Cognitive Dissonance-a really practical explanation as it applies to our life in America


This video may be long but it is well worth your time viewing; I have looked at it in its entirety three times since first learning about it.  Dr, Joy DeGruy explains how cognitive dissonance allows us to oppress one another, and especially people of color in ways that still allow us to tout our #AmericanExceptionalism and feel good about it. DeGruy explains cognitive dissonance in terms of post traumatic slave syndrome which is at the heart of our social dysfunction and which we seem simply unable or unwilling to address in any rehabilitative way. As a result we’ve now infected America’s new minorities with this syndrome, our neighbors to the south of us as well as America’s Muslims. What is even worse is the front runners for the #demonicGOP are quite happy to spread this disease to as many as they can in order to get power and continue the oppression in new and even more dastardly ways.  (Income inequality is real people and economic trickle down theories DO NOT work.)

Today may not be the best time but as we approach the fall and winter months and you find yourself confined to your home and are looking for something entertaining, grab your favorite comfort food and sit down and listen to this lecture.  You’ll be glad you did.

Islam in America


cvrI think it’s very important for Muslims to document their presence in America in order to preserve the legacy of Islam in this country, to pass it on and because quite simply no one else will.  To that end, one community in North Carolina is doing just that with a book that can by purchased online for all to see.

Durham,North Carolina used to be a town known for its tobacco and thriving black middle class.  Situated in the heart of that state, the city is now more commonly known for Duke University with tobacco playing no role at all in the city’s growth or prosperity.  It is also home to a thriving Muslim community that has been active and in existence for many, many decades and which has played a part in the development of that city.  The Athaan in the Bull City, written by Nazeeh Abdul-Hakeem chronicles the growth of Islam in Durham, North Carolina from a very personal perspective; it is devoid the polemics commonly associated with a discussion of Islam in this country and speaks solely of that city’s Muslims building an institution that could be viable for Muslims living in that town.  It should be required reading for America’s Muslims and a template to use for other locales to document their own presence in America.

He doesn’t know where that came from!


This undated photo provided by the Bloomington Police Department shows 19-year-old Triceten D. Bickford, an Indiana University student who faces multiple felony charges including intimidation, strangulation and battery in the Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, attack on a Muslim woman in a cafe in Bloomington, Ind. (Bloomington Police Department via AP)

This undated photo provided by the Bloomington Police Department shows 19-year-old Triceten D. Bickford, an Indiana University student who faces multiple felony charges including intimidation, strangulation and battery in the Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, attack on a Muslim woman in a cafe in Bloomington, Ind. (Bloomington Police Department via AP)

Good thing he didn’t have a gun but alcohol and the absence of his medication more than made up for his assault on a woman who was where she was supposed to be minding her own business who was also a Muslim.  The attacker is also a white supremacist who hates police….the perfect profile of today’s American terrorist.  He’s got all these things going on…he’s an alcoholic, taking medication for anxiety and a white supremacist…..how did he escape the attention of police?  What’s really depressing is the woman he assaulted has been an American citizen longer than he has been alive.  Perhaps she should have been the one beating the crap out of him!

Is this a possibility?


tubman

Could it be the face of an African-America female liberator of slaves will replace the face of a former Scots-Irish president of the United States?  In a democratic America there are people who think it should be so.  Diversity is a part of #AmericanExceptionalis….unless you prefer #whiteprivilege.

QED


cutie pie

This baby girl, Aavielle Nevaeh Wakefield, is dead because we think people have an unfettered right to firearms.  Hers is not the only face…..God knows we have hundreds of them.  You can see some of them here and if you want to pick and choose who you think belongs there that’s fine too….it shows what kind of person you are to minimize human life and death.  This whole firearm debate has certainly changed my approach about the firearms I own and sometimes carry….#allLivesMatter

Answering the President’s challenge


We all know about the tragedy that happened in Oregon where college students were murdered by an American terrorist with self proclaimed ties to the political right, also known as the #demonicGOP or Republican party.  That part of his bio is conveniently left out…even his name won’t be uttered by the Oath Keeper sheriff of the county where the shooting occurred probably in no small part because the shooter reminds the sheriff of himself….a conservative gun loving, gun toting true blue American. In the President’s remarks above, those made passionately, he issued a challenge to news organizations at about the 6:30 mark of his speech which many responded too and which have become a constant theme here at Miscellany101 about terrorism versus good old fashioned American crime…the kind of crime we’ve become used too and are good at doing so much so that we outdo the terrorists.

