Flirting with Disaster!

Posted in On Donald Trump with tags on November 7, 2017 by playthell

A Megalomaniacal Paranoid with Nuclear Codes

The Danger Zone is Everywhere!

As I write Donald Dimwit is on his way to Asia, a region of the world where he seems intent upon provoking a nuclear war by constant insults against North Korea.  This rhetoric is backed up by conducting threatening military exercises in the ocean seas just off their coast and invading their air space with ominous American bombers.  It is a volatile situation that is a direct consequence of Americans having elected an incompetent, ignorant, verbose, belligerent, amoral, compulsive liar and buffoon to the Oval Office; the most powerful office in the world, and no one can confidently say what the final outcome of his tenure there will be.

I, however, am reminded of the lines from the wise old bluesman Percy Mayfield: “The whole world is in trouble and the danger zone is everywhere.”  These words ring especially true when a pugnacious dunce is the leader of a nuclear armed nation that views itself as both “exceptional” and a “global power.”   Such a self-definition predisposes the US to believe that any conflict anywhere in the world can pose a threat to American interests. And thus, we have the right to intervene with military forces to set things right.  North Korea, Iran, several countries on the African continent, and Venezuela are all in their sights.

These countries span the globe many miles from America’s shores, and all of them are small poor countries compared to the USA; yet we are told that they threaten our “national security.”  According to recent opinion polls, a majority of Americans now believe this hysterical nonsense, despite the fact that North Korean forces are 8,000 miles from the USA, but our military forces are stationed 30 miles from North Korea’s borders!

And although none of these countries have soldiers or military bases outside of their national boundaries, and the USA have bases around the world and soldiers on the ground in 176 countries, we are told that Iran and North Korea are the threats to global stability and world peace.

It is highly questionable whether Trump fully understands the geo-political issues that should guide our foreign policy, pompous ignoramus that he is.  But his political rhetoric regarding foreign affairs dose not inspire confidence.  The evidence to support this claim is so abundant, the careful observer will find an embarrassment of riches.  However, two examples will suffice.

When asked by reporters about the failure to appoint undersecretaries and other critical diplomatic personnel at the State Department, Donnie Dimwit looked into the cameras with an earnest expression and announced that it didn’t matter because in the end “I am the only one that really matters.”  This explains why he had no a undersecretary for East Asian Affairs nor an ambassador to South Korea as the situation deteriorates and the US drifts closer to a nuclear war with North Korea that would wipe out South Korea and Japan, and Australia could also receive a devastating blow.

In fact, the North Koreans have warned the Aussies of just such a possibility if the US attacks their homeland. Apparently oblivious to the fact that less diplomats generally means more soldiers, as well as the reasoning behind the Founders decision to place the military under civilian control, Trump has surrounded himself with generals in civilian cabinet positions.  And since his head is empty with a mind like a blank slate on questions of foreign relations, we are at the mercy of the generals in matters of war and peace.

Alas, based on his recent public statements and behavior, it is shockingly clear that Dumb Donnie Dimwit’s understanding of the powers of the president in civilian affairs is as confused as his understanding of his role as Commander-In-Chief.  It is also clear that the root of all his confusion is his shallow understanding of the Constitution, from whence his powers derive.  It is so obvious that one commentator suggested that his advisors should insist that he sit while they read and explain the Constitution since he shown no interest in reading it himself, or is unable to understand it if he has read it.

This suspicion arises from the fact that Trump continues to behave in ways that undermine constitutional norms and comes dangerously close to violating his oath to defend it; in the opinion of some lawyers and constitutional scholars he has already crossed the line.  Trump constantly attacks the very legitimacy the free press, calling them “fake news” in an open attempt to impugn their integrity, and has even threatened to use the Federal Communications Commission to take away the license of major networks because he does not like there reportage on his policies and criticism of him.

He even went so far as the publicly lament the fact that the press can “write whatever they want.” Donnie Dimwit appears to have no understanding that the reason the architects of the Constitution guaranteed the freedom of the press is precisely so that they could serve as a watchdog over those who govern us.  And for that reason the press must remain free from the intimidation and manipulation of politicians – on all levels.

Trump’s ignorance and contempt for the role of the free press in our political system is matched by his disdain for the independence of the judiciary.  He has had constant clashes with the Courts, even questioning the integrity of judges based on their race and ethnicity. His attitude toward Congress further suggests that he does not fully appreciate their role as a co-equal branch of government.  Taken as a whole these attitudes reflect a hostility toward all the institutions that are essential to our system of checks and balances spelled out in the Constitution.

Added to all this and perhaps most disturbing of all because it clearly exposes Trump’s authoritarian mindset and dictatorial tendencies, is his attitude toward the proper relationship between the president, the Department of Justice and the FBI.  In a candid outburst a few days ago – inspired by the indictments against three officials from Trump’s presidential campaign staff issued by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller – Trump lamented the fact that he is unable to order the DOJ and FBI to investigate and indict whoever he wants whenever he wants.  Those are the attitudes of fascists…Hitler and Mussilini both demanded the personal loyalty of the police and the army!

