Thursday, February 3, 2011
This should be an interesting conversation today. But here we go. I come from a strong Christian background, both my parents were deacons, and we attended church up to 3 times a week. I believe that the bible is the word of God, but I also believe that for Christians we should have a particular emphasis on the examples, words, and teachings of Christ. We are not called Leviticans, or Mosesists. We are called Christians due to our belief in the teachings, and saving grace of Jesus Christ. In that vein there are a lot of beliefs thats we as a culture and nation have that are not rooted in scripture, or if they are... they are rooted in Leviticus which is Old Testament LAW. The problem with that as I see it , is Jesus came to save us from sin, and redeem us from THE LAW, because ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and according to Levitical Law we should all be off sacrificing animals or should be somewhere getting stoned to death.
Now, before we go on, this is not a defense of "sin" or "sinning" this is me looking at our actions as a society and seeing how they measure up to the actions, words, and examples of Christ. Read this with an open spirit, and be careful to read not what you want to read, but what is actually here.
Whether it was the story of the Samaritan the adulteress, or the tax collector. Jesus always spoke up for the despised within his community. Samaritans were despised within the Jewish community. Both Samaritan and Jewish leaders forbade contact with one another, so the story of the good Samaritan is not just a story of helping your fellow man, it is a story of Jesus assigning a positive role to one of the despised. Tax collectors were considered sell outs and sinners, in biblical times they were the Uncle Toms of the community. Those who had sold their souls to the Romans to impose taxation on their own people. Yet in still read the story of
We, in our sin are redeemed by Christ who through grace saves us, in spite of our sin, not because of our march toward perfection. I would argue that Christ spent more time with sinners, and spent more time talking about how to treat "the worst" of society, than he did hanging around those who were the "purest" according to Mosaic law. We have this idea that certain sins are worse than other sins, and most of that has no scriptural basis, but is more based upon own our moral code. If you examine the bible and see what really ticks off Jesus he mentions treating children badly in Luke 17:2, and when he went "Hulk Hogan" on people who were defiling and scamming in the house of God. So really, if you are one of these fake preachers bilking the congregation, or someone who abuses children, you are more likely to be on the LIST than any other "sinner".
Jesus never told his disciples to persecute those undesirables or even sinners, or even those who had lied in order to put him to death, when people did gather to stone the adulteress, he stopped them, and then told her to sin no more, he did not make her ceasing of the sin a prerequisite to his grace. So I find it uncomfortable as a black man in western civilization when Christians find reasons to persecute those who we deem as living in sin. Jesus never gave us a mandate to persecute, we need to learn to differentiate between the word of God, and the moral hang ups of western civilization.
Now, I am not saying I advocate for sin.I am not saying lets have a big Sin-a-Palooza, what I am saying is that through example in word and deed I believe that Jesus gave us a guide on how he wants the "least of us" and the "undesirables" treated in society. I believe that if you call yourself a Christian you can believe that God does not like sin, without feeling as if HE gave you a mandate to be THE HAMMER OF GOD, and go forth an exact his wrath on sinners. I missed that part of the bible, the part where Jesus commanded His disciples that while they were out preaching they should wreak havoc on homosexuals . I missed the part where He told His disciples to not heal the sick if they were gay, or to not feed the poor if they were bi-sexual.
In fact one of the few direct Commandments from the mouth of Jesus are found in the gospel of Mark. Here a teacher of The Law asks Jesus which commandment is the most important. Jesus replies:
29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Now, if you want. you can go on persecuting, hating and angrily attempting to limit the rights of the LGBT community. But me, my arms to short to box with God, and my closet's got too many skeletons labeled pride, lust, and lies for me to happily throw stones. I'm going to thank God for sending Jesus to save me despite my sins, and love my neighbors the best way I can.
Posted by The Scholarly Hooligan at 1:14 PM
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Welcome Hooligan-istas to the second installment of Political MythBusters. In our first installment we tackled and busted the myth that Republicans advocated small government. Well in this installment I plan on tackling a myth that seems to have become just as accepted into political "common knowledge", one that annoys me even more than the GOP=Small Government Myth. Today's myth:
That Black People Supported Barack Obama because he was Black. This is an insidious myth that undervalues the political intelligence of African-Americans. It makes African-Americans seem as if they will support any black candidate regardless of how terrible or spectacular they are. We know this to be untrue.
