Friday, May 22, 2015

Vote For Hillary, But Not Because She'll Do Well.

Things are already gearing up the the 2016 presidential election and we have almost a year and a half to go. If Bush and Clinton win their respective primaries, we would be forced to choose one dynasty or the other. If Hillary were to win the general election, it would be the first time that two U.S. presidents have had sex with each other (straight sex anyway). Bill Clinton would be the first ever first man. But while Hillary could become the first woman president, I actually think Barack Obama is the first feminine president. He's so sweet and incapable of confronting Congress. (For all his vices, Bush 43 held Congress in the palm of his hand.)

I once told a woman with whom I was sharing a table at Starbucks that we've had our first half-Black president. Now we need our first woman president. She said quite emphatically, “Excuse me! The U.S. presidency is not an affirmative action position!”. I agree. However, Bush 43 did irreparable damage to the American image abroad while only fostering fear of terrorism domestically; and, it stands to reason that all presidents in the foreseeable future will only be symbolic figure heads who tell Congress annually during a SOTU Address to work together before he withdraws to the hidden recesses of the Oval Office or Air Force One from which to initiate other futile exercises in impotence. That said, we need not worry ourselves with trying to make policy predictions or guessing which campaign promises can and will actually be kept. It behooves us to vote for someone whose mere election victory will set off a firestorm of meaningful legislative efforts a mile and a half down Pennsylvania Avenue. That person is Hillary Clinton.

My assertion has merit insomuch as there was an exponential increase in the number of Republican presidential candidates immediately after Hillary declared her candidacy. It seems that the Grand Old Party became the Galloping Old Party – that they began running scared. Maybe they realized that she had a good chance of winning. Maybe THEY wanted to put forth the first woman president. Maybe they wanted to ensure that we actually would NEVER HAVE a female president – that Obama was the closest we'd get to having a woman in the Oval Office. Who knows how they think??? Fox news, maybe??? In any instance, the GOP is petrified of Hillary.

This fear – being felt by the politicians themselves, for a change – can work in the nation's favor. It brings us back to the reason for having primary elections in the first place. People were tired of being given one crook from each major party and being told to choose one. They wanted more options. So we began to have primary elections with a much broader field of candidates from each party. Now people could narrow 10 crooks down to two and then have them compete in the finals – the general election. From what I can tell, the stiffer competition just caused candidates to become better at deceiving the public by making empty campaign promises – promising things like hope and change – and by putting forth rhetoric that is devoid of any real substance. (I once heard a local politician say that she was advised to always be vague and never give details while on the campaign trail.)

This time will be different. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush is the brother of a former president whose ratings hovered in the 20 percentile for much of his term and who is thought of by many as the worst U.S. president ever. Hillary is the wife of the first White man in the Black Hall of Fame. She has gone on the record acknowledging the plight of Afro-Americans following the Baltimore riots to avenge the wrongful death of Freddie Gray. As more of the middle class joins the ranks of the poor and dispossessed, the cause of the Black man becomes easier for them to relate to. This, in turn, enables Hillary to redraft her message as one that revolves around ending poverty for all races in America – thus attracting even more voters.

Speaking of plights, I saw a report over 20 years ago that said that 67% of Americans are part of at least one minority group. Women are seen by many as a “minority” group, even though they outnumber men. Go figure. Not to get into semantics; but,it makes more sense to think of them as an “oppressed” or “underprivileged” group. Even so, the glass ceiling for women in this country has been between the governorship and the presidency. It stands to reason that, even as an Obama presidency didn't improve the state of Black America, a Clinton presidency will not translate into major gains for women. Even so, people will continue to “hope” for “change” and will vote in an “affirmative action” sort of way. I recently told a woman that I want to see Hillary win, in part, because it would give women the opportunity to move from talking about what they would do if they ran things to actually doing it. A female president would have to “put up or shut up”. This woman agreed.

Underprivileged groups want a champion that they can relate to. Sadly, the “champion of Blacks” has used the oval Office as a landing pad rather than a springboard – doing nothing to improve the state of Black America. As a friend once told me, “He didn't have to say 'Black'; he could've said 'poor'”. (Then he would've been working for all races while addressing an issue that affects Blacks disproportionately.) Maybe Hillary will be different. Hope is all we have and all we can do.