This conception of the powers of the presidency is what makes him so dangerous, and is a great part of the reason that a growing number of observers believe that Trump is headed for impeachment.  The sooner the better I say, because every day he remains the Commander-In-Chief of the US armed forces, and has access to the nuclear codes, we are flirting with disaster!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 5, 2017

Devious Donald has no Sense of Decency!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , , on October 23, 2017 by playthell
A Gold Star Wife Bids he slain Husband a Final Goodbye
IMPEACH HIS EVIL INCOMPETENT ASS NOW!!!!!!
As Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sargent La David Johnson, an elite Green Beret who was killed in Niger, grieves his death Trump calls her a liar when she recounts the abrasive callousness of the way he acknowledged her husband’s death. After Mrs. Johnson confirmed the account of her conversation with Trump given by Congresswoman Fredrika Wilson, a pillar of the Miami Gardens community and a life long public servant, the tweeting twit in the White House contradicted..in effect saying she was lying.  But fact checkers say that Trump has set a record for telling lies; with well over 1200 in less than 300 days in office!  Hence by any reasonable and objective standard:We should believe the grieving widow over Lyin Devious Dirty Donald.
Fredrika Wilson: US Congresswoman
 A True Servant of the People

 Yet Trump – a rich draft dodging coward who spent the Vietnam war partying in Manhattan night clubs while hundreds of thousands of poor boys were drafted and sent to the front lines – refuses to even call US Representative Wilson by her proper name…he constantly refers to her as “That wacky Congresswoman.” For those who doubt the diagnosis of the team of distinguished Psychiatrists and Psychologists, who have concluded that Trump suffers from “Malignant Narcissism” and “Paranoia,” need only observe his public behavior.

 First, listen carefully the doctor’s description of the symptoms of these disorders, then just watch what Trump does. He is so clearly a pathological narcissist and the mofo is for real PARANOID!!!! He refuses to admit that he is EVER wrong about anything; he is incapable of admitting that he is wrong or showing genuine empathy for anything.
He is also a pathological liar – which is an aspect of narcissistic disorder -which means that he tells lies that are easily disproved and clings to them even after evidence to the contrary is presented! There is an abundance of evidence – a virtual treasure trove – to support the conclusions of the shrinks about the mental disorders of the “Insane Clown President” stinkin up the White House.
One need only consider Trump’s assessment of his administration’s response to the Puerto Rican crisis in the aftermath of the Hurricane. Trump, shameless braggart that he is, gave himself a 10 on a scale of 10! In other words his response has been perfect! Who in public life would say such a thing even if it were true? But to make matters worse, ITS A DAMNED LIE!!!!  When asked by the London Guardian what how she would grade Trump’s relief effort, Carman Yulez Cruz, Mayor of the Capitol city of Puerto Rico, San Juan, replied that she would give Trump a 10 on a scale of 100!
The fact is that most of the island’s resident’s are without electrical power of clean water as I write.  And to add insult to serious injury, Devious Donnie bullied the Governor of Puerto Rico into sitting through his obscene self-celebration with the implicit threat that he might do even less than he has done should the Governor fail to show sufficient gratitude!  One has only to observe the body language of the two men to witness the intimidating posture that Trump assumed with the Govenor.
Dirty Donnie: The Classic Bully
Posing like the Mafia Dons he did business with for years

Yet the response to the Puerto Rican crisis may well prove to be worse than Bush’s bungled response to Katrina! That is certainly the opinion of Russel Honore – the US Army General that Bush appointed to deal with the bungled federal government’s efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. “It’s kind of like Katrina,” says General Honore, “We got it. We got it. Oh, shit, send in the cavalry,” he said in and interview with Bloomberg News. “This is a hit on White House decision making.”

 Looking at Trump’s rather nonchalant response to the disasters in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico the General – and no doubt many other matters – General Honore concluded that “Trump doesn’t care about people of color!” It would be interesting to know what he thinks about Trump’s vicious attacks on Black NFL players, while soft soaping the horror of the neo-Nazi night marchers in Charlottesville Virginia.

 The treatment that Trump has according the grieving widow of Sargent Johnson, and close family friend and Congressional representative the Honorable Frederica Wilson, who is still fighting for the people of her community at 75 years old, supplies even more compelling evidence for General Honore’s charge.
Yet in this disgraceful act we see many of Trump’s vices exposed: His contempt for assertive women; his racism; inability to show empathy; his ego-mania; compulsive lying; his willful division of the American people into antagonistic faction, and his refusal to ever say I’m sorry: I was wrong! Furthermore, despite surrounding himself with generals, we also see his contempt for soldiers on display – the kind of contempt that allows him to pose as the spokesman for veterans when has had veterans kicked to the curb from the sidewalks outside Trump Tower, when they set up stalls trying to make a few dollars in order to survive.
Alas he is an equal opportunity offender. Although the Gold Star families he has insulted were from non-white minority groups -a Muslim immigrant family from the Middle East and an Afro-American family -he has also insulted John McCain for getting captured. “I like people who wasn’t captured” he said, thereby insulting all of America’s prisoners of war.
As I have noted elsewhere, the election of Donald Trump represents the triumph of the untutored mob.  It is eloquent testimony to the timeless truth of Thomas Jefferson’s prescient warning: “A democracy cannot work with an ignorant electorate, because they will elect and return the worse people to power.”  Donald is a bottom feeder, white trash with money.
There is nothing in Trump’s life, that I have been able to identify, that I would have encouraged my son to emulate.  Conversely, he is everything most Americans would warn their son’s not to become.  A lying racist, sexist, cheating, braggart and bully!  In business he was a swindler and real estate huckster who was a laundry mat for Russian mob money once he so discredited himself with the banking community from repeated bankruptcies  that he could no longer get financing for his projects.  And as the organized crime investigation into his business activities by the New York Attorney will show, he was also in bed with the Italian-American Mafia.  And yet the clueless, shameless,  clown has the chutzpah  to call Mrs. Clinton “Crooked Hillary.”
His baiting of the North Korean leader has brought us to the brink of a nuclear conflict, and his refusal to acknowledge the fact that Russian intelligence carried out a massive cyber attack on the US electoral system borders on treason!  He is a man without grace or generosity of spirit.  We see this most graphically displayed in Trump’s attack on the veracity of the grieving widow of Sargent Johnson, who is pregnant with their third child.
 Fallen Hero
 
