The World According to Humphrey

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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Dear Wallet

Posted by humphreysworld on June 5, 2012

Dear wallet,

You selfish, politically motivated bastard. When I look at you, empty and weak it makes me want to barf. For years you have been clamoring for pay equity in the workplace– and for what?? Don’t you sit at home watching Judge Judy all day? Oh, so you have the same degree as a man– and?! Two degrees?? Even better. Smart Ass. Just because you have to work twice as hard for 1/2 of the pay, doesn’t mean jack squat.

Clearly your needs are politically motivated.

To think, you want to buy a house, save some money, support your family– in other words get paid what you’re worth– what gives you the right? Somebody call the waahmbulance! Sorry wallet, but those tree branches hiding in your nether regions tell me otherwise. Those fallopian tubes tell me you- A, shouldn’t be working and B, if you do, you can’t possibly working as hard as a man is. Who ever heard of such a thing! How did they even let you in school? Something is wrong with this picture.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Pay equity is the right thing to do. It will right decades long wrongs, and help you actually get paid what you’re worth. Unfortunately for you wallet, I see right through this. And it’s my duty to speak for my constituents: Men and trial lawyers. They’re the ones who will be hurt most if your paycheck actually looks like a man’s. Imagine! If we paid you equitably, why, we’d have to start looking at all other forms of discrimination! Sorry, not on my watch.

The best thing for you to do is to maybe take up another job, maybe in the service industry? I figure, two is better than one- and who knows! You may end up making more than me. If your family, health, relationships and overall well-being suffers, well, sometimes we have to make sacrifices.

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. It’s not me, its you. I can’t look like I care; and frankly, I don’t. But it’s more than that. A leg up for you means a leg up for everyone, and the system can’t work that way. Not if I want to continue to benefit from it anyway.

Well, I hope you understand. No hard feelings huh? See you in November.

Sincerely,

The Republican Party.

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Posted in Culture, politics | Leave a Comment »

The War on Women

Posted by humphreysworld on March 4, 2012

I normally tend to stay away from all political commentary these days, it’s all bullshit and at this point I’m not sure if any of them actually believe what they say. But this morning I woke up and somehow must’ve accidentally tuned my dial onto This Week with George Stephanopoulos and the topic seemed to center around that fat fuck Rush Limbaugh.

Now, I heard what he said about Sandra Fluke (for the purpose of integrity and dignity I have no intentions of repeating or linking to it). Nothing about what he says should be surprising to anyone; he’s a vile excuse for a human being filled with hate that he regurgitates to the idiot masses who follow him. But what caught me about this week’s roundtable was some republican hack refuting the notion that Rush’s comments or anything the GOP has been about lately equates to a war on women.

They are trying to cut women in our pockets, in our wombs, in everything that we do and say- what else would you call it?

Is this phrase a lot of rhetoric? Sure. As this hack pointed out, there is no literal battlefield, soldiers, etc. etc. And the idea war itself is not something to be taken lightly. But what’s happening right now is real all the same. The culture wars the GOP seem content upon waging seem to toggle back and forth between women and LGBT, sometimes even managing to juggle both at the same time. And like the fight against LGBT rights, the relentless attacks from the right on women have been coming at every level of government. In the first six months of 2011, 162 new provisions related to reproductive health were introduced in the states, including gestastional bans, increased waiting periods, mandatory counseling at crisis pregnancy centers, and most recently in Virginia, a bill would require women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion. Even the flap last month around Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood- the attack is coming from all sides.

But it’s not just our wombs that are being attacked. Women have been struggling for fair pay for decades, and no matter who’s in power, the bill never seems to get anywhere. For every $1 a man makes, a white woman makes .78. For women of color, even less. And it was only when President Obama took office that women were finally protected from retaliation for reporting wage discrimination in the work place.

