Maxine Waters: No Silent River, Nancy Pelosi: No Political Walkover; But It’s Not Just Them! – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

Recently there was a flurry of activity around the first 100 days. Some attended rallies or were at a convention and of-course D.C. networking events. In some circles there’s a war of words going on. For one thing, Maxine Waters is no silent river and Nancy Pelosi no political walkover. But it’s not just them!

Waters has been making her voice heard in a very significant way. ‘Queen Maxine’ has made strong statements about governing and the things that lead to communities rising. She’s got cred on the link between public policy and American history, based on her background and work in the trenches.

Pelosi made history years ago by becoming the first female House Speaker. Even as minority leader she’s leading the way as a gut check on things that might become a social train-wreck. For example, she sees the health and well-being of America as not just in taking care of a few but doing so for the many.

In a general sense the public policy debate throughout our history has been like a war for the soul of a nation. The battle these days isn’t just around Constitutional order but between the ‘pissed-off vs. stay-woke’ crowd for the sanity of the nation. This seems to go back and forth throughout America’s history.

In one corner are events around the Civil War. It was a protest flashpoint by those on a path that seemed like a more pissed-off union. In the other are events leading up to and during Civil Rights. It was a flashpoint for those who sought a more perfect union. This cycle shows up and affects us in new ways by:

  1. Challenging our understanding of Articles in the Constitution.
  2. Distorting the message of equality which led to the Emancipation.
  3. Stirring-up resentment on the subject of Immigration.
  4. Building roadblocks to a sense of community and trust in our Institutions.

Every game on the playing field has rules in the books. These rules are important to making sure that teams know what’s in fair play and what’s more like a foul. They help referees and umpires make calls that keep things moving. Without some basic rules a game would be more of an uncontrolled free-for-all.

The major rules of governing are found in the U.S. Constitution. This document has roles and responsibilities for each branch of government. Many public policy issues get tricky by challenging our understanding of these Articles in the Constitution. But things get messy when the rules don’t apply fairly.

That’s what happened after Independence, leading up to and during the Civil War. The Constitution made the slave reference as having three-fifths representation. This led to a distorted view of those Americans. That sentiment along with the Constitutional view of States Rights led to the confederacy spinoff.

But even after the Emancipation there was still public policy that created a ‘Jim Crow’ atmosphere. This prompted rounds of civil disobedience during the Civil Rights era. What we saw with public policy after the Civil War might be happening now after Civil Rights as a ‘new & improved’ version of ‘America in reverse.’

We find times in history where different groups are used as a scapegoat. Back in the day immigrants from some European countries were seen as a threat to American society. Now there’s a new stirring-up of resentment on issues of immigration. Pelosi and Waters might say the reasons are Un-American.

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The Statue of Liberty as a symbol of freedom was a gift from France for the mutual exchange during the American Revolution. Some want to view immigrants as a threat. This usually happens when a war of words feels better than a war of ideas. Thankfully, an inscription on the statue sees us as an asset.

Over the years especially between the Civil War and Civil Rights, whenever two steps of progress were made there was a step backward into shades of years gone by. That would be like a company improving a product and then reversing good changes. When people realize a feature is gone it causes a backlash.

In the case of social change the backlash can cause roadblocks to a sense of community. It creates a level of distrust in civic institutions the way consumers might begin to distrust a company acting shady. What’s happening nowadays helps explain the steadiness of protest and need for a Community 3.0 plan.

The ongoing confusion and whiplash feels like a professor describing a subject one way and a totally disputed way next day. This makes it harder to prepare for mid-terms or finals. Waters and Pelosi know that next year the focus will be on mid-term elections. It’ll be interesting to see who passes the test.

Late-night shows and cable anchors have their hands full each week. The material for political analysis and satire is overflowing. In between the laughs and the lessons is some food for thought on many social issues. But it’s good that other voices help us stay calm or keep things fun and lose until the pain is gone.

Block Talkback: Does Bernie Sanders have a point about the link between Wall Street and Government? What can be learned from the link between Progressives & Dems or Conservatism & GOP?

