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Historically, Respect Is Always Earned


      “Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.” -Hussein Nishah
      In pre-colonial and capitalist African societies everyone had roles in the community. These roles afforded the individual the opportunity to earn respect within the community. Respect was never given, it was always earned based upon the roles that the individual held in society. As a Black man, I have learned the art of respect from my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.

      I have decided to write this piece because the lack of respect on this site is getting out of hand. In my opinion, what I have learned is that the elders on this site are some of the most disrespectful people. They also believe that they are entitled to respect because of their age, which is inherently false. Some may view this as ageism, but that is false.

      “In most indigenous African cultures, there was a significant division of roles between the youth who provided the warriors to defend society against aggression and the elders who were the adjudicators, mediators, and peacemakers. Associated with the role of the elders was political-and administrative leadership.” http://democracy-africa.org/articles/afr997.html

      “The pre-capitalist and matriarchal societies throughout Africa allowed women to have substantial control over politics, the quintessential example of this cultural practice was found in ancient Egypt. In 3,000 BC, Egyptian women managed real estate properties, slaves, livestock, endowments, and annuities” https://study.com/academy/lesson/women-in-ancient-...

      Allison Chavez stated, “Just because someone has managed to live past 50 does not mean they automatically have respect from everyone else” asked, “What exactly is it about being old that makes you think you deserve respect?”

      Our elders have a responsibility to set the example and teach civility. However, when they fail to meet the needs of the community or society at large. They can no longer expect to be respected unless they are willing to accept their roles. Respect is defined as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”

      If you are an elder on this site and over 50 years of age, it is important of you to either accept your role and the responsibility that come with it. Failure you to do so indicates that you are not fit to be a leader of the community and provide the necessary leadership that comes with the position of being an elder.

      “Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you've got to give it.” -R.G. Risch


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      Pundit Post

      IS There Any Spiritual Home For Transgender People??


          I have identified as a Unitarian Universalist for twenty years. I have found myself now in a place where I wonder if all the inclusion, "Blessed Community" and "Welcoming Congregation" stuff isn't all just bullspit. I never thought I would reach this point with UU, but I am. And I am losing the faith.

          I wrote this in my UU/Trans blog, thought I would share it here.

          OK...I have something I need to put out there.

          I have, after twenty years...come to a place I never thought I'd find myself. I find myself no longer identifying as a UU.

          The experiences I have had, in North Carolina, with the UU church here...have made me truly question whether there REALLY IS a place within UU for transgender people...if it isn't all just talk.

          I know I'd never feel that way back at UU Fellowship of the Poconos. But here in North Carolina...I had one UU congregation turn their back on me just when I needed support most (right after the Trump election) when I utterly broke down, and was at my most vulnerable and most needing of support, they chose to turn their backs instead.

          Eno River...in Durham...had, for a time, felt like it might be okay. But I haven't been for a couple of months due to car problems...and NOBODY from there has even bothered to check on me if I am okay or anything. All I get from them are form emails and letters asking for money I do not have all the time.

          So I am beginning to look at other possibilities outside of UU for a spiritual home, and have reached out to the Society of Friends here in Raleigh...I would not be the first UU to go Quaker.

          I'm not sure what to do with this anymore...so much of me wishes I had never come to North Carolina. Ever since HB-2 this place has no longer felt like home to me. Even with the so-called "repeal" which wasn't REALLY a repeal, but rather a "please let us be bigots for four more years and still have basketball, thanks" bill.

          I just feel as though the UU talks a really good game about being trans inclusive...but the fact remains that when the chips are down, they have turned their backs on me. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN THERE FOR ME WHEN I NEEDED THEM MOST. And now I am not so sure I want them anymore even if they said I COULD come back.

          I know I'd be looking at everyone with very different eyes than I used to...wondering what was REALLY going on behind their eyes...and no longer believing their words at face value. I wish I could see a way forward...a path to a true spiritual home for people like me...if such a place even exists.

          I'm pretty sure the UU is no longer that spiritual home.

          I am beginning to feel that the whole "Welcoming Congregation" the whole "Blessed Community" and the whole inclusion thing that is always spoken of within UU congregations....is not all just a bunch of bullspit. I find myself wondering if there really IS a place for us trans in the UU..and I keep coming back to what was done to me, and feeling like there is not.

