Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts

Tuesday

Flashback: White Evangelicals Made a Deal With the Devil. Now What?

Donald Trump holds a Bible outside St John's Church in Washington DC. Credits: Getty Images
CC™  Viewpoint

By Sarah Jones

In the end, white Christian America stood by its man. The exit polls present an imperfect but definitive picture. At least three-quarters of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in November, a figure largely unchanged from 2016. Evangelicals didn’t win Trump another four years in power, but not for lack of effort. While most of America tired of the president’s impieties, the born-again found in themselves a higher tolerance for sin.

And the sins are legion, lest we forget. He tear-gassed protesters so he could walk to a D.C. church and hold a Bible upside-down in front of it without interference. He lied and cheated, and smeared women who accused him of sexual assault. He separated migrant children from their parents and staffed his administration with white nationalists. Over a quarter of a million Americans died of coronavirus, while he railed against doctors and scientists trying to save lives. Not even a plague turned evangelicals from their earthly lord. For Trump, the consequences are political and legal. For evangelicals, the fallout has a more spiritual quality. What does it profit a faith to gain a whole country and then lose it, along with its own soul?

Evangelicals had more to lose than Republicans, for reasons I learned in church as a child. You can’t evangelize anyone if your testimony is poor. If you disobey your parents, or wear a skirt that falls above your knees, how can anyone believe you’re saved? Another Sunday School lesson, conveniently forgotten? Be sure that your sin will find you out. Evangelicals bought power, and the bill is coming due. The price is their Christian witness, the credibility of their redemption by God. Evangelicalism won’t disappear after Trump, but its alliance with an unpopular and brutal president could alienate all but the most zealous. 

To be evangelical in the 1990s was to learn fear. The world was so dangerous, and our status in it so fragile. The fossil record was a lie, and scientists knew it. You could not watch the Teletubbies because Jerry Falwell thought the purple one was gay. No Disney, either, and not because Walt had been a fascist; Disneyworld allowed a gay pride day, and in one scene of The Lion King, you could see the stars spell out “sex.” You were lucky to even be alive, to have escaped the abortion mill. The predominantly white evangelical world in which I was raised had created its own shadow universe, a buffer between it and the hostile world. Our parents could put us in Christian schools or homeschool us; if they did risk public school, we could take shelter with groups like YoungLife and the Fellowship Christian of Athletes, which would tell we to make the most of this chance to save souls. We had alternatives for everything; our own pop music, our own kids’ shows, our own versions of biology and U.S. history, and an ecosystem of colleges and universities to train us up in the way we should go: toward the Republican Party, and away from the left, with no equivocation.

Whatever the cause, whatever the rumor, the fear was always the same. It was about power, and what would happen if we lost it. Certain facts, like the whiteness of our congregations and the maleness of our pulpits and the shortcomings of our leaders, were not worth mentioning. You were fighting for God, and God was not racist or sexist; He was only true. The unsaved hated this, it made them angry, and that was proof you were doing the right thing. If “owning the libs” has a discernible origin point, it’s here, in the white evangelical church.

While I was in college and Trump was still a reality show star, evangelicals faced a crisis in the pews. Young people were leaving the church, and they weren’t coming back. The first signs arrived in 2007, in the last hopeful months before the Great Recession. A pair of Christian researchers released a study with troubling implications for the future of the church. Young people aged 16 to 29 were skeptical of Christianity and of evangelicalism in particular, concluded Dave Kinnaman of the Barna Group and Gabe Lyons of the Fermi Group. “Half of young churchgoers said they perceive Christianity to be judgmental, hypocritical, and too political,” they wrote. Among the unchurched, attitudes were even more negative. A mere 3 percent said they had positive views of evangelicalism, a precipitous decline from previous generations.

I interviewed Lyons about his research while I was a student journalist at Cedarville University, a conservative Baptist school in Ohio. By the time I graduated, I’d become one of his statistics, an atheist with a minor in Bible. Trump was not even a glimmer in Steve Bannon’s eye, but the evangelical tradition had already asked me to tolerate many sins. There was George W. Bush and his catastrophic invasion of Iraq; welfare policies that starved the poor; the dehumanization of immigrants, of LGBT people, of women who do not wish to stay pregnant, and my own, non-negotiable submission to men. At some point I realized that I had traveled some distance in my mind, and I could not go back the way I came. I was over it, I was through.

