Dear Starbucks Don’t Ignore Parkchester

Dear Starbucks, Customer Service, To WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Excuse me for writing this long letter because but I know you are very busy and there are many other customers with many other complaints. I am concerned about the compatibility of your mission statement and your service environment. In your mission statement you articulated that Starbucks is an environment that fosters community development and socialization. I would suspect that very characteristic appealed to the Parkchester Condominium authorities as they granted you the license to operate here. It is the case that in fundamental ways you have not adhered to your mission statement. Consequently, this has resulted in the deterioration in my community’s portfolio and standard of living. Currently, there is no separation between the fast-food service of good ole Popeyes up the street and your service two blocks below, past Macys, in front of Dunkin Donuts, which now has chairs for people to sit and scratch their ankles. However, there are clearly service differences when we consider the reliability of your service in Manhattan localities. Specifically, I allude to your promise of Internet access to customers.

I have lived in Parkchester for many years. My Gold Card is more than five years old, not to mention the many Starbucks cards that preceded it. There should be no question about my status as a loyal customer who spends very often with your company. The least I/we of Parkchester ask is that you treat us like you consider the people in Manhattan. The Internet service in your store, hosted by the legendary AT&T, has been very inconsistent for the last two years. When it works, it moves like a snail trying to find its way on a concrete floor. This is even the case when only two persons are in the store as customers. Why is this not happening in Manhattan stores I/we wonder (we—given that more and more customers are becoming outrage about this)? But the more troubling question is—why has this lack of service fulfillment been allowed to continue for so long?

We might not have a lot of cultural privilege like that distributed to the people in Manhattan, but this community of Asians, Blacks, and Latinos, native and immigrant peoples, would like a coffee house where we can visit and use the Internet and enjoy the coffee house experience. It wouldn’t surprise you to know that we do use the Internet to read in Parkchester. We are just as curious as the people in Manhattan. Of course, some of us are loud, just like the people in Manhattan; but most of us know how to sit down, sip coffee, cross our legs, bite into organic cookies, speak quietly, and whisper our giggles like folk with years of coffee house experience.

By the way, I should inform you that we are one of the best Bronx neighbors according to several evaluators who write for papers. Don’t worry! Those papers are published in Manhattan. It shouldn’t surprise you that many white folks are now moving to Parkchester. Uh-huh, our community is now making the gentrification ranking. That is good news, since we are all about ethnic diversity over here. If you don’t take all my concerns thus far seriously, I hope you will give some weight to the gentrification note and step up your Internet service so that, at the very least, the new comers will be satisfied. Indeed, having Internet access is a privilege of your service, you will say. Not a customer’s right, I know that. But it is the very privilege you use to market your service, the very privilege you use to expand yourself wider than plantations, the very privilege I’m sure other companies covet and would be happy to fill the space and recognize Parkchester’s communal ambitions.

Additionally, lately the store has been very uncomfortable. Benches lay all about without a table. Lying about empty or even when occupied, they make the place feel like a traffic jam. One has to sometimes tiptoe when going to one corner of the store, hoping they won’t bump into a bench and spill Chi Tea Latte on some customer’s neck. Is your ambition to deliver sophistication in the Bronx or are you hoping to take Parkchester backwards, intending to deliver a street cart coffee service? In the last two weeks, luckily, we notice that your head office sent us a new table. For months the other benches had just laid about, waiting to be served with tables just like we have been waiting to be served with proper Internet service. What is happening to our store I wonder? What is this doing to our community and property values?

And is it corporate store policy that the bathroom should be closed every night at 10 p.m. (not 11) because very polite staff are in a rush to go home? Are you paying them enough so they won’t have to be in a rush to close the service on us before closing times? These days, any time after 10 p.m., I have to get up and go up the road and use the Popeye’s bathroom, and then come back down, tiptoe on the wet floor (I don’t want to break my back because pain comes back to haunt in old age), and get back to my reading. Such customer labor in a space that prides itself on service! Is it now store policy for staff to start mopping the floor half hour before closing though customers are still enjoying the service?

I seek a response to all my concerns; because I’m mostly concerned about evaluating your service’s contribution upon the lives of good people in our community. We want to know if you intend to keep serving us in the store; or are you slowly pushing us out on the street to wait in lines by a counter (slow corporate strategy?)? Most of us don’t want to move to Manhattan, because Manhattan doesn’t want us during the hours when we aren’t on its wage clock, and because Parkchester has some of the cleanest streets and some of the warmest people in New York City.

