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

Ava DuVernay & Lin-Manuel Miranda Speak on Winning a Game but not Losing Our Civil Liberties – #HometownChat

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

“Hey Martellus Bennett, Patriots just won the Superbowl, what are you doing next?” That question might remind us of those past ads for Disney. Bennett’s not planning to do the usual stuff. He’d probably love to hear Ava DuVernay or Lin-Manuel Miranda speak on winning a game but not losing our civil liberties.

While Monday morning quarterbacks broke down the game, other folks were happy seeing the Obama’s back in town. During their two-week vacation there was even a sighting of BO’s look-alike ‘cool Barry’ with his cap turned backward. They returned just in time to settle into Washington’s business as ‘Reality TV.’

What we’re seeing these days is just a new look of some old ways. That’s what a doctor might say when examining a patient or a historian might say when examining the political, social and economic system. We’ve gone from slavery to Jim Crow to an emerging system condition that could be called John Crow.

It’s called John Crow because of a certain far-away bird that takes advantage of the death, misery and ‘lost way’ of animals. This system has a new set of ‘isms’ (along with WMDs – Weapons of Mass Dah) to benefit from death, misery and lower socio-economic status. So to #LetThePeopleKnow when it’s a John Crow is to:

  1. Check the system for signs of ‘Vulture-ism.’
  2. Churn (agitate) the establishment for the acts of ‘sham-ism.’
  3. Challenge the laws against rounds of social schism.
  4. Cheer the people to avoid the pitfalls of fake realism.

Executive Orders recently issued by the Republican Administration appear to have a negative impact on the everyday citizen. Vulture-ism is seen when perks for Wall Street dig potholes on the roads for Main Street. It’s when concerns for poverty and income inequality are stunted by policies of ‘purge & reward.’ We’ve got to save our streets from being attacked by a ‘republic of vultures.’ (Is it just coincidence that Trump’s middle name is John?)

Even the idea of possibly taking Iraq’s oil to pay for U.S. troop deployment in the Middle East is like a John Crow beast preying on the least. The thing to watchout for is whether the shifting administration policies are really about ‘Make America Great Again’ or adding more power and prime rib to their plate.

These efforts to undermine & override are not being overlooked by ‘people in the know.’ Maybe that’s why Nancy Pelosi made the statement that Trump Advisor Steve Bannon is a shot-caller for white supremacy. Howard Stern saying he feels Trump ran for president to get more money for hosting The Apprentice.

By putting those two thoughts out there some political observers have concluded that we’ve got to callout the administration for the acts of sham-ism. A ‘sham’ is a thing that is not what it’s advertised to be. There’s reason the establishment has more explaining to do on their proposed policies and procedures.

In his letter written while in a Birmingham jail Dr. King outlined the issues of his time. He challenged those who questioned his non-violent protests against laws that protected Jim Crow but oppressed, suppressed or distressed John & Jane Doe. King was saying ‘Yo, that’s some social schism.’

Fast-forward to John Crow today with policies that threaten 1st Amendment rights to a free press and religion but protect 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. The administration wants weak vetting on cabinet picks but extreme vetting on immigrant visas. We find them shutting down Obamacare signups while saying a replacement won’t be ready until 2018. Does that mean they’d rather have people die, denying them insurance while delaying them any chance for a supposedly better plan? Yo, that’s some social schism right there.

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So DuVernay and Miranda are doing their part to rally the people against losing touch with realism. She recently quoted James Baldwin who said A civilization isn’t destroyed by wicked people. It is not necessary that people be wicked. Only that they be spineless. Another philosopher once said Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Is there a ‘true dat’ or amen?)

These notes are reminders to take off any ‘blinders’ that cause citizens to be tone-deaf, street dumb or side-eye blind. They might even suggest it’s a time to have ‘antennas up’ to get the reception and record straight. Smart community understands the past in order to better relate it to what just happened last.

When an Ohio minister says a ‘Chicago gang wants to work with Trump’ it makes people say, really? Then 24 hours later he walks it back, saying he miss-spoke as he was still tired from the recent campaign. He’s not the first minister with the campaign ‘trying to keep it real’ but showing straight-up fake realism.

The job of media, Congressional leaders, constitutional experts and engaged citizens is to keep the ducks in order. Some have committed to doing their part to fight the power as well as ‘floss Trump’s tweets’ (and the rest of his team) because the words in-and-out of their mouths can affect America’s future well-being.

‘Alternative facts’ is the new WMD in the John Crow system used as a cover for miss-information. We’ve been here before in Jim Crow times. So as we rise, let’s not be weary but stay true to realism. We’ll know if what we’re seeing will lead us to a place of more ‘still waters’ or towards a storm of some rough waters.

Groove-tracks: Isley Brothers – Fight the Power – https://youtu.be/KdJ0uv6oMRU

Solange – Rise/Weary – https://youtu.be/mKwxz23H5UY