The years after my personal exodus brought with them more proof that the church was in trouble. Partisanship did not entirely explain why. Membership declined fastest in mainline congregations, even though they tend to be more liberal than the independent churches of my youth. Social media has expanded the philosophical marketplace; all Christian traditions face competition from new ideologies for the hearts and minds of the young. But conservative denominations are suffering, too. The Southern Baptist Convention said this June it had experienced its thirteenth consecutive year of membership decline. By age 22, two-thirds of adults who attend Protestant services as teenagers have dropped out of church for at least a year, LifeWay Research found last year, and a quarter cited political disagreements as the reason. An alliance with a president the young largely hated might not lure new generations to the fold.

Years of attrition have taken a toll on white evangelicals, said Robert Jones, the author of White Christian America and the founder of the Public Religion Research Institute. “If you go back a couple of election cycles ago, into Barack Obama’s first election, they were 21 percent of the population, and today they are 15 percent of the population,” he told me. The share of Black evangelicals has remained relatively stable, he added, while the numbers of Latino evangelicals have grown. And while these groups ostensibly share a religious label, politically they are far apart.

“If I take the religious landscape, and I sort religious groups by their support for one candidate or the other, what inevitably happens is that there are no two groups further away from each other in that sorting than white evangelical Protestants and African-American Protestants,” Jones said, adding that Latino evangelicals are “a little more divided.” (Indeed, Trump won significant support from this group in 2020.)

But white evangelicals are still outliers overall: They’re more conservative than other Protestants, more conservative than Catholics, more conservative, in fact, than any other demographic in the country. The implicit claim of the Moral Majority — that it embodied mainstream opinion — always lacked evidence, but it’s become even less true over time. By the time Trump applied Richard Nixon’s label of a “silent majority” to his own coalition, it barely made sense at all. A bloc that can only take the White House through the electoral college, and not the popular vote, only to lose it outright four years later, has no claim to majority status. They are a remnant within a remnant, a nation within a nation.

There are still dissenters. Last year, the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, called for Trump’s removal from office. Galli wrote the typical approach for his magazine was to “stay above the fray,” and “allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible,” he wrote. But Trump had abused the power of his office and revealed a “grossly deficient moral character.” Galli has since converted to Catholicism, a decision he explained to Religion News Services as being more personal than political.

Others stay. But they can experience a painful friction between their spiritual convictions and political independence. My parents, both pro-life evangelicals, have now voted against Trump twice. I spoke to another by Skype, not long before the election.

I know Marlena Proper Graves from my days at that Baptist university, when I was an upstart college feminist, and she was a resident director and the spouse of a professor. Now the author of two books on faith and a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University, Graves worries about the influence of Trump, and Trump’s party, on her beloved church. The word “evangelical,” she noted, had always referred to a constellation of beliefs. “You have a relationship with God, God cares about you, God cares about all people, and Christ is central,” she said, ticking them off. “But now it seems to be something of a culture.” That culture is an exclusionary one. “I’ve been disinvited from events because of my views and activism for immigrants, because it’s controversial,” she said.

When Proper was young, she told me, she listened to Christian radio all the time, just like I did. Preachers and commentators like James Dobson, a famed radio personality and the founder of Focus on the Family, would opine on the issues of the day, on morality, and virtue. “All these people would talk about character,” she said. “How you can’t vote for Bill Clinton in particular because of Monica Lewinsky, because he had affairs.” Then came Trump. “People said, first, that they didn’t think he would win. Then it was all about abortion and judges. I felt like I was being punked,” she remembered. But many evangelicals are in on the joke. Faced with popular rejection and the humiliation of Trump, they declare themselves persecuted, and identify numerous enemies. The mission remains the same: Purify the nation, and pacify the barbarians.