 Sargent La David Johnson
The fact that he has yet to publicly say a single word in praise of Sargent Johnson’s heroic sacrifice for this nation, while calling his wife and long time family friend and mentor Congresswoman Fredrika Wilson liars – and even getting General Kelly to tell a transparent lie on Representative Wilson, tarnishing his reputation won through many years on military service – is all the proof we need as to the unsuitablity of Donald Trump to be Commander-In chief of the US armed forces and the leader of this great nation.  He must be removed from office now, either through the impeachment process….or by invoking the 25th amendment.
The situation has become so dire, that San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer is spending 10 million of his own money to finance a drive to impeach him; which according to Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law Professor and our leading constitutional scholar, the grounds for impeachment have been met.  And not a minute too soon, for everyday Trump is allowed to remain in power poses a clear and resent danger to America and the world!
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Click to witness the last rites of Sargent Johnson
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/21/us/sgt-la-david-johnson-funeral/index.html
Sargent Johnson’s Widow Confirms Congresswoman Wilson’s account  
http://time.com/4993045/myeshia-johnson-donald-trump-frederica-wilson/
Click to see Congresswoman Wilson’s FBI Speech
See for yourself that General Kelly is a damned liar!!!
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/94925992-132.html
A DETAILED LIST OF TRUMPS LIES COMPILED BY NY TIMES

On Patriotism, Jerry Jones, Dirty Donnie and ESPN

Posted in On Blacks and Trump, On Donald Trump, On Sports! with tags , , on October 19, 2017 by playthell

Old Massa Jerry

Now is the Time Black Players to Flex their Muscles!

ALL BLACK PLAYERS SHOULD TAKE A KNEE…AND THE NFL TO STAND UP WITH THE BLACK COMMUNITY….WHICH SUPPLIES 77% OF THEIR MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR PRODUCT!

Jerry Jones, the hypocritical Trumpanzee creep that owns the Dallas cowboys, has threatened to bench any player who does not stand for the “Star Spangled Banner!” And he consulted with his butt hole buddy Dirty Donnie, “The Insane Clown President” – as crack journalist Matt Taibbi titled his book on Trump after covering his presidential campaign. The two are so tight Jerry gave a MILLION dollars to Donnie’s inaugural ceremonies!

This is setting a dangerous precedent because if he gets away with it other NFL owners will be encouraged to follow his example, which could deeply injure the league by creating a spiraling conflict between the owners and players. Fortunately, the NFL has taken measures to avert this by calling a meeting between representatives of the owners and players in which the NFL Commissioner took the middle ground by saying while the NFL supports the flag and would prefer that players stand for the National Anthem, they are not mandating it…the choice will remain with the individual players. Which means that Jerry Jones is taking his stand on quicksand!

Trump’s angry denunciation of the NFL’s decision is a blatant attempt to silence ALL black protests…which is consistent with him being the racist demagogue that he has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be! While he has called black players who take a knee during the performance of the National Anthem “Sons of Bitches,” he has called Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klansmen night marchers holding up flaming torches while chanting Nazi slogans: “FINE PEOPLE.”

Trump’s View of White Nazi’s…
……and Black Football Players

Furthermore ESPN, the premiere sports network. has suspended one of its star talk show host, Jemele Hill, for speaking out in defense of the players; calling Trump a “White Supremacist” and suggesting that people who oppose Jones’ action boycott the Cowboy’s sponsors. Trump’s call for Ms. Hill to be chastised – actually fired – is illegal because it clearly violates labor laws prohibiting politicians from interfering in labor management relations! Hence, I await the response from the progressive legal eagles!

Jemele Hill and Dirty Donnie

In the mean-time all-black players should take a knee. For although their right to speak out in the workplace is NOT protected by the Constitution – since the First Amendment” is designed to prevent government not private employers from restraining “Free Speech,” the players still have a powerful weapon in the STRIKE!!! Jerry Jones will poop his pompous pants if all the black players called his bluff and took a knee!

Since Jones cannot legally fire them, he will have to pay them for sitting on the bench while he cannot field a competitive team! The plain fact is that without the black stars Jones is out of business and will lose millions…and a league wide strike would end the football season; which would enrage many fans against the players and the owners. Given the fanaticism of football fans – who live for their “tailgate “parties and witnessing their favorite team wreak Mayhem on their opponents after church on Sundays – chances are they could become an enraged mob.

Many would also turn against Trump, as veterans of America’s wars who resent a rich draft dodging blabbermouth coward like Dirty Donnie purporting to speak for them and called the pootbutt pretender out. Neither Dirty Donald nor any of the men in his family have served in the military, or rendered any other kind of public service to the nation. So, what qualifies him to speak in behalf of those who have.

I am a veteran who comes from a long-line of veterans spanning several generations, and I, like former Navy Seal Jesse Ventura – who says that he NEVER met a single millionaire serving in uniform during his years in the service – deeply resent Trump’s shameless grandstanding on the issue of Patriotism!

Jesse Ventura: Navy Seal

No Fake Tough Guy Like Dirty Donnie

Ventura recalls that when he was governor of Minnesota, the legislature passed a law requiring school children to salute the flag and he vetoed it! “Dictatorships demand the Citizens salute the flag,” said Ventura, who pointed out that in free societies “Governments must win the respect of the citizenry!” He made it clear that he was prepared to fight and die for a free society,” not a dictatorship!

