Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The Skin We're In

It is a radical act to show up as your authentic self. 
It is a radical act to show up as your authentic self. 
It is a radical act to show up as your authentic self. 

In a span of days, I got three powerful reminders of this affirmation. This will be quite the trip down the yellow brick road, but I promise each character/metaphor will impart some lessons about the value of authenticity. Ready Dorothy? Here goes:

The Scarecrow - Race (Straw)Men

This young man appeared on FOX News to tout his family history on a segment about white visitors to Montpelier who were upset about having to confront its legacy as a working plantation. This occurred a few days after this same network offered this guy a platform to whine about the updated tour at Monticello. As you can see, this young Black scholar made a salient point that not all of our people have enslavement in their family trees, while an inspiring montage of photos of his family was shared. But when my Morehouse Brother, who happens to be a rather famous public historian, called this out for the fuckery that it was, young blood got in his feelings. He took the time to respond to everyone on social media who criticized how he was being used to argue against "wokeism", including little old me. I almost feel honored.

Just in case he ever reads this, I want to make a few points clear about why we always need to be careful when our skin is used as a handkerchief to wipe away the tears of white guilt. Young Brother, you weren't invited on a FOX News segment to share the story of your Black ancestors. It is July, not February. You were invited to help support their culture war strategy of false equivalencies--that Americans shouldn't be made to feel ashamed that slavery existed if there were free Black people. So when these tourists show up at plantations to get married or to tour vineyards, they want their rose-colored glasses to illuminate the pretty, not the gritty. They want to believe that First Lady Dolley Madison was a celebrated hostess on the strength of her cherry pie à la mode

Nobody is discounting your research. We are frustrated that these same people who decry wokeness are only interested in Black stories that assuage their guilt. True, there were free Black people living in cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. We know this because the African Methodist Episcopalian (AME) Church was founded in 1787 when two Black parishioners were thrown out of a white Methodist church while praying. That same year, the African Free School was founded in New York with support from two Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. And in Boston, slavery was abolished by 1783 in gratitude for the contributions of Black soldiers during the Revolution. Since you've done the supplemental reading assignments, you are also aware that most people aren't visiting New York, Boston, or Philadelphia to see historic plantations. We won't discuss how many of the landmarks that would document Black freedman history in those cities either no longer exist or probably aren't included on major tours.

Therefore, since you know that the history of your free ancestors isn't common knowledge and that they weren't regarded as equal to their fellow countrymen, why act like the rest of us ought to feel some kind of way about our enslaved ancestry? Learn this now, young blood, because I sense there might be hope for you--these same people used your free forefathers as straw men to sow division and sell propaganda in the 18th, 19th, and the 20th centuries. Ain't nothing changed, even now in this first quarter of the 21st Century. 

You have a brain, so think about it. You're getting high fives from the very folks that organized efforts to outlaw the history you seek to reveal, yet you took time to come for me?

The Tinman - To Thine Own Self Be True

Last Friday I saw a play about Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) at the Shakespeare Theatre called Red Velvet. I wrote about the experience and shared some thoughts about it here. To quickly recap the gist of that Facebook post, I saw all of these connections with the story of Aldridge as depicted in the play to the politics of casting, and how my Mom introduced local audiences to the idea that inner city kids could perform Shakespeare.

Othello is one of the most complex and iconic of Shakespearean tragedies. Everybody knows that the central theme of the play is jealousy, but as director Michael Kahn argues (having overseen/directed at least three unique productions), how that jealousy is presented to and acknowledged by the audience is dependent on the casting. I don't know a full history or evolution of the role, but it is clear that when Aldridge took it on at London's Covent Gardens in 1833, it caused a controversy such that the production was closed after two shows and he never performed at that theatre again. The play I saw imagines how that drama might have unfolded behind the curtains.