Beyond the usual celebrity preacher scandals, the faith’s place in the broader Christian right required it to make moral compromises it never tolerated among the rank-and-file members of the flock. Our definition of morality narrowed the further up the pyramid you climbed. For the politicians we backed, it shrank to a pinprick point: Ronald Reagan was divorced. What mattered instead to the Moral Majority was his opposition to abortion, his hippie-bashing, his ability to trade in euphemisms about “states’ rights.” Two Bush presidents later, thrice-married Trump gave evangelicals the conservative Supreme Court of their dreams.

As hypocritical as white evangelical support for Trump may look from the outside, the president actually understood his base quite well. Eight years of a Black, liberal president threatened their hegemony. So had the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Sarah Posner, an investigative journalist and the author of Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump, told me that Trump managed to tap into two key evangelical tendencies. “Those two things were the racial grievances of the white base of the Republican Party, and how televangelism had changed evangelicalism from the 1970s onward,” she said.

Galli, the former Christianity Today editor, believes Trump also appealed to an entrenched evangelical sense of marginalization. By the time same-sex marriage was legalized, public opinion on LGBT rights had already liberalized; the gap between white evangelicals, and everyone else, on matters of sexuality is now wider than it’s ever been. “Here comes Donald Trump, saying it’s OK to be Christian, it’s OK to have your values, it’s OK to practice your values in the public square. And he does this in a very authoritative manner,” Galli explained. Trump didn’t know his Scripture, but he knew there was a war on, and that was enough. The nation’s culture warriors had found their general.

Evangelicals, Galli added, “are deeply suspicious of human authority,” but only to a point. What they may fear, really, is authority they don’t control. “Paradoxically,” he continued, “they are a group that’s attracted to authoritarian leaders, whether that person be a pastor of a megachurch or a dictator.” Those tendencies existed before Trump. With the help of the far-right press, social media, and alternative institutions, they will survive Trump, too.

“I think that the thing that we have to keep our eye on is the ways in which the infrastructure that they built gives them an advantage beyond what their numbers would tell you,” Posner said. Conservative evangelicals already know that they’re no longer the Moral Majority, and they’ve found a way to make it work for them. “They’ll recognize, for example, that they may be in the minority on LGBTQ rights, but in their view, that’s all the more reason that they should be protected by either the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or the First Amendment, in having the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people.”

That infrastructure still churns out new acolytes, who embrace the worst elements of the tradition we all used to share. The same movement that produced me also spawned Madison Cawthorn, a Republican elected to Congress last month. He was born the year the Southern Baptist Convention first apologized for slavery, and he will be the youngest member of Congress when he takes office in January. He’ll also be one of furthest-right Republicans in office, with a personal life that once again tests the bounds of evangelical toleration for sin. Women from his Christian homeschooling community in North Carolina and women who studied with him at the conservative Patrick Henry College have accused him repeatedly of sexual harassment and misconduct. A racist website linked to his campaign criticized a local journalist for leaving academia to “work for non-white males” like Senator Cory Booker, “who aims to ruin white males.” After he won, he celebrated with a tweet. “Cry more, lib,” he wrote.

There’s time for Cawthorn to self-immolate on a pyre of his own sins before he’s old enough to run for president. But there will be other Cawthorns, other white evangelical candidates who will try to master Trumpism-without-Trump. They might not need an army to win, either. The GOP already knows it doesn’t have to be popular to stay in power. They need a radical remnant, and a lot of dirty tricks. Republicans can get what they want by suppressing the vote, or by undermining our confidence in elections. They can protect themselves through the subtle tyranny of inequality, which empowers the wealthy while alienating the most under-represented among us. A party out of step with most voters must either reform, or it must cheat. This, too, is something the modern GOP has in common with the Christian right. Democracy is the enemy. People can’t be trusted with their own souls. Leave them to their own devices, and they make the wrong choices, take the easy way out, threaten everything holy. They need a savior, whether they like it or not.

INTELLIGENCER

Saturday

God Bless America…..And Nigeria As Well!

CC™ Perspective 

By Boyejo Alaba Coker 

Chief Editor 

While the whole world watches with sheer amazement, the ongoing "battle" for the electoral soul of America at the Supreme Court of the United States, we must be careful not to focus unnecessarily on the "negative" aspects of the pervading situation, but instead appreciate the strength and vibrancy of the democratic process and rule of law, as it obtains in the United States of America, in spite of what transpired on January 6th, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol.