We can’t have sex, if we have sex we shouldn’t learn how to protect ourselves, if we get pregnant we can’t have abortions, if we become parents before we’re ready we can’t have aid, when we take our children to school we can’t get them reduced lunches, when we finally get to work we can’t get sick and if we get sick we get fired, and if we get sick we shouldn’t have healthcare and if we do have healthcare that healthcare shouldn’t cover birth control (Viagra is covered so Johnny’s rocket can keep operating into his 60s- that’s important) and even if we stay healthy and stay our asses at work longer than anyone else our money still doesn’t amount to what a man’s does.

There’s no doubt about it, the system is out to get women. And men are pulling the strings.

No matter what side of the debate you’re on (I don’t know why it’s even a debate; you don’t believe in them, don’t have them), this isn’t about abortion. This is about using women as a pawn in a political game. This is about keeping women in a position of second class to ensure we only get so far. For as long as I can remember the GOP has been using the battle of the womb to gain and keep their political power and to shift attention away from the things that matter most and which they know very little about. Unfortunately it seems to be working.

One of the knights of the political hack roundtable said this morning that the only way to take control of the situation with Rush was to outright denounce his comments about Ms. Fluke & distance themselves from his hate speech. Truth is they can’t and they won’t; they’re so busy playing to the right they don’t know which way is up. These are the clowns running for the highest level of office this country has to offer. They have no spine, no conviction, and if we’re not careful they will have us back in the 19th century, barefoot, pregnant & out of public discourse once again.

Posted in politics, Women | Leave a Comment »

The Busine$$ of the womb.

Posted by humphreysworld on February 2, 2012

I’m not sure if the Susan G Komen Foundation expected the shit storm that came their way after it was announced that they were going to pull funding from Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately for them putting women’s lives at risk for a political agenda is not something many people would take lightly. The minute the story broke, Twitter was abuzz with the story and many people- men and women- were posting their outrage to their Twitter feed. It was everywhere…. only Komen was not.

I guess they were asking themselves the same question we are were all asking- is there a defense to jeopardizing women’s lives?

The answer is of course no. But when it comes to women, women’s health, women’s wombs, the debate never seems to end. My hoo ha and millions of hoo has all over the country have been a pawn in the game of politics for decades. And what makes this latest move even more troubling is that the money that Komen pulled from Planned Parenthood was used for breast cancer screenings.

That’s right, no abortions, no birth control, no condoms. Just good old life saving cancer screening.

Thanks to the religious right who has held a candle for my womb for the past three decades, most people hear the word Planned Parenthood and they think abortion. But I’ve got news for you- 97% of what Planned Parenthood provides is healthcare services. Pap smears, birth control, flu shots, education and yes, cancer screening. You know how I know? Because I used to work for Planned Parenthood. I worked in an area that was mostly lower and middle class, where syphilus, clamydia, and teen pregnancy went head to head as the highest in the state. I saw men and women come through our doors looking for services, looking for information, looking for help. There is no doubt in my mind that were it not for Planned Parenthood many of these people would simply not be able to seek services. Sound like a game to you?

I didn’t think so. But let’s be honest with each other; this isn’t the first game that Komen has played.

It all comes down to money doesn’t it? Komen has sold its soul in exchange for cash many times in the past, including slapping their co-opted pink ribbon onto buckets of disgusting, greasy, artery clogging KFC chicken. And appease the right and ensure their budget line stays in the millions they have said to all the women who seek breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood sorry, but the mighty dollar is more important than the women we claim we’re in the business to save.

In the 24 hours since the story broke, Planned Parenthood raised $400k in response to the decision, at least 5 groups have been involved in getting in hundreds of thousands of petition signatures into Komen expressing their outrage over their political gamble, and most importantly, it brought back to the forefront the debate of our wombs.

Politics is personal, and if this isn’t proof enough for you, just take a look at the food you eat, the toys your children play with, the amount you pay for your health insurance and medication- the list goes on.

Whether or not Komen will decide to reverse the decision they have made or move forward in a show of blatant disregard for public opinion is unclear. What is clear however is the power of the people to drive this debate. It’s time to hold any member of Congress on a womb hunt accountable, donate to organizations who really are doing their part for breast cancer– just start a conversation with a friend- whatever it takes to keep the issue alive. Because the war on women’s lives is happening, and the gamble is going cost women dearly.

