Bridging the Gap
BY RUTH ANN SATCHFIELD
The other day there was a rude Republican troll commenting in a group to which I belong. One of the things she said, made me think. She was trying to insult another member, and she said she lived in Spokane Washington for a year and she hated it. She called the people hateful. I lived there for six years, and found the people to be warm and friendly. To her and others of that ilk, I would say sometimes you get back what you put out.
That got me to thinking. Many of the polls are saying that the USA is starting back left. We want it to continue in that direction, so maybe we need to work hard at being nice to people with which we disagree in politics. I am not talking about the hateful Republican trolls. It is easy to think of all Republicans as like those trolls, but they are not. Many are Republicans because the NRA has them convinced that the Democrats are coming for their guns, or is banishing God from wherever they wish him to be. Republicans are all about control. If you have dealt with people who have been abused, they are about control too. They are afraid because one time they were abused, and had no control, so that becomes very important to them. The Republicans in this country are controlled by fear. We have watched their leaders use fear to get them to vote the way the leaders wanted. Some of their fear is irrational. For instance, no one is coming for their guns. Yet many on the right still believe they are. They believe it so much, that they won't even support reasonable gun laws. They don't realize they have lost control, and are being programmed by the NRA.
The Reality of War
BY ERIC SMITH
There is an old saying and that is those who make the wars are not the ones who fight the wars. To those of us who have not served in our military and fought battles on our nation's behalf, war is a very abstract thing. We instinctively marvel at the spectacle of ships being blown up, tanks being incinerated, planes being shot down, and buildings reduced to rubble by artillery fire. We love the sight of men in arms and seeing images of all types of powerful weapons being fired. The sound of the rat tat tat and the booms of ordnance going off gives us a rush. It is pure spectacle for those of us who see these things from the comfort & safety of our homes and movie theaters.
Yet for the actual participants of wars and their families the reality of war is far different for with every ship we being blown up, with every tank we see being incinerated, with every plane shot down, and with every building reduced to rubble by artillery fire, we see men and women (and in many cases children) no different from ourselves in their agonizing, terrifying,final moments on this Earth. When we witness these things what we are really seeing is human beings having their limbs blown off. We really them being burned alive, and we see them crying out in sheer terror, and agony.
BY ERIC SMITH
Of all the things we should not be debating in the year 2013, the question of gender equality is at or near the top of the list. Yet the Republican Party, fueled by its male dominated Conservative base, is now engaged in an all out war on women's rights. It is attempting inch by inch, step by step, to return America to those days when women were second class citizens at best, and "property" of their male counterparts at worst. The Republican Party is seeking to strip women of their fundamental humanity by denying them full human rights, chief among which is the right to be treated as we males wish to be treated, with dignity, respect, and the right to decide and to act in our personal best interests.
At the Federal, state, municipal level and in our courts the rights of women to maintain control of their own bodies, to decide their own healthcare, and be equally compensated as their male counterparts for doing the same work for the same amount of time, is under attack and in danger of being rolled back. It begs the question of what is wrong with the men who are leading these attacks and what is even more wrong with the women who actually support them in making these attacks for at the heart of the issue we men are not qualified to determine what is best for a woman because by being men we do not know what it is to be a woman.
Oh we can guess, and imagine what it is like but do we have the right to impose the solutions drawn from our guesses on the problems of women themselves; problems that are unique to one being a woman? I don't think that we men have that right. On questions pertaining to prenatal care and whether or not a woman should choose an abortion, we men should not be deciding what is best for our female counterparts because we men do not have any idea what it is like to be pregnant.
BY ERIC SMITH
As an African American man, I take a lot of pride in recognizing the role the African American Church played in offering refuge, safety, and inspiration to my African American forebears during the worst days of slavery and segregation. The calls for justice and full equality have rung out from the pulpits of African American churches from the dawning days of the Republic; the overall theme being that since God loved all equally that all must be made equally free. This was the spirit that moved legions of our forebears to willfully bear the rope of Judge Lynch, the bombing of their homes, the policeman's billy clubs, water hoses, and attack dogs.
The African American church was at the forefront of this struggle and helping to lead the fight for full equality not just for black people but for all people. Yet tragically today, you homophobic African American ministers who are the direct beneficiaries of the sacrifices made in behalf of this struggle are now desecrating your church and dishonoring your Faith & your people, by invoking that very same God your forebears invoked to free you, to keep your gay brothers and sisters from becoming fully free. You are calling upon your God of Liberation to become the God of Segregation when it comes to your fellow citizens who happen to be gay.
BY ERIC SMITH
There is a great lie being told to the America these days. In fact, this lie is one of the whoppers of all time. It is a lie being told by Ron Paul and his son Rand. The lie they're telling us is that the Libertarian Party is for Liberty. It is not for the "Liberty" that the Libertarian Party is speaking of is the "Liberty" of White Supremacy; it is the "freedom" of a Master Race to do with all other races & peoples as it see's fit; their individual freedoms be damned.
The Libertarians say they want to return America to the days immediately following the American Revolution; to have our national Constitution interpreted as our Founding Fathers interpreted it. I've got news for you, when it comes to Liberty, our Founding Fathers were frauds. They didn't believe in freedom so much as wanting to be free of being oppressed by the British government. They objected to being treated by King George III the same way they treated everyone else who was not white, Protestant, or male.
Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, came about because the white males in the American colonies wanted freedom for themselves and only for themselves. If it were otherwise then the words "All men are created equal" would have read "All people are created equal" instead. If creating a Land of Liberty had been our Founding Fathers true intent, then the slaves would have been immediately emancipated and all the former slaves and women of voting age would have been given the right to vote.
BY ERIC SMITH
On the evening of October 23rd, 1972, my father came to me and simply said "Son, Jackie Robinson died today." Now I was only seven years old at the time and still several years away from getting into sports of any kind. I knew the name Jackie Robinson well enough in that I'd seen him on Sesame Street and other TV programs of the day and I knew that he'd played baseball. I did know that he'd hit something like 142 home runs but was not impressed because by that time of course both Willie Mays and Hank Aaron who were still playing at the time had already hit well over five hundred homers apiece.
Dad looked at me and said "Son, Jackie Robinson was so much more than the number of home runs he hit." In the coming years I came to understand exactly what my Dad meant; that that gray haired seemingly old man I remembered seeing on TV programs as a child was in fact a giant among men. He was not only a hero for his time, for my time, but for all time.
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson exemplified what it meant to be a man and he defined what it was to be an American. "There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free." said Mr. Robinson in his call for equal rights. Some will argue that Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers took the greatest risk when he chose Jackie Robinson to be the one to integrate Major League Baseball in 1947 but that is not true for it was not Mr. Rickey who was charged with the task of once and for all proving the lie that is White Supremacy by playing on the white man's field, playing by his rules, and not only beating him at his own game but beating him decisively.
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