Were this to happen in another country, Nigeria for example, a bunch of opportunists and hare-brains in khaki uniform would have sought by now to usurp power...hence effectively scuttling the democratic process. Instead what we see is democracy in process, even in the most precarious of situations.

The American democracy is built on a solid foundation of systems and institutions working hand-in-hand, nourished by an ever evolving but fertile climate of dialogue and compromise, guided by the tenets of civil discourse and a commitment to a workable resolution...one all sides are party to!

While it is no longer laughable to hear the chitters and chatters from around the world with regards to the "legitimacy" or "moral imperative" that unfortunately envelope the victors of a seemingly tainted process, the United States, more than any country in the history of the world and humanity, is still offers the freest, fairest and most veracious democracy ever. The veritable nature of the American system is again unfolding through the court system. 

For despots, dictators and tyrants worldwide to now turn around and question the legitimacy of American leadership in the world, is at best laughable. 

And as for the journalists (around the world) that seem forever captivated and mesmerized by disgraced, thieving dictators and murdering despots like Putin, Erdogan, Kim, Xi and Assad to have the nerve, gall and impudent temerity to question the veracity of the most vibrant democratic system in the world, is at best unbecoming.

Please note that the U.S. will be just fine. It is not a fledgling democracy built on mediocrity and an archaic "federal character" (as obtains in Nigeria), it is an established democracy built on a solid foundation of values and rewards, not for ineptitude and laziness, but hard-work, dedication and a commitment to service...in its truest form. Maybe someday, Nigeria can learn from this. A continuing political setting where a group that has contributed the LEAST to the progress, development and vibrant image of the country, feels that their aspirations and ideals should supersede those of others, can only spell doom for the country.

Furthermore, a continuing political setting where a group that lags behind (and I mean waaaaay behind) in all social and economic indicators, rather than look to pull themselves up to the level of the other groups, would much rather engage in religious, ethnic and gender bigotry, with a view to frustrating viable attempts at positive growth and development for the whole nation, speaks to the very heart of the need for a reassessment of the entity called Nigeria.

The continuing calls for a Sovereign National Conference are still not being heeded. This I must say is highly unfortunate. For Nigeria to move forward with a view to realizing its true potential, we (all nationalities within our nation) need to sit down and engage in civil but earnest discussions about the conditions for the continued corporate existence of Nigeria.

Enough of the quota system, federal character and population fallacy that seem to forever invite and reward mediocrity, incompetence, ineptitude and ignominy! The time is indeed ripe for the true values and ideals of equity, justice and fair play to become part and parcel of the Nigerian democratic process. It is a known fact that whatever Nigerians do, whether good or bad, once we put our minds to it, we are virtually unstoppable. However, this time let it be for the good of all and most importantly our beloved country.

It is time for the re-birth of the Nigeria that I once knew and hope to know again one day...the Nigeria that had so much promise...so much vitality; the Nigeria that had honour and integrity...the Nigeria that above all...had a CONSCIENCE, where great men and women with great minds and Godly hearts traversed the length and breath of our nation; the Nigeria that exuded so much confidence and provided hope and succour to all...at home and abroad!

We can do it, but first we must resolve to rid ourselves of the cancer of religious, ethnic, class, and gender bigotry. In the 21st century, Nigeria should be importing machinery and equipment for the purpose of industrialization and technological advancement, as opposed to the severing of arms, limbs and joints�all in the name of religion!

As I have said time and time again, if some people are hell bent on reverting to the dark days of Europe they should please let us know, so that those of us that believe in the inherent freedom of all, regardless of class, ethnicity, race, gender or religion can march on in glory into the promise and possibilities of the new millennium.

God Bless America...and Nigeria too, while He is at it!

Wednesday

Flashback: The GOP and the dearth of true conservatives

Reagan takes oath of office
Editor-in-Chief 
--- Boyejo A. Coker

This piece was written (ahead of the 2012 U.S. general elections) as a sequel to a preceding piece titled "Whither the GOP and true conservatism." Both pieces served to profess a prelude to the emergence of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump on opposite sides of the political spectrum. The article continues below.....