There have been many black political candidates/personalities that African-Americans did not and do not support. Just to name a few: Alan Keys, Armstrong Williams, Clarence Thomas, Condeleezza Rice and Micheal Steele. Black people have an understanding of politics, and do not support candidates they feel do not support their interest, and don't support candidates who they do not think can win. So there is a mature process in which African-Americans respect, and transfer their vote. African-Americans do not want to see it wasted, or misused and being black is no indicator of whether or not you will gain the automatic support of the black community. Black people have been very conscious of those within our community that do not have our communities best interests at heart. There is a plethora of terminology dedicated to naming these people: Toms, Coons, House Negroes, Stepin Fetchit, so on and so forth. So just having common skin color is no indication of cultural support, there also has to be a congruence of interests.
Additionally, the numbers do not hold this Myth to be true. While it is true that African-Americans did support Barack Obama, the numbers were not statistically overwhelming if you compare them to other Democratic candidates. In 1996 Bill Clinton received 84% of the African-American Vote. In 2000 Al Gore won 90% of the African-American Vote. In 2004 John Kerry received 88% of the black vote, and in 2008 Obama won 95% of the black vote. If you look at the numbers as a trend its clear to see that with the exception of Kerry (as an anomaly who didn't excite the African American base as much as the previous 2 Democratic contenders) the percentage of the African American vote was steadily treading upward for democrats. Clinton received 83% and 84 %, Gore 90% which is a 6% jump. If Kerry would of held the trend the jump to Obama's 95% is true to the trend, as it is, the 5% boost is still not the 6% boost that Gore received after Clinton's term was up.
Simply put, Black people support democrats, there hasn't been a Presidential Democratic candidate who hasn't received at least 80% since before Jimmy Carter. Three Candidates in the last 7 cycles received 90% plus, Walter Mondale , Al Gore, and Barack Obama. While it is true that black voter turnout rose to a record high 13% of the total voting electorate, there has been a constant trend upward for the part 5 voting cycles. 8% in 1992, 10% in 1996 & 2000, 11% in 2004, and peaking at 13%. That looks like natural growth over time. And yes, I will agree that there was an excitement about Barack Obama because he was black, but that was not the primary factor in him getting support from the black community. Looking at the amount of money the Obama campaign poured into voter registration, I wonder if a similar amount would of been utilized by other candidate would we have seen a similar jump in voter turnout.
In conclusion, don't underestimate a section of the electorate based on one set of exit poll numbers. People saw that Obama had received 95% of the black vote and some just assumed it was due to race. (which is borderline racist in and of itself) People and pundits didn't take into account trending over time or the fact that black opponents had come and gone in the past with little or no black support. Cynthia McKinney was in the race as a third party candidate and received little attention from black voters. Did some black voters vote for Obama strictly along racial lines, I'm sure they did. Is that number larger than those Catholics who were excited about Kennedy, and voted along religious lines? I think that underestimating the political electorate is a mistake, even that part of the electorate that until recently has been delegated to the margins.
Posted by The Scholarly Hooligan at 6:39 PM
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I want a new Television Show this spring. I'll be the host, and I will call it Political Myth Busters. Because there are a lot of political myths that become accepted as common knowledge regardless of those pesky things called facts. It is a vicious cycle. A random blogger/pundit/plumber starts a myth, Faux News reports the myth as gospel, Politicians cite the reports, Faux News covers the politician saying the myth, and BOOM it's a fact. It's why people still believe Obama is a Muslim, and 9-11 was carried out by Saddam Hussein.
So, to do my part to clean up the political myths out there I will tackle one myth from time to time, and drag it out into the light. Today I will tackle the myth: "Conservatives want small government." I hear this all the time, from the news, from pundits, from liberals, from conservatives, but it's just not true. Their actions do not connect to this purported belief system.
Republican only want a small government when democrats are in power. They want large government when they are in power, or it's an issue they agree with. What can be more bigger than ensuring that every pregnant woman carries their child to term, the logistics of the enforcement alone would be enormous. The proof is in the pudding the government got to it's largest point under George W. Bush. Conservatives didn't start talking about deficits, and securing a future for our youth, and limiting the scope and size of government until Obama got into office. Need more proof?? Two Words: PATRIOT ACT. It expanded the size of government, the scope of it's powers, and it's ability to intrude into the live of United States Citizens in an unprecedented manner. Due to the courts limiting our ability to sue cell phone carriers, we may never know how many were effected, or the scope of the damage done.
