The NAACP’s Warning About Florida Should Not Be Ignored

When someone shows us their true colors (especially in politics), we had best believe them.

On Saturday, the NAACP issued a travel warning for Black Americans going to Florida due to the “freedom” legislation put into place by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republicans.

The warning is as follows:

“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.” 

“Let me be clear – failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”

This man wants to be President in 2024. We have two choices at this point. We can either be silent and watch everything we have fought for nearly 300 years slip away. Or we can tell this man and those who think like him where they can go.


New Randy Rainbow Video: Welcome to DeSantis! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

There is a reason why it has been said that we don’t learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it.

Randy Rainbow‘s new video, Welcome to DeSantis! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, uses “Welcome to the 60’s“, from Hairspray to remind us that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is an autocrat waiting in the wings.

This is my favorite song yet from Rainbow. He couldn’t have picked a more perfect song to remind us that DeSantis should be nowhere near the levers of power at any level of government.

P.S. It is now legal in his state for medical professionals or insurance companies to deny a patient healthcare because of individual beliefs. I should be shocked, but I know better. This is what we are heading for if he wins in 2024.

The Right Wants to Eliminate the LGBTQ Community

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

It’s not exactly a secret that the cultural and religious right does not approve of anything other than the traditional gender binary. Anyone who does not fall into the archaic idea of what it is to be strictly “male” and “female” is therefore open to criticism, hate, and denial of rights.

As of last week, the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida extended to 12th grade. It was previously verboten for students in kindergarten to third grade. So, in essence, the first time that a young person will truly wonder about gender and sexuality will be in college. Given how much we go through by the time we reach that age, it may be a little more difficult to dismantle what we did or didn’t learn when we were younger.

Though Ron DeSantis and his allies claim that it is “parents’ rights” when it comes to what children learn in school. In a sense, it is. A parent certainly has a say in their offspring’s education. But when it is used as a smokescreen to reach a political end, it smacks of something darker and menacing that we ignore at our own peril.

In Montana, Democratic transgender state representative Zooey Zephyr was blocked by her Republican colleagues when she objected to a bill that prevents gender-affirming care to minors. As with the Tennessee Three a few weeks ago, she was silenced because she dared to speak out. Given the response from the voters and the swift backlash that the lawmakers in Tennessee received, I have every hope that she will be back in the state house sooner rather than later.

I don’t want to say this, but I feel like I have to. The comparisons to the dehumanizing of the LGBTQ community (which I am a part of) scare me to no end. In Nazi Germany, the Holocaust did not start with ghettos, mass graves, and gas chambers. It started with ugly stereotypes and caricatures that opened the door to denying my brethren their humanity and for most of them, their lives.

Their ultimate goal is to eliminate us. At best, they want to force us underground and take away our rights. At worst, they want to not exist.

Either way, it is a scary premise that we should not ignore.

Gay Pride Rainbow GIF by Originals - Find & Share on GIPHY

Florida Republican Fuckery XIII: DeSantis Ignored the Ft. Lauderdale Flood and Don’t Say Period

When we choose our elected officials, we expect that they will do their jobs. This includes when natural disasters strike.

Last week, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was out of state for his supposed 2024 Presidential election campaign, Ft. Lauderdale was inundated by several feet of water. Instead of doing his duty to his constituents and returning home, he kept to his previously planned schedule.

It is clear to me that he is more concerned with his political career than the people who live in his state. This is not what I think that any of us should look for in a future President. But this is, however, typical for the right.

In another extension of DeSantis’s idea of “freedom”, a new bill passed through the Republican-controlled House last month. Nicknamed “Don’t Say Period“, it will be effective July 1 if signed into law. It does not take a genius to figure out what it means. Schools are banned from teaching about menstruation until sixth grade and students are prohibited from asking.

These people are trying to stop nature. Newsflash, nature always finds a way. You cannot contain human sexuality. It is part of who we are as creatures. Without it, we cannot procreate. It is as simple as that.

Should this become law, my concern is for the young ladies who get their first visit from “Aunt Flo” before sixth grade. It is a scary notion as is, the lack of education and information (especially if it is not discussed at home) makes the anxiety and fear harder to process.