This issue of how Americans should express their patriotism could split the country apart with a vengeance; which would be par for the course for Dirty Donnie: a wannabe martinet who could well be the most Divisive President in American history! Furthermore, as is becoming increasingly clear, much of the problem with trump and his minions is their abundant ignorance of history – American history and the world. For instance, I would wager my last coin on the proposition that none of these ignoramuses know that the Star-Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812, between the US and Britain. Nor do they have any inkling of the role the American slave trade from Africa played in sparking the war.

Hence, they do not know that the battle of Fort McHenry at Baltimore Harbor – where the lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner as a poem, while witnessing the battle as a prisoner of war aboard a British Man O War – was a fight to defend the interests of a slavocracy, which at that very moment was engaged in massive crimes against humanity! keeping Africans in chattel slavery – selling their children to the highest bidder at public auction, while practicing genocide against the Native American Indians; stealing their lands by force of arms in one of the biggest land grabs in history!

These Euro-American settler colonialist thieves, mass murderers and enslavers of their fellow human beings had no shame in their game. Their iniquity and moral Turpitude is celebrated in the original lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner – which, ironically, was set to music of British composer John Stafford Smith’s “To Anacreon in Heaven,” written as the theme song for a London based men’s social club the Anacreontic Society.

Francis Scott Key

The Racist Slaveholder that Wrote The National Anthem

Note these lines from the third verse of the white nationalist war song that became the US National Anthem in 1931, one hundred and thirteen years after it was written: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ From the gloom of the grave/And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/ O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The apparent contradiction in the last lines of this verse demonstrate the length and depth of white American self-deception, as Key talks about the land of the free yet endorses slavery.

However, when we take into account the fact that Francis Scott Key was a rich slaveholder from a family of lave holders, we can see that this willful self-deception about the racist oppressive practices he was defending sprang from his need to defend an economic system he knew to be evil but profited from it.

This contradiction between the professed egalitarian ideals of this country and their oppressive racist practices began with the “Founding Fathers.” For instance, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were all slaveholders. Frederick Douglass – who Trump recently discovered on his trip to the African American Museum in Washington and apparently thought was still alive – was born and raised in slavery in Maryland.

Fredrick Douglass…Escaped Slave

Writer, Editor, Orator, Abolitionist

On a 4th of July Celebration in 1856, held in Rochester New York, as the nation was hotly debating the institution of slavery, Frederick Douglass told white Americans what he thought the existence of slavery said about their society and the ideals they preached but never practiced:
“Your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

However, like the great-majority of his white countrymen, the author of “The Star- Spangled Banner” was a notorious racist who defended the barbarous slave system by denying the humanity of black people and asserting the superiority of whites. This assertion is promoted by many of Trump’s followers today…their racist arguments have changed but slightly in the 161 years since Douglass spoke. To Francis Scott Key, African Americans were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

This is how Key resolved the contradiction between his professed love of liberty, while denying it to millions of his county men. This attitude toward black people and the slaveholder’s desire to maintain the slave system, fueled white American hatred toward the British who were attempting to to end the African Slave Trade by stopping American slave ships on the high seas and confiscating their slave cargoes, was the spark that ignited the war of 1812. Just as the desire to maintain slavery amongst the white settler colonialist population led to the American “War of Independence” from the “Tyranny” of the British Empire.

These facts, while unknown to most Americans, are no longer a matter of contention. They are well documented in the path breaking scholarship presented in works such as “Slave Nation,” written by the Baumgartens, two law professors who are husband and wife, and “The Counter-Revolution of 1776, by Dr. Gerald Horne, a former lawyer and law professor who is now the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History and Black Studies at the University of Houston.

Alas that verbose airhead Donny Dimwit and his Confederacy of historical dunces haven’t a clue about any of this…that’s why they are quick to pick a fight on this question. If they understood the facts of American history they would think twice about starting an argument that will bring these shameful issues to light.

Aside from his innocence of real knowledge of American history, it is obvious that Trump fares no better in his knowledge of the Constitution. Alas, his attempt to throttle free speech among black football players and their white allies – whose numbers are few by comparison – comes perilously close to violating his oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” He is stepping all over the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amendment, as was pointed out in a statement from Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, who asked in a October 11, Tweet:” Mr. President. Are you recanting the Oath you took on Jan, 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment?”

Dumb Donnie Dimwit has opened a putrid can of worms that could infect the body politic with a virulent malice between races. classes, and people of different political opinions. By raising such a fuss over the National Anthem and denouncing the removal of Confederate monuments on the orders of local officials, Trump has initiated a discussion about scandalous sinful facts of American history that white government officials, in tandem with much of the mass media, have labored ad infinitum to suppress.

Indeed, the major reason why the “American Exceptionalist” crowd oppose the teaching of disciplines such Black, Native American and Hispanic Studies, is because one cannot honestly tell their story without seriously assaulting the Master Narrative, i.e. National Myth, that defines who we are. Hence Clueless Donald has brought these conflicting narratives of the American experience out in the open. And the facts are on the side of African, Hispanic and Native Americans! That’s why this is a conversation that the “American Exceptionalists” of all stripes do not wish to have

To add insult to injury, Donny Dumbass is leaning on broadcast companies in trying to silence Afro-American journalists who criticize his reckless racist provocations. He has been openly calling for ESPN to fire Jamele Hill, who is an excellent sports reporter and sharp social commentator! Trump’s behavior reveals the instincts of a racist dictator, he thinks that the niggers should be happy to make millions in the sports industry and STFU!  It is the worst sort of racial paternalism and Afro-Americans must not accept it. All sports fans should send letters of protest to ESPN, and even picket their headquarters over their treatment of Ms. Hill!