          But I also do not know if there is ANY spiritual home for transgender people like me. ANY place where we will be accepted for who we are...and loved for the broken people we are...and loved and nursed back to health and wholeness. I find myself badly in need of it.

          But I also need a place that is willing to understand that I cannot accept God and Jesus...at this time either....what my head knows of them...is something very different than what my gut and twenty years of horrible experience tells me. I find I cannot trust God...I cannot trust Jesus....and I can't seem to trust even those places that SAY they are inclusive and welcoming, because all too often it proves to be JUST TALK...and they do not DO the things we trans really need...to be healed...to be saved and made whole once again...to be loved as the very broken people we are.

          I wish I knew where to turn anymore. More and more I keep finding myself wanting a society of just transgender people and nobody else.

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          Inclusion Integration And The Left Out


              In the book Why I’m No Longer Talking TO White People About Race, author Reni Eddo-Lodge states, “Racism’s legacy does not exist without purpose. It brings with it not just a disempowerment for those affect by it, but an empowerment for those who are not. That is white privilege. Racism bolsters white people’s life chances. It affords an unearned power; it is designed to maintain a quiet dominance. Why don’t white people think they have racial identity?”

              Discussing the topics race, religion, and human rights with white people is contentious at best. They have always led the way regarding the direction that the conversation. Oftentimes, I encountered individuals that are willing to walk away instead of listening to me. It appears to me that their comfortability factor is not as high as the allow themselves to believe.

              Dr. Nicki Lisa Cole wrote an essay The Definition of Racism: A system of Power, Privilege, and Oppression. This profound essay defined racism where many have failed because they simply believe that racism is tied to hate instead of the power that is wielded by what some defines as the dominant group of people. This group is generally defined as white by appearance instead of place of origin. Many of these groups (Italians, Irish, Polish, Jewish, etc.) immigrated to this land.

              Dr. Cole states, “Racism refers to a variety of practices, beliefs, social relations, and phenomena that work to reproduce a racial hierarchy and social structure that yield superiority, power, and privilege for some, and discrimination and oppression for others. It can take several forms, including representational, ideological, discursive, interactional, institutional, structural, and systemic.”

              The seven forms she listed above have shaped what some would call White Supremacy (Racism) and have been used consistently for centuries to maintain a system of oppression by those that control it. I have written about these things several times, but it doesn’t get the traffic it deserves either because of fear or the individual’s unwillingness to deal with truth. I do know that some are very selective regarding what they will read, support, and defend.

              I also found that it is easy to defend one’s personal truths as it relates to those that look like them, while condemning others that do not. I have done this, yet I also defend others that do not look like me despite the horrific treatment of Black people in America. Every group of people have endured a level of atrocity that should not be forgotten including Black people in America who seem to have never been allowed to keep their pain alive. We have always been told to that our experiences are in the past, while others remain at the forefront of their very existence.

              This is what racism is all about and how it shapes the past, present, and future of a people that have been marginalized for centuries because of the color of our skin and the lies that people have created to perpetuate false narratives. Dr. Cole utilizes the following forms including representational, ideological, discursive, interactional, institutional, structural, and systemic to show the negative effects of racism.
              Representational Racism, “Depictions of racial stereotypes are common in popular culture and media, like the historical tendency to cast people of color as criminals and as victims of crime rather than in other roles, or as background characters rather than as leads in film and television.”

              Ideological Racism, “It refers to world views, beliefs, and common sense ideas that are rooted in racial stereotypes and biases. A troubling example is the fact that many people in American society, regardless of their race, believe that white and light skinned people are more intelligent than dark-skinned people and superior in a variety of other ways.”
              Discursive Racism, “This kind of racism is expressed as racial slurs and hate speech, but also as code words that have racialized meanings embedded in them, like ‘ghetto,’ ‘thug,’ or ‘gangsta.’”

              Interactional Racism, “Racism often takes an interactional form, which means it is expressed in how we interact with each other. For example, a white or Asian woman walking on a sidewalk may cross the street to avoid passing closely by a black or Latino man because she is implicitly biased to see these men as potential threats.”
              Institutional Racism, “Racism takes institutional form in the ways that policies and laws are crafted and put into practice through society's institutions, such as the decades-long set of policing and legal policies known as “The War on Drugs,” which has disproportionately targeted neighborhoods and communities that are composed predominantly of people of color. Institutional racism preserves and fuels the racial gaps in wealth, education, and social status, and serves to perpetuate white supremacy and privilege.”