But this one thing is sure, when the Republicans had control of both the branches of congress, as well as the Presidency, they did not shrink government, or make it more unobtrusive, nor did they "get government out of our way". Nor were they running around saying "government isn't the solution to the problem, government IS THE PROBLEM", nor were there Tea Parties spouting everywhere, fed up with government waste and spending. They hid it behind "the war on terrorism" and wrapped it in the Flag. Make no mistake Republicans do not want smaller government, they want smaller "Democratic run" government, they want a smaller "liberal" government, they want a smaller "progressive" government. They want a government that cannot function when a Democrat is in office, hence the filibusters, and the delaying tactics utilized at unprecedented levels, hell they even tried to make the United States Census seem like some shadowy liberal plot.
A famous quote that many Conservatives pull out when they are discussing "smaller government" is a quip by noted conservative Economist, Grover Norquist.
"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."
Just seems to be whenever the Republicans are in office that bathtub is the size of the Pacific. Don't believe the hype. Do Republicans Really Want a smaller government? This myth.... is BUSTED.
Posted by The Scholarly Hooligan at 5:54 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sorry for the break, but this Hooligan spent the last week or so being extremely Scholarly. But we have our periscopes up, and torpedoes loaded, so we are back in action. This weeks topic, Chess Vs Checkers. both are board games, the similarity ends there. When playing Chess you have to look long term, imagine what's going to happen 4,5,6 turns later. You have to try to imagine your opponents counters, and how to counter his counters and hey ...did he just put me in check? Checkers, not so much, it only gets compicated when you have a bunch of kings on the board flying around trying to do their own thing.
If you haven't realized it by now, the President plays chess. He's been at it for years now, every time we think he is on the brink of disaster he proves that he in this game for the long term, for the long gain. He is not interested in wasting time with small change, he is after the mother load. And that takes a bit more planning. And every time he looks like he has painted himself into a corner, and people start weeping and wailing, yelling they wished he were tougher, and stronger ect. ect. ect. Just the other day Bill Maher said:
"I thought by this time in his presidency I'd be making joke about how President Obama was (death row records co-founder) Suge Knight."
Really, why? What led you to believe that this President was as clumsy and obvious and thuggish as Suge Knight? Because he's black he has to be a off brand thug, who bullies his way through his presidency? What part of "Harvard educated Senator", screams Suge Knight to you?
Let do a bit of back tracking, back to the Democratic Primaries, when Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire, and Obama supports were scared, and worried and then Obama came out with one of the best political speeches of all time. As she was going momentum and people were wondering about the Michigan and Florida primaries, Obama was calm and he won that battle as well. When the Jeremiah Wright "scandal" dropped, everyone was up in arms, "how is he going to handle this?", "what is he going to do now?" Well he delivers a keynote address on race, and slowly that scandal faded away as well. Then there was McCain who jumped up in the polls after he plucked Sarah Palin from Wahsilla, the media went crazy, and his supporters went mad with worry about the President. He won that race by one of the biggest margins since Regan beat Mondale. After that, there was the big fuss about Health Care, oh wait that ended up passing, even after it received 4 or 5 death knells on a weekly basis. Health Care, which every democratic president in memory tried to pass, got passed by President Obama. Then the midterm elections, and once again everyone is up in arms, everyone is worried. Fox news is posting poll after poll saying Obama could be beaten by any republican in a shirt, tea parties are walking around carrying racist signs and touting rifles to political rallies, Glen Beck is frothing at the mouth and John Bohner is crying every chance he gets. Everyone goes politically insane. Except for the comedian who takes a day off from his comedy show to ask for calm. The media, the pundits, and even some democrats declared the President done, finished, a virtual lame duck to go with this lame duck congress. Then out of nowhere he pushes through the Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal, and he gets the START Treaty passed. BOOM! Just like that a source no less than CONSERVATIVE commentator Charles Krauthammer declares Obama the new "comeback kid".
Anyone remember the story of the tortoise and the hare.... slow and steady may not look flashy and exciting, but it gets the job done. We had a fast, reactive President before, I'm glad Obama isn't like that. For his enemies: keep underestimating him, he stands in the brink and snatches victory from the jaws of defeat more often than not.
To his supporters:I think he has earned a bit of good will and faith. If he doesn't pass every leftist, liberal item by next Friday, it doesn't mean he is no longer an ally. It doesn't mean he's weak, it means he has a plan of implementation that is not quite ready. It means he's in the laboratory cooking up some new stuff, it means he's working diligently to get his agenda passed. Have faith, and patience, I think he's earned that much at least.
