racism

Minimum Wage and Racism

by Jeph Johnson


On Raising the Minimum Wage 

Unfortunately we could quadramililiothteenith the minimum wage (I made that word up) and billionaire CEOs would continue to up their earning percentage to stay ahead of the game.

 

Raising the minimum wage also sends a flood over people like me who've worked several years to be a dollar or two above minimum wage (actually it's more like 40 cents). I doubt employers will raise all the wages of those above the current minimum wage but who are below $15/hr. So basically you have an even greater percentage of people at minimum wage and it scares the hell out of me because all the skills I've cultivated over the years have deteriorated or are no longer applicable.

 

People have gone to school and sacrificed a lot of time and money to get degrees and certificates to make $12-$15/hour and now "anyone who works" is gonna be making the same? Like I said, awesome idea IF we could mandate employers to freeze (or lower) their earnings. We can't--not under our current form of Capitalism.

 

Also if higher education was tax funded then the issue with going to school to make more money wouldn't be as pressing.

 

How about lower everyone's wages incrementally in progressive tiers?

 

Everyone making minimum wage stays where they are. Those making $15/hr take a 1% pay cut. Those making $20/hr take a 2% pay cut and so on.... When we get to the obscene "wealthy one percenters/Corporate CEO types" their wages will be significantly reduced and money fed back into the system. It won't hurt them at all. It might impede some entrepreneurial progress but people emerging from poverty would benefit and prosper and de-monopolize the way things are.


Emerging from the lost incentives for CEOs, millions of happy people would transform our world into a much more liveable place, which in turn will provide new incentives for everyone else.

 

On Systemic Racism

There is definitely oppression based on skin color in the United States. There are more people with light skin in positions of authority--most notably those positions are due to economic disparity--so naturally more white people will be committing racist actions. And when white people continue to harass people of color this way it incites racial prejudices from them right back at us (I say "us" and "them" for no other reason than because most of my friends are white).

 

Economic disparity is the real problem. Racism exists on both ends of the color spectrum but more occurs from white people because of three reasons:

 

1) twisted religious doctrines (thankfully becoming less prevalent)

 

2) there are a greater percentage of white people in economically powerful positions (no real end in sight for this)

 

3) there are more white people in the United States than people with darker skin (this is soon to change).

 

So since power is what corrupts and money is power our society has two options to eradicate racism: White people with money (mostly corporate CEOs) need to CHOOSE to be fair and graciously benevolent with their wealth -or- as a nation we need to eliminate (or tweak substantially) the economic template this country plays (ie: enlist more Socialistic programs) so the "gracious benevolence" can be mandated. Just my two cents (which is one cent more than I'm worth to most multi-billionaires).

 

In a similar vein, I love the idea of a "national service" draft at the onset of a person's 18th year (or when high school is over for those who graduate). 


Have it involve schooling and working various jobs the country needs done. Eliminate the military for the most part, just make it one option for those drafted who want to serve. Sort if like the Peace Corps, but unlike the military and Peace Corp it doesn't have to be "war and peace" it can (and should) involve all sorts of apprenticeship opportunities and learned skills.


We wouldn't have to pay profit making corporations to get our roads fixed and public buildings built, but in turn those businesses would have ready made qualified people to enter their work force who don't have huge debts to colleges and trade schools.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2016 

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The Real Victim Mentality

by Jeph Johnson

 

To be a racist or sexist one must subscribe to elitist ideals regarding a race or gender.

 

I don't want to do this. I really try not to do this. To me everyone has an equal opportunity regardless of their sex, gender, skin color or ethnicity. I believe this because I believe everyone has unique goals and aspirations in life.

Notice I didn't say "to society everyone has an equal opportunity regardless of sex, gender, skin color or ethnicity."

 

No, there obviously are societal variables that effect people all different ways, regardless of their gender or ethnicity. Society places a huge emphasis on employment, finances, status and education. So depending on the way a person goes about their life, they will benefit more or less from the different privileges and/or hardships their situations present.

 

Yeah in the U.S.A. it is quite probable a minority will face more hardships than a non-minority, but that doesn't mean ALL do and will.

 

Unfortunately many who mislabel others "racist" and "bigots" or "sexist" and "predators", do hold elitist viewpoints. They do see one sex, gender, race or ethnicity as having a distinct and across the board advantage.

 

They look in the mirror and feel guilt where there really doesn't need to be. They paint themselves guilty: a victim of their own privilege. They then enlist the false panacea of mislabeling others with the same condemnation to attempt to atone for their misdeeds.

 

Unfortunately when someone mislabels someone sexist or a racist this mislabeling, by its nature, makes light the atrocities of real sexism (rape) and bigotry (ethnic cleansing).

 

In order to attempt to build back up the seriousness of the crime they have muted, they get so carried away by these causes that they start finding villains and victims where there aren't any. They start mislabeling and falsely accusing. When you mislabel and falsely accuse enough people, it brings the villain and victim tally up to a level that supports the original hypothesis that all the people who fit into their nice little box are racist and sexist.

