Category Archives: National News

Books That Speak to the African-American Experience

It has been said that we can never know how another person sees the world until we walk a mile in their shoes. But books have a way to providing that perspective.

As our country and our culture once more grapples with racial tension and the troubled history of our mutual past, books may be one of the keys to bringing us together.

The Yellow House by Sarah Broom

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Proud: My Fight For an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale by Andrew Kane

It may be simplistic to say that reading the books listed above or any book will help to solve our issues. However, I believe that by at least beginning to understand another’s perspective, the doors to communication, understanding, and diversity may truly start to open.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, Jane Austen, National News, New York City, Politics, Pride and Prejudice

Same Hypocrite, Different Day: The Photo Op That Was Just That

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a Jane Austen super fan. If someone were to ask me to describe a character or a scene, I could do so with a reasonable amount of detail. The same could be said for anyone who has regularly the Bible, or any book that is the foundation of a religion.

While on the campaign trail back in 2016, you know was asked to refer to his favorite passage in the Christian Bible. As he often does when asked a direct question, he found a way to not answer the question.

Yesterday, in response the protests in front of the White House and around the country, he did not address the nation as any other President would. Sending police to clear the crowd, he took a walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church. The church has been a site of Presidential worship for over 200 years.

Instead of speaking of the multiple crises that the United States is experiencing in a meaningful manner, he picked up a Bible and used it as a prop. There was only one reason for this, a photo op and a message to his base.

He is not the first, nor will he be the last to invoke the name and image of G-d (in whatever form G-d takes) for questionable purposes. But given what this nation is going through, the last thing we need is a hypocritical President who says one thing, does another, and only prefers those who blindly support him.

America is at the moment of reckoning. This nation has two choices. We can vote for Joe Biden and move forward. Or, we can vote him in for another term and go down a rabbit hole that I don’t want to think about.

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, National News, Politics

What Does Looting Have to do With the Death of George Floyd?

For over 200 years, Americans have held dear to the right of assembly and the right of free speech. That being said, there is a marked difference between peaceful protest and destruction of property.

Across the country, Americans march in solidarity against the murder of George Floyd. While the majority of them are only seeking to have their voices heard, some are taking advantage and looting businesses along the way.

As I said in a previous post, I do not have the experience of a person of color in America and I will not speak of what I do not know of. I am also painfully aware that my skin color and my class have automatically opened doors that are closed the others.

However, I don’t understand what looting stores have to do with the cause of racial equality. It feels like the people who are looting are taking advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. It is also akin to pouring salt into the wound of business owners who were forced to close because of Covid-19 and have only begun to re-open their stores.

I wish that we lived in a country in which the laws and actions matched the ideals of our founders. But we don’t live in that country and because we don’t, protest is required for change. It just be a lot easier if looting was not part of the bargain.

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Leadership Defined: While You Know Who Hides, Joe Biden Speaks to the People

When it comes to leadership (especially in politics), it is easy to talk the talk. But walking the walk is another story entirely.

It has been seven days since George Floyd’s murder. In that short period of time, Americans of all creeds, nationalities and beliefs have come together to protest he senseless slaughter of Americans of color. Unfortunately, some of the rallies and marches devolved into riots and destruction.

In Washington D.C., as the rioting got closer to the gates of the White House, you know who was shepherded to an underground bunker for his own safety. As of this morning, he has yet to return from the bunker. But yet, he still makes his usual outrageous statements via Twitter and calls some Governors weak for not taking military style action on the protesters.

On the other side, Joe Biden appeared in public and spoke to his constituents. Touring the local community, he stood with the marchers and with the business owners whose property has been damaged.

And if, racial unrest was not enough, we are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The question that every American has to ask is, who do we want as President? Do we want someone who puts their money where their mouth is, or do we want someone who walks the walk, but is unable to talk the talk?

It seems like an easy decision to me.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Trevor Noah Speaks of the Painful Truth of Racism in America

It has been said that until one has walked a mile in another’s shoes, one can never truly understand the other person. But that does not mean that we can’t at least try to understand another person’s perspective.

We live in a country in which one’s skin color is one of the factors that determines one’s fate. We also live in a country in which unconscious bias and white privilege also play a role in determining one’s fate. As a Caucasian woman of Eastern European Jewish descent, I’ve never thought about the privilege automatically assigned to me because of my skin color. The last few weeks have made it painfully clear that because of a twist of fate, I have access and a perception that is denied to Americans of color.

Because I do not have the first person experience that a person of color has, I will not even try to speak of that experience. But Trevor Noah has that experience and it is heartbreaking.

I would say that I hope (which often springs eternal) that we, as Americans have finally learned our lesson about racism and racial inequality. But the last few weeks have reminded this nation, in a painful way, that both are still alive and well, even in 2020.

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Filed under National News, Television

Vote by Mail, Twitter & Censorship: The Latest Tantrum By You Know Who

If one knows nothing else about the United States, they know that Freedom of Speech is one of the legal and cultural cornerstones of the country. That being said, there are certain limits. For example, yelling fire in a crowded auditorium when there is no fire does not exactly fall in the “freedom of speech” category.