Posted by The Scholarly Hooligan at 2:02 PM
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Hey America, your privilege is showing.
For about a week now, I have been trying to figure out why I am not outraged about the TSA "Enhanced Pat downs" taking place across the airports of America. Had I bought the propaganda about terrorism? Had I put to much faith in our government since the executive was someone I voted for? Was I just desensitized by the 24 hour news cycle and was waiting for the CNN's of the world to move on to the next topic?
What that tells us is a
And least we forget, in the past there have been very specific threats regarding airplanes and airports and BOMBS IN UNDERWEAR! So there is at least, a specific, reasonable, good faith justification in some of these "intrusive patdowns". There is also a part of me that believes that airports are businesses, and if that's what they feel they need to do to protect their business you can opt with the full body scan, or vote with your wallet.
Compare that with many of these "Stop and Frisk" procedures where there is no rhyme or reason. When an police officer does engage in said procedure, they has to fill out a form stating the reason. Approximatively 19% of the officers involved listed no reason and simply stated "other". That's about 93,000 people that we know of whom were possible stopped for illegitimate reasoning. Where is the outrage at this unconstitutional show of government force and power, where is the anger at Americans being subjected to this draconian rule of law.
It's absent, because in America whats happens to THEM is sad, but as long as it only happens to THEM it's okay. America has told THEM to calm down, these places are high crime areas and the police need to have the tools necessary to stop crime. The police are keeping the streets safe, THEY have nothing to worry about if THEY are not criminals. And to the few people who's lives get disrupted, it's an acceptable price to pay to keep our streets safe.
So to my fellow Americans annoyed by the intrusive patdowns, who are acting like this is some new procedure in America, and some new attack on our rights and civil liberties I say this: Calm down, the TSA needs the necessary tools to keep our planes safe, you have nothing to worry about if you are not a terrorist. And to the few passengers who's lives are disrupted it's a acceptable price to pay to keep our skies safe.
edit: 11/25/10 2:34am
I'm not going to change any of the original text, because I feel that it is important to see words as they were originally written, but due to this blog traveling to various parts of these hollowed "inter-webs", I will clear up a few things, with a 3 part addendum:
1. The "bombs in underwear" paragraph is not an endorsement of the police, but an example of how there is at least some semblance of logical reasoning behind the intrusive patdowns (regardless of how horrible), as opposed to the sometimes utter lack of reasoning when the government engages in "stop and frisk". Additionally it was meant to imply that flying (for most, but not all) is
2. The final paragraph is not an endorsement of the argument of these policies, but rather as some of you saw a tongue in cheek attempt to mirror the same argument meant to pacify POC communities in the face of this outrage, it was meant sarcastically. But the outrage that many of you felt at seeing someone attempt to justify these procedures with a weak argument mirrors the same outrage the POC communities have felt in the face of these "stop & frisk" policies for years.
3. Those that didn't get those 2 points from this article , I can see how they were overlooked, and I will do a better job in the future to clarify my points in a more effective manner. Thanks for the criticism, it keeps me sharp.
Posted by The Scholarly Hooligan at 12:17 PM
Friday, November 19, 2010
When I was in middle school I got into a fight. I did not win. But I fought because I was being bullied, and when I went to the vice principles office he said I should …instead of fighting employ a tactic of ignoring. He told me that if I ignored the bullies and the bulling that it would just go away. Needless to say, that I in my belief that adults, and more importantly teachers were generally right utilized these tactics next time I got bullied. I wanted to see if they would work, and more importantly my mother had told me not to get sent to the office again. Needless to say, this tactic did …not….work.
What I know now, but what what I did not know then was, history has shown us, that the tactic of ignoring does not work. Whenever a people has ignored an annoying evil, it grew into a small evil. From a small evil it grew into a large evil, and transformed into full blown out EVIL. Stalin did not start off his career as a dictator. Hitler did not wake up one morning and invade France, the Ku Klux Klan began as a group of old men trading old war stories. How would our world, country, communities be different if people had acted in a pro-active fashion and met these threats in their infancy, in their beginnings. How would of history been different if instead of ignoring these issues someone had directly confronted these groups and through a combination of norms, customs, laws and direct action we had phased these groups out of existence.