Let’s start with the basics; we are a country of criminals of all shapes, sizes and descriptions. There are many people who mean to do their fellow citizens harm and this intent is practiced on a daily basis.  DAILY BASIS! There have been more mass shootings in this country of “exceptionalism” than there have been days of the year, that as of October 1…a mass shooting defined as one in which four or more people have been shot, not necessarily killed.  If you want to quarrel over being killed versus being shot as a measure of qualitative American lifestyle you’re an idiot.  Jamil al-Amin was correct back in 1967 when he said, ‘violence is as American as cherry pie’; our propensity to embrace it, see it as a solution to all our problems and even enable it through the auspices of police departments and the NRA will only insure we continue down that path in even more egregious ways. So the President has a right to be angry if he wants to be the “leader of the free world”, wherein his country, our country surpasses ALL of the world, free or otherwise, in firearm fratricide.

But that isn’t the challenge we’re answering here……..THIS IS!

…..and about those “terrorism” related deaths…many of them were commited by our own homespun white/black American terrorists, like this one or this one or this one or this one or……….While one can show there are “others” who committed acts of terrorism on America soil where people were killed  the only thing they have in common with one another and the other Americans who’ve committed acts of terrorism is the fact that they lived here in America and had access to firearms, proving what al-Amin said back in 1967 about “our” inclination to murder and death. It cuts across color, race, ethnicity…it is something unique to our political system which says we have a right to firearms and many more others of us have a right to kill. If you claim this is a Christian country beware your Christianity which warns you, Mathew 26:52, ‘he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword’. Fix this America!

 

The Government and Guns-duplicity doesn’t begin to describe it


casingIf you want to know how bad it is that we have so many gun deaths in America look at how inept government has become in combating the problem.  I explained in the previous post why government won’t do anything….it’s in its best interest NOT to and Congress, the best product money can buy, won’t do anything because it’s just one big special interest lobby firm but government’s looking away really is making the problem worse.

Look at this figure….of all the federally licensed firearm dealers in this country only 8% sell weapons that are used in a majority of firearm related crimes in this country. Would be nice to know which 8% they are or where they are located and shut them down and away would go the problem of gun violence in America.  Won’t happen I know and perhaps it shouldn’t….but if those 8% had their sales more closely monitored and followed up, something the guns rights people claim is worse than treason, just maybe it could reduce gun violence. Maybe.

The Government, Guns and Drugs


drugsI was once asked if I ever sold drugs; after getting over the initial shock of the question and realizing it was being asked by someone not even remotely interested in his own question I laid down the hammer and told him I considered selling drugs an act of treason and therefore punishable by death.  It’s treasonous I told the young man because the proliferation of drugs in a community is meant to render that group of people inert to the issues facing our country and disinterested in engaging in them.  Using drugs or people who peddle them are no better than people who practice slavery I said. My reply fell on deaf ears.

I was aware of the claims made by Gary Webb in  his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series that the US government has had a hand in the proliferation of drugs in the African-American community and that its intent was pretty much as I described to my interlocutor to destroy the black community.  When Webb first printed his articles he was driven to suicide but we all know there was merit to his assertions.  Indeed some preceded Webb in saying the same things.  The US government introduces drugs into a segment of the population, reaps the financial rewards thereof, the social advantages of making an entire population static non participants in their political, economic, social, or educational future. The existence of the government’s product necessitates government intervention, bureaucracy in the form of all the various agencies that must be employed to fight the war on drugs thereby legitimizing government itself.  A pretty neat slight of hand but only for government…for the people who are preyed upon by government it means their literal destruction or at least reduction to a comatose state where they are no longer relevant. Which brings me to Israel and Palestine.

