🌈Then They Came For Me

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

No matter how many times I read this poem, written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, I never fail to be moved by the words.  Niemöller penned this in 1946, at the end of WWII, the end of the Holocaust that took more than 6 million lives.  It is engraved on a plaque at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts, and is known worldwide.  The poem speaks volumes and should serve as a warning to people all around the world today.

I have shared this poem before, used it in different contexts, for it seems that “they” are always coming for someone.  But today, the fourth day in Pride Month, I am especially moved to share it for it seems many people, groups, politicians, and religious leaders are coming for the LGBTQ community.  Our friends, our neighbors, our family … are being vilified, even threatened with their very lives if they dare to be publicly proud of who they are.

In addition to coming for the LGBTQ community, “they” are coming for women, for people of colour, for Jewish people.  Apparently in “their” eyes, the only people who have a right to be proud are white, Christian, straight males.  The rest of us are the dirt beneath their feet.  If we hide in our closets, wear camouflage in hopes of not being noticed, if we do not speak out against the atrocities being committed against the LGBTQ community and others, then perhaps we will be overlooked and allowed to exist.  For now.  Until someday …

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Padre Steve on “‘Targeting’ Pride” …

One week from today will be the beginning of Pride Month, and I have grave concerns for the nation, especially for the LGBTQ community.  Pride Month is meant to be a time for celebration, a time of great joy for people who have been repressed and suppressed for centuries and are finally getting the respect we all deserve.  But this year … this year feels different, for there are threats of violence against the LGBTQ community … threats stoked by politicians like Ron DeSantis, fueled by religious leaders and media outlets such as Fox ‘News’.  There was that ludicrous “scandal” about Bud Lite beer, and more recently employees of Target stores nationwide have been threatened and harassed, ultimately causing Target to remove or relocate some of their Pride merchandise.  I am incensed … everybody should be!

There are two “men of the cloth” for whom I have great respect.  One is John Pavlovitz, whom most of you are familiar with, and the other is Padre Steve Dundas, a recently retired lifetime Army and Navy Officer and Chaplain.  This morning, Padre Steve posted the following on his Substack account, and his words simply must be shared.  He is angry, as am I, that humanity and caring for others seems to be taking a backseat in this nation to prejudice, hatred, and violence.

“Targeting” Pride

Steve Dundas

25 May 2023

It seems that emboldened Christian extremists in the South, read MAGA States are making headway in their efforts to force major retailers to remove LGBTQ+ merchandise from their stores. Their efforts are criminal. They have wrecked displays, damaged merchandise, and threatened employees at Target stores throughout the South. In response, Target has removed merchandise from some stores or relocated it to less visible places in their stores. See this article: https://apple.news/AK07RIGLTR3u1RTJNdp6wIA

The attacks are being driven by intentionally misleading reporting from Fox News, other Right Wing propaganda outlets, as well as Republican political leaders and Right Wing Christian Nationalist “Pastors”, and organizations like the American Family Institute.

My thoughts. First, I don’t think that Target or any other retailers should bow down to hate filled violent anti-LGBTQ+ persecutors. I think that they should call Law Enforcement and have those that damage property, and threaten or harm employees or other customers arrested, and press charges. Not to do so is to embolden them to commit more acts of violence and vandalism, in other words to precipitate an anti-LGBTQ+ version of the Nazi Kristallnacht. It is no different, it may be smaller in scope, and not yet back by the police power of the State, but in every State where these attacks are happening multiple laws are being passed to limit the civil rights of LGBTQ+ citizens.

Second, if the shoe was on the other foot, and people opposed to Christianity went into a Target and vandalized specifically Christian religious merchandise in seasonal Easter or Christmas sections, or went to the “Inspirational” books section and destroyed Bibles or books on the Christian life, what would happen?

Please click link to read the rest!!!