NOW is the time for black NFL players to exercise their power and take a knee in solidarity with those who are fighting racist attacks – often fatal – against unarmed young black men JUST LIKE THEM!!! The case of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett – who suffered Las Vegas cops putting a gun to his head in a false arrest during the Floyd Mayweather vs Connor McGregor fight – demonstrates this unpleasant truth.

For all we know these cracker cops could have been pissed that McGregor got his ass royally kicked, while the arrogant fabulously rich black Mayweather walked away with over 300 hundred million US dollars for a night’s work shelled out by white fans who desperately wanted to witness the undefeated Mayweather get his black ass whupped!  If past is prologue, then this is a completely credible explanation for the motivation of the white policemen’s behavior in Vegas, we have seen white male jealousy and resentment result in unjust violent, attacks on innocent black men that sometimes become fatal.  Hence, the black NFL players should all rise up like Colin Kapernick, and take a clear and unequivocal stand by kneeling when the Star Spangle Banner is being performed.

After all, this song was not always celebrated in the Afro-American community because based on our experience in America we knew it was a lie! Instead, at most black community ceremonies we sang “Lift Every voice and Sing,” the inspirational eight stanza art song penned by the gifted brothers James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson. This magnificent art song spoke directly to the black experience in America and it was widely known as “The Negro National Anthem.”  Furthermore, as a work of art, Lift Every Voice and Sing is vastly superior to the Star Spangled Banner musically and lyrically!

That it should surprise anyone to learn Afro-Americans had their own Anthem is a measure of the extent to which white Americans are in denial about our actual historical experience with racial oppression. This denial is promoted by the constant hokum about Trump going against America’s traditional values; when the fact is he has tapped into the most enduring value in American civilization – deeply embedded in law and custom – White Supremacy!

It persists as a recurrent theme in our national history despite all efforts to eradicate it. Trump is just the latest racist demagogue to tap into this bedrock American tradition. Hence black players in the NFL have abundant reasons to take a knee when that racist white war song, penned by a slave holding white supremacist is played

And if the NFL owners dare to retaliate, the players should call a national strike and bring this season to an end!!! This can only work if all the black stars participate. Compared to the sacrifices countless black activists have made in order for them to even have the opportunity to play in the NFL, that’s a chicken shit sacrifice really! Especially since so many football players were missing in action during the 1960’s, O.J. Simpson, one of the brightest stars of the era, was the poster child for the know nothing, do nothing, black football player.

But that was back then, when black players were in the process of taking over the NFL; now that goal has been accomplished! Gifted black players are the backbone of the league; they are an irreplaceable commodity which generate billions of dollars in revenue annually. If they go on strike, in the business of football it would be like a teamster strike in the American economy…all business would come to a halt! Hence today’s black players fate is in their own hands. And since making money does not make you a man, in the most profound meaning of the term, NOW WE WILL SEE WHETHER THESE RICH MUSCLE BOUND SUPER STUDS ARE REALLY MICE OR MEN!!!!!

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To See Green Beret who told Colin to take a Knee Click on link
https://youtu.be/O2l-h3LdPig

To hear Governor Ventura’s Passionate Defense of Kapernick

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Barack Obama on Colin Kapernick

This is how a sitting President should address the issue
https://youtu.be/VPqOotT_ta8
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
October 19th, 2017

Notes on Claude, Cooper and Coates

Posted in Book Reviews, Cultural Matters, Guest Commentators with tags , , on October 13, 2017 by playthell

A Meditation on the Meaning of the Obama Years

A Book Sparks Reflections from a Manchild in New Jack City

 First, let me say the Ta Naheshi Coates’s new book, “We Were Eight Years In Power” is powerful. I am still traveling within it but already I have been abducted by the fine writing and weaving of this piece, and the sure hand of the conductor on this train. Now, as to the title here…Growing up in Harlem, my serious reading began with Claude Brown’s “Manchild In The Promised Land.”

I can remember this is when I started to understand a bit more about the hard streets I was given to play on. It wove together a black experience I was made to realize every day. I flew down the five flights of stairs from our old tenement building ecstatic about the discovery that somebody had painted such a powerful portrait of my world. But the book was also about failure and survival. It hypnotized me, readjusting my focus and better setting my attention and aspirations higher than I might’ve otherwise thought of.

My own time outside of that book was spent unknowingly navigating what I had learned from it, as I grew up just a few blocks from where Claude Brown told his story of the world we came from. I was just starting a new school they built above the #3 train yard on 7th Avenue right down from my block, “Frederick Douglas Intermediate School 10,” affectionately known back in the day as “The Dime.” One of my very best friends back then was Barry Michael Cooper. I didn’t know it then, though we spent a lot of our time discussing our neighborhood’s blessings and curses, that he would grow up to become a brilliant writer with an original voice and penned such insightful and powerful film scripts as “New Jack City,” “Sugar Hill,” and “Above The Rim,” providing a gripping first-hand view of the style and substance of Street Life in an American metropolis.