 

And we go around in circles once again.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2014

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Bang

Folder: 
2016

Every day is a

new hill to climb.


My breath is a hurricane

building pressure in my ears

as I trudge up the slope.


That cop’s watching me.

I don’t know his name but

I know his story, same as all the others.

Blue eyes, ruddy face,

skin pale as the clouds,

claims he’s colorblind

but curses my black brothers crushed on the concrete,

dry gray pebbles spilling into their mouths.


I stride toward him to get to my car,

the exhaustion weighing on my face

and probably making me look like

not exactly the most pleasant guy ever.


Well, at least I haven’t

been shot yet.


BANG.


I hear it paired with the sight

of the cop’s hidden twenty-two.


The bullet races at the speed of thought

it’s too fast too fast too fast

my heart pounds

to catch up with it

sweat trickles down my arms

as I bolt.


The bullet sears fire along my side, I’m

smacking the ground like a train wreck,

eyes going black,

disconnected from the world I wish for

that is just

and fair

and colorblind

and doesn’t pull a gun

on any black kid

walking out of church.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 4/12/16

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tags:

Your Devedlopment is Our Demolition

Your condos are unmarked headstones above the mass graves of old dreams, old lives, and memories of joy and struggle. I saw your remorsless glances at the homeless man you displaced. I passed your expensive coffee shop on the way to work that used to be my favorite bodega. I heard entitlement in your voice when you called 311 to complain about the homeless encapment and soup kitchen. I know you see yourself as more human than those of us with darker shades of skin, different accents, and smaller bank accounts. You act as if you are saintly because you think you made the niegborhood nicer but I see that the road the homeless shelter is paved in your good intentions.

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America's Biggest Racist: Gerry Mander

Folder: 
Politics

 

 

 

user img

Gerrymandering is the drawing of voter districts in a way which minimizes the political power of the foe. In Florida and Alabama, congressional districts resemble absurdly designed puzzle pieces as minorities are packed into as few districts as possible

It is only because of over a century of racist vote fraud that Republicans are senators in Alabama.  Gerrymandering is egregious in Bama while neglectful has been Obama.

*

America’s most gerrymandered districts

America’s most gerrymandered congressional districts


 

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/voting-rights-act-2.jpg

 

 

Gerrymandering on trial in Alabama and Florida

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/06/gerrymandering-on-trial-in-alabama-and-florida/

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119019/civil-rights-movement-going-reverse-alabama

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Flying Free

I woke up at 12 this morning -

To the sound of Uruguayan bells ringing,

Harmlessly to the sound of sanity.


That ovulating smell,

Surfaced the room, cruising

Like a careless dream.


Into the crack den, those krooked curses live.

Surfacing like snakes, tormenting us

With their poisoned apples.


“Go on, take a bite,”

“It won’t hurt you.”


Expand your mind, thats what they say.

Learn and expand. Sitting there on their thrones,

Like courted angels, fallen from the depths of heaven,

To play persecutor to us. The free.


Discriminate.

Persecute.

        Survive.


Learn.

           fffffffffff Expand.

fdddddddddddddd Divide.


“Go on, take a bite,”

“It won’t hurt you.”



I used to think racism was racist,

But it’s not. It’s just a word,

Like and, or if, or but,

Or fuck.

They’re all just words really.

Harmless little words.

 

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Ain't I Black by Elliott J. Curry

“Ain’t I Black”

by

Elliott Justin Curry

Today, I want to challenge the questioning of a fact
My character and ethnic orientation is often under attack
They question the way I carry myself, in particular the way I act
To clarify, folks say the way I act is white…not black.
But when I look in the mirror, my complexion still in tact
I ask the question….”Aint I black”

Blame me because my verbs agree with my nouns
Criticize me because of the education that I have found
Get jealous cause I am destined, and bound
While you are busy hating, you never get off the ground
Yes, I am proud of me and I love the way my voice sounds
Challenge what you want, and make a mountain out of a mound
You can even dance around the fact but….”Aint I Black”

Okay speaking hypothetically
If I look at my brothers pathetically
If I think we need attention medically
I don’t think we get it right educationally
Should I handle that lackadaisically,
If you missed it that means lazily
Some folks are content and say just let it be
But because I demand change, drastically
I can because its my own, and I refuse to go passively
Not lacking melanin, but I still think tactically
Let me phrase it brashly
“Aint I black”

My people need something like a cultural injection
A reminder of what our forefathers endured for our generation’s protection
Because I feel this way, some say I lack affection
Sometimes I’ll chooses a classical selection
Does that mandate my racial direction?
I am not an agent and this requires no detection
Ain’t I black

Both black and white agree that I act like the latter
This used to bother me and it used to matter
Now I just laugh at the foolish chatter
Keep on talking, while my pockets get fatter
Instead of congratulate, my brothers would rather
Question who I am, make assumptions that make me madder
Than a squirrel without nuts to gather
With all of this being stated, nothing else to be debated
Its been mandated….
Aint I black