Four Freedoms??? Hmmmmm … 🤔

On January 6th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his State of the Union Address.  This speech would come to be known as the Four Freedoms Speech, for he talked at some length about the four freedoms he believed that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear

Today, the Republican Party has its own set of ‘four freedoms’ that are not nearly so noble as were those of President Roosevelt.  New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie explains …

The Four Freedoms, According to Republicans

Jamelle Bouie

19 May 2023

On Tuesday, Republicans in North Carolina overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto to pass a strict limit on bodily autonomy in the form of a 12-week abortion ban.

In addition to this new limit on abortion, the law extends the waiting period for people seeking abortions to 72 hours and puts onerous new rules on clinics. As intended, the net effect is to limit access to abortion and other reproductive health services to everyone but those with the time and resources to seek care outside the state.

North Carolina Republicans are obviously not the only ones fighting to ban, limit or restrict the right to bodily autonomy, whether abortion or gender-affirming health care for transgender people. All across the country, Republicans have passed laws to do exactly that wherever they have the power to do so, regardless of public opinion in their states or anywhere else. The war on bodily autonomy is a critical project for nearly the entire G.O.P., pursued with dedication by Republicans from the lowliest state legislator to the party’s powerful functionaries on the Supreme Court.

You might even say that in the absence of a national leader with a coherent ideology and agenda, the actions of Republican-led states and legislatures provide the best guide to what the Republican Party wants to do and the best insight into the society it hopes to build.

I have already made note of the attack on bodily autonomy, part of a larger effort to restore traditional hierarchies of gender and sexuality. What else is on the Republican Party’s agenda, if we use those states as our guide to the party’s priorities?

There is the push to free business from the suffocating grasp of child labor laws. Republican lawmakers in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio have advanced legislation to make it easier for children as young as 14 to work more hours, work without a permit and be subjected to more dangerous working conditions. The reason to loosen child labor laws — as a group of Wisconsin Republicans explained in a memo in support of a bill that would allow minors to serve alcohol at restaurants — is to deal with a shortage of low-wage workers in those states.

There are other ways to solve this problem — you could raise wages, for one — but in addition to making life easier for the midsize-capitalist class that is the material backbone of Republican politics, freeing businesses to hire underage workers for otherwise adult jobs would undermine organized labor and public education, two bêtes noires of the conservative movement.

Elsewhere in the country, Republican-led legislatures are placing harsh limits on what teachers and other educators can say in the classroom about American history or the existence of L.G.B.T.Q. people. This week in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that bans discussion in general education courses at public institutions of “theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political and economic inequities.” He also signed a bill that prohibits state colleges and universities from spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs beyond what is necessary to retain accreditation as educational institutions.

Nationwide, Republicans in at least 18 states have passed laws or imposed bans designed to keep discussion of racial discrimination, structural inequality and other divisive concepts out of classrooms and far away from students.

Last but certainly not least is the Republican effort to make civil society a shooting gallery. Since 2003, Republicans in 25 states have introduced and passed so-called constitutional carry laws, which allow residents to have concealed weapons in public without a permit. In most of those states, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, it is also legal to openly carry a firearm in public without a permit.

Republicans have also moved aggressively to expand the scope of “stand your ground” laws, which erode the longstanding duty to retreat in favor of a right to use deadly force in the face of perceived danger. These laws, which have been cited to defend shooters in countless cases, such as George Zimmerman in 2013, are associated with a moderate increase in firearm homicide rates, according to a 2022 study published in JAMA Network Open. Republicans, however, say they are necessary.

“If someone tries to kill you, you should have the right to return fire and preserve your life,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, who introduced a national “stand your ground” bill this month. “It’s time to reaffirm in law what exists in our Constitution and in the hearts of our fellow Americans,” he added. “We must abolish the legal duty of retreat everywhere.”

It should be said as well that some Republicans want to protect gun manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits. Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee did just that this month — after a shooting in Nashville killed six people, including three children, in March — signing a bill that gives additional protections to the gun industry.