By the way, to ensure that you do not render this concern continuously invisible, I will send a copy of my letter to your customer service contact form, and I will add it to my website, and I will tweet it to your Twitter address and AT&T’s. I hope you are not upset at me for complaining. It’s nothing personal against your corporation; it’s just that we want you to see us as persons here.

Hoping for a resolution,

 

Dadland Maye

 

Parkchester Resident

Bronx, NY 10462

Posted in Life Talk, Race Matters Tagged with:

Examining Raven-Symoné’s I’m Not Gay or African American

On Oprah, Raven-Symoné says she is not African American; she is American. She doesn’t want to be labeled gay. She prefers to be referred to as a “human who loves human.” Raven is not denying membership inside the race and queer boxes societies have built for her. Neither is she condemning the other labels. She is merely exercising her power to rename her identities—to enter and exit identities whenever she pleases. Rather than misread Raven’s ambition to open herself to wider senses of being, we might want to examine the new label box in which she is seeking refuge.

Here I refer to “human” as a label box, not to condemn Raven, but to suggest that all labels come with a baggage. We should consider that when we exchange labels we are merely shifting loads from one shoulder to the next. Indeed, we do have that right. I would even suggest that we should often times do so in order to trick our sensibilities to believe our load has grown lighter. To put it differently,  we can trade a cup of coffee per day for five cups of green tea per day in order to get rid of our caffeine addiction. However, we must realize that we would then be consuming the same amount of caffeine from the five cups of green tea.

Calling oneself a “human” is another label. Its architecture houses the bricks and mortar of sexism. The patriarchal male is visibly present in “hu-MAN.” One might, however, suggest that the male is visibly present yet remains inactive in the word. Such a reading needs more scrutiny.

If the word “human” is supposed to become a site of refuge–a fleeing from the bridge of, for example, “African———American,” (a sturdy bridge designed to cross seas and link a diaspora to old and new histories since a culture was told it had no history)–then why can’t the refugees see the “Man” dominantly posing within the architecture of the word? Where is the question of—is this “new” identity-site safe when it holds baggages of brutal histories against women?

Raven sees the words “African-American” and “Gay,” and thus sees histories and presences that unsettle her; yet what has our world done to her that she cannot see the very ruins within “human’s” architecture in which she seeks security?

The Man is not only posing in “hu-Man, he is speaking subtly and thus dangerously. He isn’t screaming; he whispers to the subconscious—“hu-Man.” How can Raven and many others who take the humMan ferry, not see the Man posing and hear invisible women screaming in the backgrounds of its history?

I’m not condemning the word at all. But if “African-American” and “Gay” are to be questioned as to whether they are safe residencies (and they should always be questioned), then the purity, the morality, and the security of “human” needs to be reexamined.

I’d like to emphasize that I admire Raven for questioning the usefulness of identities. Her critics are wrong for suggesting she hates her race and her sexuality. Yet with my own admiration, I just worry about the suitableness of the geography to which she is fleeing. But then again, perhaps she isn’t fleeing; she is merely seeking temporary shelter, so that she can move in and out of identities, something I would encourage of my own self.

Posted in Gay Voices, Politics Education, Race Matters

LGBT Activists Need to Look in America’s Backyard

A word of wisdom to LGBT activists who have been calling out homophobia and transphobia in places like Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Jamaica and Russia, I think you have been doing a good job bringing to our attention the crimes in these places. But there is something that concerns me–that is, your constant appeal to the U.S., Canadian, and English governments to intervene in these places and punish them, and educate them about right and wrong.

A victim of homophobia myself, I support your strategy. You are asking the hubs of political, military, and economic power to use their power and make homophobic and transphobic states less powerful in waging phobias upon the powerless.

But let’s be clear on something, which many of you have not made clear in the body and history of your criticisms. What you are also doing is asking one bully to control other bullies.

I think it important to intervene with this note, because a Facebook friend asked me an important question on August 6, a question other Jamaicans have been asking in different ways. “Should LGBTQ individuals REALLY be proudly celebrating Jamaica’s independence?” the friend asked.

