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The Bronze Age

January 18, 2021

19 years ago, on a beach in Barbados, I embarked on a journey that has seen me grow and develop as a person.

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As Donald Trump is de-platformed banned internet spaces from Twitter to PornHub there are two camps, those joyously celebrating and those screaming about a violation of 1st Amendment rights. As with all things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

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This is America, actually.

January 7, 2021

After the attempted coup, by a right wing fascist mob, emboldened by Donald Trump, many people, mostly all white, were quick to claim this is not America. It is, in fact, America, writ large.

Let’s start with the fundamental reason all these people were there in the first place, to “Stop the Steal”. The primary reason they believed the election was stolen from their white supremacist candidate of choice, is because there was high voter turnout in black and brown communities. The GOP wins elections by suppressing voter turnout. This has been their playbook since they were Democrats. Let me put it another way that’s easy to understand, white supremacy in America is maintained by suppressing the votes of black and brown people. They have been doing it for a while, they are spectacularly good at it. Consider the fact the Constitution, you know the ‘all men are created equal’ document that held up as the shining exemplar, had to be amended twice to allow black people and women the vote. Land ownership, Poll Tax, Literacy tests, Jim Crow, purging voter rolls, limiting early voting, Vote ID Laws, redistricting, this is America.

People have been protesting injustice in America for decades but the only time we seem to get overwhelming uses of force is when white supremacy is being addressed. The Capitol police know for their excessive use for force were incredibly docile and well mannered around this mob. Protestors in wheelchairs, fear not, we will cuff and drag them out of here. People marching to protest systemic racism, don’t worry, we’ll get the military to back us up on that. There is no way I can be convinced that Capitol police were not deliberately unprepared for this. DC is one of the most policed cities in America and no one knew there were thousands of protestors coming, no one knew that there was a protest starting nearby shortly before both chambers assembled. I find that hard to believe. People stormed the Capitol building, destroyed property, removed the US flag (and replaced it with a Trump flag), trespassed in congressional offices, stole items, paraded with, and hung multiple white supremacists flags, but still had time pose for selfies with law enforcement and get assistance leaving the building, mostly uninjured and without penalty. Police attempting to de-escalate with white terrorists, police being passive and non-threatening with white terrorist, giving violent and often armed white protestors the benefit of the doubt, lack of mass arrest in the face of violence by white people, this is America.

The most American thing about this whole incident is the instigator in chief gets a slap on the wrist from social media and members of Congress get to pretend they haven’t been enabling this for years. All the flowery orations and pretty press releases are not going to change the fact that America is build on white supremacy and what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2020 may have come as a surprise to some people but it shouldn’t have. Black and brown people have been asking the same questions for generations and getting the same platitudes. There will be no real consequences as a results of these events. Not listening to and marginalizing non-white voices talking about white supremacy, prioritizing white comfort over non-white lives, this is America.

Upon further reflection

December 31, 2020

wherein your erstwhile narrator looks back on the year that was.

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Racism and sexism have always been a part and parcel of the American experience.

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I was asked to reflect on what my race can do to improve for a class in my Master’s program. This is what I submitted, the last sentence seems so appropriate right now.

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I am being very deliberate in my use of the word THUG especially as a racist dog whistle to describe black men.

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Silverware, Peridot, Wax

January 18, 2018

Sixteen years of marriage is a lot different, it’s being older and wiser, it means you realize you don’t know everything and it takes compromise and understanding and accepting things will not always be perfect or right.

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I am a huge Hunter S. Thompson fan and this administration sorely needs someone with a visceral way with words to eviscerate them the way Mr. Thompson did to Nixon.

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Ask an immigrant

February 3, 2017

I posted this as a response to someone and I think it bears repeating and expanding a little.

as an immigrant, someone who has been through the process (including being denied re-admission and spending the night in a detention center in an orange jumpsuit), i’d like to point out a couple of issues that no one seems to be addressing.

1. Permanent Residents (green card holders) who are/were out of the country are being denied re-admission and forced to sign documents to give up their permanent resident status. There are only a few reasons for revoking permanent resident status and outside of a felony conviction, they generally require an order from an immigration judge for which the petitioner should be present.

1b. The Permanent Resident process requires at least two in person interviews, usually takes two or three years to complete and runs somewhere in the vicinity of $5,000-8,000 in fees without the use of a lawyer. This process also requires multiple sets of paperwork to be filed. There are the initial application forms, change of address forms, biographic information forms. Any error, either deliberately or by omission will usually result in your application being denied and the process beginning again. Additionally, permanent residents are fingerprinted and photographed on multiple occasions and required to have a physical at USCIS appointed doctors only.

2. any one that was in transit and arrived in the US when the EO was rolled out and denied admission at that time cannot reenter the country or apply for a new visa without a waiver for 5-10 years, at least.

2b. Refugee visas require more in-person interviews than Permanent Residents, and include interviews with the FBI.

People believe immigration to the US is a simple process. It is not. It is a multi-year, highly intrusive and in some cases, expensive process during which every facet of your life is under a microscope. Saying we haven’t been vetted is insulting both to immigrants and the people that do the work. #askanimmigrant