No I don’t need your affirmative action
I won’t give you a reason to say I got it because of this reaction
No, I worked hard to reach this level of satisfaction
I wont allow you to use simple arithmetic like subtraction
To take away what I have created, me, the main attraction
I create my own, and I am not alone I have a faction
Don’t be surprised because I say this loud with passion
But…”Aint I black”

I have learned that the point of my existence
Is to challenge stereotypical views with persistence
While my own and whites alike may meet me with resistance
I keep one thing in tact
Ain’t I Black

When its all said and done,
When that fat bitch has sung her last song,
It’s just me....
Me
It’s Just me gazing in a pond to see my reflection
I scratch my flaring nostrils to get some satisfaction
I rub my wool like hair, just to check, and I like the reaction
I am never surprised of my glowing chocolate complexion
This alone reiterates the fact
“Aint I Black”

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In today's society, everyone is too quick to judge. However, judging is not the problem, its the products of that judgement that inspired this poem. All too often, I was told "You are the whitest black guy I have ever met", "You act white", "You talk white", "You date white women don't you?", and so on. These statements are the products of a shallow brain. By growing up in North Florida, I was often critisized and stereotyped because of my attitude, grammar, and ambition. In most circles, these attributes would result in positive constructive critisism. However, they were used to make me question my own identity. Because of the stereotypes portrayed of black men, a black man conducting himself in a positive and productive manner is often critisized to be acting white! That enraged me for many reasons. But mainly, these types of statements show disrespect to my mother. You see, when you say that "I act white", you are saying all of the values and morals my mother instilled in me are not of my own. You are saying that I am acting out of my character. Which this is very much so not the case! I can go on and on, but I think the poem states it best. You can also check me out performing it on youtube.. http://youtu.be/MR7X8ACDTZQ

A Families Cry for Justice...#TrayvonMartin

Folder: 
Free Flow

Excuse me for a second
While i catch my breath
Our son is dead
Shot down in the street
For wearing a hoodie
And being a young black man
Are you telling me
He dont deserve justice

Who was he hurting?
No one!
What crime was he committing?
None!
Being black is not a crime
So why is our son laying dead

I can still hear his screams
Just as you heard them
As he screamed for help
You looked him dead in the eye
And then you shot him
You took away our hero
Did you think we were just going to let that go

Trayvon risked his life to save his father's
From a burning house
Where he could have easily died
But God spared him
Only to have you
A racist muther f#$%
To come along and snatch our child's life
From him like a thief in the night

May God have mercy on your soul
But we will not go quietly
So hear our voices sing
Justice for Trayvon Martin
Gunned down for being black
You will not rest in peace
Justice must be served
Our son did not die for nothing
Trust me
The world sees you George
We know what you did
Why do you think the sheriff
Stepped down
Because he sees your guilty frown
Justice will be served

You can't hide for ever
Because you conscious
Is you judge
And i hope it make you pay the ultimate price
Save us all the trouble
Just pull the damn trigger George
Because you could have
Spared us the grief of loosing our son
We want go away Quietly
His cry will not be silenced
He begged for his life
Now we are begging for Justice

Racism is a reality
Our black men live with daily
Beaten down like a dog in the street
Why do they keep doing this Shit?
What is it that scare them so much?
About a black man,
His skin color
Or your ignorance
Of thinking that we all cause trouble

We live and learn to adjust to your cultures
We educate ourselves and our children
So that we can have a better chance of living
But what good does it do if all you see is skin color
Blinded by your fears and assumptions
Watch us closely as we rally together
Standing in line screaming for Justice
Trayvon we heard your screams
They want go away quietly
We will continue to fight
Justice for Trayvon Martian

Lord hear my cry
Cause I saw the hurt in his mother's eyes
Overwhelmed with pain and disbelief
To hear her young son's screams
For help..
They don't go unheard
My heart goes out to your family
As I scream Loud & Proud
Justice for Trayvon Martin

(c) 2012 Cassandra Evolutionsofpoetry Covington

Author's Notes/Comments: 

(note: These are not the personal views of Trayvon Martin’s family, I was compiled to write something after watching the Anderson show today)

White Man's Burden

Bring fourth ye white man’s burden
Bear arms to darkened slaves
On roads and paths and echoed laughs a new world we shall pave.

Don’t doubt the white man’s burden
It comes hither with good will.
Foot souls are sold for dark black gold beneath thee sandy hill.
Yet still when powered screens a play the devil's work is led astray
Enticing all who tread his path inviting men to walk the dark reminding
Them the eagles’ claws are sharper than an Arabs bark.

Please bear the white man’s burden
White men are shouting still
Your freedom is an inch away upon the grassy hill.
The burden is but yours to bear
The screen is fixed a gloomy stare
Ignore the red cloaked man a left
And bear the badge upon your chest
Do not for self and personal gain
Do this for land and country name
The flag will melt to black and white
If you don't fill your given right.
To slaughter all for expanding visions
To slice free will with a clean incision
Exercise plans with pristine precision

Fill ears with lies in a hope they'll listen…

You bear the White man’s burden.
Upon atrocity you pull the curtain
They know you are the serpent
And a prophecy fulfilled for certain.

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