What I don’t get is that he has a wife and two daughters. I’m sure that she had “the talk” with her parents at that age. What happens when his girls get older? Will he force them to wait until 6th grade to get the facts?

I don’t understand why this man was given another four years as Governor. My prayer is that the voters in Florida kick his ass out of office come the next Gubernatorial electoral season.

Florida Republican Fuckery XII: The “Pornographic” David Statue and Book Banning, Part 2

A parent has every right to control the media that their child consumes. What they do not have the right to, is to dictate the same for another young person who is not theirs to parent.

In Florida, a Principal was forced to resign because sixth-grade students were shown an image of the centuries-old statue of David by the classical artist Michelangelo. The complaint was that the image was “pornographic”.

I hope that I am not the only one who finds this ridiculous. David has existed for centuries as a universally admired and respected work of art. Human subjects that were either partially or fully nude are part and parcel of the art of the Renaissance era. And in case these adults forgot, every male has the same genitalia. I understand that these kids are young. But it is still incumbent to give the statue both historical and artistic context, nullifying the “pornographic” argument.

Also in the state, the book banning continues. Earlier this week, author Jodi Picoult was a guest on WNYC‘s The Brian Lehrer Show. Twenty of her books have been pulled from one school district’s shelves. What bothers me is not just the actions of the parents of the children in the district, it is that a random grownup who has nothing to do with the school system can complain and the district will capitulate.

I am an adult who has no children. My only connection to our public schools is paying taxes. I have no business in dictating what the youngsters learn and will not stick my nose where it does not belong. We are all obviously entitled to our opinion, but that does not mean that we can tell the experts what to do. And in case anyone forgot, when something is forbidden, it makes it all the more tempting.

What gets me is that with only the vaguest of information (meaning that the particular book in question was not read), there was enough fuss that it was taken out of circulation by the school.

Something has to change. Somehow, someway, we have to get past this madness. If we don’t our children will receive an incomplete education and our future as a nation will be in jeopardy.

Republican Fuckery XI: FL Bloggers Register with the State, DeSantis Bookstore Protest, and Crystal Mason Should Not Have Been in Jail

Am I the only one who is tired of the Republican‘s endless shtick? They seem to be unaware or unconcerned that the country is going down the drain.

In Florida, State Senator Jason Brodeur proposed a bill that would require bloggers who publish political pieces to register with the state. Though it was initially tied to Governor Ron DeSantis, that was quickly refuted. While it is heartening that the Governor was not behind it, this denial of freedom of speech is very concerning and a warning sign that should not be ignored.

Also in the sunshine state, DeSantis was at a book signing (and keeping his 2024 Presidential hopes alive). He was confronted by supporters of the former guy. Instead of ignoring them and focusing on the attendees, he had the protestors forced out of the store. While security escorted them out, they cried for freedom of speech. Though DeSantis has yet to formalize his campaign, this speaks to the division on the right. It also reveals that the Governor is not as much of a badass as he claims he is.

And finally, in Texas, Crystal Mason was doing her civic duty by voting in the 2016 Presidential election. Instead of doing her business and walking out, she was accused of illegally casting a provisional ballot and was sentenced to five years in prison. At the time, she was on supervised release for a previous conviction. The law in Texas bars convicted felons from voting if their sentence has not been completed.

According to her legal team, she was unaware that her sentence had not reached its end. What strikes me is that this sentence goes well beyond what it should have been. It reeks of racism and denies this woman her right as a citizen. Though the conviction has been overturned, the message is clear. Because she is a woman of color, her voice and vote is not wanted or needed.

Just another day in America.

Florida Republican Fuckery II: Banning Books & Tracking Girls Periods is Priority. Saving Lives via Sensible Gun Control is Not.

When someone says who they are (specifically in politics), we should believe them. Whether we believe it or not, they hold our collective future in their hands.