What should we make of all this? In his 1941 State of the Union address, Franklin Roosevelt said there was “nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy” and that he, along with the nation, looked forward to “a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.” Famously, those freedoms were the “freedom of speech and expression,” the “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way,” the “freedom from want” and the “freedom from fear.” Those freedoms were the guiding lights of his New Deal, and they remained the guiding lights of his administration through the trials of World War II.

There are, I think, four freedoms we can glean from the Republican program.

There is the freedom to control — to restrict the bodily autonomy of women and repress the existence of anyone who does not conform to traditional gender roles.

There is the freedom to exploit — to allow the owners of business and capital to weaken labor and take advantage of workers as they see fit.

There is the freedom to censor — to suppress ideas that challenge and threaten the ideologies of the ruling class.

And there is the freedom to menace — to carry weapons wherever you please, to brandish them in public, to turn the right of self-defense into a right to threaten other people.

Roosevelt’s four freedoms were the building blocks of a humane society — a social democratic aspiration for egalitarians then and now. These Republican freedoms are also building blocks not of a humane society but of a rigid and hierarchical one, in which you can either dominate or be dominated.

Filosofa’s Meandering Mind …

What Is R.E.S.P.E.C.T.?

Yesterday, I played Aretha Franklin’s wonderful song, R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  And then, I did my usual perusal of the day’s news and a question began to form in my mind:  What, precisely, is respect?  My first answer was that it is something we have far too little of in this world today.

A quick look at the online dictionary gives two definitions for the word “respect”:

  • a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
  • due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

Both are apt, I think, and certainly there are people who deserve our respect as per the first definition, though we might not agree on who those people are.  But the context in which I typically speak of respect is more aligned with the second definition … which can be simplified by my motto:  Live and Let Live!!!

So, let’s talk about this just a bit.  I’ve written about this before and will no doubt have occasion to write about it again, but I keep trying to understand, and keep hoping to make a difference somehow, even if only to open one mind.

I am a woman and I believe in women’s rights.  I believe in women having the same rights as men to vote, to be treated and compensated fairly in the workplace.  I believe women have just as much right as a man to own property, to divorce her spouse if a marriage isn’t working, and to make her own decisions about her own body.  I believe that a woman has a right to have access to birth control and to have an abortion if she deems that is what’s right for her, just as a man has a right to have a vasectomy if he decides he does not wish to sire children.  This does not, however, mean that I don’t respect women who choose not to have an abortion.  It is every woman’s own personal decision … it is NOT the decision of legislators, governors, and Supreme Court justices – or at least it should not be.  Just because I believe in the right to an abortion does not in any way mean that I would impose my will on your body.  It should, however, work the other way too.

Respect is a two-way street.  IF you expect me to respect your rights, then you must also respect mine … that’s just the way it works.

I am also an atheist, but I am very careful to show respect for other people’s religious beliefs as long as they do not harm anyone.  The law of this land, the U.S. Constitution, provides for freedom of religion … that means you can follow Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or be an atheist … you cannot be discriminated against for it!  But, the law of the land also calls for a “wall of separation between church and state” so that no one religion can become the national religion to the exclusion of all others.  I don’t tell you where to go to church or what to believe, and I respect your right to believe as you wish, but again … it must work the other way, too.  You must, in turn, respect my right to not believe in the religious rites and rituals of any religion.

I keep asking why people are so determined to attempt to force everyone into their own mold, and I think perhaps the answer boils down to fear of the unknown or the misunderstood.  Perhaps people spend so much time living in their narrow enclaves that they do not understand the world and therefore fear it.  Fear is a powerful motivator, and unfortunately people in power, whether political heads or religious heads, know how to use fear to drive hatred.  And We the People, like a herd of cattle, allow ourselves to be driven.