The friend asked the question, knowing it was Jamaica’s independence and, perhaps, after observing many LGBT Jamaicans, like myself, have been consistently critical of Jamaica’s homophobia. It is an important question because it puts activists in a position to take their role seriously on how they approach national holidays and national pride, when the notion of national pride varies for various constituencies.

I replied, “Yes, Jamaicans should celebrate their independence, have the same national pride as other countries such as the U.S., which have a history of legislated violence upon people of color, LGBT peoples, drone murders upon foreigners, funding apartheid and crimes of the Israeli government, CIA secret programs that to this day continue to destabilize Latin American countries, and torture chambers.”

What I hope you notice is that I make it clear that the United States is a dangerous place as well, something many LGBT activists are not doing. Of course, they should attack phobias across the world. But I find them outrightly ignorant or dishonest or coward to be constantly demonizing, especially, Third World countries while asking First World peoples to be the moral judges. There is no balance in their approach to and criticism of phobias.

Of course I understand that has to be one of their strategies. In order for political activism to be successful, constituencies have to align with demons to build an army powerful enough to eradicate other devils. During the process, however, there needs to be a show of integrity.

Don’t act as though hate and violence exist only in Africa and the Caribbean, by ignoring to comment about the U.S. leadership (with the support of Europe) in drone terrorism of non-American peoples.

I expect that LGBT activists who also call themselves human rights advocates to occasionally take time and make forceful comments about the human crimes perpetrated by the most powerful elites that they expect to serve as global moral judges.

Of course, I understand LGBT advocates want to stay in their lane and only comment about LGBT subjects. But they cannot make that argument and then support their case by quoting statistics and positions of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch—U.S. centered organizations that address subjects other than queer advocacy, but whose existence indirectly solidifies American imperialist violence.

Now I’m not saying these organizations haven’t done more good than bad. I’m just saying we have to look at their agendas and the ends they meet in terms of what geographies mostly benefit, and how they attack Third World countries more than First World countries, thus providing cover for places like the U.S. and Canada to wage violence in the shadows of covert-classified operations. As I see it, much of their strategy is really a deployment of national patriotism, not by individuals, but by non-profit organizations.

The point I’m making to LGBT activists is that anything other than a balanced critical strategy further marginalizes Third World countries while the characteristics of other bullies escape scrutiny.  Increasingly it bothers me when I go to LGBT events and people ask, “Where are you from?” and I answer, “I’m from Jamaica” and they roll their eyes and say something like, “That place!” Oh, how I want to say, Look in your own backyards and let’s start comparing notes!

Posted in Gay Voices, Politics Education, Race Matters

Can People See Your Value?

If you show and tell people who you are and what you reasonably desire but they ignore your messages, you must take their actions seriously. They are saying your presence and desires are not essential to them. They are informing you that you do not matter as much as you would like them to see you, and that if you are absent from their lives, they will miss nothing of value.

We must always remember we have something to offer every human being who moves in our circle, especially if we take time to talk to them, even in a simple place like Facebook or Twitter or in a coffee shop. Having a bunch of friends and associates will add nothing to our lives, except drama, if they do not see our value.

People have a way of realizing when we do not see our own value, and they will insult us, exploit us, and their mannerisms will reveal that, in a second, they will abandon us while thinking they will miss nothing of value.

When we constantly remember our value, automatically without thinking, we will act in ways that show we value ourselves, our presence, and what we offer others. People who see our confidence will feel something, believe we have a deep admiration for values and offerings, and become willing to add their gifts to our lives.

Sure, we all offer value to others. But how will friends, colleagues, and family feel if we are no longer in their circle? Will they believe that they’ll miss anything of value? Have we been acting in ways that subtly remind people around us that they are receiving value from our presence?

Search your lives a bit today. Examine the people and groups that surround you. Notice the ones that speak and act in ways that show their recognition of the value you bring to their lives. Nurture them. Love them. See the ones that show open hostility to your presence. Get rid of them!

Also take note of the ones that are sending mix signals. Often, those ones notice you are not fully aware of your own value. So get rid of your lack of confidence, which has been disabling the brilliant characteristics that reveal you know your worth. Own and walk in your power of worth! The right people will remain in your circle; the right people will leave it.

Posted in Life Talk Tagged with: ,

How to Argue On Facebook

Many people need to know how to have a respectful conversation to preserve peace on Facebook and in their own lives:

(a) If you are going to disagree with someone on Facebook, begin by affirming something they say. Make it clear you see value in their views. You can say something like “I agree with you on this and that, because I see how it could indeed lead to such and such.” 