In an article I wrote a few years ago, I touched on the debilitating frailties of the GOP as presently constituted and how they may have led to the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

As we get into the decisive months of presidential politics in the U.S. general elections, one sees the same pattern beginning to unfold once again, as the GOP-led Congress (at least on the House side) would much rather play side-bar politics, that could ultimately re-energize the left to turn out in solidarity of what most observers perceive to be an under-performing president.

There is no question that the president is vulnerable and worse-still is the fact that he seems unsure of what he needs to do, in order to get the economy moving again.

For independent voters (they hold the "swing votes" in key elections), the two choices for the White House would seem to be a replay of 2008 all over again.

Then, most independents seemed to initially lean towards John McCain, as they respected his service to country as well as his penchant for reaching across the aisle, to get the business of the nation done, when it was absolutely necessary.

The fringe right of the GOP was however cool to the McCain candidacy and they eventually forced his hand into choosing someone that many felt became a liability to both his candidacy as well as the poignant message true conservatives were trying to send to the American people.

Key political watchers would argue that true conservatives never warmed up to Sarah Palin the minute they realized there was nothing behind the looks or between the ears.

For all the so-called Tea Party would like most Americans to believe, conservatism is not defined by a resentment for a sterling educational pedigree or impeccable intellectual acumen. Rather than see those with the preceding qualities as snubs, a true conservative views the composite as an invaluable asset; one that typifies a sense of ambition, responsibility and ultimately speaks to the crux of the conservative message of a commitment to excellence.

The reality is that this president is way in over his head, but the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives has consistently giving him a way out by stalling and styming his feckless efforts aimed at "reviving" the American economy.

And when they are not styming the president's "well intended efforts" they are busy issuing subpoenas to the Attorney General of the United States for a program that was actually started under a Republican president; it was then called Operation Wide Receiver and it was the first known ATF "gunwalking" operation to the Mexican drug cartels, beginning in early 2006 (under the Bush White House) and ran till late 2007.

Not to digress onto this matter, but what makes the Darrell Issa-led over-reach even more laughable and at best mis-directed, is the fact that under the Bush administration, there were no known reviews by either the DOJ or the Congress at the time. In fact, it was not until Barack Obama took office in 2009, that the Eric Holder-led DOJ started an intensive review into Operation Wide Receiver, with arrests and indictments subsequently made, as a result of the investigations.

Rather than focus on the key issues that continue to affect the generality of the American people, the ECONOMY, ECONOMY and the ECONOMY, key GOP leadership and their surrogates, would much rather play divisive politics and once again, give a much needed opening and life-line to a struggling presidency.

True conservatives are not blinded by their parochial and ideological idiosyncrasies, but are instead committed to espousing the true values and ideals of transparency, accountability and responsible governance; doing so with dignity and firmness, as well as a sense of cordiality that belies their resolve and determination.

The message of individual responsibility, self-determination, personal discipline and accountability must not be lost in the abyss of incendiary vituperations laced with jingoistic redundancies.

The American people deserve much better this time around, than a default presidency as that may ultimately lead to a couple of plausible scenarios that could eventually obtain here. The first is that Barack Obama's "third term" is ensured (4 years from now) by the lack of purpose and direction currently being exhibited by the core GOP establishment. The other scenario is that an anti-establishment candidate may arise out of the ashes of the impending GOP establishment's implosion. That person would then become an unlikely but much welcome voice (to the far right) of parochial irredentism that may change the political landscape of the United States forever.

Chief Editor's commentary: The 'anti-establishment candidate' I predicted almost a decade ago, in this piece, turned out to be Donald J. Trump. Four years of his chaotic presidency has turned American democracy on its head and January 6, 2021 was indeed a defining day in the history of the United States of America. Let no one be fooled here either by the incendiary posturing of some GOP fringe stalwarts of the disgraced former president, as it relates to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
The facts are that Donald Trump was first impeached for withholding military aid to a friendly nation in exchange for a purported favor from that nation (Ukraine) against a potential opponent (Joe Biden) of his, in the upcoming presidential elections, at the time. Trump’s feckless presidency and rudderless leadership strengthened Putin’s hand politically, as it relates to the former Soviet Republics, Ukraine especially, from a strategic standpoint -geopolitically. 