Much of the dialogue in the play about the politics of casting Aldridge could easily be Twitter chatter about current events. The drama addresses the role of art in pushing society and the sentiments of audiences being forced to confront their prejudices. I could not help but to see the connection to how people in this country have overreacted to the slightest deviations from convention in their scrutiny of Barack Obama and Kamala Harris. He wore a tan suit in the Oval Office, how unbecoming! She has high staff turnover, must be incompetent! Meanwhile the last guy never wore a suit that was properly tailored and he literally fired half of his Cabinet on Twitter.

The heart of the matter is that people see our skin, but not our humanity, no matter what they claim to the contrary. Our skin justifies biases, stereotypes, false assumptions, second guessing, border walls, denied access, and glass ceilings. The lack of compassion shown to us is evident in how they keep insisting that no matter how qualified our credentials and impeccable our presentation, we are still never good enough. Truly heartbreaking.

The Lion - An Offer She Could Refuse

It was last week right before I saw the play that I read about the decision by opera singer Angel Blue to pull out of an upcoming series of performances because another production at the venue made use of blackface. I find it ironic that the play touched on that same subject, so it was an Amen moment during an especially tense scene. Think about it, in 2022 in an era where there are countless Black opera singers, a European venue decides to mount a production that uses blackface and DEFENDS it!

I saw where a bunch of twits weighed in with comments about female singers portraying men and other costuming techniques that might be used in order to enable a specific actor to take on a particular role. All of that intentionally missed the point, because as usual some folks would rather twist themselves into intricate pretzels to deny the existence of racism or justify being offensive. For its part, the opera company claimed that this was consistent with a staging mounted in 2002 that used blackface. In other words, when we did this 20 years ago, no one complained, so what's the problem?

Where to begin?

First, European audiences have a tolerance for certain things that they shouldn't given their sordid history and legacy of colonization. Although we tend to think of England, Spain, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands as the most prolific global colonizers, Italy also had imperial holdings in Africa and parts of Europe. The Italian Empire was still in existence when the celebrated Italian director Franco Zeffirelli (1923-2019), was a child. However, he lived long enough to witness a world of change, so there is no excuse for him to have staged a racially insensitive production in 2002. The fact that he should have known better and did it anyway is one thing; the choice to repeat that error in tribute to him is quite another.

Second, in an era when Founding Fathers and dead Presidents are cast as Black men and the wives of King Henry VIII are Spice Girls, surely someone could have come up with a brilliant creative casting scheme for Aida. Ms. Blue walked away from the starring role of Violetta in La Traviata, a role that could have otherwise gone to any other soprano, so this didn't need to be all that hard. The fact that we no longer remain true to traditional staging is precisely because this is a big world full of talent. I get that opera is not Broadway, but let's not get silly and conflate gender-bending casting with racism. They are NOT the same!

Finally, the courage it takes to walk away from something that mocks your humanity is underappreciated. All someone has to do is jangle a little change and some of y'all discard your integrity like a used tissue. I don't follow opera, so I was unfamiliar with Ms. Blue and whether this would have been a transformative career opportunity for her. The fallout might be disproportionate, as in she might not be invited back to work in certain venues for having taken such a stand. That would be unfortunate because blackface isn't something she should have to grin and bear. 

The Emerald City - Are We There Yet?

You would think that in 2022, we would have finally reached the place where we aren't debating the politics of blackface or slavery. Seriously.

This enduring controversy over blackface has never been examined with any sensitivity to how it offends Black performers, because as long as white audiences accept it, there are no issues to be resolved. Which is why the irony that Aida is an enslaved woman never quite registers either. Apparently, they prefer an illusion of the exotic in the portrayals of Othello and Aida. It isn't that the actors are more believable when they are wearing grease paint. It is so that the audience can ignore the truth--like when they could visit Montpelier, Monticello, or Mt. Vernon before they got woke.

Stay with me young blood, because you need to understand this: it didn't matter that Ira Aldridge had been chosen by the man he replaced on stage, the London critics and audiences rejected him anyway. Born free, probably in the same New York community where you traced your ancestors, he attended the African Free School and began acting at an early age. He wasn't some inexperienced amateur when he made his way across the pond. The fact that he went on to become a star on other stages throughout Europe notwithstanding, his success didn't open the door to other Black Shakespearean actors until Paul Robeson, a century later!