When you do that, the person will immediately realize you care about what they said and that you are not there to lecture. It will also make the conversation less hostile and more productive. You can then move ahead and say, “I however disagree with you because of so and so.”

(b) Don’t tell people to stop talking about a subject you consider trivial! It’s rude to say something like “Why are we talking about Beyoncé when she doesn’t pay our bills?” Who are you to tell people what to talk about on their free time? And why do you think your idea of what’s important should become the template for everyone else? It will seem as if you are asserting power over other people, trying to control how they talk.

(c) It shows a lack of manners to rush over to people’s page when you are not on their friend’s list to attack. Visit to affirm! You don’t know them. You don’t know the history of their views. By showing up to preach without knowledge of the histories of their views, it makes you appear arrogant, a know-it-all: not a sophisticated debater. This impolite print of your aggressiveness will always remain on the Internet.

(d) Be aware of the usage of certain words such as “most,” “many,” “some,” and “few.” Use “most” when you are knowledgeable of the statistics. Otherwise, “some” is a good choice. To say, “Most Americans hate foreigners,” makes you sound not so knowledgeable. How can you prove that? It’s best to say “Some” or “Many Americans” hate foreigners.

If, however, a behavior is widespread, in your opinion, you can amplify your position by saying something like, “Americans hate foreigners.” You can defend that position by referring to the culture of politics and voting that put war hawks in office, and how drones have been destabilizing foreign lands.

However, persons can always challenge you on this; but there is room to defend your point. If you, however, say “Most Americans,” your opponent can ask you to provide the statistics. When you leave it as “Americans,” you have room to maneuver.

(e) Never ever attack people’s personality because you don’t like their views. Don’t become psychologist and psychiatrist! Remain a debater! If someone says, “Jamaicans are the worst people in the Caribbean,” you shouldn’t reply saying, “You are stupid.” Character attacks are not arguments.

Instead, move ahead and state why the argument is flawed, or why Jamaicans are not the worst people in the Caribbean. If you can’t argue any of that, use your brilliant skills and respectfully force your opponent to prove their point.

Indeed, when you do character attacks, many of your friends might press the LIKE button in your defense. It doesn’t mean your argument is sound; it just means they lack the skills to realize you have violated the rules of good debate. A good reader will quietly say, “Oh, there goes a bunch of misinformed nodding heads to misinformation.”

(d) When a black person holds a position you don’t think is “liberal,” don’t say, “But what if they did that to black people”? That doesn’t make you sound smart. That line of argument is clichéd. It presupposes that black folks shouldn’t have certain views because they were once enslaved and should remain eternally grateful that white people freed them.

White persons love to use this line when talking about gender and sexuality. And they fail to realize they are basically declaring their power over black people, by reminding blacks of white powers that enslaved and freed.

Based on that power articulation, they have expectations of what black viewpoints must automatically resemble. Indeed, people of color do it too when referring to persons such as Clarence Thomas or black conservatives. But it seems they are unaware that this statement is creating a mandate for how all blacks must think and speak.

If you discern some black persons are homophobic for instance, don’t rush to remind them that they need to be grateful for not being slaves. That position is not going to change their views. An argument should be about bringing fresh ideas to the table–ideas your opponent hadn’t heard before.

(f) Don’t pop up on people’s page only when you want to disagree.

(g) Don’t argue to win! Argue to share or else you will never feel like a true winner!

(h) Don’t hesitate to use the delete and block button to keep a healthy Facebook life.

You might however realize I do not follow these rules sometimes; but that is when I am referring to public figures. When talking to Facebook friends, I try to abide by these rules.

Posted in Life Talk, Politics Education Tagged with:

David Finch–Wonder Woman–No Feminist

wonder woman

Wonder Woman

David Finch, the artist who will be heading the DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, refers to Wonder Woman saying,

“we want to make sure it’s a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong—I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.”

If you read the comments below the Mother Jones blog where I first saw the story, you would think David said something offensive. This is nothing new. Many feminists have set in motion a pattern that makes it uncomfortable for men to talk about feminism. They expect men to either support feminism like figurines decorating a craft show or men must shut up.

What David is saying is that he doesn’t want Wonder Woman to be seen as a politically ideological character. David perhaps knows that feminism is a diverse field like any other ideological field in which actors remain at ideological war, trying to answer questions of who exactly do feminists represent, who are feminists, and what constitute feminist representation.

Avoiding the politically ideological might not give David the results he hopes for. But that is the messaging strategy he wishes to sell. There is nothing offensive within his statement. In fact, what is offensive is that identity politics still looms as a billion dollar industry that treats views as though they are created in a marketplace dominated by ideological shoppers of the day; and there isn’t more outraged about that fact.

Responses to issues of gender, race, and the LGBT community are seen as extremely sensitive to the point that discourse is hijacked and learning has been stifled. Of all the things David said about the Wonder-Woman project, we need not wonder why his brief comment about feminism made headlines.

Simple! Gender controversy sells! Most of us fail to realize how we are participating in this manipulative matrix as babblers (myself included). We believe we are really shedding light on an issue, taking an activist position for equality. Indeed, we might be doing all that, but it’s time we realize we are also engaging an exploitative tradition where every piece of non-offensive talk is amplified and decontextualized in order to keep us babbling at our keyboards while someone else rakes in profits.

If I were in David’s position, I would allow Wonder Woman to continue doing the powerful things she had been doing, and I wouldn’t oppose others who label her as feminist, but it is not a word I’d use to describe her.

What makes Wonder Woman feminist? From what I see across the Internet, many people say that she is a “strong woman.” Even David said that too. Perhaps he knew that such a characterization would immediately make others think Strong=Feminist, and so he attempted to disrupt that equation.

Is it that all “strong women” are automatically feminists? So what about women who aren’t “strong,” are they of a less worthy cloth in the hierarchy of woman and human power structures? Are feminists solely recognizing, in order to culturally replicate, “strong women”?

We could even ask what makes a woman “strong,” and who are weak women, or women in-between strong and weak. What specific roles in the private, public, economic, activist, and political spheres define these labels?

That there is a tendency to identify and valorize “strong women,” could that automatically mean feminists are locating only “distinguished women,” a minority of women. “Minority,” I say, because feminists wouldn’t have highlighted “distinguished” patterns if such patterns were the norm among the majority of women.

Could this be a criticism of some feminist movements? That is—they are ignoring the majority of women by only praising a minority; and in the process, they are making it appear as though they speak for all women—and that all women should consider the title “feminist,” the highest among honors? Could these concerns be among the premises David Finch resists?

Posted in Politics Education Tagged with: ,

Even Love Has to be Negotiated

I’m a high-energy person, passionate in speaking, passionate in loving, passionate in fighting, and passionate in praising others. But I’ve been learning, I need to be more selective of who I praise and how often I praise them. I realize that some people do not know how to receive praises. They take it to mean you giving them authority over you to counsel you, to see your faults, and to take the job of correcting you.

You notice this when the relationship becomes one where you continuously praise them, and increasingly they take the role of being your advisor when you never asked them to. If you flip the table and advise them on anything, you notice their quick rejection of your advice, or their silence.

Your praises and tolerance of their counsel have created a relationship where they do not value you as equal. Things must change therefore. I have to train myself to hold back praises, to more carefully and consciously distribute them when needs be.

It’s messed up that life forces me to hold back simple things like showing love; but life is about negotiating behaviors, and so even the way in which love is shown has to be negotiated.

Posted in Life Talk Tagged with: , ,

Be Bold Today

Stop being afraid! Just stop being afraid! If you feel like doing something that will hurt no one, just do it.

Stop looking over your back to see whether your neighbor or your family or your friends disapprove!

Who put a roof over your head? Who put shoes on your feet? Who put food in your belly? You. You. You alone.

So why do you keep on caring about what people think? If you feel like going on the sidewalk to hold your belly and scream and laugh, go do it!

Too many of us are immobilized by fear in the process of trying to look too proper, trying too hard to fit in, trying to get approval from people who will not raise a hand to put us in their house if we get kicked out on the street.

In everything we do, we must be bold. Women be bold! Men be bold!

In the process of being bold, don’t make apologizes; don’t provide explanations such as “Well, I don’t usually do this, but now–” or “I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but.”

You don’t have to explain anything to anyone. When you begin to explain, you give others reasons to doubt you, reasons to reprimand you, reasons to shut you down.