Laura Ingraham: An epitome of hypocrisy and a walking contradiction of privileged ignorance

Laura Ingraham
CC™ Editorial 

By Deji Fashola (Contributing Editor)

One of the most consistent things in life is time. Time never fails to tell the story. The story of the day, the story of your life and the events that have shaped that very life; but even more importantly, time never fails to remind us of our past, with historical and poignant markers that speak to how our past actions ultimately determine where and who we are, or will become.

For Laura Ingraham, a talk show host of Fox News and someone whom I had never heard of until she name dropped basketball superstar, Lebron James, a few years ago by telling him to shut up and dribble, time has essentially encapsulated the very essence of her being, as it relates to her place in the evolving but contentious conversation about Americas contract with people of African descent, in particular.

I am not a consumer of American news as a matter of principle, be it CNN, Fox, MSNBC or any other alphabet news organization, but one thing I will say having had a glimpse of Fox news in particular, is that the latter (Fox news) is the most brazen attempt at instituting State-run TV in a country that is supposed to be the very epitome of democracy.

Time and time again, we are inundated with the Republican mantra that seemingly serves to eschew the tenets and principles of so-called conservative values. But, what exactly do these values entail. 

According to Laura Ingraham et al, conservative values seek to:

a) Preserve the sanctity of life pre-birth but seemingly abuse and devalue it after birth, especially if the life in question is of the wrong hue.

b) Promote avaricious greed that encourages limitless profit by a very limited few to the detriment of the overwhelming majority.

c) Encourage and promote governmental interference in the lives of others with the exception of those who profess a divine following of a God, whose commandments and ordinances they (the so-called conservatives) never abide by, but project and force on others who merely seek to live and let live.

d) Bully, vilify, slander, defame, abuse and in some cases, seek to intimidate with threats of violence those they disagree with, including defying constituted authority even though the latter's conduct and ordinances are within the framework of the laws and statutes of the land.

A perfect example of this vilification is the Republican messaging of referring to those who ask why the wealthiest nation on earth has more than half of its population without basic healthcare, as socialists.

These same conservatives (Republicans) have no problems though with the government giving away billions of dollars in corporate welfare to big corporations, deemed too big to fail. To them, the average American is too irrelevant and too small to succeed or be cared for, so long as Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Tom "call in the troops" Cotton, Josh "inordinate ambition" Hawley and the always opportunistic Rafael Ted Cruz line their pockets and those of their corporate benefactors.

e) Extol the virtues of democracy and civility when in the majority or win elections but then turn the same institution on its head, refusing to concede when you lose, and then seek to undermine and subvert the will of the people by judicial fiat. And when the latter fails, incite a violent insurrection against the duly elected leadership of the country, namely the Vice President and Congress, a co-equal branch of government, by a sitting President of the United States of America.

The four years of the Trump misrule of incompetence, laced with brazen nepotism, cronyism and racism, as well as unbridled corruption, was undoubtedly egged on by State TV (Fox News), with Sean Hannity (the former construction worker and high school dropout) and Laura Ingraham as the unofficial spokespersons of the Trump-led civilian junta. 

It remains to be seen if the resulting socio-political scars remain embedded in the mental and institutional psyche of the nation, for decades or even generations to come.

Friday

Ten things we've learnt about identity politics in the United States

CC™ Editor-in-Chief
--- Boyejo A. Coker

a) Racism is an institution not an event, statement or action, as evident by the silence and acquiescence of the Republican members of Congress to the dangerous and highly-charged statements, and actions of former President Donald Trump for 4 years, that ultimately culminated in the violent insurrection by White Supremacist supporters of his, against the Congress of the United States on January 6th, 2021.

b) Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually instigated the singling out (in 2019) of the women of color in the U.S. House by referring to them as "just four people with no following". That was all Donald Trump needed to strike at the time, against those women. 

c) Donald Trump "is not a racist". The power structure that enabled him become the POTUS (still incredibly threatens to bring him back in 2024), and continues to facilitate his trampling upon the Constitution with impunity, is racist, and was set up to be that way by the founding fathers, who enslaved the Africans that were brought to America and saw them as less than human.