Aida was written three years after Aldridge's death, but a Black singer wasn't engaged to sing it until Caterina Jarboro in 1933. Black women have been rising through the ranks of the opera world slowly, but steadily, so imagine how tone deaf that other opera singer must be to claim that her detractors are jealous of her success. Ironically, the first and last time I sat through a blackface performance was in a staging of Othello in high school. If memory serves, none of us recalled if the play was any good because we were distracted by the makeup that kept getting darker with each stage entrance. So yeah lady, Angel Blue is just jealous by how natural you look smeared in layers of self-tanner.

Young brother, you can't teach those plantation tourists anything they don't already know. The "woke agenda" that we're accused of pushing is no different than what Black people have been pushing for since Ira Aldridge tread the boards. Black excellence and resilience aren't modern concepts with which you were bestowed the honor of introducing. Italian audiences have been known to pelt Black soccer players with bananas, so there is no cultural understanding that can be bridged by performing for people who find blackface entertaining. What makes you think that you can accomplish more in a 5 minute segment than what hasn't been resolved for more than 200 years?

There is a man behind the curtain as plain to see. He can't give us anything to alter perceptions that we don't already have within our radical and authentic selves, blessed with sharp minds and caring hearts, imbued with courage. 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Apology Not Accepted

The other day after the seventh installment of the January 6th Insurrection hearings, there was this viral Kodak moment: Stephen Ayers, who testified about why he was inspired to come to DC that day, made this great magnanimous gesture of stopping to personally apologize to the Office Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police. For those who haven't been watching these hearings, Officer Dunn has been a ubiquitous presence since the first episode of these proceedings. And while the photog who took that million dollar shot was thinking "Pulitzer baby," in my mind, Officer Dunn was thinking: "So is this apology for threatening my Black life or for disrespecting my blue uniform? I wonder what wifey wants for dinner tonight...I think it is Tuesday, so tacos it is." (And yeah, I know folks are a little unsure if we can even joke about tacos this week but stay with me here.)

That evening, Dunn appeared on MSNBC and responded to a question about the apology. And for the first time that I have ever witnessed such a bold sentiment in public, this Black man said no thanks. Now since I don't read alt-right social media, I can only imagine how upset that has made some of the folks who feel entitled to Black forgiveness. But dammit, he's within his rights to deny absolution for the way he was mistreated by that mob, on behalf of every Capitol Police officer, and on behalf of every voter whose integrity was challenged. Bravo!

I wasn't planning on writing a think piece on Officer Dunn or the January 6th hearings, so let me explain why I am really here. It is in response to a segment I heard on NPR about the arrest warrant that was found for one Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman at the center of the Emmett Till lynching. By some belated miracle, a piece of paper that was never served has brought us to a real moment of racial reckoning.

I'm sure that a lot of think pieces have already been written on the matter of her culpability, including this question of whether we ought to be demanding justice from an 88 year-old woman about a story she told 67 years ago. It might be un-Christian of me to say this, but Hell yeah we should!

The very foundation of my faith is the concept of forgiveness. God sent Jesus to the world as a living sacrifice for our sins, so we are forgiven, no matter how badly we have sinned. There is even a verse in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus offers a hypothetical number for how often a person should be forgiven (490 in the KJV, but 77 times in the NIV, so there seems to be some new math in the mix). Whichever number you choose, I am left to question whether at any point in the last 67 years, did Mrs. Donham ask for forgiveness even once. Because isn't that baseline requirement? In all of the years in which I have been alive, I have never heard her utter a single word of remorse. 

That includes the interview which was contained in the book by Timothy Tyson, The Blood of Emmett Till, released in 2017 where she is reported to have recanted the accusation that Till physically assaulted her. But she also denied having recanted, and there are doubts of what she actually said versus what was "reported" in his book... (a whole sloppy taco).