In this country, it is fear of Black people, fear of Muslims, fear of LGBTQ people, that are keeping the country so divided that it is truly a tinderbox just waiting for someone to throw a lit match.  You mind if I let you in on a little secret?  I have Black friends, Muslim friends, gay friends and trans friends, Christian friends, atheist friends, agnostic friends, and Jewish friends, and I love them all … I do not fear any of them.  I respect them, their beliefs, and it is in part our differences that keep our friendships interesting!  We learn from one another!  Wouldn’t the world be a lackluster, boring place if we were all exactly the same?

We need to learn to embrace our differences, to respect others’ rights as we expect them to respect ours, and we need to learn to LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!  If we don’t, we will soon destroy ourselves, destroy the nation from within, and turn it into some dystopian society in which nobody would want to live.

Stop It!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am sickened and disgusted by the recent surge in intolerance and downright hatred against the LGBTQ community.  We are all humans, for Pete’s Sake!  What does it matter who another person chooses to love or how they choose to live?  I was surprised and pleased to see Dan Rather address this topic, so I will turn the floor over to him and Elliott Kirschner now …

Stop It

Attacks on the transgender community

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

15 April 2023

We are facing many threats and challenges to our nation’s prosperity and security. These include a belligerent China, the war in Ukraine, economic disruption, our global climate crisis, and even the specter of artificial intelligence, just to name a few. 

These are the issues government should be debating and legislating. 

And yet Republican statehouses and Fox News would have you believe our greatest threat is drag queen reading hour. 

It’s meant to be a divisive distraction. 
It’s lunacy, but it is also a dangerous injustice. And a tragedy. 

You can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its most vulnerable, marginalized, and ostracized. 

History is replete with the horrors inflicted by those who wielded the power of position and privilege against those who had little to none of either. Persecution has taken many forms — legal, cultural, economic, and social. It has led to unimaginable suffering, violence, and death — even reaching the scale of genocide. 

About this, there are many lessons from the past to be heeded. Divisive hatred should be called out and rebuffed. And it is especially incumbent on those outside the group being persecuted to stand in meaningful solidarity. An attack against one segment of society is an attack against all whose existence might challenge a narrow definition of what is considered “acceptable.”

Right now, few groups face more direct hostility than the transgender community. There is a wave of animus sweeping the nation. It is being codified into law, wielded as invective, and used as a springboard to violence. 

This divisiveness and scapegoating pose a threat to our ideals. And thus they are a threat to all who care about freedom in a pluralistic constitutional republic based on the principles of democracy. 

More fundamentally, those under attack are fellow human beings who deserve the same respect and opportunity to live their lives as anyone else. 

There are a lot of reasons bigots are focusing their hatred on transgender people. Gender fluidity is a concept foreign to how many were raised, and thus it can be disorienting to comprehend. It challenges the binary many of us learned as children and believed to be utterly fundamental.

“What did you have?” is often the first question new mothers are asked from family and friends. And the implications of the query are understood even if they go unstated: Did you have a boy or a girl? 

It is also understood that the implications of that question will endure far beyond infancy. Gender is seen as portentous for what the rest of life will entail. There was a time when biological sex determined everything from one’s likely occupation to one’s legal rights. Boys and girls have different aisles in toy stores and sections in clothing departments. 

In many ways, we have made progress toward gender equality. We have women in positions of political power and leading businesses. We have women firefighters, police officers, and pilots. But we also still have a ways to go. And the recent rollback of abortion rights shows we are capable of losing ground. 

Into all of this complexity comes the rise in trans awareness and its backlash. While it is understandable that children and adults who do not fit into a traditional gender overlay could be a challenging reality for many, we should be clear that this makes it all the more important that we try to understand. 

Science informs us that gender is often a blurry concept in nature. History proves that transgender identities in humans are not new. We can gain understanding from medical and mental health professionals about responding with care and empathy. 

And we should be clear that claims of “this is abhorrent,” “this isn’t how things should be done,” “this isn’t natural,” or “this is dangerous” are the kind of rhetoric long used to attack the “other,” no matter who it may be. 

We have seen these attacks lobbed at other members of the LGBTQ community. We have seen them target interracial marriage, the customs of non-Christians, and communities of immigrants. 