Novelist Claude Brown

Manchild In the Promised Land

The Best Selling Novel that called the nation’s attention to the black Urban  Plight
Barry Michael Cooper

A Peerless Chronicler of the underbelly of Urban Life

A harrowing report from the front lines of the crack wars

Ta Neheshi Coates

A Brilliant commentator on the Black Experience in America

These flicks were an extension of Barry’s stellar chronicling of Harlem’s early rap, drug and gangster scenes in gripping essays published in the Village Voice, during its glory days of the 1980’s and 90’s, to large applause from careful readers and media critics. Barry had thought to write all this stuff down from our boyhood conversations while sitting by the old bust of Dr. King in Esplanade Gardens, the upscale middle-class Harlem apartment complex where he lived. Barry and I were actually witnessing and living what Claude Brown had written about in his own life many years earlier in the 1960’s, on even slicker, more dangerous streets.

So between these two guys, Claude Brown and Barry Michael Cooper, I now come to Coates. His book has taken me on another journey into the deeper understanding of all this stuff in my nearly 60 years of life. Instead of Brown’s sort of “Playbook on surviving the streets” tone, and then Cooper’s kind of voyeur takes on it all happening to us in real time, Coates has cross-stitched the varying realities together with even greater depth and perspective, while casting a keen eye on the larger history of what has gotten us out from between a rock and a hard place, or left us dazed and bewildered still within it.

Every word of this book is interesting, and so is Coates. A college drop-out with the eruditeness of another brilliant Harlem writer I was blessed to know as a co-conspirator and friend, Playthell Benjamin, who has the same sort of unique story of not going exactly the “right” ways to reach success or just to be heard. Perhaps their visions of success were different, as both their voices in the struggle are made of grand knowledge of all the great warriors but at the same time uniquely their own. You will love this book; it pieces together the larger history of Afro-Americans and tracks our progress, while comparing it to yesterday through the perspective of the Obama years in the White House. Yet it is not just about this amazing man and his wife, but more so about us all, the good and the not so good told by a variety of our heroes and unknowing villains.

Coates is an amazing young brother that is an impressively grounded and gifted writer. It’s not about whether you agree with everything he says; he is telling a story in perhaps the most unique time in our history, not just the big picture but every intricate detail of the frame and hooks on the backside, heck even the covered wall and dogged nail holes underneath. It is a fascinating work, not told by an elder but by a young buck that was listening and carefully watching what brothers like Claude and Cooper caught great whiffs of in their own revealing journeys.

I hope one day I get the opportunity to meet Ta-Nehisi Coates (and maybe, hopefully by then I will be able to better pronounce the brother’s name), as in my time, I have happily met and known both Claude Brown and my man, Barry Cooper. I think he’s in NYC, and I’m just across the GWB, so hopefully we shall meet. And y’know, I have also written a book myself, though never got around to publishing it, but given all the new ways of publishing that have emerged due to the internet.

What I do know is that it is writings like those described in this essay that have inspired me most all along my way. These agitations, echoes and experiences mirror my own, and those of many other Afro-American males, and I can feel the spiritual connection as they show the way forward and sometimes confusingly back again. Everyone should read We Were Eight Years In Power; it is a tonic and torch for the mind and soul of seekers after wisdom and truth.

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Click on Link to Hear Coates Discuss his Book
https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/ta-nehisi-coates-on-obama-presidencys-impact-on-trumps-election/
Marion Boykin
Inglewood, New Jersey
October 13, 2017

Facing the Truth about Racism

Posted in A Rendezvous With History, Cultural Matters on October 4, 2017 by playthell
Mike Barnnicle holding forth on “Morning Joe”
 On Racism, the Media and American Exceptionalism
 Listening to Mike Barnicle – a grizzled old wag and serial plagiarizer who was fired by the Boston Globe but is now a regular on “Morning Joe,” MSNBC’s morning show hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from the backward, violent, racist state of Florida, where I came of age – was asked what should we tell our children about the state of the nation? What can we realistically tell them, when the nation is plagued by gun violence and mass murders are common place, racial tensions are rising as black Americans oppose racism in and ongoing struggle that spans centuries.
Added to this is a president who embodies ALL of the vices and NONE of the virtues of American civilization…a despicable braggart, bunko artist, narcissist, sexist, racist, shameless charlatan and avaricious ASSHOLE!!!!! Barnacle’s response to the question was a passionate screed about how we should just tell them to “study American history” and they will see that “America is the greatest nation in the history of the world!” SAY WHAT?? His pronouncement had that air of unassailable truth, like when my grandfather George Benjamin used to say: “And that’s the gospel truth…jes a sho as the lawd is sitting up on his throne wearing a crown of gold in heaven!” The panel was all white, apparently clueless, thus there was nary a voice of dissent.
Alas, one of the persistent problems I had working in the major news media was having to constantly correct the ignorance of my white colleagues. It was a situation that inevitably became redundant because I was a former Professor of history in the WEB DuBois Department of Black Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; thus I possessed a world of knowledge which they were wretchedly ignorant of. Most believed in “American Exceptionalism,” the idea that the US is the most enlightened nation on earth; a nation whose greatness is matched by it’s goodness; a nation that has always stood for freedom justice and equality for all people, and this is evidence that America is the most favored nation of God.”
I on the other hand, armed with the facts of our history, view American Exceptionalism as dangerous bullshit, a self-serving myth for a narcissistic white Euro-settler population that invaded North America, engaged in the greatest land theft in history; committed genocide against the indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans for 250 years, and a hundred years thereafter subjected them to a legal caste status based on an ideology and a system of laws that were adopted by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis!
That is a capsule of US history that moved the great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw to remark “America is the only nation in the history of the world that went from barbarism to decadence…without EVER passing through CIVILIZATION!” Now that is true American Exceptionaliam.  Hence I disagree with Mike Barnacle that studying American history in search of a “Golden Age” of American justice and equality will make white kids feel better about either themselves or their civilization. But it might make them want work to realize the “American Dream” of freedom justice and equality for all!
Since Barnacle, like his co-panelist on Morning Joe, the Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan, is Irish-American, and both are dumb as cake dough regarding the role of the Irish in America’s horrid bloody history of racism.  This shameful tale of a poor peasant people, force to flee Ireland because of British oppression, and immigrating to the US where they became among of the worst oppressors of black people in their quest to be recognized as  “white,” is told in the learned path-breaking book: “How the Irish Became White.”   
Before recommending that children “study our history,” Mike and Peggy should heed his advice read this book…it is an excellent place to start!
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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
October 4, 2017

Trump is Not Only a Lying Racist Fool…

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on September 27, 2017 by playthell

The White Trash in the White House

He is Violating the Constitution and Breaking the Law!