The good news is that a Hillary win, in and of itself, would turn partisan politics into gender politics. I predict that women from either party would come together around women's issues and Hillary would quite handily serve as the glue that bonds them together – both on Capitol Hill and in the state capitols. Though women only make up about 20% of Congress (right now), if they play their cards right, they can wield 80% of the influence. As female politicians put forth legislation advancing women's rights, congressmen at the federal and state levels will no doubt scramble to hold onto power and to shift the agenda. A majority of Americans are sure to support the advancement of women's rights and might even give women the majority of the House in 2018 – a key concern for men of either party. Either the congressmen will play nicely in the sandbox with women or they'll be “out on their elephant ears”.

Though it may seem a bit pie-in-the-sky, 2019 could see the beginning of a viable third party which is completely separate from the Dems or Repubs, quite unlike the Tea Party. This party, at its birth, could have as its primary goal the advancement of the rights of women and gays – only to broaden its horizons and put the entire left-wing liberal agenda on the fast track soon thereafter. But, in spite of its original flavor or how it evolves, a viable third party is what we need in this country. We need to break away from the two-party system and quit flip-flopping back and forth between two segments of the capitalist machine that are essentially work in tandem to oppress the ever-expanding class of the dispossessed. In the end, it may be her 2016 victory and the inspiration it brings to many groups – not how well she executes the duties of her office – which does the most to change the face of American politics. So, vote For Hillary, But Not Because She'll Do Well.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Love Lost and Lessons Learned (Bye-bye, Bipolarity and Sympathy)

They – that proverbial and ever-present “they” – say that you shouldn't air your dirty laundry pubically. I assure you that I don't air most of mine. However, there are sometimes lessons to be learned by many from the mistakes of a few. Besides, if enough people learn from my “great mistake” of the past two years, that might make the last 23 months of my life less of a waste. I've often wondered why it is that some men are attracted to beautiful women, get into relationships with them, often get them pregnant, have the relationship fall apart and then find themselves attracted to other beautiful women immediately thereafter – all of this without even trying to figure out what went wrong before getting caught up again.

On one level, I understand that his sex drive along with her beauty and willingness can work in tandem to create “the approach” which can lead to dating. On another level, I expect a man to think things through so as to avoid another “fatal attraction” – to find the characteristics apart from her beauty that eventually assert themselves within the relationship and can lead to its demise. I'm sure some men do; but, all men who've had bad relationships should. Oddly enough, many of the women who don't want to be seen as “sex objects” are game for it when men who couldn't possibly know anything about their minds as of yet are attracted to their beauty and offer to buy them drinks (sometimes for the easy sex date). I dare to be different and I always make it a point to initiate conversation on emotionally difficult topics as often as possible. So, here it is.

On June 26th, 2013 I went with several colleagues to the John L. Young Women's Shelter, one of three shelters in DC's Federal City Shelter. We were there to tell the women about a June 27th hearing at City Hall where the future of the building and its residents would be discussed. The following day there were about a dozen shelter residents from a building that holds 1,350 people during the five coldest months and 1,100 during the other seven. One of those women was Shacona Ward, a resident of John Young.

With it being extremely difficult to get the disenfranchised homeless community to come out and self-advocate around their issue, I treasure those who answer the call. So, when Shacona testified, I decided to see if I could keep her involved in advocacy. She made some scathing accusations against shelter staff as she delivered one of the most poignant testimonies I've ever heard. When she returned to the crowd, I went to her seat and introduced myself. A few days later, I bought her a meal at the Union Station Food Court and attempted to discuss her future in advocacy. I noticed that she didn't want to remain on that topic and that she seemed to always have a chip on her shoulder. I wondered if it was emotion pertaining to her present station in life or if there was some mental illness that was manifesting itself. I didn't have to wonder for long, as she is very open about the fact that she's bipolar (has mood swings) but won't divulge any further details on her condition. With me being Captain Save-a-(ya know), I figured I could help her work through her condition and that it was worth the effort.