We have seen discrimination wielded time and again as a cudgel for those with power to bolster their standing by picking on others. It is bullying, pure and simple. 

The attacks on drag queens and others in transgender communities as “groomers” or prone to child abuse are particularly despicable. There is no evidence backing these allegations. And those who push them are often conveniently quiet about those who have been prosecuted for abuse but belong to groups more aligned with conservative values, like the clergy, Boy Scouts, and even Republican politics (former House Speaker Dennis Hastert comes to mind).

The purpose of these attacks on the trans community is transparent. It’s about political power, and a power built on division. It’s about picking on those who have the least ability to defend themselves, including and especially children. 

We can try to wrestle in good faith around the implications of a changing society. We can discuss what this might mean for sports or bathroom design. We can be sympathetic to those who are still early in their journey of understanding. 

But as history has shown, we should not be quiet. We should not look the other way. We should not allow this hatefulness to take root and distract us from the real problems with which we must contend. 

Those who are being targeted must know that they are not alone.

USA Today: Most Americans Think It’s Good to Be WOKE

Sometimes it seems that those of us with a social conscience, those of us who believe in equality and humanity, are reviled with the use of the new term ‘woke’ that is bandied about like something distasteful and disgusting. But guess what? The majority of people actually believe that ‘woke’, as used in the 21st century vernacular, is a good thing! Take a look at Diane Ravitch’s post …

Diane Ravitch's blog

Take that, DeSatanis!

USA Today conducted a poll and found that most Americans think it’s good to be “woke.”

Republican presidential hopefuls are vowing to wage a war on “woke,” but a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds a majority of Americans are inclined to see the word as a positive attribute, not a negative one.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed say the term means “to be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.” That includes not only three-fourths of Democrats but also more than a third of Republicans.

Overall, 39% say instead that the word reflects what has become the GOP political definition, “to be overly politically correct and police others’ words.” That’s the view of 56% of Republicans.

So, do you want to be informed and aware?

Or do you prefer to be uninformed and asleep?

By the way, I got an email inviting me to attend…

View original post 52 more words

American Values???

I rarely bother to read ‘public opinion’ polls or surveys … but yesterday a Wall Street Journal/NORC survey caught my eye and so I delved a bit deeper.  The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and I have a contentious relationship and they wouldn’t let me read more than a couple of paragraphs, so I had to search elsewhere and found a fairly comprehensive analysis of the survey on the New York Post who at least didn’t insist I sign my life savings over to them simply to read the article.

The survey analyzes the values such as religion, community involvement, patriotism, raising children, tolerance for others, etc., that the people in the U.S. consider to be most important to them.  The first thing that caught my eye was that while many of these values were no longer as important to people as they were a couple of decades ago, one thing had increased in value in their eyes:  money.  Yep, folks, the almighty dollar has surpassed education, family, community, country, and humanity in value for the far too many who call themselves ‘Americans.’

A few of the results:

  • Compared to a 1998 survey (25 years ago), only 39% of Americans say that religion is important to them, as compared to 62% in 1998.
  • Just 38% of Americans say patriotism is “very important” to them, down from 70% who said the same in 1998. This, I can very easily understand, for as one respondent noted, “For me, patriotism has turned into right-wing nationalism.’’  I would agree.
  • The share of Americans who valued involvement in their community as “very important” fell to 27% — down from a high of 62% in 2019, the last time the question was polled.
  • The percentage of Americans who said raising children was “very important” fell to 30% in the new poll, down from 59% in 1998. Again, not too surprising given the state of the world today.

The single ‘value’, if it can be said to be a value, that increased in the survey was money, with 43% calling it “very important” compared to 31% who said the same in 1998.  Okay, so 43% isn’t a majority, isn’t a huge number, but it’s still jaw-dropping.  In this day, when we’ve seen so much pain and suffering largely as a result of corporate greed and wealth inequality, to hear that more people value money over humanitarian values is discouraging for the future of humans.