The recent Republican fuckery from Florida is as follows:

There is a debate going around as to whether or not high school-age female student-athletes should be required to provide details about their menstrual cycles. Aside from the anti-transgender laws, the consequences of the potential loss of a woman’s right to privacy cannot be ignored. Whether it is a question of the ending of an unintended pregnancy or forced birth (a la The Handmaid’s Tale), we should not be looking away.

Adding insult to injury, teachers in the state are being forced to make a choice that no educator should be forced into. They can either remove books from their shelf/curriculum that have been labeled as “woke”. If they choose to ignore the law, they face a possible jail sentence of five years. And then, there is the proposed legislation to allow anyone to buy a gun without requiring permits.

I don’t know about you, but DeSantis’s priorities are seriously screwed up.

I am going to end this post with two Instagram posts from Danielle Moodie (co-host of The New Abnormal podcast) and actor Leslie Jones.

Warning: Moodie is not above using the F-Bomb.

Republican Fuckery Part VI: Florida Grand Jury Investigation on Covid 19 and Texas Lists of Transgender Americans

I would love to say that those in power have their priorities in order. Some do, while others think that their job is to police those who they deem as “different”.

As usual, the fuckery comes from Florida and Texas. Instead of using taxpayer money to fund schools, roads, or hospitals, Governor DeSantis has decided to convene a grand jury. The purpose is to investigate so-called “misconduct” in regard to the Covid 19 vaccine.

Given the rapidity of the vaccine’s release, I am guessing that there was a mistake or two along the way. However, given that it has saved countless lives, I think that is nothing more than another stunt to rile up the base.

In another potential waste of taxpayer funds (which was thankfully averted), Texas AG Ken Paxton asked state employees to put together a list of transgender citizens. This record was supposed to come from requests to change the listed gender on driver’s licenses.

This is not the action of a democratically elected government official. This is what happens in countries run by authoritarian leaders. Though the specific details change, the tactics are the same. A minority is blamed for the nation’s problems to distract from the lack of rights and freedoms. By singling one group out, it is easy to point the finger and state they are the problem.

I don’t know when or how this is going to end. But it has to, for the sake of our country, our children, and our future.

Flashback Friday: Only the Strong (1993)

When we are young, there is nothing like an adult who believes in us. That experience has the potential to positively affect the rest of our lives.

In the 1993 film Only the Strong, Louis Stevens (Mark Dacascos) has been out of the country for the last few years, serving in the military. When he returns to his former Florida high school, he discovers that it has become a hotbed of drugs and violence.

Using the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, Louis is determined to help the worst of the worst of the student body turn their lives around. While the students regain a sense of self and purpose, the local druglord Silverio (Paco Christian Prieto) is not pleased with this change. He will do anything to take back what Louis took away from him.

And of course, there is the romantic relationship that Louis has with Dianna (Stacey Travis).

On Rotten Tomatoes, the reviewer’s score is 8%. It’s a fair score.

Though it has a similar narrative to Lean on Me (1989), it lacks to the originality and force of the movie. The story is almost too predictable. There is nothing wrong with a predictable tale, but a littl originality goes a long way. Though adding the element of capoeira does help, it does little to make it stand out.

What gets me is that there is only one female, and as is expected, she is the love interest. She has nothing else to do other than being the one who walks off into the sunset with the hero at the end. Adding insult to injury, Dianna isn’t even given a last name.

Do I recommend it? No.

Thoughts On the Damage Created by Hurricane Ian

Mother Nature is a powerful being. She can easily provide for those who rely on her. She can also take away.

Last week, Hurricane Ian tore through Florida and North Carolina. As of earlier this evening, the number of dead has risen to 100.

This is climate change, pure and, simple. Granted, we are in the middle of hurricane season. But given the power of the storm and the destruction it left behind, it is obvious that we, as human beings, are contributing to our own demise.

Ian did not care about anyone’s skin color, religion, political affiliation, family origin, etc. The water still came and the wind still raged. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Many were left with only the clothes on their backs and the possessions they had with them.

What makes it worse is the continued callousness of Republican politicians. While their constituents suffer, Florida Republicans vote no on bills that would provide much-needed support. Just another reason to vote blue next month.

May the memories of those who died be a blessing. Z”l.

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