I literally bolted out of my chair when I heard the Democracy Now interview last week with Budour Hassan talking about the situation in one of the refugee camps, Shuafat refugee camp and what goes on there.  She said this

……Subhi Abu Khalifa lives in Shuafat refugee camp, which is literally a ghetto, which the Israeli occupation since the 1970s has tried to crush with all means possible, turning it into a poverty hub, turning—putting drugs in the camp, smuggling arms to some of the residents. So they’ve tried to do everything in the camp, not just to destroy the community there, but to also prevent this camp from being active in the Palestinian resistance movement.

I thought finally, the US has taught Israel a thing or two about oppression…..America has at least at some point in the relationship between Israel and the US been a leader, not a follower of the Israeli agenda.  Everything about the US-Israel relationship has been completely and utterly one sided.  America has been the sole servant to Israeli interests even when they contradicted our own.  Now I had in front of me an example where Israel was doing the very same things to Palestinians living in the squalor of their Israeli imposed existence with the same diet of drugs and guns that have destroyed African-American communities being used to wipe out Palestinians as well.  In the interest of fairness it must be said Americans have resumed following Israel by parroting extra judicial killings of oppressed people without repercussion; #blacklivesmatter is an outgrowth of that but Israel has the advantage of looking at how that deadly cocktail of drugs and guns can benefit government in many ways and we can say they learned that from us.  #AmericanExceptionalism!

An American terrorist who is NOT a Muslim


Jon Ritzheimer

Jon Ritzheimer

This guy is as crazy as they come and yet Islamophobes are so consumed with their hatred of Muslims they don’t realize how much worse off they are for having him around.  He first gained notoriety when he staged a draw a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad protest after the terrorism debacle at the offices of the newspaper in Paris, France known for inciting religious hatred by and towards Muslims for their obscene cartoons.  Shortly after his own failed attempt at inciting Muslims he started a GoFundMe page to collect money while he went into hiding because he claimed he received so many death threats from people for exposing Islam. Fraud! Later he claimed the money he wanted to collect from the GoFundMe account to be  used to run against his state’s US Senator, John McClain.  Whatever the intent of trying to fleece America the account was taken down and the last tally of funds he got was really not worth the effort.

Thankfully, enough people were able to see beyond his extortion not to get involved.  He also emerged from hiding long enough to rage against the Oath Keepers because they wouldn’t help him arrest Senator Debbie Stabenow.  Mind you, these are the same Oath Keepers who walked around Ferguson, Missouri openly carrying firearms while that city still seething over the murder of Mike Brown saw one year pass since his death. For Ritzheimer to be to the right of that group doesn’t bode well for his state of mind….yet in today’s America he still resonates with someone.

We’ve been told for sometime that there are elements in American society intent on acts of terrorism and that they are made up primarily of the political right, white males who either want to overthrow the government or start a race war and Ritzheimer fits that profile to the “T”.  He and others like him have been successful in diverting attention away from themselves by claiming the bigger threat is “radical Islam” and “extremists Muslims” and Americans fall for it every time.

There were anti-Islam rallies across America this month and this is how America’s Muslims reacted


Cynthia Cox de Boutinkhar hugs "Annie" an anti-Islam protestor at a Hilliard, Ohio masjid

Cynthia Cox de Boutinkhar hugs “Annie” an anti-Islam protestor at a Hilliard, Ohio masjid

It’s not everyday that you run across a coordinated effort to defame a religious community in America…..some might call that “terrorism”…..but one weekend in October such an event was planned by a group which named its effort, “Global Rally for Humanity”.  This group even mapped out Muslim places of worship where they wanted to protest/demonstrate and the masjid/mosque Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin, Ohio where Ms. de Boutinkhar worships was one of them.  However, de Boutinkhar, picture above on the right, decided to hug her antagonist and thus set into motion a dialogue that Islamophobes probably didn’t count on.  This is not to say all of the coordinated demonstrations had such sentimental graphics.  In this day and age of gun violence the demonstration planned for Dearborn, Michigan encouraged its participants to bring their weapons and openly carry them in front of the Islamic Center of America.  That protest site was changed to the Henry Ford Library in Dearborn.   All in all, those planned events went on without being too newsworthy for the average American but they underscored a few points. Islamophobia is very much alive in America; there are many among all faiths who oppose it and the Muslim response of either ignoring such events, silently preparing themselves for it and embracing those who participate in them demonstrate the seriousness with which America’s Muslims take their religion