I shifted the conversation toward dating. She threw up a wall. I asked her if she wanted to go out to the fireworks on July 4th because I already knew that the women – who normally have to check into the shelter by 7 PM and have til 8 PM to return if they were there last night -- were allowed to stay out later on holidays. She obliged. When the fireworks ended around 9:30, she ran like Cinderella to return to the shelter by the 10 PM curfew – anxiously pulling me along.

I began a two-month long job on July 1st of that year doing scaffold work on a stucco project. I was being paid approximately $100 daily. I'd get off work and then join Shacona as she and dozens of women sat outside of the shelter, with some women getting there as early as 3 PM for a 7 PM check-in. I'd sit on the ground next to her, our backs against the wall, and chat with her and some of the other women. It was during one such conversation that I learned that Shacona's brother named Skyler had committed suicide in March of 2013. I also learned about her interest in becoming a journalist and bought her a few journals in which to record her feelings and daily activities. I would often bring my blue-tooth speaker and play music videos of Shacona's choosing as we sat there. I was privileged to meet a Caucasian woman who was not mentally ill and who befriended Shacona, though Shacona's mood swings put a noticeable strain on that and other relationships. With what seemed to be a higher than usual concentration of mental illness existing among the residents of John Young, a sane friend was something to be treasured, though Shacona's condition disabled her from realizing that.

Shacona would often complain about not being able to sleep well due to sane women talking to each other all night and mentally-ill women talking to themselves. (An intelligent lady friend once told me of an occasion where she walked into a gang shower where she heard six women speaking and none was talking to another woman. They were each talking to themselves. That would be a sight to see, to be sure!!!) In one instance, I was walking Shacona to the Library of Congress and had to stop several times during this 20-minute trek because she was falling asleep standing up.

So, I advised her to begin the process of getting into another part of the Federal Shelter called the Community for Creative Non-Violence or CCNV. She began inquiring at the bubble daily as to whether or not they had a bed available. After more than a month of “No's” and several reports of those who requested beds after her having gotten in before her, Shacona filed a complaint with DC government's Office of Administrative Hearings just two blocks away. I accompanied her there and she got a bed at CCNV in late August. Oh, happy day. Now she didn't have to leave at 7 AM each day but could come in up until 2 AM. She could also leave two nights per week and have her bed saved – taking Friday through Monday out if she hose.

I met various family members of hers throughout the fall of 2013 and got along well with them. We could drink, talk, watch TV and have an all-around good time together. Shacona didn't want to go with me to see my mother in Florida in August of 2013 but would end up going in January of 2015. My mother loved her. My mother loves everybody. When Shacona told my mother that various adult family members were mooching off of her 86-year old grandmother, my mom offered to fly the three of us to Florida for a few days. I would eventually learn that Shacona's grandmother hated airplanes and wouldn't have gotten on one. Sadly, she died on February 7th. I accompanied Shacona to the funeral and the repass where I met even more of her family. My mother also gave me $20 toward taking Shacona to the movies. (I didn't tell her that one of our usual movie outings costs $60 – $13 for each ticket, $7 for each food item at the theater and $10 per meal at Chipotle's afterward). We've seen at least five movies together.

Fast forward to March 21st, 2015. We've been together for a year and nine months. I've yet to shout at Shacona, though she has taken such liberty with me on many occasions. I had resolved to be her pillar of strength and, in hindsight, think I may have been kind to a fault. We had just finished a church service on the first floor of the CCNV Shelter and had sat down to eat the hot meal that always follows. I had to get up for some reason. As I returned to my seat to resume eating, I was singing along with the music that was playing. Shacona got sharp with me as she said, “Eric, we know you can sing! Can you shut up and just let the music play?!”. This time I shouted back at her as I slammed my hands on the table and demanded some respect. She couldn't take a taste of her own medicine; so, she got up and walked out. We said very little over the next 12 days due, mainly, to her avoiding me.

She couldn't avoid me altogether; as, I was giving her transit fare to get to and from Prince George Community College where she began to study journalism immediately after returning from Florida with me. The tension eventually dissipated. Shacona seemed to have gotten over any apprehension she felt on March 21st hen she realized that I can shout louder than her. Things seemed to be getting back to “normal”. They actually got a little too normal this time, as she became even more belligerent than she was previously. I guess she knows that I'm not predisposed to domestic violence and that she can get away with her bad behavior. (People taking kindness for weakness is my pet peeve.)