To be clear, my position is not that Carolyn Bryant Donham doesn't deserve forgiveness. My position is that she needs to earn it. After living all these years with the weight of a lie story she told that led to the lynching of a child, that might have been a heavy load to bear, but she managed to live with it. She stayed married to the killer and had several more children with him until they divorced some 20 years later. She remarried twice, raised her family, and has managed to stay out of the glare of infamy. In fact, she's lived such a quiet life that she doesn't even have a Wikipedia page (so I had to research multiple sources for details and found this article most informative). At some point she decided to write a memoir, which (surprise) reveals that she didn't want Till killed and she tried to save him, but we weren't supposed to know about her heroism until 2036 (when it was supposed to be released).

In the interview she gave to Tyson, Donham expressed a hint of contrition, moved by the death of her own son, which she referred to as "tender sorrow" for Mamie Till Mobley. As we all know, Mrs. Mobley's determination to show the world what had been done to her child is the reason why we even know about any of this. It is rather ironic that Donham would come to acknowledge any empathy linking the two women; however, tender sorrow doesn't sound like an apology. It sounds like the name of a Lifetime TV movie.

So miss me with any appeals for sympathy or mercy for Mrs. Donham.

Am I so cold as to want to see an elderly lady in prison for a crime that was committed by her late husband? One for which he was acquitted, then bragged about having committed just a year later? Don't I understand that she was also trapped by the social mores of the time that made interactions between Black men and white women deadly? Even if that 'man' was actually a child and the woman later claimed that she didn't want him to die over it? So what you're saying is that she had no choice but to stand by her man, so we should not judge her by that smile frozen in time immediately after his acquittal? And I should feel some kind of way because her life was ruined by the notoriety brought on by the case?

Her life? The life that endured its fair share of hardships and tragedy; nevertheless, it continued. Even if she drops dead before I finish writing this piece, you do realize that she has had the benefit of YEARS to do something more than just maintain her silence. 

To put this into perspective, Till's mother lived for almost 50 years with the horror of what had been done to her only child. She spent the remainder of her natural life fighting for justice, and when she died nearly 20 years ago, she had also written a memoir. Her book had been scheduled for release before her passing, so though it was published posthumously, there were no bombshell revelations because Mobley had been outspoken and indefatigable. It isn't clear whether Donham had ever expressed any tender sorrows or condolences over Mobley's death, or if she just kept on anonymously making jewelry and liking cat videos on social media.

Serve the warrant! It doesn't matter if it can't be executed for lack of evidence or if Mississippi will never prosecute her. The reckoning that we seek is not in wheeling an elderly and feeble Donham off to jail, but in denying her the peace to die in obscurity. Publish her memoir in its entirety right now on the editorial pages of every major newspaper of record so that she doesn't earn a dime of royalties. Just stop protesting in front of her senior living facility, lest you make her into a martyr (FAAFO that the arrest warrants for harassing her will be executed). Don't give the world any reason to feel sorry for yet another complicit white woman.

And DO NOT allow her to get off light with some belated 99 paged confessional tome. For once, let's not coddle the person in the wrong and allow them to dictate the terms of when/how they are forgiven. That is exactly why Officer Dunn's refusal to accept that dude's PDA (performative display of apologia) is so liberating. You say you're sorry for what you did? Then show me that you regret your actions. There are countless examples of some deranged white person (or people) committing wholescale genocide, but as long as they mumble a half-ass apology if you were offended or harmed, then all is right in their entitled view of the world. For example, white folks finally admit the truth about the Tulsa Massacre 100 years later, now that all of the terrorists and most of the survivors are long dead. 

With everyone else who was a direct witness to the Till murder dead, Carolyn Bryant Donham sure did pick the right time to develop a conscience. Why should she have the final word on what happened? She's had 67 years and has remained utterly unwilling to express even the slightest ounce of public remorse. Think about that--she intended for her memoirs to be published in 2036, hoping to be dead and gone, without ever asking for absolution (just like her former sister-in-law did in 2014). If that warrant had never been found, she would have gotten away with it too!