Unable to restrain himself from cutting the fool in public, and perpetually playing to the cheap seats with a promoter’s eye for who is in his audience, Donald J. Trump, the accidental insane President of the USA, spoke to a gathering of his hard-core enablers in the cultural backwaters of Alabama.  Here in this bastion of the old slave holding Confederacy, a state which has given us such flawed statesman as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, an unreconstructed neo-Confederate redneck – whom Trump appointed Attorney General and now is trying to turn back the clock on Civil Rights – it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump, a con-man who resorts to race baiting whenever he deems it politically advantageous, should be enthusiastically received when he makes thinly veiled racist comments.

Lost in the legislative sauce in Washington, where he has not shepherded a single piece of major legislation through Congress –  Repealing Obamacare; rebuilding infrastructure; tax reform, etc.  And he has shown no greater ability to make a deal with the federal courts, which have blocked his travel bans barring Muslims from entering the US.  Furthermore, many of his close associates and family members are under investigation by the FBI, four congressional committees in the House and Senate, a federally appointed Special Prosecutor, and the dogged New York State Attorney General Eric Schniederman – who has had so much success going after Trump’s wrong doing in the past.

So, feeling ineffective and unloved in Washington, and knowing that hordes of hecklers and haters await him every time he sets foot in his home town, the narcissistic Don fled to the boonies where the hayseeds are still dazzled by this Big Apple bunko artists out to sell them a bill of fake goods wrapped in bogus dreams.  And like all good con men, Dirty Donnie knows just what buttons to push to lure his marks into the trap.

In this case his game was to wrap himself in the flag and football, declare himself the keeper of the patriotic flame and defender of American soldiers – although he is a draft dodging coward and shameless charlatan  who threw veterans off the sidewalk when they were selling their wares in front of Trump Tower, insulted a Muslim Gold Star family, and dissed Senator John McCain’s heroic military service.  Alas, there is no shame in Dirty Donnie’s game.

Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota and a real badass Navy Seal, vehemently rejects the idea that athletes, students or anybody else should be compelled to stand for the National Anthem or pledge allegiance to the flag.  He points out: “Nazi’s required people to salute the flag or stand and sing the national anthem!  Democracies must win the respect of their citizens.  Ventura recalls that when he was Minnesota’s governor the legislature passed a bill requiring school children to salute the flag and recite Pledge of Allegiance, “and I vetoed it!”

Yet this fake patriot, Dirty Donnie,  claims that real soldiers were dishonored when those black “sons of bitches” decided to kneel while  the National Anthem is played to call attention to racial injustice and white privilege in America.  It tells us all that we need to know about his values and character – or lack thereof – that he calls young black men non-violently protesting the murder of their brethren by white cops who are set free by racist white juries “sons of bitches,” while assuring us that there were “many fine people” among the torch bearing neo-Nazi’s reciting the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil,” and anti-Semitic slogans like “Jews will not replace us!”

How Trump Feels about Protesters

This tells the thoughtful person all they need to know

Yet, by urging fans to boycott teams and admonishing owners to “fire” players who take a knee during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner, Trump is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution he has sworn to defend “against all enemies foreign and domestic.” And he may well have broken federal labor laws prohibiting politicians – in the executive and legislative branches – from interfering in the relations between employers and employees.   Trump is such a scatter-brained blabbermouth he even attacked the safety measures agreed upon by owners and players to prevent serious injuries to the athletes that play the game.

It is a violation of our labor laws that can result in a 15-year prison sentence and removal from office. Yet Trump has a long record of flaunting the law, from mobbed up real estate deals to laundering dirty Russian money; in fact, his attitude to obeying the law is so Cavalier that, as I write, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Chuck Rosenberg, has announced that he has quit his post because the “President has no respect for the law.”

However, this kerfuffle over football and the flag raises some deeper questions about Donald Trump’s fitness for the presidency.  At a time when the US and its Caribbean territories have been ravaged by devastating hurricanes wreaking havoc on a biblical scale, Donald Trump has had but little to say about making the afflicted people whole again. Their have been five times as many tweets criticizing NFL players as addressing the tragic disaster in Puerto Rico.

Instead, the fuzzy headed megalo-maniacal buffoon in the Oval Office has devoted valuable time and attention to slinging mud at Golden Gate superstar guard Steph Curry – a consummate gentleman and solid citizen-  for refusing an invitation to the White House for a celebration of their NBA championship.  DD is such a petty pouty old fat fool that nothing in the world is more important than his insatiable ego!  I say cheers for Steph who refused to be used as a prop for Trump’s photo-op, which the Republican PR machine would exploit to show how Trump is cool with black folk.