Groove-tracks: Daley ft Jill Scott – Until The Pain is Gone – https://youtu.be/_MrqznD97y0

Skip Marley – Calm Down –  https://youtu.be/eyq74jtdgnY

President Lincoln & Dr. King Might Have to Step out of History to Reset Their Story at Obama’s Final Presser #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

History seems to have a way of repeating itself. That’s true when you consider the events leading up to and around another King Holiday. Some people are having flashbacks to the 60s with the number of ‘conscience rallies’ planned. Maybe Lincoln and King will have to step out of history to reset their story.

Lincoln moved America leaps and bounds to end the Civil War in the 1860s. King and the Civil Rights movement did their part for social justice in the 1960s. Lincoln is an idol for many politicians including president Obama. King holds high honor with many Americans, so too does Congressman John Lewis.

So after days of back-and-forth since 2017, there’s concern this is no time to get happy, but to get woke and huddle-up. We saw a southern American city try to re-name the King Holiday. Along with the John Lewis episode there were other surprise Twitter & SNL moments. What’s to come is anyone’s guess.

So as President Obama holds his final press conference, the goodbyes will be hard to swallow. But what if Obama were to invite Lincoln and King to the presser, how would they speak up and make it plain? They’d have four things to #LetThePeopleKnow as Obama’s set to go. We might hear them telling us to:

  1. Educate ourselves in communities of color and beyond on the 3Rs and other social issues.
  2. Elevate the broader public square to new levels of civic awareness.
  3. Evaluate the truth on who’s fooling who and who’s zoomin’ who (that’s right Queen Aretha).
  4. Escalate a commitment to change for the better (not just for PR or as a vote getter).

After the Civil War and Lincoln’s term ended, there was a ‘repeal & replace’ backlash that followed. Many newly elected officials didn’t want to appear supportive of progressive programs. This is like buying a new car and then having the HD radio removed because you don’t like the artist’s (Obama’s) name on display.

With new found freedoms and opportunities came a push to reverse them. Things went from a new normal to a new abnormal. So as time went on more HBCUs were started with renewed efforts to educate people on the 3Rs and their civic rights. Maybe Dr. King as a Morehouse Man would share this reminder.

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Many years after the Civil War, the focus was also on elevating the broader public square to new levels of social awareness. What we know as Black History Month today started as a weeklong effort to inform and inspire. Some modern day history books have a way of leaving blanks or telling tales just to make sales.

One debate is whether Lincoln issued the Emancipation to save the union or free the slaves. This can take on a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario or go from truth to spin to lies in a few seconds. So in our current political climate Lincoln might have us think on who’s fooling who and who’s zoomin’ who then and now.

Often when candidates run on ‘change’ it’s fair to think change for the better, not just for PR or as a vote getter. History will assess this for our outgoing President as it will for the incoming. But when King said ‘I Have a Dream’ he also wanted us to see change as the ‘We’ from bottom up that moves the ‘I’ from top down. It’s how we might shine as ‘hidden figures’ through Community MRBs – Mission Ready Blocks, Mission Rhythm and Blues.

The post Civil War and post Obama eras seem to have some similar sketch-lines. What we see today as a fight against Obamacare was a fight then to stall Emancipation’s progress. What we see in the rise of certain ‘alt’ groups today was the rise of fringe groups then. Plus, we see the potential for gamesmanship in politics to overshadow the purpose of service in politics. The pendulum swing is real so what now?

Well, this is where Prez Obama would step back letting Lincoln and King take it to the bridge. Lincoln the politician might say ‘we must be a country that chooses to plant seeds over weeds.’ Weeds can overrun a lawn and make it look shabby. We must overspread the American landscape with less weeds and more seeds. The spreading of racism, sexism, xenophobia and the rise of false-reality news & views are a bad mix of weeds across the homeland.

King as the Baptist preacher might paraphrase words from the Apostle Paul reminding us that ‘you reap what you sow.’ And to add a common touch King might say ‘you can fool some of the people some of the times, but you can’t fool God none of the times.’ That’s true whether we’re regular folks or big timers.

Those who keep sowing social media weeds can’t expect to grow seeds of trust and respect. It’s when we choose to operate higher than this that we bring honor to the legacies of King and Lincoln. In due season, God can decide to harden, humble, hasten or hijack a man’s heart while steering us on another path.

Godspeed President Obama!

Groove-tracks: Ledesi – Higher Than This – https://youtu.be/I4yva8U-78U

Usher, Stevie Wonder, Shakira – Higher Ground –  https://youtu.be/0PEPrPRAp4M