On Sunday, May 17th, I accompanied her to the store. As we walked back and talked, Shacona told me about how a certain Retina Christian had advised her to “leave my ass” (and the rest of me, I'll ASSume) if I were to again do something that Shacona accused me of doing. It was more a matter of perception than of fact, for which reason I won't say that Shacona flat-out lied. That's generally not her style, though one may need to separate fact from feeling with her – to take what she says with a grain of salt. Retina was not the first woman that Shacona involved in our relationship. I told her that she needed to quit doing that and we parted after I helped her bring her goods to the second floor.

I was so bothered by her allowing other women into our business as well as certain other aspects of our relationship that I sent her a few texts to read that night. We spoke by phone on the 18th and 19th but she wouldn't come and speak to me face-to-face. She told me over the phone today that she didn't want to be with me anymore but repeatedly refused to meet with me. Our break-up is not official yet insomuch as I foresee her needing a favor within the next couple of weeks. I'll lay off until Saturday, May 23rd, and see how she feels. If she holds her ground until the 30th, then I'll know it's for real.

That said, Shacona has been the worst girlfriend to-date in my 46 years of life. She's the most belligerent – unmethodically belligerent, at that. Other girlfriends have gotten upset; but, there was usually a discernible reason – even if I didn't agree with the reason. Shacona snaps about the littlest thing. She told me some time ago that her psyche meds decrease her sex drive. I've been sexually starved for the past two years. The fact that I don't have many finances with which to get a hotel room make it even harder and then there have been times that we've gotten the room for $80 plus another $45 in transit and food and she hasn't been in the mood.

I've thought about ending the relationship several times, namely due to her belligerence. However, I figured that, when I asked her to become my girl, I bought the farm. I saw myself as having taken on a responsibility that I couldn't easily dispose of. I wanted to be supportive. I felt a moral mandate. Furthermore, if it got out that my sexual starvation was a factor in the break-up, I'd have to further clarify my religious stance to some “devout Christians”/ fellow church members. They'd want to know why we were even considering sex before marriage. So, here it is.

I consider myself to be a spiritual man more so than a Christian. I've yet to meet a Christian who can make enough sense of their religion by answering the hard questions. I long to see something in the way of God's Old-Testament heavy-handedness – to see God exact vengeance on the world for its utter stupidity and lack of order. I believe people have misused salvation. I'm not fond of Christ and his apparent sweetness. In lieu of how disorganized people's thoughts on marriage are, I believe that I could reason with God sufficiently well concerning my marital, sexual and relationship choices. That said, I am not a staunch advocate of waiting until marriage. Besides, with marriages being so easy to get out of, a license isn't worth the paper it's written on.

In closing, I've learned that I can't deal with bipolarity or with a woman who is belligerent for any reason. I will make sure that my next woman is as sweet as 1 Peter chapter 3 says she ought to be. I was attracted to Shacona's outspoken manner; but, it soon became the problem. I love women who can reason well. She didn't make the mark. Never again will I feel obligated to remain in a relationship because I am with a woman who is emotionally or financially dependent on me. I'll make a last-ditch effort to have Shacona straighten up and fly right, after which I'm through with her. No more sympathy. The next time I'm going to be a bit more selfish.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 18, 2015

Homelessly in Love

On May 15th, 2015 the Washington Post ran an article about a documentary on homeless love which was done by two French women – Lalita Clozel and ArianeMohseni. I was both their guide who helped them to penetrate the homeless community of DC as well as their subject matter expert. The documentary and article bring out what may very well be the greatest epiphany of our time: We all need love – yes, even the homeless. Who would ever imagine that homeless people like to give and receive love? As with other populations, there are good and bad people in the homeless community. Some have given their lives to save others or been the only one to show concern for a suffering person while others passed by in droves – too busy to care.

The story began on Sunday, February 8th, one week before my birthday. As a member of the National Coalition for the Homeless and its Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau, I was doing an outreach run during which I led a group of university students through the streets of our capital to give care packages to the homeless and chat with them. As I approached the McPherson Square Subway Station entrance, I saw about a dozen homeless people sitting against the wall and a young lady with a camera in her hand moving among them – sitting between different pairs of people. I instructed my students to mingle with the homeless. Then, in my usual blunt manner, I approached her and said, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”. She explained that she was doing a project about homeless love. I promised to return when I was through with my outreach run. I finished a couple of minutes later and returned.

Lalita finished up her conversation and then walked with me to the sidewalk just outside of the station. I asked her name again and asked for further clarification of what she was doing. At one point I sensed that she might think she was in trouble; so, I assured her that she wasn't in trouble and that I was just a curious homeless advocate with a blunt manner. She did a video interview of me and we spoke for over 30 minutes. We scheduled a lunch at Potbelly's Sandwich Shop (a favorite eatery of mine) a couple of days thereafter during which she told me that a friend of hers would be coming from France in a few weeks.

We hit the ground running on February 15th. Lalita came to my church which opens at 6:30 AM on Sunday and has three-hours worth of activities for the homeless. I introduced her to several people. She immediately began to connect with them and got several people to open up to her about their love lives. I then took her to Franklin Square Park for more of the same. I put her in touch with shelter directors and other homeless service providers and she worked her magic so as to connect with them and abate any fears that she was there to critique them or expose their shortcomings.

On Friday, March 6th, Lalita and I planned to meet at the NCH office where she could interview Michael Stoops and get his perspective on homeless love. When she arrived, she had Ariane with her. We spoke with Michael. Then an Italian intern for NCH named Alessandro joined the ladies and myself and the four of us went to a Starbucks in Du PontCircle – a couple of blocks away. Alessandro had to leave. Lalita had to step away for a few minutes to do a conference call. Ariane and I were left talking to each other; but, the conversation went well and there was never a dull moment therein. As a matter of fact, Lalita (who was always within eye-shot) commended the fact that the two of us had hit it off so well.

Ariane explained that she volunteers at a shelter in Paris and that the shelter has separate sleeping quarters for men and women but a common area where the sexes can meet and mingle. This stood in stark contrast to homeless services in Washington, DC where shelters don't have a common area for the sexes to meet and where not-only-soup-anymore kitchens often have an area for women who don't choose to eat among the men – the latter of which I've spoken against on several occasions. She also told me of an effort in Belgium to create a homeless “love nest” for couples living without homes to make love. I found her and what she had to say to be quite interesting.

Alessandro would accompany us on a couple more occasions and myself on a couple of homeless advocacy ventures before his studies prevented him from doing so anymore. The ladies and I would end up finding many more people to interview, with them having gotten so good at it that they found and interviewed people whom I'd never met -- granted I don't know all 8,000 or so homeless people in the District. I connected them to Street Sense (DC's newspaper about homelessness and poverty) where they found more interviewees and were able to borrow video equipment for the project. They even went with me to a couple of big meetings including the quarterly meeting of the DC Inter-agency Council on Homelessness on March 31st.

My three and a half months with Lalita (thus far) and two and a half with Ariane have had some unintended consequences insomuch as I've come to love them both as dear friends. After all, this project has enabled us to create some robust conversation about something that's very important to me: LOVE. So, it stands to reason that I would "love" my project partners. (I would be less inclined to use the "L" word with male friends, though a few men do.) With me being keenly aware of the uneasiness that Americans often feel when the word “Love” is used liberally, I wasn't sure when or how I might break the news to them -- even though they come from a stereotypically "loving" country.

Then, I began walking down G Street as I left a Palestinian protest that took place in front of the White House on the evening of May 15th, 2015. I noticed that Lalita had sent me a couple of texts that I hadn't responded to. I responded and began walking again. As I got in front of my church moments later, I noticed a woman standing on the sidewalk in the dark. It was Lalita! We discussed a few things including the Washington Post article. She told me about a roommate who hates her. I saw my chance. I told Lalita, “Well, I love you” to which she snickered before saying quite genuinely, “I love you too”.

Though I am currently in a relationship (that, as of 5/19/15, seems to be going the way of my other relationships) and have reason to believe that Lalita may never be my main squeeze, I've watched as she's become more and more comfortable around me and even confided in me. With her having lived in the U.S. since 2010, we may have many opportunities for continued face-to-face friendship. This is the beginning of a beautiful Franco-American friendship (sans Chef Boyardee).

As for Ariane, she'll leave for France on May 22nd and then travel to South America. I'm sure that she'll carry a message of love along with her beautiful and contagious smile wherever she goes. I'm anxious to see what an impact she'll have in Europe and South America. In any instance, people on at least two continents -- North America, Europe and possibly Latin America -- will be able to read about the greatest epiphany of our time: We all need love – even the homeless.

Breaking up?????

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Eric Jonathan Sheptock's Statement of Principles

I've often been bothered by how people distort scripture, science and the words of historic figures or deities in order to make the case for supporting their chosen lifestyle. I tell people to self-validate rather than twisting the words of God, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr. or the forefathers. After all, if you're already Hell-bent on living a certain way, why do you seek another opinion??? Your mind is already made up. I also worry that, when I've gone on to the next life, people will attribute beliefs and ideas to me that I never supported or that I was indifferent to. In this blog post, I intend to make my views very clear and unmistakable while creating a permanent record that will outlive me.

Spirituality:

I believe that God can best be described as the “God of Necessary Evils”. He told people to do good, swayed our circumstances in favor of us doing evil, came down hard on those who lived before Christ for not living up to His standard, required the blood of animals and His son in order to usher in salvation and has already told us about the evils that will occur as the seven seals of Revelation are opened. He told Satan she could do her evil to Job in order to tempt him into cursing God, allowing her to kill Job's sons, daughters servants and livestock – all for the purpose of testing Job whom God adamantly told her not to kill. Some of the few scriptures that mention God's love use His requirement that Christ die as proof of the same. In the present, the world is in turmoil, leaving us to wonder why God hasn't set things straight. All of these assertions are supported by a school of thought known as “Finite Godism” which holds that either God has limited ability to eradicate evil or He's complicit with it. I believe the latter.

God's evil is necessary insomuch as it teaches the up and coming lesser gods about what can go wrong in their respective kingdoms and forces them to develop plans for preventing these problems in eternity. These lesser gods include Jesus as the ruler of the New Earth and his equal in the other world that God is working on right now, with each having 144,000 lesser sovereigns – in much the same way that we have a federal government (God/ Heaven), state governments (Jesus & his equals/ New Jerusalem) and local governments (groups of 144,000/ districts of the New Earths). When God has completed this 10,000-year cycle, He'll start on two more worlds.

In early 1994 I read Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34-35, both of which indicate that some men are actually demi-gods. I took this to heart and have put tens of thousands of hours into thinking about and using “the god in me”. This begins to explain a few things about my character, to be sure. I believe that many women are goddesses, though I DON'T believe that the Bible expressly states that. I use my godhood to make people think hard and unemotionally about the grim realities of life, as opposed to adopting a senseless belief because it sounds nice and satisfies their sensitivity. I also use it to promote moral mandates which public officials should live up to and to pressure them into doing for their constituents what they ought. I believe that an objective acceptance of grim realities and the ability to instill these sensibilities into large numbers of people are indications that one may have obtained godhood.

Gender:

It is important to make the distinction between sex and gender. Sex is physical, being defined by your anatomy. Gender is more about your mannerisms – whether you carry yourself in a perceived masculine or feminine way – and the roles you fulfill in the home and in society.

That said, I'm indifferent to the LGBT issue, speaking neither for nor against it. I'm not convinced that God supports it. However, I identify with the left on various social justice issues. This leaves me conflicted – at least until I factor in that God has given people enough rope to hang themselves and I reason out that it's not up to me to judge them for their lifestyle. I associate with them based on our shared interests and always remain willing to be intimate with a lesbian if we should grow close, in effect making her bisexual. I also believe that any nation or individual that not only accepts but also supports the LGBT lifestyle should do the same for polyamory and polygamy. If marriage can be defined to include same-sex couples, why can't we also have harems??? Let people define their own marital arrangements totally and completely.

I believe that society has gender in much the same way as individuals do. That is to say that, while both men and women throw their thoughts and feelings into the mix, any society tends to lean more heavily in one direction or the other. I remember how in the late '70's and early '80's many women were telling men to “get in touch with their feminine side” or to “make themselves vulnerable”. Men were discouraged from thinking that they always had to come through for the family and save the day and encouraged to show weakness. I also remember how that, before these ideas had taken hold in the minds of men, it was common for men to present tough logic that made whomever they were speaking to feel compelled to make sense. Now there is more of an emphasis on letting a person believe as they choose – even if they contradict themselves – without challenging them to make sense of their arguments. People used to want to make sense of their arguments for you – to reason out their beliefs. Now the prevailing idea is that a person doesn't need to answer to anyone for the purpose of making sense of their beliefs or choices. This enables people to live by their personal whims and feelings and in the spur of the moment, as opposed to living by rationale. Let's go back to 1975.

Politics:

I believe that we need to break away from a two-party system – to stop flip-flopping between two parties that take turns at screwing the country and the world. While the development of a third viable party may be more than a decade away, the end of partisan politics might not be. We're shifting from partisan politics to a more intentional form of gender politics. Women make up 20% of the current congress. Hillary Clinton is a viable 2016 presidential candidate. DC already has a female mayor (whom I can see Hillary tapping as her veep) and might soon have six female council members on a 13-member body – making seven of 14 elected officials women. I support Clinton for president insomuch as this may be the closest we come for a long time to disrupting the usual flow of American politics.

Furthermore, women have said many times over the years that they can do better than men at a number of things including the U.S. presidency. While I'll withhold judgment, I want them to have the opportunity to put up or shut up. If a woman does better than men, I'll be among the first to laud her.

I am a Marxist/ Communist at heart who believes that Acts chapter two lays out a good model for society. I also believe that a society that is run by women wouldn't and couldn't be Capitalist, due to the aggressive elements of Capitalism being drawn directly from the male mentality – like the “austere man” mentioned in a parable Christ told and the ever-present notion that people who don't earn enough money to survive should be left to die – that they should have their social services reduced and eliminated. Let's not forget about the male propensity for war – over oil, land and the right to oppress. That said, not all men are capitalists; but the staunchest capitalists are all men. Even so, male aggression is also capable of doing much good. That's why I promote it under certain circumstances.

International Affairs:

While working with two women from France (both of them multiracial) on a project that addresses what it's like to be in a relationship while homeless, I asked them many questions about France. The three of us and others whom we spoke to agreed that the French people probably experience greater freedom than Americans. I believe that many Americans have been influenced by McCarthy-ism to think that Marxism, Socialism and Communism are wrong. Americans are not – for the most part – free thinkers. While the U.S. is not experiencing the turmoil of some African nations, it is far from being as free as some European nations.

My French lady friends (whom some know as “the Love ladies”) reminded me that France refused to fight in the Iraq War and that Bush 43 had much animosity toward Sarkozy because of it. They also told me that Bush 43 and his Iraq War did much to ruin America's image around the world – a fact that I was already keenly aware of but didn't mind having further reinforced.

National Affairs:

This country has yet to reverse the damage done by slavery and Jim Crow. After mistreating Blacks for centuries, racists politicians in 1972 began to adopt policies that led to mass incarceration of Blacks – in effect beginning the shift from outright oppression of poor people to a narrative that enabled them to blame poor people for their own plight. These policies have culminated in the unjustified killings of unarmed Black men by police and the riots that these murders spur. All poor people must band together in revolution against their capitalist oppressors and effect full systemic change that ensures that everyone will have their most basic needs met. We can't let it suffice that they stop the unwarranted violence by police but must push for a system that reverses the socioeconomic disadvantages of Blacks and other poor Americans.

Local Affairs (Washington, DC):

Washington, DC is being further gentrified with each passing day, though its poor population is not as destitute as Baltimore's. The administrations of Tony Williams, Adrian Fenty and Vince Gray have handed the city to the wealthy and well-to-do beginning in January 1999 and running through December 2014. Muriel Bowser has shown herself thus far to be quite different from her last three predecessors and is focused on addressing the plight of the city's poor. Whether or not she'll actively reverse any of their draconian policies like we need her to do remains to be seen.

Conclusion:

This concludes my running list of stances. I hope that no one confuses my stance on these issues while I live or after I'm gone. After all, a person needs only to do a Google search to gain an understanding of me. This reminds me of yet another thing that my French lady friends told me. French men often prefer to argue for hours about something that can be proven with a simple Google search. Don't misunderstand me or argue about what I stood for. Just Google me.

Thank you.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,