But the one item that really raised my hackles and left me spluttering curses was this:

  • A plurality of Americans (43%) say society has “gone too far” in accepting transgender people, compared to 33% who say society hasn’t gone far enough and 23% who say the US has been “about right.”

Time for a few deep breaths before I implode.

It seems to me that the people of this country have been so spoiled for so long that they have lost track of what really matters.  There is a portion of the population who refer to themselves as “pro-life”, but it seems to me that they have a very narrow definition of what ‘life’ is.  Life … all life, not only human life … is the axis upon which the planet rotates.  Money?  The day will come when money, such as we know it, is valueless and then the 43% of fools who drooled over the almighty dollar will be left scratching their heads and begging for a morsel of food just like the rest of us.  Homogeneity?  Why should anyone give a damn about skin colour or sexual orientation???  It’s not anyone’s business!!!  Who would want to live in a world where everyone looked, acted and thought the exact same?  We could never grow, never learn new things, but would be stuck in a boring, same ol’ same ol’ world.

I realize this is but one poll and may or may not be representative of the larger whole, but it still speaks volumes about the values, or lack thereof, of at least some people in this nation.

Why it Matters

The following post from a guest commentator over at Scottie’s blog is the most successful analysis I have read that views what we are seeing today, not only in the U.S. but ’round the globe, and connects it to a historical context that is truly uncanny. There is no hyperbole, no exaggeration, just thoughtful analysis. Thank you Scottie and Randy for this excellent piece.

Scottie's Playtime

This is a guest post from Randy.   As most people here already know Randy is someone I admire greatly.  Randy is my online brother and a member of our family.   Randy is smart, funny, caring, kind, willing to reach out a hand to those in need while also willing to stand up to protect others.   Randy is the kind of guy who if he knew a co-worker had no other way to get to a much needed job during a snow storm he would get up out of his warm bed and go take them to work.   And not ask any for doing it.   I have asked Randy if he would be a guest author as he has time.  He has delighted me with the first two posts of what I hope will be many more.    Thank you my brother, Hugs.

Why it Matters

In this era of Blue…

View original post 1,122 more words

Another Nasty Comes Out From The Woodwork

Today, I want to introduce you to a man who currently holds the position of Lieutenant Governor of the state of North Carolina, Mr. Mark Keith Robinson.

Mr. Robinson has only held the office of Lieutenant Governor for just over two years, but next month, on April 22nd, he plans to announce his candidacy for the office of Governor, hoping to replace the outgoing Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.  Before I opine on Mr. Robinson, let’s take a quick look at his qualifications for the position.

After high school, Robinson served in the Army Reserve, then worked at several furniture factories, during which time he took history classes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with the goal of securing a degree and becoming a history teacher.  He did not finish at the University, nor did he earn a degree.  His interest in ‘conservative’ politics he credits to a book he read by … of all people … Rush Limbaugh, the ultra-bigoted conspiracy-theorist political commentator.  That said, Mr. Robinson has virtually no qualifications to be Governor of the State of North Carolina and hold the lives of some 10.55 million people in his hands.

I will let his words speak to his views:

  • “The Rainbow is the beautiful symbol of God’ s promise to man. IT IS NOT the symbol of sickening homosexual perversion!!!!”
  • “February is Black History Month. I guess the shortest month of the year is all we need to learn about the separate but equal history of a people who have achieved so little.” (You might note from Mr. Robinson’s photo above that he, himself, is Black)

  • “I don’t believe the Moon Landing was faked and I don’t believe 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ but if I found both were true…I wouldn’t be surprised.”
  • “I am SERIOUSLY skeptical of EVERYTHING I see and have seen on television. From the murder of JFK to 9/11 to Las Vegas. EVERYTHING.”

Well, you get the idea, right?  Robinson is anti-abortion, equating it to murder even though he paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion back in 1989.  He is a climate change denier, and has indicated that he wants to remove science and social studies from first through fifth grade curriculum, as well as abolish the State Board of Education.  He is rabidly anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, and has called former President Obama “a worthless, anti-American atheist.”