Many of us conflate boldness with an in-your-face cocky attitude. No, boldness is confidence. It’s going after what you want. It’s about learning to shut out negative voices while you keep your eyes on the prize.

Many people will not like you because you are bold—but why do you care? They don’t feed or shelter you.

Most people will however admire your boldness because most people are looking for others to inspire them to be bold.

Be bold my sisters and brothers. Be bold today. Be bold at least for a day!

Posted in Life Talk Tagged with:

Jamaicans: Tired of Sexism, Child Abuse, Homophobia, Transphobia?

caribbean alliance for equality

Jason Latty

Tomorrow will mark 38 years since the now deceased Prime Minister Michael Manley called the infamous State of Emergency. Many view that 1976 episode as one of the worst attacks on freedom of speech since Jamaica gained universal adult suffrage in 1944. It led to the killing of over 800 people in the 1980 election.

Today very little has changed in Jamaica. Corruption is still alive and kicking in our government and social sectors. The 2011 Tivoli Gardens massacre reminds us of state murders that buried freedom fighters of the Morant Bay Rebellion. We have upgraded from killing 800 people to 1300-1500 per year with little outcry in the country. And this past Saturday, a man was mobbed in Clarendon just for wearing lipstick.

The Peoples National Party remains the ruling party. It is now even more powerful. But it acts as though it is powerless, due to its lack of political will to advance the living conditions of the Jamaican people.

I saw Prime Minister Simpson-Miller cutting ribbon at a standpipe early this year. Prime Minister Simpson-Miller was launching an employment initiative that promised to benefit just 5000 Jamaicans. Indeed, Jamaicans are hungry for employment, but the prime minister’s offering was merely a short-term-employment promise for no more than 5000 Jamaicans. Yet the prime minister thought this was a great 2014 accomplishment.

Like the repercussions of the Manley government of the 1970s, the five-flights-to-Miami syndrome continues in Jamaica. The educated class is leaving is mass amounts. They are tired of the violence. Tired of the sexism. Tired of the high tolerance of child abuse by mothers, fathers, and community members. Tired of transphobia. So they are getting visas for countries all over the world. Anywhere else but Jamaica! is the mentality among the most patriotic Jamaicans.

Wackos have controlled Jamaica for years now. Deeply entrenched prejudices have contributed to a society where only 10% of the population will ever obtain a tertiary education. The high cost of living coupled with very little opportunity for economic advancement has left our people dazed and desensitized to the harsh and cold realities around them.

Our education system has failed our youths due to its failure to systematically target areas where children need help the most. This leaves us with a country where many people are uneducated and brainwashed. This rears a culture of good ole Jamaicans who show their ignorance, their love for Jamaica, by distributing violence against other Jamaicans in the name of nationalism, morality, and even education.

Jamaica has long gained a reputation as one of the most homophobic places on earth. Jamaicans continue to disown this title as they walk around with their machetes, trying to find the next gay man to torture, the next lesbian to corrective rape, and the next homeless trans person in a gully to murder.

There are now 1.1 million people living in abject poverty. Contrast this against Jamaica’s current population of 2.7 million. Dwayne’s House under the leadership of activists like Maurice Tomlinson and Yvonne McCalla Sobers continues to struggle to acquire funding to provide bread and butter, and hope for a roof for homeless LGBT teens whom families disown and society mobs regularly. The team of Caribbean Alliance For Equality (CAFE), at which I am the president, hopes to economically grow the organization and increase its membership so that we can better collaborate with LGBTQ organizations to dismantle phobias across the Caribbean.

The time is ripe now for a genesis in our thinking. If we stop and have a true reflection on our past and evaluate the present, we can salvage the future. Somewhere in the underbelly of the Jamaican people is still hidden a people with strong community building skills. A people who still values education. A people who understands the intrinsic value of life. A people desperately seeking love, freedom, and happiness. A people of a Jamaica, where the motto out of many one people needs to ring with more truthfulness.

Posted in Gay Voices, Politics Education Tagged with: , , , , , ,

LGBT Organization Acts Like Bully

Lambda Legal Restaurant Receipt

Lambda Legal Restaurant Receipt

Another example of an LGBT organization acting like a bully around town! That is, Lambda Legal filed a complaint for anti-LGBT slur based on a restaurant receipt. If we read Bilerico Project’s Why Is Lambda Legal Cyberbullying a Small Business, we discover that Lambda Legal is really going after a restaurant that “has gay staff and regularly hosts events like marriage receptions for gay or lesbian couples and private parties for LGBT events.”