d) President Barack Obama would not have been elected to office if he had bragged about sexually assaulting women, and he would definitely have been impeached, and removed from office, if he had conducted himself in office as Trump did.

e) Imagine what would have happened if Barack Obama had asked those that criticized his administration to leave the country, if they did not like the way things were being done. Or worse still, if he (Obama) had threatened to unleash the U.S. military on American citizens, protesting in the streets. Lastly, I am confident Barack Obama would have been impeached and convicted within a week (at most) if he had instigated an insurrection against a co-equal branch of government.

f) Gratitude is not a requirement of citizenship. Furthermore, all U.S. citizens (naturalized or natural born) have equal rights, or do they.......?

g) The old order of the Democratic party is completely out of touch and the treatment of the four women Representatives of color by former Speaker Pelosi four years ago, serves to buttress that point.

h) The Republican party has always had a playbook steeped in identity politics. Anyone remember the Willie Horton ads? Trump is not doing anything new. He simply took it to another level.

i) The palpable silence of the so-called religious leaders (especially the white religious leaders) in the United States tells you all you need to know about them.

j) The silence of most top American CEOs and business leaders (until recently) also tells you all you need to know about them and their organizations. The ones that have 'spoken out' are not only late to the game (about five years late at least), but are speaking out merely to 'sanitize' their brand, as well as clear whatever is left of their conscience (assuming most of them actually have one).

Tuesday

Racism: Why 'the children of a ‘lesser God’ must redefine the next human century and beyond.....

CC™ - Editor-in-Chief

I have always stated to many, including Black intellectuals that racism is not an event, statement, person/personality or even an action. Racism, at its very core and foundation, is an institution and that is why I laugh consistently at the notion by white liberals and some Blacks that racism must be defeated.

Defeated? Those who are actually 'in the know' understand the implication of that statement and as such they will NEVER allow that to happen; as it would mean the loss of their privilege and influence. I mean why would anyone in their 'right senses' want to give up the power and position they have benefited from for generations.

That opening flurry then brings us to the state of things not only in America (particularly under Donald Trump, the 45th POTUS) but also in the world as we, 'the children of a lesser God' seek to navigate our way through s system and indeed a world that continually views us as a threat. Yes, I said 'as a threat' as the founders of the racist establishment that currently runs the world understand very well how formidable and capable Africans (Blacks) are.

Whether it is in the corporate world, national and international politics, sports and entertainment, the system engendered by racism has ensured that Blacks in particular remain removed from positions of influence (where far-reaching decisions are made) that determine the ultimate outcome of events in the critical arenas of human life.

THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM

A closer look at the global economic system would serve to buttress my point regarding the institutional nature of racism. It defies logic that a continent (Africa) that produces majority of the worlds key natural resources remains the poorest and the most indebted. A situation where the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (all created to perpetuate neocolonialism and western imperialism) determine if, when and how the governments of African countries function basically ensures that the rusty shackles of slavery are replaced by new and shiny ones. It is not a coincidence that the fate of African countries in the hands of these Western institutions is similar to that of Blacks in America, Europe or South America when dealing with financial institutions. Blacks generally, even when they have great credit on the average pay higher interest rates than whites and end up being buried (much like African governments) under the weight of indebtedness.

THE UNITED NATIONS

When one looks at the United Nations and most international non-governmental organizations, the tale is the same. There is an undue influence exerted by the United States and Europe (Western Europe to be exact) in the daily affairs of those organizations. Of the five permanent members of the United Stations Security Council (UNSC), only one (China) is non-European. The other four permanent members are Russia, United States of America, Great Britain and France. When you look at that list, three of those five permanent members, the United States, Great Britain and France were three of the key perpetrators of the worst carnage in human history, the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade that robbed a whole continent of its future and destroyed the promise, hope and aspiration of a whole race.

GLOBAL SPORTS AND ORGANIZATION - FIFA, NFL AND THE NBA

When you look at organizations such as the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), the National Football League (American Football) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), the mark that has been laid down by the institution of racism and white privilege can not be over-emphasized. FIFA for the longest time only allowed a whole continent (Africa) with over 50+ countries to produce just one representative to the global showpiece from its inception in 1930 until the 1982 edition (52 years later). At that 1982 edition, FIFA allotted just two slots to Africa in a field of 24 nations (Europe was allotted 14 spots out of the total 24).