Pull out your Bibles and turn with me to the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke. The Hub and I have often discussed our frustration with this parable, based on our belief that the older brother has a legitimate point about the way that the younger son is simply welcomed back into the family fold. From a certain perspective, he went back home when his money ran out. However, over the years, I have come to accept the notion that all of us are Prodigal children at some point in time, and forgiveness is the ultimate demonstration of God's unconditional love. We can always find His grace and mercy, but we've got to seek Him in order to receive it.

We need to understand that when we're living in pig shit, that existence is unworthy of a child of God. (Y'all know I cuss but stay with me here.) You can't believe the Big Lie that 81 million people stole an election from a con man or that said con man did not intend for a violent melee to take place on January 6th. You cannot tell a big lie that results in the death of a child, remain silent about it for 67 years, then expect sympathy. That man booked and boarded a flight to Washington in the middle of a pandemic! That woman is pictured celebrating with her husband after he was acquitted of lynching a child! Both of them, living and loving life up to their eyeballs in pig shit!

In the parable, neither the father nor the elder brother set out to look for that Prodigal son. So who knows how long he stayed in that pig stye before he realized how desperate and disgusting his condition had become. But once he came to his senses, he went home dressed in filthy rags and smelling foul. He presented himself to his father, literally reeking of remorse.

Stephen Ayers, we're glad that you disengaged from the alt-right media cult and that you now accept that everyone who disagrees with you ideologically is not evil. But as Officer Dunn said, you need to do the work to receive forgiveness, starting with apologizing to the American people. You need to take personal responsibility for the consequences of your actions. It means getting involved in some real work to preserve and protect this fragile democracy. At least you realized that you were wallowing in pig shit and have left the stye.

As for Mrs. Carolyn Bryant Donham, we're moved by the tender sorrow you had for the late Mamie Till Mobley after you lost your son. Yes, the magnitude of losing a child is immeasurable; however, that you found common ground with her 40 years later isn't enough to wash away the stench of the pig shit you've been living in. At the very least, you owe a genuine, personal apology to the Till family and to the community of Black people in Mississippi that lived in fear of what your late husband and brother-in-law did in your honor. If you haven't figured it out by now, no one is coming to rescue you. The fact that you are still alive means that there is still time to extricate yourself from the muck and mire.

Or you can stay there and pray that God is more understanding that we are.

Monday, July 4, 2022

American Idols

It has been a few months since my last piece in this space. I have been micro-blogging on the Facebook page because I've been lacking focus of late...too much going on all of the time (and for once, it has all been a little too much for even this Busy Black Woman). However, this was something I felt needed to post here.

Ever since I first heard the testimony of Fulton County election workers Wandrea Arshaye Moss and her mother Lady Ruby Freeman, I have been on a slow boil. Add to that my frustration at low voter turnout here in my city for a primary election where they literally gave out ballots and removed all barriers to voting and the bubbles in my pot boil faster and a little bigger. And though we're skipping past the fuckery of the Supreme Court's recent slate of opinions to address at another time, my pot runs over when I see all of the praise for Cassidy Hutchinson after she testified to what she witnessed in the hours before the Insurrection.

Y'all keep believing that this country will be saved by the very people who have at various times been hellbent on destroying it. 

Let's start with the movement to recast Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as some savior of democracy. I guess y'all forgot that her Daddy was one of the most vocal proponents of the Imperial Presidency when he was Vice President. This is the same theory that vested in then-President George W. Bush the power to declare an unjustified war in Iraq and authorize enhanced interrogation (torture) against enemy combatants. Recall how she never discouraged birtherism and hammered President Obama for being a globalist who didn't put "America First" in his foreign policy? And isn't that the same rhetoric that gave Donald Trump a rallying cry to go with his red trucker hats? Didn't she vote for Donald Trump twice, even in 2020, after having had a front row seat to all of his BS for four tumultuous years?