              Structural Racism, “Structural racism refers to the ongoing, historical, and long-term reproduction of the racialized structure of our society through a combination of all of the above forms. Structural racism manifests in widespread racial segregation and stratification on the basis of education, income, and wealth, the recurrent displacement of people of color from neighborhoods that go through processes of gentrification, and the overwhelming burden of environmental pollution borne by people of color given its proximity to their communities. Structural racism results in large-scale, society-wide inequalities on the basis of race.”

              Systemic Racism, “Many sociologists describe racism in the U.S. as "systemic" because the country was founded on racist beliefs that created racist policies and practices, and because that legacy lives today in the racism that courses throughout the entirety of our social system. This means that racism was built into the very foundation of our society, and because of this, it has influenced the development of social institutions, laws, policies, beliefs, media representations, and behaviors and interactions, among many other things. By this definition, the system itself is racist, so effectively addressing racism requires a system-wide approach that leaves nothing unexamined.” https://www.thoughtco.com/racism-definition-302651...

              Fear is the driving force behind racism and the desire to control another group of people for survival. This is my experience as a Black man in America that must fight to survive daily in the mist of self-preservation, self-determination, and to maintain knowledge of myself. I will never ask anyone for permission to be me, share my personal truth, or my history as it relates to Alkebulan and America.

              There are 6 Things Black People Need to Stop Saying to White People in 2018 according to author Shannon M. Houston: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/01/6-t...

              “1. Well, the thing about white privilege is…”
              “2. As a white woman, Rebecca, you have to understand that…”
              “3. There’s a great article out by…”
              “4. No, you can’t even sing the word because the history…”
              “5. Excuse me.”
              “6. I forgive you.”

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              Pundit Post

              Ira Hayes: What Happened To The Native American Who Helped Raise The Flag On Iwo ....


                  "But in between those years, this war veteran, marked as drunk and alcoholic by society, made one inspirational Forrest Gumpian barefoot walk of no less than 1,300 miles from his home in Arizona right to Harlon Block’s home in Texas, only to tell his family that their son, who was controversially mistaken with a Sgt. Hank Hansen, was the actual frontman holding the flag in the iconic image. He had tried to tell the military of the mistake in identification, but no one wanted to listen."


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                  Unfiltered: 'How Can You Hate Me When You Don't Even Know Me?'


                      'Daryl Davis is an accomplished R&B and blues musician, having played with the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and B.B. King. And he’s also an African-American man who’s persuaded more than 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan to leave their robes, hoods and hateful beliefs behind.

                      'In this first episode of Unfiltered, a new weekly Yahoo News interview series documenting real, unflinching and unapologetic American voices, on topics ranging from the judicial system, to gun control, to the sex industry, we take a look at one man’s mission to understand hate and prejudice within this country. “It was beyond me that someone who had never seen me before, someone who had never spoken to me before, someone who knew absolutely nothing about me, would want to inflict pain upon me for no other reason than the color of my skin,” says Davis. “How can you hate me, when you don’t even know me?”

                      'The search for the answer to his question began one night in 1983, when Davis found himself playing in a country music bar. A white man approached him and offered to buy him a drink. That’s when the man told him, “You know, this is the first time I’ve ever sat down and had a drink with a black man.” Davis asked him why. “He looked back at me just as plain as day,” recounts Davis, “and he said, ‘I’m a member of the Ku Klux Klan.’

                      '“I realized, maybe I’d found the way to get the answer to my question of: How can you hate me, when you don’t even know me? Who better to ask?”

                      'In time, Davis learned that the guy at the bar, and others like him, “were just human beings.” “At that point, I decided: I need to go and interview other Klan people,” he said. “And I’ll go around the country and I’ll do that. And then put it all together, and I will have a book.” Titled Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan, Davis’ book about his experiences was published in 1998.'


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                          Please send thoughts and good wishes to our top Pundit Ray Cunnef who is having major surgery today. He will likely be off of Yabberz for a bit, and I for one will miss him.

                          Please do not give me points for this post. (It is not about me.). Instead send positive thoughts and good wishes to Ray or even write him on our private message system called "chats."

                          Thanks much!

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