Heard enough yet?  There’s plenty more where that came from1.  Mr. Robinson has declared bankruptcy three times, and has defaulted on his taxes, causing the Internal Revenue Service to place liens on him and his property more than once, most recently in 2012.

Ten years ago, I would have laughed at Mr. Robinson’s bid for the governorship, but that was before an equally nasty, unqualified ‘man’ found the path to the Oval Office in 2016, and now all bets are off.  What I found even more disturbing than Robinson’s bigotry and hate-filled rhetoric is the support he has garnered.  He won the Lieutenant Governorship by a relatively slim margin of 3.26% over Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley in 2020 with some 2,800,655 votes.  Nearly 3 million people in the state of North Carolina like this buffoon so filled with hatred and racism!!!  One of my sources listed a link to Robinson’s Facebook page, so I went and took a look for myself.  I only viewed a handful, maybe 10 of his posts, and nothing was too terribly disgusting … until I got to the comments.  Readers telling him how much they loved him, telling him he would have their vote for Governor, and several even envisioning him as President some day!  Seriously, people, common sense has done flown out the damned window throughout this nation, not just in North Carolina!

For the sake of my own sanity, I spent only about 5 minutes perusing Mr. Robinson’s Facebook page and the comments, shot off two one-liners questioning the commenter’s sanity, then returned back to my own world!  However, if you’re interested, feel free to do a little digging of your own, using the link above.

There are 20 months remaining until the 2024 elections.  Somehow, some way, we MUST educate the people of this country, must show them the dangerous waters people like Mark Keith Robinson would lead this nation into.  I don’t know how, but … somehow.  If I believed in the power of prayer, I would fall to my knees and beg god to instill some common sense into the people of this nation.  Sadly, that is not going to happen, so We the People must work to try to open the eyes of the blind.

1  Sources include, but not limited to:  Wikipedia, Axios, Talking Points Memo (TPM), WSOC TV, Raleigh News & Observer.

♫ Everyday People ♫ (Redux)

Most often, I just like a song for the music … the tune, the singer(s), the rhythm, and there is no real rhyme nor reason … I just like what I like.  But there are a few songs that I also like for the message, and Everyday People is one of those.  Today, in the U.S. and other parts of the world, the message is one that … is even more relevant than it was in 1968 when this song was released.  Today, the bigots, homophobes,  and racists, those who believe they are somehow “better” than others, seem the loudest voices in the land.  It disgusts and sickens me, some days so much so that I just want to bow out of the human species.

The meaning in this song isn’t deep, mysterious or cryptic … it is quite simple:  we are all the same … everyday people.  Nobody is better than another.  Personally, I think this song should be required to be played in every church, synagogue and mosque throughout the world, for it gets down to the basics of what religion ought to be about.  You get this message down, then the rest follows naturally.

The song was originally released by Sly and the Family Stone in 1968 and was the first single by the band to go to #1.

milk.h1The song was used in the movie Milk, about gay rights activist Harvey Milk who, in 1977 when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, became the first openly gay elected official in the United States.  Less than one year later, on November 27, 1978, Milk was gunned down along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.  The shooter was Supervisor Dan White, a conservative board member who had campaigned on a platform of law and order, civic pride, and family values.  The movie is worth a watch, if you haven’t seen it.milk shootingSly & the Family Stone was a mash up of musical styles with band members of different genders and ethnic backgrounds — they lived the message they sang about.  And now, I’ve chattered enough … just listen …

Everyday People
Sly & the Family Stone

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in

I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

Oh sha sha we got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in

I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair that doesn’t like the short hair
For bein’ such a rich one that will not help the poor one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

Oh sha sha we got to live together

There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one that won’t accept the white one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

I am everyday people

Songwriters: Sylvester Stewart
Everyday People (from Milk) (Re-Recorded / Remastered) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC