 settlement.
.
Then there was the Lincoln Savings and loan scandal in 1987, involving John McCain. The scandal was very similar to the one that is currently playing out on Wall Street. He was one of a group of senators dubbed "The Keating Five" involved in a scandal by the same name.
.
In 1976 Charles Keating moved to Arizona to run the American Continental Corporation. In 1984, shortly after the Reagan era push to deregulate the savings and loan community, Keating bought Lincoln Savings and Loan and began to engage in highly risky investments with the depositors' savings. In 1989 the parent company, which Keating headed, went bankrupt, and it resulted in over 21,000 investors losing their life savings. Most of the investors were elderly, and the loss amounted to about 285 million dollars.
.
After having received over a million dollars from Keating in illegal campaign contributions, gifts, free trips, and other gratuities, the Keating Five--Senators John Glenn, Don Riegle, Dennis DeConini, Alan Cranston, and Sen. John McCain--attempted to intervene in the investigation into Keating's activities by the regulators. Later, they were admonished to varying degrees by the senate for attempting to influence regulators on Keating's behalf. Charles Keating ended up being convicted for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy, for which he received 10 years by the state court, and a 12 year sentence in federal court. After spending four and a half years in prison, his convictions were overturned. But prior to being retried, he pled guilty to a number of felonies in return for a sentence of time served.
.
Then came the George W. Bush administration that caused close to a million people to die uselessly in an illegal war in Iraq, robbed the American people blind, whose fumbling ignited the longest war in American history in Afghanistan, and whose greed came very close to sending the nation into yet another depression.
.
Now, after all of their repeated efforts to deplete the national treasury, they're unanimously voting against every piece of legislation that the Democrats propose to repair the damage they created, and bring relief to the American people. And now they have the audacity to claim that they're doing it because they're concerned about deficit spending!!!? The very gall of the GOP is unbelievable.
.
The GOP is against affordable health care for American families; they're against any kind of spending to put Americans back to work, and they're against extending unemployment insurance to relieve the burden of America's unemployed. What's particularly telling, however, is they're also against any kind of strong legislation to prevent the financial community (them) from being able to rob the American people in the future.
.
The fact is, what they really want is to maintain the status quo, and make damn sure that the American people remained miserable, hungry, and divided throughout the Obama administration so they'll have a better chance to regain power and raid the treasury again thereafter. Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, was frustrated and reckless enough to say it out loud - "Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president" - not to save America, or to bring relief to the American people, but to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Flag pens in lapels and patriotic rhetoric notwithstanding, that says it all about the GOP's lack of concern for America, or the American people.
.
TEA PARTIER PICKS FIGHT WITH FOREIGN PRESIDENT.
IT DIDN'T GO WELL
.

.
Now that the GOP has lost the election, their agenda has shifted to making sure that President Obama is not successful, because if he is, and you combine that with the rapidly changing demographic and Hillary Clinton's popularity, that could spell doom for the future of the GOP - and it should, because they're grossly out of touch with reality, and, America's best interest. They're out to create a corporate feudalist society. The government shutdown alone, clearly demonstrates that they have absolutely no respect for democracy.
.
And this is not just political rhetoric. Here is the activity of the Republican congress who ran in the 2010 election on their claim that their number one priority was to bring economic relief, and create jobs for the American people:
.
History is clear. Conservative Republicans don't mind spending money, they just don't want to spend it on those who need it - us. Remember, they're the party of Alexander Hamilton, one of this country's founding fathers who believed that only those who owned property should even be allowed to vote. He also said:
.
"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people.... The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government." Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17, 1787).
.
So, let's set the record straight. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that "bleeding heart liberal", not only brought the nation back from the Great Depression and saved the world from Hitler during his life, but his "New Deal" for the American people gave us the greatest prosperity we've ever known, and it  allowed him to reach back from the grave to save the nation from Ronald Reagan 50 years after his death.
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That isn't to say that the liberal Democratic philosophy corners the market on what is in the best interest of the nation. It is clear that both parties have had illustrious moments in the past - though, with respect to the GOP, that moment hasn't been since the Eisenhower administration over sixty years ago, and he was an aberration, who, as his very last act of office, warned us about exactly what's going on now -- but rather, this is one of those defining issues in American politics that determines whether this is to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, or a government where the citizens are nothing more than disposable resources for big business.
.
Again, history is clear. It reflects and documents a pattern that repeats itself for nearly one hundred years. The facts clearly show a nation being repeatedly destabilized by Republican excess, selfishness, and greed, forcing the Democrats to step in and have to waste time rescuing the country instead of spending that time moving the nation forward. Then every time the Democrats do manage to move the nation one step forward, the Republicans assume office and drag us two steps back - and this is not partisan rhetoric - it's a historic pattern that anyone can research.
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Yet, now, the GOP has the gall to lecture the nation on fiscal responsibility, while continuing to promote the same old tried-and-died policies that have repeatedly destabilized our economy for the past hundred years. That, makes yet another fact indisputably clear - for the GOP, freedom, and their vision of a perfect America, represents a nation where the rich are free to manipulate and abuse the poor and middle class in any way they see fit, in the face of a government that's too weak to do anything about it - period. And any American who can't see that, is living in a delusion.
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One needs to ask themselves only one question to get to the bottom line – who was the last Republican president who DIDN’T drag America under a bus?
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GOP STRATEGY: DIVIDE AND CONQUER

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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

About the Value and Excellence of Jazz

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

About the Value and Excellence of Jazz 

The tendency to believe that people with lighter skin have more value than others is a direct result of the mis-education of the masses. From the time we start school we’re taught that anyone who has ever achieved anything whatsoever, or had a cogent thought that benefitted humanity or contributed to the intellectual journey of mankind was White - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc. Certainly someone had to be thinking in other parts of the world other than White folks, but according to our educational institutions, that wasn’t the case. That fact has contributed greatly to White feelings of superiority, and the acceptance of same by many Black people, and the people of other cultures.
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I stumbled upon that fact by accident, but the reason I know it is true with near certainty, is because when I was a very young child, I was falling victim to the very same mind-set, but fortunately, my father was a jazz fanatic, and he introduced me to jazz and the jazz culture before I was ten years old. As a result, all of my heroes were jazz artists, and I measured the relative value of people by how well the music of their various cultures stood up to the musical intellect and style of Charlie Parker. Since I have yet to find any culture that has, that gave me a strong sense of cultural value and pride.
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That’s why it’s so important to raise our kids with a strong sense of cultural pride. As a direct result of my lifelong attitude in that regard, I’ve never felt the least bit self-conscious about competing with my White counterparts on an eyeball-to-eyeball basis, and I’ve always prevailed. And there’s a very simple reason for that as well - because you are what you think.
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There’s actually no difference between people, but the ones who tend to prevail are those who BELIEVE they are superior. That accounts for why so many White people call me arrogant (at least those who are out of touch) - because I tend not to know “my place.” But the fact is, I know my place very well - on top - not because I was anointed by God to be on top because I'm a Black man - anyone who thinks like that is a fool - but because I work very hard to be the best as an individual. Life is not about WHAT you are, but WHO you are; your character, your knowledge, and your willingness to pursue and nurture both.
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Thus, I never try to prove myself to White folks. I make sure they have to prove themselves to me, and the same goes for everyone else. Don't merely bring me your receipt from Harvard and expect me to accept you as an intellectual: "Congratulations on your accomplishment. Now show me what you got. Can you play 'Parker's Mood' or have a scheme to cure cancer? Okay, well at least play 'Misty' for me."
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Is that arrogant?  Maybe, but it works for me. 
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A Swingin' Affair
.
I
Was told as a child
Blacks had no worth,
Not a nickel’s worth of dimes.
I believed that myth
‘Til Dex rode in
With his ax
In double time.
.
His
Horn was soarin’,
The changes flyin’,
His rhythm right on time;
My heart
Beat with the pleasure
Of new found pride, knowing,
His blood
Flowed through mine.
.
Dex
Took the chords
The keyboard played,
And danced around each note;
Then shuffled ‘em
Like a deck of cards,
And didn’t miss a stroke.
.
B minor 7 with flatted 5th,
A half diminished chord,
He substituted a lick in D,
Then really began to soar.
.
He tipped his hat
To Charlie Parker,
And quoted
Trane with Miles,

.
And then paid his homage to
Thelonious Monk,
In Charlie Rouse's style.
.
He took
A Scrapple From The Apple,
Then went to Billie’s Bounce,
The rhythm section, now on fire,
But he didn’t budge an ounce.
.
He just
Dug right in
To shuffle again,
This time
A Royal Flush,
Then lingered a bit
Behind the beat,
Still smokin’
But in no rush.
.
Then he
Doubled the time
Just like this rhyme,
In fluid 16th notes,
tellin’
Charlie and Lester,"your baby boy, Dexter’s,
On top of the
Bebop you wrote.
.
Wailin’
Like a banshee,
This prince of saxophone,
His ballads dripped of honey,
His Arpeggios were strong.
.
Callin’ on his idles,
Ghost of Pres’
Within in the isles,
Smiling at his protege,
At the peak of this new style.
.
His tenor
Drenched of Blackness,
And all the things we are--
Of pain, and pleasure,
And creative greatness
Until his final bar.
*****************************



 
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Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.
 

 

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Black Woman

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

The Black Woman
.
I have to scratch my head when I hear young
Black men calling our sister’s bitches and whoes,
because Black women are our most precious asset.
Sister’s are the very womb of our culture,
and if it wasn’t for her, we would have
long since been relegated to the
ash heap of history.
.
Sister’s have been standing by us
and reinforcing our manhood
for centuries.
When we were beaten down
and told that we weren’t shit
by the White man,
SHE WAS THERE . . . to nurse our wounds,
and assure us of our value.
.
And when we ran the street
in a misguided attempt to chase our
manhood,
SHE WAS THERE . . .  to rein us in,
and convince us that we were
more than our vision of ourselves.
.
And once we gained the wisdom
to become real men,
SHE WAS THERE . . . to defined
our manhood through the image
we saw reflected in her eyes.
.
So, my man,
it behooves us to educate
our young brothers
to the fact that,
"THAT BITCH," and 
"THAT WHOE,"
is our most precious
possession . . .
and we’d be lost
without her.

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Eric

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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Open Letter to Richard, and Other Young Black People

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

An Open Letter to Richard, and Other Young Black People
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I want to thank you so much for taking the time to write me. Nothing is more gratifying to a writer than knowing that his message is being received.
.
As I read your email I couldn't help but think how much you remind me of myself. When I was younger I too felt misunderstood. Then as I got older I began to understand the reason why - because I WAS misunderstood. Fortunately, I had been cursed with the blessing of functional intelligence, just as you clearly are, but unfortunately, gross ignorance is the coin of America's realm. The powers that be have a vested interest in promoting stupidity as cute in this country, and we are bombarded with that message from the time we open our eyes in the morning, until the time we close them at night.
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How many times have you seen the image of the young intellectual portrayed as a Steve-Urkel-type character to be ridiculed, while the dim-witted captain of the football team is portrayed as a lady-killing macho man to be admired? Then think about John Wayne. I don’t know what John was really like in life, but the character that he portrayed was undoubtedly one of the biggest dummies who ever rode across the Texas plains. Yet, he's presented as the quintessential American male. There's a good reason for that - because a nation filled with citizens who worship ignorance is much easier to control. So whenever there's a person with your level of intelligence who can see through the mass manipulation of the people, the very people who you are trying to enlighten will bring tremendous group pressure down on you to shut you up.
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It’s a simple matter of cognitive dissonance. In most cases your peers know you’re right, but they have so much invested in forging their images to conform to what’s defined as "impressive" by the status quo, that to admit you’re right, is also to admit that they’ve been hoodwinked and manipulated. It also suggests that they need to rethink who they are from the ground up, and that’s unacceptable to most people. So the misguided are content to simply play-out the role that they’ve been assigned by society, and they have no interest in a person like yourself revealing the fact that they’re allowing themselves to be played like idiots.
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But as bad as that is for society as a whole, the pressure to remain ignorant is even more pronounced in the Black community. Within our community we are held to what amounts to a moral obligation to be stupid in order to maintain our credibility as loyal to the Black race. Think about that. It’s not only unbelievable, but it virtually ensures a self-perpetuating mode of behavior, and view of life, that’s certain to keep us at the very bottom of society.

Our attitude comes from our experience under slavery. During slavery the only Black people that the average field slave knew who spoke anything close to proper English was the house slave, and many house slaves tended to look down upon those who worked in the fields. So Black people came to associate other Black people who spoke proper English, or who they perceived to have knowledge and intelligence, with Uncle Tomism, or as "trying to be White." In addition, that also created a mind-set that led to the syllogistic conclusion that knowledge was the White man's domain.
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That's why you have young hip hoppers walking around purposely trying to destroy the English language by saying things like, "What it be like?" - because they see ignorance as cool, and a defining characteristic of what it means to be Black - and many of these young people are brilliant, but they’d die before they’d let that get out into the world. As a result, the very quality that’s required for the Black community to move forward, we’re trying our best to stifle. These are the issues that our so-call Black intellectuals should be addressing, instead of constantly chasing television sound bytes in an attempt to profit from our misery.
.
The irony of ironies is, we’re currently living under a system of Urkel’s revenge. The Steve Urkels of yesterday have now morphed into the Iceberg Slims of today, because it’s the Steve Urkels of yesterday who are now controlling Wall Street and pimping us - and the macho captains of the various football teams are now their chauffeurs. So, yet, once again, Urkel has proven that knowledge is power. Ignorance is only bliss until reality sets in.
.
So Richard, a young brother like yourself, who is fortunate enough to have the innate intelligence to see through this, have the closest thing to a moral obligation to combat this kind of ignorance. But you don't have to run your head up against a brick wall, or face the ire and condemnation of your peers to address this situation. Simply use your intelligence, class, and behavior, to find ways to send the message that knowledge is cool. Become the kind of Black man that if a bigot points at you and tell his young son, "that’s a nigga," his son will look at you, and then look back at his dad and say, "Daddy, I want to be a nigga when I grow up."
.
I noticed that you're a very good writer. That’s one area in our community where knowledge and intelligence is tolerated. Since writers appear in newspapers, magazines, and in the electronic media, we’re looked upon much like artists, or ‘blingless’ celebrities of a sort, so we’re given a pass. So take the time to hone that skill. You can not only help the community by helping to educate our people, but you can also gain both notoriety and independence if you become good at it, and I’m sure you will.
.
And, continue your education at all cost, but don't wait for the schools to educate you. Obtaining a receipt from a university is very important; it adds to your credibility. But knowledge is free, and in the final analysis, the only one who can educate you is yourself. So begin right now, and start educating yourself, because once knowledge is obtained, it doesn’t matter where it came from, and your water is just as wet as the water at Harvard. Some of the greatest minds I've ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lots of ghetto liquor stores, and they are directly responsible for whatever I said that captured your imagination.
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In that regard, the internet is a repository of all of man's collective knowledge, so use it to explore those areas of knowledge that interest you as an individual, because you are unique. No one alive, or no one who has ever lived, sees, or have seen, reality in exactly the same way that you do. So for all you know, you could be that one individual who can connect the dots like no one ever has before.
.
Finally, I want to thank you again for taking the time to write me. I’m not getting rich doing what I do, so hearing from people like yourself makes it all worthwhile. So I want you to stay in touch, and let me know what you’re doing. I want to see where you go with this. If I've helped to create a monster, I want to know about it. Because while I’m not a very religious person, there’s much wisdom in religion, and as my grandmother used to say, "God works in mysterious ways." So for all I know, my birth, life, and everything I’ve done up until this point in life, might just have been to prepare me to write one sentence that would ignite a passion in you, which would allow you to go out and save humanity. That’s the way life works. We must never forget, the chances are, some nameless person probably inspired Martin Luther King. Thus, you should never discount the fact that you may be one of those people who are destined for greatness, so always take your thoughts, and your view of reality, seriously.
.
So keep this email, and reread it from time to time, and then, go out and give ‘em hell.
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Exploding the Myth: The Impact Of the Black Experience on This Black Man
http://wattree.blogspot.com/2014/03/exploding-myth-impact-of-black.html

Eric
.
Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Exploding the Myth: The Impact Of the Black Experience on This Black Man

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

A PUBLIC STATEMENT TO ALL THOSE WHO ASSUME I'VE BEEN WOUNDED AS A RESULT OF THE BLACK EXPERIENCE:
.
Exploding the Myth: The Impact Of the Black Experience on This Black Man
Ocean-Kat, you said,

"I think you experienced discrimination as a black child in school and as a result you project those feelings onto most everything you see. Its a terrible thing that so many black children were made to feel stupid in school and terrible that prejudice still continues to this day. But you're a grown man with many accomplishments. Isn't it time you moved beyond that childhood discrimination."
.

Kat, you’re laboring under a grossly erroneous assumption here. Yes, I’ve felt anger and frustration over the stupidity of bigots. But I've NEVER felt any resentment or any other affects from the discriminatory traditions in this country other than a sense of profound superiority due to a lifelong recognition of the childishness and transparent insecurity from which bigotry stems. 
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You've speculated about the downside of the affects of the Black experience, but now let us look at the upside.  Consider how reinforcing it must have been to my young ego to recognize that I was intellectually superior to everyone I met who engaged in discrimination and/or bigotry. And consider the practical side. I've spent my entire life having to outwit bigots. There's got to be some intellectual benefit from that, don't you think?
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So I’m not the least bit bitter as a result of my background and experiences. On the contrary, I'm of the opinion that adversity has made me more, rather than less, so I wouldn't trade in my hood rat background to be the son of a billionaire, because it made me, me, and I'm convinced that most educated Black people of my generation feel that way - though, they might not let you know it.
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I view the Black experience in America from the perspective of a detached human being observing the social interactions of an ant farm. While I don't like seeing people hurt or injured, every since childhood I have ALWAYS found the insecurity of bigots both fascination, and very instructive. It gives me an insight into people that I doubt you have. For example, I often observe (with great amusement) the lingering vestiges of cultural hubris here, among White people of good will, who would never consciously engage in bigotry or discrimination. Your naively erroneous assumption of how I think, and why, is a perfect example of that, and it’s laughable. You’ve been watching far too much television and/or reading too much pop psychology, my man.
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There’s only one Wattree family in America. EVERYBODY with the last name Wattree is related to me. We immigrated to the United States from France, as an intact Black Family, during the time that the French abolitionists, Edouard Laboulaye, and sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, conceived and sculpted the Statue of Liberty (Did you know that Lady Liberty was a freed slave, and has broken shackles at her feet?).
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When my family arrived and settled in Minden, Louisiana (after the civil war), my great, great, uncle, Richard Wattree, established the Wattree School to educate free Black people, and he was responsible for educating many of the heads of what subsequently became some of the most prominent Black families in the state of Louisiana (and since we are a one-of-a-kind family, that can be easily researched on the net; simply go to Google and enter "Wattree School"), and since that time the professionals in my family have been dedicated to the education of Black people in one way or another. My daughter, Kaiumeka Wattree-Jackson, is currently a human relations specialist for her alma mater and the regional vice president of a college and university employees’ union, and many other Wattrees are scattered across this country teaching everything from kindergarten children through high school; others are working in positions of university administration. My son is a senior special agent with the Department of Justice, dedicated to eradicating drugs and street crime in America’s inner cities. So your inane assumption of the way I view the world and reality is just that - inane, presumptuous, and simplistic.