There are reasons that ignoring doesn’t work, in this day and age of 24 hour media coverage and due to the rise of non-traditional media such as webpages, social media and blogging; ignoring a group or a message does not invalidate that group, it gives it a vacuum in which it can define itself. This applies to organizations as well as messages. For example, in 2007 Newsweek conducted a poll that said 41% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11. A 2010 Washington Post article stated that at least 20% of the population believed that President Obama is Muslim. Ignoring these issues will not cause them to go away, or vanish but rather will give them room to grow, to evolve, to thrive. It is in that same vacuum that hateful individuals and groups wish to flourish.
The Westboro Baptist "Church" recently "brought their talents" to East Lansing, Michigan. They were protesting at East Lansing High School, supposedly because "God Hates Fags" and "God Hates East Lansing", who whatever other dilapidated logic made them think East Lansing would be a good place to go protest. An article in Michigan State University's student paper covered the event, and some students in the "on-line" version of the paper suggested that a good course of action would be to ignore the group, some were quoted as saying
"The Westboro Baptist Church gets the win today.
I told everyone to ignore the event; however,
you went and watched
the Westboro Baptist Church get their point accross.
Whenever you are protesting something you always want a large crowd.
Westboro you got your large crowd. "
"If they don’t show up, they don’t show up.
If they do, maybe enough people will “not attend” that it will be a non-event."
"NOOOOO! Do not bring attention to any events these people go to!
That’s what they want! They want people to come and fight them
and bring media with them.
No one should ever cover(or go to)
any story or event this group does or attends. BAD NEWS!"
These are the same "non-confrontational" strategies people wanted to employ when the skinheads come marching through town. And while I understand this way of thinking, I believe it's outdated, wrong, and never works. It's based upon an "Ostrich Strategy". If i put my head in the sand and ignore it, it will pass me by. And while you put your head in the sand, the groups feeds, lives and grows. Ignorance and evil must be checked, parried, and destroyed. It must be confronted directly, history has shown that to do less, is to invite travesty. I leave you with a pair of quotes:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
So, often when you hear the right talk about Muslims in relation to terrorism, they state that their biggest problem is that "Moderate Muslims" are not standing up. "Moderate Muslims" are not letting their voices be heard, "Moderate Muslims" are letting a few rogue members of their faith warp the public's perception. In that same vein I ask, in the wake of the Oscar Grant murder and the subsequent slap on the wrist for former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle, where are the voices of the Righteous Police Officers? Johannes Mehserle shot, and killed a detained, unarmed man from point blank range, and he will be eligible for release in less than 7 months. Where are the Moderate police officers? Where are their voices, their cries of outrage?
Now before we go on, this is not an anti-cop rant. I do not believe all cops are bad, or all cops are racists, anymore than I believe that all black people like watermelon, or anymore than I believe that all Muslims are terrorists. In effort to promote full disclosure, my family bleeds blue. I have cousins, friends and fraternity brothers "on the job". My father was a state trooper murdered in the line of duty. My godfather was a police officer in Detroit, I empathize with and understand the plight of Police Officers. Which is why rogue cops enrage me, which is why racist cops drive me insane. These felons in cops clothing make it harder on the rest of the law abiding, upstanding officers who are trying to Serve and Protect.
But for you officers out there on the fence, hiding behind the shield, know this. When your voices are not heard, you make communities believe the worst. When your cries of outrage are non-existent, a community turns it back and looses hope. When the price of a black man's life is 7 months in jail, a community start to do the math. They add things up and realize that Plaxico Buress got more time for shooting himself, that Micheal Vick got more time for killing dogs. To the moderate police officers, this Johannes Mehserle is not one of you, he perverts your teachings, he does violence in your name, he cloaks himself in symbols and murders the innocent. Yeah, he knows your language, and goes where you gather, but he is not one of you, he and his kind are extremists, and when you do not speak against him, you make communities believe he is the norm, he is the constant, he is the control, and the rest of us are the experiment. It is times like these when the "big blue wall of silence" and the "stop snitching" campaign seem to be different sides of the same coin.
Oscar Grant was shot in the back, while detained and he was unarmed. The convicted criminal Johannes Mehserle will probably get about 7 months in jail. A mother has lost her son, a daughter has lost her father, a community has lost it's faith. And your voices, the voices that could help convince us that this man was indeed a rogue; Your voices, the voices that could show us that you understand our anger, Your voices, the voices that could help us see you are indeed here to Serve and Protect, are quiet. And your silence is DEAFENING.