Posted in politics | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

What’s next for Occupy

Posted by humphreysworld on January 17, 2012

this is what democracy looks like.I spent most of the day Occupying Congress. People from all over the country came to D.C. with a message for Congress: we’re tired of the bullshit. It was a great showing from all walks of life, cats (no joke), dogs, young and old, black and white. All standing for a mostly common purpose- to end the corruption within the halls of Congress, put an end to corporate greed and get America back on track.

There’s no question the Occupy movement has helped shine a light on an epidemic of corruption that’s been going on for far too long- and it’s about fuckin time if you ask me. And yet there’s a piece of the puzzle that the movement hasn’t been– and must– talk about.

The 2012 election.

Don’t choke on your water just yet, hear me out. It would be a ridiculous fantasy to assume that the halls of Congress and government as we know it will collapse any time soon. There is no country in the world without a governing body, and as powerful as this movement is, we aren’t going to be able to dismantle a government. At least not over night.

What we can do however, is clean it up and clean it out.

How? That answer is going to be different for everybody, but it starts by removing our Members of Congress from office and electing people who are capable of actually performing the duties of public service. Democrat and Republican alike, they need to go. I know you may be thinking I’m full of shit or supporting a body that is about as functional as a car with square wheels. But don’t misread my intentions. Congress is supposed to represent the people- you and I. Right now they aren’t doing that. So it’s time to elect someone who will. Because the fact is that, until those people are out of office, they will continue to push bullshit bills like SOPA, fight cleaning up dirty coal plants, threaten women’s reproductive health choices and so much more.

They HAVE to go.

President Obama is by no means perfect. He’s made some decisions I cannot support. But if we supported the man blindly without question he could get away with anything- that’s how Congress has been able to do it haven’t they? It’s our duty as citizens of this earth to question elected officials. It’s also our duty to get them the fuck out if they step out of line. And if the 535 members of Congress were actually interested in doing the public’s bidding rather than the corporations of this country, President Obama wouldn’t have had to make the choices he’s been forced to do.

Is voting the solution? Maybe, maybe not. But removing them from power is one step towards ending corruption in Congress. If we want to occupy everything we need to look at the halls of Congress as well. Power corrupts, but only if you are for sale.

Take to the streets, take to city hall to file your candidacy papers and yes, take to the ballot box. It’s our time to take back our country, it needs us now more than ever.

Join me, won’t you?

Posted in politics | Leave a Comment »

The tide.

Posted by humphreysworld on November 11, 2011

There’s a new energy in the air. It’ hasn’t quite amassed its true power, but there is a change in the air. And it’s about fuckin’ time. I’ve known for some time now that this country is way off course. For too long, we have stood by while Congress, banks and corporations rob us of our wealth and attempt to extinguish our rights. This is a system that was orchestrated back in the 70s, but in the last 10 years it has really pushed America, its resources and it’s people to the limit. With dire consequences, and consequences that are being felt all over the world.

Ask me three months ago what I thought, and I would’ve said I thought we were up shit creek without a made in China paddle. But now I have a renewed faith. That faith is because of the Occupy movement. What started out as a protest in Kuala Lumpur has turned into a movement that has spread to more than 82 countries and 600 communities. The media didn’t not take it seriously; in fact, I’m not sure if anyone did. But then the message began to resonate. People began to ask themselves: why their dollar wasn’t worth a dime anymore? Why are people continuing to be kicked out of their homes while the banks keep raising fees and getting richer off our coins? Why is the 1% of this country the only ones who seem to be living the American dream?

The answer to that can be found in the halls of Congress. 535 members and most of them have sold their soul to the Koch Brothers, Chase, Bank of America & the rest of corporate America. It is those public servants who are supposed to serve the PEOPLE, elected to represent the PEOPLE, who have sold our future down the shitter. And the sad truth is that these days you can hardly tell the difference between one party and the other when it comes to the damage they’ve done to this country. Don’t get me wrong, there is no question that in theory, Democrats are the party that supports a woman’s right to choose, clean energy, education, etc. etc. But in practice it’s a lot different. If you need evidence of that all you have to do is look back between 2009-2011 when they controlled the House, Senate and White House and yet there was no movement to address climate change, one of the biggest threats to our future and one of the biggest sources of corporate corruption. In addition to that, the deregulation of banks, the food industry, telecom, etc. was not orchestrated without both parties turning a blind eye.

During the 8 years (half of which were not legal) of the Bush administration, they did everything in their power to further bolster a system that favored corporations and throw America’s future under the bus by causing one of the biggest collapses of the American economy which began with the housing market bust* and continued with banks (including retirement money) and the auto industry. People lost their jobs and when they went to seek another they found that, if the jobs hadn’t been shipped off to other countries (yup, under both parties watch), that companies who also had investments in the market and business owners who lost everything couldn’t hire.

And the economy has been chugging along on 1/4 tank of gas ever since.

But then, something happened and America woke up and took to the streets. It has continued to grow and the message is sinking in. The media has attempted to classify this as a movement of violent, jobless hippies with nothing else to do who are clueless about how the economy works. But I’ve got news for you, nothing could be further from the truth. There are working people out there doing their best to fight for their country. To fight for what’s right, to fight for what belongs to them: the American dream.

Better late than never.

The occupy movement will continue to grow. Because at some point when you have pushed people to their limit you can’t expect them not to fight back. They have pulled their money out of the banks who have been robbing them blind, they have continued to make their presence known on wall street, main street and everywhere in between. The next step is the voting booth. I know it sounds like bullshit when you think of the dysfunction of the political system but it’s true. Every time someone says to me that voting doesn’t matter I want you to ask yourself where your money went, why you are buying tainted vegetables, why the garbage is piling up in your local park, why your credit card companies keep raising your interest rate and lowering your limit– and then ask yourself that question again. Power has corrupted the majority of Congress and if we want our leaders to act on behalf of the PEOPLE as opposed to corporations, they need to know that their actions have consequences. And perhaps a bout of unemployment would let them get a real sense of what damn near each and every one of us has felt or is feeling.

The tide is changing my friends, jump on in and take a swim.

*If you still don’t get what this movement is about, watch this video about a real American, one of millions in the same boat, feeling the squeeze of the failing economy at the hands of banks like the one she’s dealing with. Perhaps you’ll think differently.

Posted in politics | Leave a Comment »

Liberty & Injustice for all.

Posted by humphreysworld on September 20, 2011

Troy Davis has refused a last meal before his execution, convinced that in the 9th hour his life will be spared. Because that’s the way the justice system is supposed to work right? Innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately if you are African American the system has a different set of rules.

Which is why Troy Davis will be executed tomorrow.

There is something inherently wrong in our country. Our priorities are all backwards. Just a few weeks ago, more than 1000 people, some of who I know, were arrested for protesting against the tar sands pipeline. They were willing to be handcuffed and processed in protest of the destruction of the environment and yet there is not that same outrage for a man who is about to be put to death. Well, not from everyone. Where is the outrage among the masses? A man is going to be put to death for a crime he may not have committed. But our thirst for blood, for revenge; an eye for an eye as they old saying goes-, is that supposed to bring Mark MacPhail back?

It doesn’t. And as much as his wife wants to see ‘justice done’ (her words, NOT mine), putting a man to death for something he may not have done is heinous and appalling. And quite one-sided. As the social media universe was blowing up with outrage urging followers and friends to write letters, sign petitions, and flood the state of Georgia with calls to voice opposition, news broke that a man named Cleve Foster, a white man accused of rape and murder was saved at the last minute from execution. Rape and murder. Troy was accused of murdering a white man and his clemency was denied, and yet Cleve, who raped and murdered a Sudanese (translation- black) woman is spared his life? Does anyone see anything wrong with this scenario?

This is not a black thing. EVERYONE should be enraged. How have we come to take so numb when it comes to violence & death? Janet Jackson’s titty pops out on t.v. and the country shits itself, but violence perpetrated on television- including what our kids are watching- is socially accepted. I can’t understand how our thirst for blood can be at such a fevered pitch that more people aren’t taking to the streets, the halls of Congress and the polls to put a stop to it. This case, and many others that will follow (Troy is NOT the first black man wrongly accused and put behind bars or death and he will NOT be the last) is about more than crime and the criminal justice system. It is about systematic/systemic oppression of the other. And while those scales are tipped disproportionately out of our favor, it affects all who fall under the category of other.  Society as a whole needs to be outraged when the justice system fails. Because some day it could fail anyone of you.

Troy Davis has done some shit in his lifetime. Including the night Mark MacPhail was killed. Was murder one of those things? Who knows, although it doesn’t appear that way. And if we don’t know, how can we plow ahead with his execution?

With liberty and justice for all, isn’t that how it goes? It’s time we start living up to that oath America.

Posted in Culture, politics | Leave a Comment »

Pepco the Incompetent

Posted by humphreysworld on September 1, 2011

Tsk tsk. Artifully done by Sara.

Once upon a time in a land far, far, away, all the way in the suburbs there was a little company called Pepco. Pepco, the Incompetent. Pepco was a clumsy, old, lonely and greedy boy. He had a monopoly you see on electricity sources for all of D.C. and a large portion of Maryland, so Pepco was spoiled and did whatever he pleased. Pepco wants to take a vacation? New fees! Pepco needs a new car, sorry, you’ll have to pay up! On top of that Pepco was clumsy! Any gust of wind and Pepco would throw a tantrum and give up. And don’t let him get wet- WOOO! Why, any drop of water or snow and you’re up frozen popsicle creek without a stick.

One day not too long ago during a particularly cold winter Pepco decided he simply had enough. The snow kept coming, messing up Pepco’s hair and his disposition even more. ‘Don’t make me walk out!’, he said. He was very upset you see; he was certain the snow was jealous of him and he did not like that at all. But the snow kept coming. ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with, I’m super serial, you stop snowing and stop snowing now!‘. But the snow wouldn’t stop. So Pepco turned off and walked out. He didn’t show is face in some parts of the land for a week! Customers schmustomers, Pepco thought. He was far too old & stubborn to give a rats, well, you know.

Customers everywhere were out of power. In the middle of the winter! Many people all over the land couldn’t get out of their houses because mother nature was quite angry herself that year and dumped up to a foot of snow, and they were forced to sit inside with no heat or hot water. Needless to say the townspeople were not pleased with Pepco. They called their representatives and cried shenanigans on Pepco and he had to face the music. Oh but Pepco was very cunning. He sent his staff to the castle Annapolis and made them a promise to behave, saying they would work on trimming trees and review his plans for outages. But that wasn’t enough to make them happy so he had to give up his bonus and promise to make real improvements. The nerve! How was he to keep up with his weekly tanning? Making improvements costs money, money that he and his minions relied on to take care of their needs. This was a dire situation indeed.

Of course no one was really watching, so Pepco thought, why do today what you can put off tomorrow? Or four years from now! Ha!

As you can guess, Pepco continued to misbehave. Storms would blow through and take the power with them. And even though Pepco made a lot of fancy ads to show the work he did, it wasn’t nearly enough to stop the trees from toppling on him (which of course made him mad) and the power going out.

Months went by. Winter finally got the hint and made things pretty easy for Pepco. And even summer passed with little trouble. Sometimes for grins and giggles Pepco would make the power flicker for some because he was just that mean. It’s important to note that Pepco was never raised with a strong work ethic. So even though he could be using this leisure time to prepare for winter who was sure to be cruel once again (winter had a big attitude himself), or even summer who was sometimes unpredictable and quite the diva, he was going to enjoy the last dog days of summer without a care in the world.

And then along came Irene.

Oh Irene! Clearly mother nature did NOT get the memo. Pepco was not interested in such things! The wind, the rain, the COMPLAINING! This simply would not do! All the forecasters were saying it was coming straight for his service area and it was going to be big, but Pepco wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t bother with any trees or any real prep. These weather people have been wrong before, so why make more work? As it turns out, Pepco was right, it wasn’t a big storm after all. But did that stop Pepco from acting up? Of course not!

POOF! Out went the lights.

When Pepco woke the next day, he felt good. A nice cool breeze was running all over him, fall was definitely coming soon. And interestingly enough, these silly weather dealings always made him feel alive. Maybe it’s the transformers exploding or the live wires making contact with the ground, whatever it is, damn it felt good. As he daydreamed lazily some irritating noise was disrupting his thoughts. Ringing… is that a phone ringing?? It sounds like a dreadful chorus! How did the phone lines get up so quickly!!! As if that isn’t bad enough, all this stupid social media buzz! ‘I knew I shouldn’t have listened to that PR hack!’, he thought. Apparently people didn’t appreciate having no power. I mean, when you’re living above ground surrounded by silly trees what else do they expect! ‘Besides, I’m old, how can I be expected to perform up to snuff!’, Pepco thought. And he’s got a point. Our reliance upon dirty energy from antiquated plants to deliver power through antiquated systems designed with 1/3 less people in mind, well, poor old Pepco simply can’t keep up. And Irene did pack a bit of a wallop, ripping old trees from their roots and crashing them into people’s houses. She wasn’t kind at all. But all things considered, had Pepco been more prepared and done what he was supposed to do, none of this would’ve happened. And Pepco knew it too. So he reached into his pocket and took out money from his 3rd Rolodex Fundand put some people on the streets to start cleaning up his mess. But dammit, he was not going to be pushed around by these customer people! ‘September 1st!’, he declared when deciding to get the townspeople up and running again- and that was that. Does that mean some people would be out of power for a week? Sure! Does that mean it will be hot, and stinky from rotten food and people

Stinky! Artwork beautifully designed by Sara

would have to take cold showers and eat out of tin cans? So what. Pepco was invincible and he wasn’t going to be bullied by anybody. If he wanted, he could send more of his minions to the castle Annapolis and tell them to put on their saddest faces and say they are really, really, REALLY sorry. Tell them we have a plan, yadda yadda yadda and make this horrible mess would go away. But then he heard something. Something he didn’t think he’d heard before. It sounded almost like a chorus. A chorus of thousands of voices….

The people have revolted! They demanded a more reliable Pepco! In fact, they began demanding the end of energy from dirty power plants like the one Pepco gets its energy from!! This could mean the end of Pepco!!! The voices got louder and louder, and it made Pepco tired. Even though he was a stubborn old mule, it made him sad to hear them calling him out his name. His mama was so not that! He wasn’t sure what was going to happen to him, all the fat cats working for him, or the future of dirty, unreliable energy…

The future is in YOUR hands, how the story ends is up to you.

Posted in environment, politics | Leave a Comment »

Part two: The Injustice System

Posted by humphreysworld on July 8, 2011

Anthony Graves- 20 years.
Barney Brown- 38 years.
Michael Green- 27 years.
Ronald Cotton- 11 years.
Dean Cage- 14 years.
Central Park Five- 12 years.
John Jerome White- 30 years.

What do these men have in common? For one, these are just a few of the men that were thrown in the clink for crimes they didn’t commit. Besides having lost up to half their lives in prison, these men experienced a ‘justice’ system that is designed to keep them locked up like animals. They were also convicted in a court of ‘law’ based on shaky and in some cases, falsified information. Did I mention they were also black?

We have two justices systems in this country, one for whites and one for nots. Had Casey Anthony been a woman of color she would’ve been found guilty, as she should be. As I mentioned in part one of my ranting on this case, I paid very little attention to this case. But what I read left little doubt that she at a minimum had something to do with the death of her child, and in all likelihood was the one who ended it. In most of the cases above*, they were falsely identified by witnesses or victims and in spite of professing their innocence, they were convicted and sentenced to live life in prison. And Casey goes free. Huh?

I realize I’m stating the obvious, but there is an injustice in the system. Many would argue (and I would agree) it is designed to keep the brown and poor (often one in the same) confined. The stark differences in between how people of color and whites are treated when suspects, on trial, in jail, etc. makes it hard to argue otherwise. Just last month I came across a startling article stating that there are more black men in prison now then there were enslaved in the 1850’s. WTF! One could argue that today’s prison industrial complex model is nothing more than modern day slavery. Once inside, you are stripped of your rights, your dignity and you work for next to nothing. Sounds a lot like a plantation to me.

Now before you send me nasty notes, call me racist or whatever the hell else you can come up with, let me clarify two things. One, white people do go to jail (duh). And they aren’t always poor whites; every now and then the ‘justice’ system throws the public a bone by catching a white collar thief like Madoff and sends them up the gucci river without a paddle (how many get away with their crimes is a post for another time). To say that jails are filled with only blacks and latinos would be horse shit. Now are the rates of incarcerated whites to black and latinos imbalanced? Yup. According to recent data, there are more than 2 million people in the slammer. And while African Americans make up just over 12% of the U.S. population, we account for nearly 40% of the prison population. As for my latino brothers and sisters, they comprise of 16% of the U.S. population and yet account for 20% of the prison population. Point number two, there are people of all races who without a doubt deserve to be behind bars. There are rapists, thieves, pedophiles, murderers, drunk drivers, etc. who have no business being on the street. They deserve to be in jail and I am in no way suggesting anything otherwise.

But I am suggesting that this system is quite simply, fucked up.

Caylee Anthony will likely see no justice in her day. Neither will the hundreds of black and brown children who have been kidnapped or murdered that have cases unsolved. Neither will any black woman who has been assaulted who had her case ignored. Neither will some people- brown or otherwise-, wrongly accused who may die in prison before they get the opportunity to exonerate themselves. And yet Casey goes free. There is a pattern here and it seems to be pretty, well, black and white.

There seems to be no justice in the justice system…or maybe it is I who is colorblind. What do you think?

*The young men involved in the Central Park Five case originally confessed to committing the crime without a lawyer or adult present.

Posted in Culture, politics | Leave a Comment »

Love.

Posted by humphreysworld on June 27, 2011

Have you ever known love? It’s a beautiful thing. It comes in many forms; love of parent and child, love of friends, love of beauty and the ultimate love of the heart. And in a world that sometimes seems so dark, it can brighten everything. Which is why I had to give a shout out to NY for passing gay marriage for New Yorkers.

It’s always baffled me why people are so opposed to gay marriage. No one has ever gotten a divorce because of same sex marriage (unless of course, one party to the marriage happens to be homosexual. But that doesn’t really count). No one has ever cheated on their spouse because their gay neighbors hold hands while walking down the street or they had two groomsmen on their cake. Love is love, no matter what you look like, who you sleep with or what your sexual orientation is. And yet gays and lesbians have to fight state by state to get the same rights as anyone else to make it official with their friends and family before God. The idea is simply ridiculous.

My uncle Bobby and uncle Bruce loved each other. No one ever pulled me aside when I was a kid and said, ‘you know they’re gay’. They just were my uncle Bobby and my uncle Bruce. Had my uncle Bruce not died from AIDS and my uncle Bobby follow shortly thereafter, they would till be together to this day. They laughed together, they argued, they kissed, they lived. Just like I have and will again, just like you have at some point in your life. No one can tell me that what they had wasn’t love, and no one can tell me they didn’t deserve the same rights as I have.

So New York, my birth state, here’s to you. It shouldn’t be considered an act of courage to do the right thing when you are serving the public, but that’s the world we live in. While I don’t think every state will immediately follow suit I think that every small victory helps keep the candle going for people who hope that one day, they will be able to walk down the isle with their partners in their state and celebrate the love they worked so hard to maintain.

Posted in Culture, politics | 2 Comments »

The deep patriots.

Posted by humphreysworld on June 20, 2011

I saw Van Jones* speak this past weekend at Net Roots for the first time. For those of you who don’t know Van Jones, there are many words to describe them. But if I could sum it up into one description, I would have to use his description and call him a deep patriot. Mr. Jones spoke to a crowd of 2000 progressives in MN this past weekend about the need to take our country back. He spoke about how, while we as progressives have a cause, without coming together under one value system for one common goal, we will never win.

In other words progressives, get it the fuck together.**

Our country is in trouble. The attack on women, people of color, young people, poor people, workers, the environment, gay people, Muslim people– I could go on– is stronger than I have seen it in my time as an adult. Hate has taken hold of this country. It is a fear of the other (everyone listed above and then some), combined with ignorance and frustration that has led us to this place. For the past two decades, the right wing has chipped away everything America has worked so hard to build while they have collected millions. They have rigged our halls of government with corruption; most members of Congress won’t take a shit unless BP, Wells Fargo or some other corporation gives them the toilet paper. They have systematically eroded the rights of women by stacking everything from the school board to local governments, board of directors to government agencies with people who will not support sex ed, don’t support the right to choose, don’t support welfare or government assistance programs and deny children the right to a good meal or quality education. They have stood by, while the prison industrial complex has taken a hold of our neighborhoods and locked up my African American and Latino brothers in jail to make them profit. They’ve turned a blind eye while companies continue to spew toxics into the air for children to breathe and drink, came to their aid while polluters killed our oceans and purposefully ignored the law to side on their behalf. This is not America. This is not the America that you or I believe in.This is their America and we can’t afford to stand by while they flush it down the toilet to keep their pockets fat.

But if this isn’t what America is about, why is it that we can’t move a progressive agenda forward? I know our shared values extend well beyond the Minnesota Convention Center. Progressive values are American values. And yet, we have so much trouble communicating it. Each movement wears its hat; global warming, LGBT, women’s rights, etc, but we have never come together, truly come together to talk about our values. It’s not because they aren’t shared. I have yet to find a progressive who wants to end climate change but doesn’t believe women should get fair pay or someone who wants to put an end to the death penalty, yet supports the war on drugs. We have a shared value system. And more importantly, a shared purpose of creating a world that is just. We came together in 2008 under one umbrella, the same umbrella that has allowed the right to galvanize their movement. Let’s be clear, the tea party and much of this hatred stems from racism. They can bring out all the tokens they want, but the only people it’s convincing is themselves. No, we know what it’s about. And frankly, not everyone on the left is happy with Barack Obama right now. And while the politics piece of this is critical, it’s not the way we take our country back.

So what is the key? I think it’s pretty simple. We come together under a new umbrella. We come together, develop shared language and create a movement that has a place for all of us, one that can communicate our values clearly. The world is not full of ignorance and hatred the likes of Glenn Beck. I refuse to believe it. But if we continue to operate in a fractured way, divided and working against one movement so that the other will get ahead, we will never win. And our children will lose.

I was in a panel called ‘ask a sista, black women muse on politics, policy, pop culture scholarship’, which was an engaging conversation with some of today’s most influential black women who are doing their part to change the world and preserve our culture. At the same time, a panel entitled, ‘left out, women, politics and the progressive movement’ was going on in another room at the exact same time. While undoubtedly not on purpose, yet again we have created this dichotomy of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Without question each of us in both rooms could have benefited tremendously from participating in both conversations. Particularly as we try to figure out how we can bridge gaps, one of which has always been race.

America, we are at a crossroads.

I hope someday to be blessed with being a parent. I don’t take that decision lightly, and I want to know that, should that day come, I am giving her or him the best of what this country has to give. I want them to grow up in a world free of hate and fear, with clean air to breathe and the ability to work and prosper. I want that for all children born and not yet born. But we won’t get there if we don’t act now.

*Van Jones’ speech is a must watch, but I didn’t want you to get distracted with his awesomeness from this awesome post:-) This is just a snippet, but please watch, you will be moved.
** Rebuild the Dream kicked off their campaign to take back our country. Will you be there? Visit their website, host a house party or join one near you.

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