The main problem with Trump, besides his lack of a moral core and ignorance of policy matters, is an absence of principled beliefs about politics and governance; his allegiance is dictated by expedience.  A “malignant narcissist,” what matters most to Trump is “winning”…. however he defines it at the time.  This moral turpitude is made worse by his abysmal ignorance of the basics of government.  Alas, the blabbermouth bubble-head buffoon does not even understand how American democracy is structured and how it is supposed to work…which is a reflection of his ghastly and dangerous ignorance of the US Constitution!

Trump does not understand the separation of powers, the system of checks and balances, or Constitutional guarantees under the Bill of Rights. All he really knows is real estate; it is the family business. And even when he went off to college at the academically distinguished University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s great centers of humane learning, the joker went for two years and only studied Real Estate! Despite being at the prestigious Wharton School of Finance he was not at all intellectually curious. Hence real estate, not government, is where his expertise lies.  Yet given his multiple bankruptcies many successful businessmen – Mitt Romney, Mike Bloomberg and Warren Buffet among them – do not think highly of his skills as a businessman either.  None of these men said they would hire Trump as the CEO of their corporations.

The fundamental question raised by this fact is: If none of Trump’s peers in the business world – most of them far more successful than Trump – would make him CEO, yet business is his lifelong business, it is unreasonably to expect him to be an effective President of the USA.   The careful observer of his behavior in office can easily the he is clueless!  This is why Donnie Dimwit picks fights with Congress, disses the Courts, disregards the Constitutional protection for press freedom, encourages police brutality toward citizens, and threatens to order American military forces to commit war crimes by suggesting that they murder the families of Jihadists.

Trump is a shameless hypocrite, crook and compulsive liar who draws a moral equivalence between fascist and anti-fascist, and publicly calls for ESPN to fire black female sportscaster Jemele Hill, for accurately calling him a “White Supremacist” on her Twitter feed. Although, without any evidence to support the charge, he called President Obama “a racist” several times when he was hosting a national TV show – and even challenged his right to be President in a racist campaign denying President Obama’s citizenship!

Yet there was NO outcry for him to be fired from his popular reality show: “The Apprentice”  In fact, this blatantly racist charade against Barack Obama – a great president – catapulted Dumb Donnie Dimwit into the Oval Office!!!  And this treacherous duplicity, created from blatant lies and nurtured on racist bigotry, sustains him in office today….despite his proclivity to dance with Nazi’s, lie compulsively about things large and small, poses a danger of getting us into an accidental nuclear war, and trifle with American law.

Hear Trumps Idiotic Statement

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 27, 2017

You Played Yourself Assholes!!!!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on September 20, 2017 by playthell

Lost Souls Seeking A Savior

Republicans Are Trying to Shoot the Wounded

As I write the leaders of the Republican GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – are huddling in a dastardly conspiracy to KILL the Affordable Health Care Act i.e. Obamacare. They are rushing through a bill that has not been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. They are doing this because they don’t want the public to know that millions of Americans will lose their healthcare insurance, and thus their ability for them or their children to see a doctor!

And yet these foul hearted motherfuckers have the unmitigated gall to claim they are Christians! They will be in church on Sunday singing hymns and thumping on the Bible while some blasphemous charlatan in robes reads the scriptures. The fact that their dicks don’t all shrink and their balls fall off, and their females don’t grow fangs in their vagina’s to chomp off their balls in the most painful fashion, IS THE REASON WHY I DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR IS A WISE AND JUST GOD PRESIDING OVER THE UNIVERSE!!!!

Governors that preside over states representing the majority of the American people have vociferously come out AGAINST this bill – despite the fact that the Republican scoundrels have promised to give them generous block grants to do with as they wish! And all the major professional organizations also oppose it.
Yet the Republicans in the Senate, like that slimy South Carolina scoundrel Lindsay Grahamn – are twisting arms to get every Republican senator to vote for this atrocious bill that threatens to WRECK our healthcare system, with no greater purpose than giving tax cuts to the rich!!!

And should they get this atrocity through the Senate Donnie Asshole has promised to sign it….so desperate is this clueless clown to get a major legislative “Victory!” It will be a pyrric victory for the deluded slubs that voted for Donnie A, alas they got Trump…and they gonna git so brutally fucked he’s gonna break his dick off in them!!! These sad, pathetic, morally demented, cretins who voted for him thinking they had found their savior got what they deserved.

But what really pisses me tha fuck off is that they are gonna take millions of us down with them And for those who were too politically and morally “pure” to vote for Hillary EAT SHIT AND DIE!!!! In politics one must accept the lesser evil….and this should have been a piece of cake in the last election: BECAUSE CHOOSING HILLARY OVER DONALD TRUMP WAS AS EASY AS CHOOSING GOD OVER THE DEVIL!!!!

Corny West: A Bushy Headed Showman

He should be denouncing the false theology of the Christian Right!

Hence I blame all of the so-called “progressives,” black and white, who helped elect Trump by not supporting Hillary, for this disaster that will cost many innocent lives. In fact, I hold them in greater contempt than the snaggle tooth, cousin fucking, po ass white trailer trash….they didn’t know any better! But verbose misguided ASSHOLES like Corny West, A former Harvard Professor, should have known better!

So I don’t want to hear ANY of their mealy-mouthed SOPHISTRY about why they couldn’t vote for the Democrats. It doesn’t matter that Trump’s supporters were coming from the Right of the Political spectrum, and the self-styled “progressives” were coming from the left: It’s a distinction without a meaningful difference!!! IT’S ALL BULLSHIT!!! MAY THEY ALL DIE THE DEATHS OF POLE CATS AND STINK THEIR WAY TO HELL!!!!! YES I SAID IT! I MEANT IT!! AND I’M READY TO REPRESENT IT!!!!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem New York
September 20, 2017