After years of letting you know who run rampant on Twitter, the minds behind the social media platform started to fact check some of you know who’s tweets. His response was to sign an executive order (aka take a tantrum), complaining that his rights were being violated. The tweet being fact checked was his statement that voting by mail would lead to a fraudulent 2020 Presidential election result (i.e. he loses).

This man is a hypocrite. His perspective is “good for me, not for thee”. He can vote by mail, but the home bound senior citizen or the single parent working two jobs cannot. He can claim censorship and that his rights are being taken away to anyone who would listen. But the average citizen who also has the same complaint and a Twitter account does not have the same platform as POTUS.

It’s no secret that we have a man child, used car salesman for President. Instead of using his power and his profile to build up this country, he is more concerned with his reputation and his status.

We need to get him out in November. The future of this nation depends on it.

P.S. While he complains, over 100,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. I can’t think of a better reason to vote in the fall.

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Filed under National News, Politics

How to Deal With Racism in America: Christian Cooper vs. George Floyd

America is built on the ideals of freedom. But this ideal has a flaw. The flaw is called racism.

Like many problems, racism can only be solved we are able to look it in the eyes and admit that it is an issue. But after 400 years of built in prejudice against Americans of color, this problem may not be so simple to resolve.

On Monday, bird enthusiast Christian Cooper was walking through Central Park. He noticed that Amy Cooper had let her dog off the leash an in area in which dogs are required to remain on leash. Christian is African-American, Amy is Caucasian. Her response to his reminder of keeping her dog on the leash was to call the police.

After millions of views online, the video reached the eyes and ears of Amy’s bosses. She is no longer employed and she is known as a racist. Good luck to her on finding another job.

Also on Monday, in Minneapolis, George Floyd was arrested by police, accused of forgery. Instead of just taking him to the precinct and letting the justice system do it’s job, one of the officers put his knee on Floyd’s neck. After several minutes of complaining that he could not breath, Floyd took his last breath. The officers were fired for their actions. But firing is not enough. The officer who held Floyd down should be tried for murder.

The difference (as I see it) is how both cases were handled. Amy Cooper got what was coming to her. The officer who killed George Floyd has yet to receive what is coming to him.

May the memory of George Floyd be a blessing to those who knew and loved him. RIP.

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Filed under National News, New York City

Thoughts on Memorial Day and Covid-19

Memorial Day is normally about barbecues, getting together and remembering those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that Americans hold dear.

But as we all know, this is not the normal Memorial Day.

I feel like today is more poignant and emotionally heavy than previous Memorial Day. Covid-19 has taken the lives of nearly 100,000 Americans, some who are serving or have served in the military. It reminds us of the risk that these men and women take on, not knowing what fate has in store for them.

May the memories of those gave their lives for this country over the centuries never be forgotten.

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Filed under History, Music, National News, Thoughts On....

Vic DiBietto Speaks Truth to Mitch McConnell

These days, one would have to be living under a rock to not see the heavily partisan politics that exist within the United States. Add in Covid-19 to the mix and the partisan politics creates a crisis of it’s own.

Last month, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement in regards to the state and federal financial issues that Covid-19 has created.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

Though he did not refer to any specific states in this initial statement, the subtle message is clear. He would rather let certain East Coast and West Coast states who normally vote blue (my home state of New York included) go bankrupt rather than provide badly needed financial support. Comedian Vic DiBitetto has a few things to say on this subject.

*Warning: the video below contains language that might be offensive to some viewers.

In an ideal world, politics would be about compromise and doing what is best for the nation. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world in which some politicians look out for number one and/or only look out for their base. They don’t give two sh*ts about the rest of the country.

What Senator McConnell chooses to conveniently forget is that we are in a national crisis. If we are to stop Covid-19 and return to some semblance of normalcy, we need to work together. But we cannot work together if those in the halls of power choose partisan politics over the welfare of the nation.

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Filed under National News, Politics

While You Know Who Hits the Links, Americans Die

Ask anyone above a certain age and they will surely tell you about the stressors in their lives. Whether it is work, school, family, health, or other stressors, they will always be part of our lives in one form or another. It therefore goes without saying that even with the stress that life brings, we all deserve a little bit of downtime.

That includes the President of the United States.

Yesterday, you know who was not found in Washington D.C., doing his job. He was in Virginia, enjoying a round of golf. In ordinary times with another President, a round of golf on a warm Saturday in May would be a non-issue. But this is not, as we all, know, an ordinary time and the man we unfortunately refer to as President isn’t exactly doing the job he was hired to do.

Yesterday, the New York Times printed a partial list of Americans who died from Covid-19. When I see the list, I don’t see the number or a long list of names. I see individual human beings who had were unique in their own way. The only thing that brings them together is that they are no longer here because of Covid-19.

The disgusting irony in that while you know who criticized former President Barack Obama for playing golf, he does the same thing without criticism.

Back in 2016, you know who made the following promise on the campaign trail:

“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

And yet, he has spent $134,000,000 of tax payer money doing what he promised not to do.

We all know that politicians make promises on the campaign trail that never come to pass once they are in office. But when said politicians makes the promise and then breaks it when lives are stake, it is more than troubling. It is a reason to ensure that they only service one term.

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Filed under National News, Politics