Lambda Legal’s bully method in many ways mirrors the bully style of the Israeli lobby AIPAC. Many people would like to support Israel, but when they think of supporting Israel, they are conflicted. On the one hand, they know the people of Israel are different from the political positions the government of Israel takes. They know the Israeli government is the one responsible for creating racist apartheid policies that treat Palestinians as second-class citizens. On the other hand, it is difficult for people to conceptualize the Israeli government as different from the Israeli people.

This has led many people to accept that Israeli Jews need to protect themselves from militant Muslim violence. But at the same time, people resent apartheid. This resentment has forced people to vocally withhold support for Israel. Additionally, Israeli lobbies go after everyone, allies and enemies, who dare to question brutal racists polices of the Israeli government.

Nobody likes to be told they cannot speak. The viscous attacks against free speech have created a culture of cowardice, where most American intellectuals and media-talking heads tow the speaking lines of the Israeli lobbies. Social media follows and keep quiet when it has anything to do with Israel. Or they use fake social media identities to spill their grievances.

Many Israeli Jews believe Americans hate them. No, most people like you. But people hate the racism in your country—the racism you want them to support—the Israeli racism that they condemn, but you turn around and call them anti-Semitic because they advocate against racism.

At the same time, I’m not always mad at the Israeli lobby for their aggressiveness in stamping out free speech. Because the Muslim lobbies have been doing the same thing. I’m convinced that the Middle East needs aggressive Israeli activism to temper Muslim extremism. Without Israel in the Middle East, I have no doubt that Muslim agendas would acquire more freedom to use violence, genocide, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia to get what they want in the name of religion.

Currently, it is not ok to criticize religious violence in Muslim culture anymore. For eight years, the Bush administration used racist policies to attack the Arab community. Under the Obama administration, there have been attempts to disrupt that racist tradition but Obama often caves in to Republican and Democratic leaderships that valorize the old ways.

This has maintained racists legacies which Muslim constituencies use to cry out, “Victim, victim, victim!” But you rarely hear any of them crying, “Look at the victims in the Middle East! Too many Muslim men are killing Arab women, boys and girls!”

Where are the organized Muslim lobbies to eradicate Muslim violence in the Arab world? There are none, or few if any. Prominent Muslim constituencies have demonstrated they will only mobilize to shut up Americans rather than shut down the violence perpetrated by their religious wackos.

Trying to distance itself from that racist past, Americans are now suffering from racist guilt, in the same way many white people suffer from white guilt when it comes to criticizing black people. To address this fear, it is always important to frame arguments so that persons understand the difference between criticizing Arab cultures and the Muslim religion. And one should always speak if you know deep in your heart you did nothing to feel guilty about.

As I see it, Islam is the Arab world’s problem. Islam is one of America’s serious problems. Islam is also one of the world’s critical problems. And haven’t you figured out the secret? Oh, yes, Islam power structures have been using aggressive lobby efforts to hide these truths.

Like the Israeli lobbies, Muslim lobbies have invaded the intellectual, media, and economic lives of America and Europe. People are now afraid of saying “Muslim terrorism,” because such would open them to attacks of being Islamophobia.

Obviously, the Muslim lobbies have taken the trick from the playbooks of Israeli lobbies: Brand critics as racist in order to silence every criticism!

Increasingly, prominent LGBT lobbies have been doing the same thing: Brand critics as homophobic and transphobic first, then ask questions later! Create a culture of fear in order to create a safe space for the LGBT community!

Now when we watch videos of physical altercations between members of the LGBT community and someone from the heterosexual community, our first impulse is to scream, “Homophobia, this should not be tolerated!” rather than to ask, “Did the gay or transgender person began the violence?”

What I’m afraid will get worse is that more people will believe gay people are a powerful class determined to silence both allies and enemies. I am afraid fairness and objectivity will be lost as we intellectually mediate disputes. I don’t want the gay community to emerge from the shadows only to be hated in a new way. So I would like to emphasize that we need to remember that when the gay lobby speaks, it is often a privilege white gay class that speaks.

Posted in Atheist, Gay Voices, Politics Education, Race Matters Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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