The odds continue to be stacked against African representatives at the FIFA global showpiece with a view to ensuring that an African country never wins the most prestigious global event in the world. FIFA and the European Football Confederation (UEFA) want to ensure that there isn't a repeat of the 1996 Men's Olympic football tournament that saw Nigeria defeat global soccer giants (with star studded players) such as Brazil and Argentina on their way to winning the first Gold medal in soccer (football) ever by an African country or a country outside of Europe and South America. FIFA and the IOC went on to ensure the watering down of the Olympic Men's soccer tournament shortly after that Nigerian victory.

THE REALITY

The fact remains that the African (Black) resurgence can't be stopped. That resurgence is not intended to ensure the destruction, eclipsing or eradication of anyone (unless they decide to get in the way of its actualization), but instead, the restoration of the basic construct of our humanity. The latter has been lost over the past generations, as avaricious greed, obtuse immorality, unbecoming debauchery and senseless over-indulgence have become the order of the day. What separates humanity from animals is basic and common-sense restraint, as necessitated by our core human make-up. There are consequences to our actions, both intended and unintended. Guns, climate change and politics are not the problem.

The problem lies with the human beings that pull the trigger, engage in actions that harm the environment or profess political views that seek to promote hate, division and a general sense of social anxiety. The first 'Black" POTUS (Barack Obama) and the first African President of South Africa (Nelson Mandela) both brought a humanity to their respective positions during their tenures, that had been lacking from their predecessors. While both were invariably still bound by the ubiquitous realities of the positions they held, they nevertheless sought to bring a more humane reality to it and that was evident by the resistance both had to face while in office.

In conclusion, while the future may seem bleak, one thing remains a constant; the potential and the opportunity to rewrite the human destiny lies in the African resurgence. The West will not lead, as evidenced by European and American regression into the throes of bigotry and intolerance (with the ascent of the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Italy's Matteo Salvini). Africa must and will lead as history has shown that continent and its people as the ever-enduring moral compass for the world.

© 2023 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Thursday

Breaking: More classified documents found in Biden's 'personal library'

CC™ Politico News

By Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden acknowledged on Thursday that a document with classified markings from his time as vice president was found in his “personal library” at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, along with other documents found in his garage.

Biden told reporters at the White House that he is “cooperating fully and completely” with a Justice Department investigation into how classified information and government records made their way to his home and the office of his former institute in Washington.

Biden did not say when the latest series of documents were found, only that his lawyers' review of potential storage locations was completed Wednesday night. Lawyers found the first set on Nov. 2, days before the midterm elections, but only publicly revealed that development on Monday.

AP

Wednesday

Trump pardons convicted bank robber in midst of RNC convention


CC™ Politico

U.S. President Donald Trump has pardoned a convicted bank robber, Jon Ponder, who is now running a post-prison assistance programme.

A pre-recorded video of Trump signing an executive order for the pardon, with Ponder standing beside him, aired on Tuesday night.

Coming amid the Republican National Convention, the president’s move is seen by some as an attempt to draw attention to criminal justice.

Criminal justice reform and the need to give repentant criminals a second chance are ideas promoted by Trump and his party.

According to reports, Ponder pleaded guilty to bank robbery in 2005, and was released from prison in 2009.

In 2010, he founded “Hope for Prisoners”, a non-governmental organisation assisting released prisoners to reintegrate into the society.

The president reportedly met him when he was invited to a National Day of Prayer event at the White House in 2018.

Trump praised Ponder’s commitment to Christianity and his friendship with Richard Beasley, a retired FBI agent who arrested him, and who accompanied him to the event.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Beasley was also with Ponder at the signing of the pardon at the White House on Tuesday.

Speaking before the signing order, Trump said he believed that every one was created by God for a purpose.

“I will continue to give all Americans, including former inmates, the best chance to build a new life and achieve their own American dream, and a great American dream it is.

“My hope for America is that formerly incarcerated people will be afforded the opportunity to take advantage of the fact that we live in a nation of second chances,” he said.

AGENCY