But she finally had enough when the rioters smeared shit on her chair in the House chamber...

No, I am not making light of the fact that Cheney the Younger has effectively ended her career in Congress through her participation in these hearings. That isn't a small thing...unless she has some kind of Golden Parachute awaiting her. My guess is that she has several, beginning with whatever cushy Ambassadorship she wants anywhere in the world. Of course, her Daddy still has connections at the various war-mongering corporations he helped make rich in the early 00s, so she can have her pick of board seats. But the real prize would be a run for President in 2024 and given the way some of y'all have fan-girled over that prospect, she could possibly go the distance.

She just needs to get rid of her most formidable opponent. And you want to know the craziest thing--it ain't even Donald Trump! However, before we travel down that yellow brick road, allow me to pivot to the newest staff assistant in Cheney's congressional office, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson. Because here is where folks showed their hands (and their asses) in fawning over her alleged courage last week.

Like everybody else who watched/listened to her surprise testimony, I was riveted. I clutched my imaginary pearls as she recounted certain details, but in the end, there were no earth-shattering surprises that we couldn't have guessed. I mean, who didn't suspect that Trump threw man-baby tantrums when he didn't get his way and sometimes that involved breaking the White House china and/or crystal? 

Instead, it was the revelation that the Trump Organization fancies itself as the political equivalent of the Corleone crime family. Except to anyone who has watched The Godfather enough times, the Trump Regime is what would have happened in the alternative universe where Fredo becomes the Don instead of Michael. An utter calamity. Thus, when Select Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) lectured would-be witnesses about their reluctance to come forward for fear of retaliation, I think he should have reminded them that these are the same very smart people who held their post-election campaign event in the parking lot of the Four Seasons Landscaping Store.

Folks are hailing Ms. Hutchinson as a hero because that is how low the bar of expectation has been set for displays of character these days. It should be the bare minimum to testify against the cadre of lackeys and enablers who unleashed that angry armed mob, drunk on Trump wine instead of Kool-Aid, on the U.S. Capitol to 'stop the steal' of an election their cult leader had lost. And since she was an aide to his Chief of Staff, I'm sure she overheard every conversation in which Trump had been told multiple times by various people in any number of ways that he LOST. 

I'm not implying that agreeing to testify is not the act of bravery and patriotism you all want it to be. I am outright saying that it isn't.

It is NOT all that courageous when in comparison, those two election workers from Georgia, two Black women, really were intimidated and threatened by foot soldiers from the Trump Organization (dispatched by another one y'all forget is deplorable, Kanye West). When the threats of violence extended to Moss's Grandmother in the form of a home invasion to carry out a "citizen's arrest" (the same defense offered by the three men responsible for killing Ahmaud Arbery)...that y'all would even deign to use the word "hero" to describe the testimony of Hutchinson is offensive. Sure, I believe those bungling trumpets made threats. But she had protection in the form of legal representation provided to her by that same organization! 

Methinks Ms. Hutchinson did receive that suggestive phone call from her former boss, but then she got another offer she couldn't refuse. Because I bet Liz Cheney has seen The Godfather as many times as I have. Tessio was always the smart one.

Generally, I wouldn't bother to contemplate any statements issued by the former DESPOTUS wherein he disavows ever having known the person accusing him of whatever petty crime and misdemeanor because they all follow the same pattern: I don't know this insignificant person, they wanted something from me and I took pity on them, but because I don't know them whatever was done for them was the equivalent of me throwing change to a beggar from the window of my limo. True to form, he claimed that Hutchinson was a low-level staffer, but then he personally denied her request for a new job with his Organization in Florida. And that is some straight Fredo isht if you ask me. Specifically that scene in Cuba (in The Godfather II) the night of the Revolution when Fredo lets it slip that he knew Jonny Ola after having denied it hours earlier. 