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My woman is a public person, so she used to hate it when I referred to myself in my writings as a hood rat. So I wrote her the poem attached to the end of this missive to explain exactly how I feel about my background. It may enlighten you just as it did her. Now, she not only understands, but she approves. You see, Barack Obama is not the aberration that many people think. People like myself, Barack Obama, and many others, are cultural hybrids, and as we continue to grow in numbers, character, and vision, we’re going to become something to be reckoned with in this country.
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Evolution is a wondrous thing, and adversity is nature's primary tool of effecting evolution. When man first appeared on Earth he as a necked ape. He wasn't as ferocious as the lion, as strong as the elephant, nor could he soar above danger like the eagle. He was completely vulnerable, much like the Black man has been in this country. But nature provided man with one weapon to address the adversity within his environment, the human mind. Now, as a result of the effective use of that weapon, man has developed the resources to slaughter the most ferocious lion, machines that can crush the strongest elephant, and vehicles that can easily soar far beyond the most determined eagle's domain. In fact, he's even left his home planet to explore other worlds. Well, I'm convinced that adversity is having the very same impact on many Black people.
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Blacks have become bi-cultural. Educated Black people have not only attained the educational knowledge that governs their environment, but they also have a specialized knowledge that was necessary to develop in order to survive the adversity of a hostile environment.  Even as I write we can see it at work in Washington, D.C. If we look toward Washington, what we see appears to be one adult, Barack Obama, patiently dealing with a government filled with ranting, rave children, the GOP, engaged in a world-class tantrum. 
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The American people intuitively had the good sense to keep Obama in place in the last election. Somehow they knew that he was exactly the right man, doing exactly the right job, at exactly the right time. And they were right, because President Obama is not governing this country based on the knowledge that he gained at Harvard. He's holding America together by utilizing the knowledge and insight that became necessary for him to attain and develop in order to survive the adversity of the Black experience in America, and that's extremely ironic.
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So Ocean-Kat, you can spare me your condescending and paternalistic hubris regarding my history of being born Black in America, because I've benefitted greatly from every second of it. In fact, I wish you were here. 
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The Hood Rat
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I’m sure you know that I love you;
You’re everything that I need.
You fit the bill of all my desires,
a perfect match for all of my dreams.
You’re everything I’ve always craved,
that luscious vision from across the tracks;
that delicate flower,
just beyond my grasp, and
now here you are at last.
*
But what you ask is foreign to me;
You need something that I'm not.
You said, if I'd tweak my nature, just a bit,
you’ll give everything you’ve got.
*
But that "tweak" you need is who I am;
It's my essence, can't you see?
You want to abolish the hood rat from my life,
the very thing that makes me, me.
*
While a hood rat may seem trite to you,
a hood rat’s what you see;
So forget about what the other’s say -
here’s what it means to me:
*
I’ve been brutally dragged through the pits of Hell,
yet, managed to survive,
well educated and fully functional,
when I came out the other side.
*
I scrounged the lessons taught at Harvard,
because knowledge, I found, was free;
But Harvard can't teach the lessons I've learn -
that knowledge is unique to me.
*
While they've heard the sounds of a mournful Trane,
and Miles moaning in the night,
not against the backdrop of hunger and pain,
or injustice, hatred, and blight.
*
Yet, these are the things you want me to purge,
and spurn the life I’ve led.
Well, I’m sorry sweet thing, as much as I love you,
the soul of a hood rat is my edge.
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.
 

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