Whereas for two Black women whom Trump never did meet or have the occasion to know anything about other than the fact that they were election workers from Fulton County GA, he certainly had a lot to say when he accused them of tampering with the vote counts. He called them thugs and scammers. He used language and invoked imagery intended to incite his true believers--the very mob that Gabe Sterling, the Republican Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia elections, explicitly warned would form. But since they were just practicing on a local Black family, there are no televised congressional hearings or criminal trials to seek justice. After all, terrorizing Black people over voting is as American as being moved by the crocodile tears of the white woman who watches from the safety of the window in the Big House behind her lace curtains. 

Y'all throw around the word hero too easily. Rudy Giuliani was once heralded as a hero, but only to the New Yorkers whom his broken windows/zero-tolerance policies exempted. Ask Abner Louima how heroic the NYPD acted when they sodomized him in 1997, or the countless Black and Latino men subjected to stop-and-frisk. I know, seasoned New Yorkers appreciate that Giuliani cleaned up the subway, Times Square, and stood up for the police and firefighters after 9/11. So surely, he had nothing but praise for Officer Eugene Goodman, a real-life good guy with a gun who put his life on the line on January 6th? Or offered sincere condolences to the family of retired Officer Aaron Salter, another hero cut from that same 'protect and serve' cloth who died defending patrons at the Buffalo, NY grocery store shooting rampage? 

You want to know what Mr. "Back the Blue" Giuliani said about those two brave men? Nothing. Because he was too busy hyping the Big Lie that Black and Latino and Indigenous voters stole the 2020 election instead of accepting that white suburban voters under-voted. Convinced that he is some kind of consigliere like Tom Hagan, instead of leaving behind the severed horse's head, Giuliani keeps making a horse's ass of himself.

America's mayor. America's sweetheart. American patriots. Yet none of those labels are applied to DC's Mayor Muriel Bowser who sent Metropolitan Police to the Capitol during the Insurrection even though Congress is under federal jurisdiction, and she doesn't have the authority to dispatch the DC National Guard. How many tears were shed with Wandrea Moss, who went above and beyond the call of duty in doing her job to assist voters, only to have her life turned upside down? "Back the blue" when they are upholding oppressive systems, but not when they are saving the lives of the Vice President or every Senator and Member of Congress on January 6th because you disagree with the outcome of an election. 

Here we go again America...only this time, I'm not going to let you celebrate your birthday without acknowledging some of the people who made this day possible. You will not erase them from the narrative!

You will not build monuments to the Cassidy Hutchinsons of the world because she looks like your impressionable and naive daughters. Sorry Douglas Brinkley, but I don't care that Liz Cheney is channeling Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) in finally standing up to the McCarthyism/authoritarianism in her party because until recently, it served her ambitions. We are not going to honor the white women who drove carpools during the Montgomery Bus Boycotts because it ensured that their Black maids made it to work on time.

So no, you will NOT skip over Madame Vice President Kamala Harris for some great white hope. It is courageous for Harris to show up to work every day in a country where the citizenship status of her immigrant parents is debatable; where the excellence of her college alma mater is improbable; where the significance of her career success is unprecedented; where the legality of her marriage is now uncertain; and where her step-daughters and nieces have fewer reproductive rights than she did at their age. You cannot compare the life stories of these two women and come away with the conclusion that Cheney is the profile in courage because she bucked the system ONE time.

Wandrea Moss got one of those awards too. 

You can be riveted by Liz Cheney's persecution of Donald Trump for inciting the Insurrection, just as long as you remember how well he was prosecuted by Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) in the first impeachment and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) during the second impeachment. NY AG Letitia James already exposed the grift that was the Trump Foundation, and she's waiting in the wings to expose his other frauds. So are we really doing this America--making the Black women do all of the work? Because if you claim that the evidence is more convincing this time...

You're being set up America. While her Daddy is convalescing and playing with his grandchildren in the garden, Liz is settling all of her family's business. It's the smart move.